In these troubled times a massive salve has been provided by sport and no more so than in Australia, the so-called lucky country.

For me, the greatest game of all is test cricket and while Aussies may feel otherwise, they were privileged, as were we watching in New Zealand, by the extraordinary drama earlier this year provided by the five test Indian series.

Then to top it off, has there ever been a greater three test rugby series than that of the just concluded French-Australian series?

Compared with the tedium of All Blacks matches, beginning with the embarrassingly infantile haka and then the endless scrums, constant whistle-blowing and re-sets, the Australian-French series was a non-stop all-action thriller. They’re far from the best sides in the world but they tops by a country mile when it comes to providing a viewer spectacle.


Top marks for referring to the embarrassingly infantile haka. Well called, and symptomatic of the

embarrassingly insular attitudes which pervade this land.

Most beautiful country in the world, friendliest people, etc, etc, etc..

“Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.”
So begins the final chapter of the book “The Lucky Country” (1964) by social critic Donald Horne. The author was apparently unhappy that the phrase was used as a term of endearment for Australia. He commented, “I have had to sit through the most appalling rubbish as successive generations misapplied this phrase.” Australia is also lucky that test and one day cricket is broadcast free to air, largely due to the efforts of Kerry Packer. Here in NZ, would-be viewers of cricket and other sports are victims of an extortion racket called Sky TV. I refuse to pay their unconscionable “vig” each month but I should listen to the commentary on the radio which is an underrated pleasure that harks back to an earlier and simpler time.

Cricket is on Spark isn’t it? Between that and the kowtowing in Queenstown last season I had shunned all NZ cricket.

And I have no support for the olympics either; sending a man to compete in a womens event.

I could live with the Haka if it was for World Cup finals. But every game? Yawn.
Also, being in Australia I watched the Wallabies/France series, and yes- 3 excellent games. Shame about the red card in game 3 but ce la vie…

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