Face down on a white line, exactly the way he would want to be remembered.
From Reddit - too soon?
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RE: Andy Haden
Back in the eighties I was coaching a team of 14 year olds at the Kelston division of the Ponsonby club. One week we were invited to the city clubs indoor training 'Tan' were we were told a couple of the senior team would train with the boys. The senior players who ran our training that night were Beegee Williams, Maurice Trapp and Andy Haden. Trapp was brilliant making technicalities and set piece seem exciting to the boys (mostly PI boys who would rather wait in the backs for a run than scrum and ruck) and Andy taught them a few dark arts like how to encourage a player to let the ball go in a maul using elbows to the ribs and showed the props how to subtly stand on the oppositions locks foot to disrupt his jump. They turned our forward pack into a machine that night and we went on to win the comp. Andy made a point of watching us play a couple of times after that and was always approachable, supportive and made time to talk to the boys. A giant figure in the history of our club in many ways. Intelligent, demanding of standards and ruthless on the field.
RE: GOT - there will be spoilers
From Fox sports Au.
Winterfell XV Player Ratings
- Samwell Tarly — 2.0
Forgettable performance from a guy who talked a big game in the lead-up to match day. Openly bragged about being ‘the first bloke to kill a whitewalker’ last week, then went to mud in the warm-up. Much more expected from the big loosehead assuming he gets a start in coming rounds.
- Tyrion Lannister — 1.0
Went against team code by getting hammered on cheap wine the night before the game. Hangover showed as he was rendered impotent against a more physical and hungrier outfit. Unable to offer up his customary niggle and stirring speeches on account of being too busy sweet talking Sansa. A bad look in every way for a player trying to work his way back into form. Massive improvement required.
- Lord Varys — 0.5
Where do we start with the 125kg eunuch? Only kept on the park by the coaching team in the hope he’d deliver a touch of brilliance in the closing stages. Offered nothing in attack and could only huddle in defence. Looks certain to be dropped after this woeful effort.
- The Hound — 5.0
Was late to the frontline of battle and it showed. Appeared distracted at times and went completely missing for a large part of the second half. Redeemed himself by doing an exceptional job of babysitting his flyhalf to help set up the match-winning drop goal.
- Brienne of Tarth — 9.0
Crushed multiple wights with a willingness to mix it up at maul time. Continues to win new fans with her abrasive approach and will be one of the first picked for their next fight. Also saved the one-armed man’s life, will be popular on Mad Monday.
- Theon Greyjoy — 9.0
Five-star performance from a guy looking to redeem himself under the guidance of Coach Stark. Dropped countless wights with a bow and arrow, then took to the advancing horde with a spear. Ordinarily a performance like this would gain Theon a spot in the starting team for life. Shame he’s dead, killed with his own spear. Irony for the Ironborn.
- Grey Worm — 8.0
Since entering the Winterfell XV Pathway Program, Grey Worm has been ultra-disciplined and always looked likely to provide the sort of output to win a big one. Clutch in every way, Mr Worm led his side over the ball and was a menace in the scrap.
- Tormund Giantsbane — 7.0
Carried strong, ever reliable red-head went hard again . Simple man with a simple game plan.
- Lyanna Mormont — 9.0
Lady Mormont has excelled at Scrumhalf. Despite battling a crushed rib cage and dislocated spine, Lyanna still found a way to drop the biggest bloke on the park. Sadly, this will be her final game in the Winterfell XV after being unable to overcome the aforementioned injuries. She also fell 60 feet. Bear Island Rugby Club in particular will be rocked.
- Arya Stark — 10.0
At times, a one-woman demolition crew. Has always promised a flawless 82 minute performance and on her home track, was a cut above. Put a marker down early in the match by icing double-digit wights and she never looked back. Won the game following a half-time rev up from Melisandre. Total perfection from the assassin.
- Jamie Lannister — 7.5
Hung tough with his one working arm. Like Theon, was chasing redemption. Unlike Theon, Jamie will be back again next week.
- Jon Snow — 4.0
Didn’t adapt to the conditions, went looking for dominance late but never really figured.
- Melisandre — 8.5
Surprise packet in this must-win match up. Late inclusion in the starting team and made a statement early by turning normal swords into flaming ones. Result was minimal as everybody carrying one was ripped limb from limb, but her play added much needed spark. Also provided visionary chat to MVP Arya before collapsing in a heap out the front. Big loss.
- Daenerys Targaryen — 5.0
Struggled to get into the game. Only highlight was burning a bunch of the undead with her dragons. Lucky to get through the full 82 and needs a big week at training.
