Benji Marshall Went To The Wrong Rugby Team

Posted: April 22, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

The New Zealand Rugby Union are the biggest pack of arseholes since Woodlands did a mass downtrou after winning the Galbraith Shield last year.

They put the “control” in control freak.  If you are a journalist, you’re told which players you can talk to each week (and most rugby journos buy into this bullshit).  They micro-manage the details of the game and players to the nth degree to minimise the potential for adverse publicity.

If they can’t manage you, they hang you out to dry (gidday Zac Guildford).

Coaches from Fatboy Hansen down manage coaches, right down to club level.  Rep coaches tell premier club coaches what style they want their rep team to play, and club coaches are expected to work to the same style (which must make life shit for John Hart-type coaches in somewhere like Taranaki).

I’ve been in situations where rep coaches show up at club training and say “we’re going to go the same way three times, then swing back and go the other way three times to work our way up the field”.

Gone are the days when a freak like Carlos Spencer or Andrew Mehrtens could change their mind as the ball went into the scrum – now it’s all the call made before the set piece or nothing.

That’s why Benji Marshall failed.  He’s a playmaker.  Look at the highlights reel from his long career at Wests:

New Zealand rugby doesn’t like playmakers.  They like structure.

If you watched Marshall play for the Wests Tigers, you saw his teammates react when he had the ball.  If they were in the way, they got out of the way.  If they were nowhere near him, they gravitated to him once he started running, looking for the handoff.

He had Wests’ opponents guessing whenever he got the ball.  Why the fuck he changed to rugby, and why the fuck he signed with the New Zealand equivalent of an old people’s home is beyond me.

Auckland Rugby Union should have been the most dominant union for the last 30 years.  They have all the talent, all the resources, all the opportunities.  But they were overtaken by Canterbury and now Waikato.

Watching Auckland play is like watching a slow motion nose pick.  Boring, mostly unsuccessful, and disgusting.

I watched a brief series of Marshall’s games for the Blues.  When he started to do his playmaker gig, the other players stopped.  You could see it running through their thick heads: “Hey!  That’s not the Red 67 Otago move!”

In one video, Marshall sees the rush defence and goes lateral.  Steven Luatua is deep enough to hit the ball hard.  Luatua stops and stares at the little five-eighth breaking the “move” rules.  Marshall, with no massive runner running any more, gets minced.

What Benji should have done was play for the Western Force.  That would have meant no chance of an All Black jersey.  But at least the Force are keen to play footy, and are able to eschew the ridiculous structure that is going to be the death of another Blues’ season.

New Zealand rugby, in its blinkeredness and elitist nature, should never have encouraged Benji across the ditch.  He’s not made for rugby, with its structures and strictures.

The Benji experiment should be a wake up call for Auckland, at the very least.  Auckland rugby has been successful when free spirits like Waka Nathan, Ron Rangi, Grahame Thorne, Mac Herewini, Kit Fawcett, Carlos Spencer, and others have been given free rein – within the constraints of the ground.

Auckland has not been successful for a very long time.  Some will blame the Benji experiment on John Kirwan.  But the buck has to stop with the control freak morons at the top, who see marketing opportunities over on field success every time.

How long before we have a Will Carling moment?  I suspect never.  One day we’ll just wake up and find the rest of the rugby world has passed us by.


There’s A Hole In The (Money) Bucket

Posted: April 11, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

Because someone is leaking.

Fortunately for the elected members, we know it isn’t them, due to the level of detail given in this public relations piece.  So which of the two senior Kremlin staff involved in discussions made up this self-serving story?

We know that one of the two senior Kremlin staff loves having cosy chit chats over coffee with the fish n chipper, and is desperate to slot Rugby Park under the wing of long-suffering ratepayers to try and gain the undeserved respect he so craves, despite being incapable of organising a piss up in a brewery.

Unfortunately, the story omits a few crucial points.  One, what does it say in the Draft Annual Plan?


Hmmm.  That’s a bit at odds with what it says in the story.

Two, omitting the Park from the Draft Annual Plan means the Kremlin has triggered section 83 of the Local Government Act and must now go through a Special Consultative Procedure.  It is, after all, a “significant asset” according to the Part-Time Mayor.

The press release story seems confident the transfer will go through.

