Other North v South clashes New Zealand deserves

Sport Review #115

The North v South island rugby encounter brings back memories of daylight Test matches, sideburns and culturally acceptable drink driving.

Seeing which island is best at rugby is fine, of course (needlessly convoluted qualification criteria aside), but what else? Sport Review presents a series of encounters that will unite this island nation in shared bloodlust or split it asunder forever.

Dave Dobbyn v the Exponents - Call him loyal - to kicking your arse all the way back to Timaru! Will kiwi expats belt out Bliss or Why Does Love To This To Me while walking home from the pub through quiet London streets? Will it be Welcome Home or Goodbye Even Though I’m Blue??

Graham Henry v Robbie Deans - It’s the 2007 coaching appointment panel re-match everyone wanted to see. Will big dog magnificent eyebrows and knowing cackle get taken down by the raw disappointment of not getting a shot at the big time?

Colin McCahon v Rita Angus - Hey! Mitts off MY religious symbolism! The boy from Timaru might have brought modernism to NZ, but did those hills really need writing all over them? The Hastings Howitzer has a self portrait of her kicking your butt, Colin and isn’t afraid to use it.

Lattes v Cheese Rolls - Everyone from Auckland and Wellington will punch you in the face if you offer them anything other than a fine freshly roasted cup, while the Invercargill faithful have no truck with your big city bullshit. Will it be single-origin or southern sushi? Let’s get it on.

John Key v Bill English - he may have been born in Christchurch, but JK is Parnell all the way these days. Can the Safe Pair Of Hands from Dipton take him down like a flag referendum? We need to know.

Waikato Draught v Canterbury Draught - suddenly, everyone wants river water. The good folk of the mighty Waikato have known of its cleansing properties for years, especially when you’ve just put away $10 of chips and four litres of the brown gold through a funnel, and still have a big night in town ahead. Can the South Island pretender take it down? I think not.

Thanks for reading - Richard

Share Sport Review newsletter

The week's best NZ sport content

Dana Johannsen on the growing calls for school sport and the creeping professionalism and pressure on pupils too young to cope to be reigned in [Stuff]

Heather Dawson on the three women’s world cups we’re hosting soon, and what they mean for fans, athletes and youngsters here [Sportsfreak]

while Andrew Voerman looks at the recent strides in New Zealand Football and the opportunity ahead with the world cup [Stuff]

Dylan Cleaver on Grant Dalton - he’s had a big week. See also Dylan’s 2017 long Dalton profile here [NZ Herald]

Hal Crawford on Zwift, the cycling app you might have seen pop up on Strava, that will host a virtual Tour de France this year [Spinoff]

Video nasty

Classic Alan.

Long read

If, like us, you came to deeply appreciate the ice tray and lemon slice ritual of a G&T through lockdown (and haven’t stopped), behold The intoxicating history of gin [New Yorker]


If you’re a Radiohead fan, the chaps are releasing a full length concert a week on YouTube. Whether you prefer skinny guitar gods, or sub-Aphex Twin era, it’s all there.

Selected weekend fixtures 

  • It’s 2 v 3 on the ANZ Premiership table with the Mystics hosting the Tactix tonight at 7pm, it’s on SKY

  • In the rugby, it’s Highlanders v Crusaders tomorrow night at 7pm, while the Chiefs and Hurricanes at on Sunday at 3.35pm, they’re on SKY

  • The poor old Warriors play the Broncos tomorrow night at 7.30pm, it’s on SKY

Bring back the gif 

Like 2021 isn’t sitting there waiting to kick your arse too.

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!