- Sir Jorah — 8.5
Played until the final whistle, making it back to back golden performances from the love-struck swordsman. Another to have played their final game for this improving outfit.
Coach: Bran Stark — 5.0
Checked out of the battle for a long while, only returning to tell Theon he was a good man. Sat emotionless as sister Arya plunged her Valeryian Steel dagger into the Night King’s midriff, preventing the end of the world in the process. Had a hand in the game plan and was happy to be bait. Winning is a habit and Bran will be better for it when they hit King’s Landing.
RE: Andy Haden
This Tribute from the Ponsonby club website -
The Ponsonby District Rugby Club sadly acknowledges the passing of one of the great All Blacks, Andy Haden, who died aged 69 on 29 July 2020 at Auckland. Haden had been in failing health for some time due to his battle with cancer.
While Andy Haden was many things to different people, he is proudly remembered by his one and only Auckland club as a great contributor over a prolonged period, and a staunch Ponsonby advocate. He was, after all, the man whose response to an inaccurate story that he was transferring to East Coast Bays was: ‘There are two types of rugby player in Auckland – those who play for Ponsonby and those who wish they did.’
Haden was one of those who did. His club career lasted 16 years, from 1971 to 1986, and in that time he was instrumental in the first Gallaher Shield win for 22 years, in 1976, and then six more in the following decade. He was the first player to win seven Gallaher Shields – the trophy was first awarded in 1922 - and the first to win seven championships since Bubs Tyler of City in the Edwardian era. George Nicholson, a contemporary of Tyler’s, won eight championships with City and Ponsonby. By the time Haden had finished, he was one of a small, elite group to have played 100 matches for his club (the figure is around 200), for his province (157) and for his country (117). In a fluky coincidence, Haden was just one week older than his great friend who achieved exactly the same treble with almost identical numbers, Sir Bryan Williams.
When Rugby News carried a story in early 1971 that Alistair Haddon, a promising young lock, was transferring from Manawatu to Auckland, a few clubs began sniffing the wind. Haddon never turned up, but Ponsonby was glad that Haden did. His arrival at the club has been recounted many times: how his car was broken into, and the spare tyre, jack and radio removed as he attended his first training run. He mentioned it at the club on his second night, and suggested the neighbourhood was perhaps a little rough for his taste and he may look elsewhere.
‘Don’t be too hasty,’ he was told. ‘See what happens.’
What happened was that he returned to his car that evening to find the missing items magically back in their usual places. Ever the pragmatist, Haden didn’t bother to lock his car again.
His on-field introduction was similar. In his first trial he found himself being obstructed at every lineout. It took a while before he realised the obstructionist was Roly Rowlatt – his locking partner! Roly’s brother, John, was in the opposition and Roly figured neither would have their chances hurt if this whipper-snapper didn’t look good. Owen Donaldson took all four locks aside before the second trial, gave each the same lecture on fighting and team play, and let them get on with it. Haden won the berth alongside Peter Whiting, who was just about to make his test debut and had not been asked to front at the trials.
In 1972 Haden won selection for the New Zealand Juniors tour of Australia, dominated the lineouts in Auckland’s successful Ranfurly Shield challenge at Whangarei, and was chosen as one of many young players for the 1972-73 All Black tour of Great Britain. While never threatening a test place, he learned a lot on that tour which stood him in good stead later. In late 1974, disillusioned by the attitude he found in Auckland officialdom, he took a sabbatical in Europe. As part of his preparation for this sojourn, he and Trecha brought their wedding forward and the couple left for what proved to be 18 months away.
By 1976, when he returned to try and win a place in the All Black team for South Africa, he was a different proposition to the slightly callow youth of 1974. Now harder, physically and mentally, he was the outstanding lock at the trials (after coming into the early match as a replacement) but wasn’t chosen for the tour. If it was a punishment for his time away, the All Blacks suffered. Whiting suffered more than anyone, and would have loved his clubmate beside him as he took on the South African big men.
Haden showed just what the All Blacks were missing with a dominant domestic season in 1976, was a shoo-in to be named Player of the Year, and was equally certain to be chosen for the tour of Argentina undertaken by a new group of players – none of the South African tourists were eligible for selection. He became one of the most influential players and, with Whiting retiring, was the obvious choice for test selection in 1977.
That marked the start of Haden’s years of dominance. To beat the All Blacks in the next eight years, one had to beat Haden first – easy to say but very hard to do. He scarcely missed a test and sometimes hardly missed a tour game. His lineout technique, developed over time to combat obstruction, was almost impossible for opponents to nullify as he started outside the line, then leapt toward the centre line and forward, thus getting a clean jump in front of his marker almost every time. If the marker presumed anything, a delayed or lobbed throw was certain ball.