Given that Councillors have been given no detail on:

  • The cost of deferred maintenance
  • The cost of ongoing maintenance
  • The cost of earthquake strengthening
  • and answers as to why the Trust/Rugby Southland have not bothered to try and create any revenue streams,

if it does get through the Council meeting (which in itself is dubious as the Part-Time Mayor and Cllr Dennis are already ruled out of voting), then those Councillors who vote for it need a kick up the arse for abrogating their fiduciary responsibility to ratepayers.

As for the fish n chipper, well…you’ve been played like a $2 Shop flute.

Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Think

Posted: April 9, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

A helpful and well-meaning letter writer wrote to the fish and chipper:

All the hoo-ha over the debacle with Rugby Park can be handled in two easy ways: You can get every rugby club in Southland to fundraise for the upkeep of the outdoor stadium.

You can have three Southland-wide games at Rugby Park; two on Saturday (1.30pm and 3pm) and one on Sunday.

I heard from my mum that her father used to have a season ticket for this.

You could have athletics there again.

Given that rugby clubs can barely keep their heads above water thanks to the under-investment in grassroots footy in the South (cheers, Roger Clark and Paul Menzies), I don’t think the first point would be a goer.

I like the idea of playing three games at the Park on a weekend though – but instead of having a Sunday game, what about having a Friday night match?  The ILT would love it, and everyone knows Friday night’s a great night for football…

Yet More Discrepancies

Posted: April 4, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

Let’s just grab some figures from Rugby Southland’s accounts and compare them to those of the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust.  I’m just grabbing random years as the pattern is the same throughout:

Rugby Southland grounds and facilities expenditure 2009: $117,623

SOST grounds expenditure 2009: $71,335.

Now, having been a regular out at the Sandy Point grounds since 2002, I know they spend bugger all on grounds and facilities there, and certainly not $100K+ every year.  I doubt the figure would even touch $5,000 per annum.

So the question has to be asked, how much of that $100K+ is spent at Rugby Park and why is this cross-subsidisation not being picked up?

It’s not smoke and mirrors – it’s complete arrogance by Rugby Southland who think they can get away with treating the paying public like morons, and gross stupidity by the Kremlin who clearly aren’t doing due diligence.

We haven’t finished with their selective accounting yet either, but work calls….


I wonder if they would have realised more cash via trademe?



*cheers, anal retentive

You Think Auckland Property Prices Are Mental?

Posted: April 2, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

Check out Invercargill’s latest million dollar house!  The government valuation is only $138,000…hang on….methinks someone shouldn’t have had a liquid lunch before inputting the figures….



Let’s Sum Up

Posted: April 2, 2014 by cracker666 in Uncategorized

So far we have:

  • A vehicle for accounting purposes for Rugby Southland, which hasn’t;
    • Bothered to create any new revenue streams from it, even small ones,
    • Run it down to the point where it requires $200K* per annum just for running costs,
    • Pays Rugby Southland $150,005 per annum for *ahem* ‘administration’,
    • And is overvalued on its balance sheet.
  • We also have;
    • The part-time Mayor ruled out of voting by saying: “I admit I’m a little biased because I’m one of the few city councillors who has played senior rugby in Southland. I have witnessed how important club rugby is in rural communities. I also believe rugby is part of our national identity.”
    • Another councillor ruled out by dint of being the chair of a major funder of the massive fuckup  Park
    • And another potentially ruled out because he has been shooting his mouth off as usual about the non-decision made, but his mind is firmly made up (don’t worry, on the record will come soon)

There is nothing here that should point to the Kremlin taking this weeping sore over without first saying to Rugby Southland and the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust “how about trying to run it properly yourself first?”

I don’t believe that basic concept has been tried yet.

* I should point out the running costs in the latest set of accounts available from the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust put running costs at $91,247.  The other $393,149 is made up of $150,005 for *ahem* ‘administration’, $203,444 for depreciation, and $38,300 in interest. Being on this Trust set up by Roger Clark is a bit like being given hepatitis C for your birthday.

** I’d also like the welcome the latest Councillor who has just signed up to follow this blog.  We almost have the full set now.  Can you please keep feeding us tidbits, as Cllr Arnold has cited some ethereal concept called “ethics” whenever we ask her about stuff, and as I don’t go to Three Bean Cafe any more, I don’t have the benefit of hearing your other colleague big note on secret issues.  The email address is here.