He demanded a lot of his throwers, reckoning that having the best lineout forwards in the world was useless without the feeders hitting their targets, and New Zealand was seldom matched, let alone bettered, during his era. For Auckland and Ponsonby, he applied the same skills with the same dedication and contributed hugely to the success enjoyed by both teams.
While the lineout he left unaided to finish in an untidy heap on the Cardiff Arms turf will be replayed ad nauseum, it was actually an insignificant moment in the game – the referee, Roger Quittendon, never even saw his dive. If anyone thought that was some concocted excuse, All Black halfback Dave Loveridge never saw it either; his focus was on where he expected the ball to be delivered from, and he didn’t realise Haden almost landed on his right foot. The TV cameras and about a zillion Welshmen did see it and some have managed to let it go, but not many. Haden’s contribution to the 1978 Grand Slam was far greater than that one incident, but the good stuff tends to be forgotten in the aftermath of the media beat-up
Haden and Frank Oliver, his locking mate on the day and the guy who was actually pushed in that infamous lineout, reminded the Welsh of the incident two years later by rearranging the ornate cake prepared for the 1980 Centenary dinner. The cake, decorated as a rugby field and with a lineout between teams in red and black, was spotted by the pair – who gently tipped numbers two and four on the All Black side onto the grass. Nothing like that had happened on the big day, much to everyone’s relief, and the humour wasn’t missed.
In the dying stages of the 1981 test against South Africa at Eden Park, as Allan Hewson was lining up that decisive kick, Stu Wilson was standing next to Haden. ‘You don’t have to chase this one, big boy,’ Wilson said, knowing what his Wellington team-mate was capable of. Haden wanted to believe him but chased anyway, because that was the way he played. Assume nothing, never stop working.
If Haden’s dive in 1978 had no effect on the outcome of the Welsh match, his storming recovery of Hewson’s opening kickoff in fourth Lions test of 1983 basically ended the contest then and there. The Lions, 0-3 down in the series, waved the white flag after perhaps ten seconds of play, and crashed to a record 6-38 thrashing. Fittingly, Haden scored one of the six tries in what was an overpowering individual display.
For all his on-field skills, and few in the world could match him, Andy Haden probably made his greatest contribution – certainly to the All Blacks - off the paddock. Fluent in French from his time there in the mid-70s, he acted as team interpreter on two tours and smoothed over a lot of potentially disruptive situations. He became Minister of Lurks and Perks, proving a tough negotiator on behalf of the team. He believed in a fair reward for a player’s effort, something administrators certainly didn’t agree with, and did a great deal to ensure he and his team-mates got it.
Despite being portrayed as such, Haden was never a Me-first guy. On the contrary, he was the perfect shop steward, wanting a fair deal for the players to distribute equally. He never took more than his share, be it one-fifteenth or one-thirtieth, even if he was the guy earning the money. He held those who did reward senior players more generously than newcomers in contempt.
He was one of the first to storm the bastion of amateurism and make some headway. Before Haden, dissidents could simply be ignored. Haden was too big for that; as his reaction to the car break-in all those years before showed, he felt barriers needed breaking down, not erecting. If someone tried to close a door on him, he shoved a size 13 in the gap and then kicked it open again. He was, at all times, a team man and those who earned his greatest respect were similar individuals. Guy Smith and Peter Fatialofa, two Ponsonby team-mates, were among his favourite players for their total dedication to the cause and effort given at all times. Fatialofa and Robert Scanlan, among many, repaid that loyalty, chairing Haden off Eden Park following the 1983 Gallaher Shield win.
His career ended just before the first World Cup was played; it was a tournament he had been a vocal proponent of and he was delighted to see it finally coming to fruition. Professionalism, which he knew was inevitable 20 years before it happened, was also too late to directly benefit the man who once listed his occupation as ‘Itinerant Rugby Player’, and ambition as ‘Becoming rugby’s first millionaire’. Players of today, however, should spare Haden a thought or two each time they ink another contract, because he did much to make professional rugby a certainty.
In retirement he occasionally made ill-considered comments that angered people, but even if there were consequences to be faced Haden was never repentant. He’d said it, he’d deal with it, life moved on. At other times he was a very perceptive critic; some of the passages in his first book, Boots’n’All, are as relevant now as when they were written in the mid-1980s. As he once said when Ponsonby was in disagreement with the Auckland Union – not that rare an occurrence – ‘A salmon that doesn’t swim upstream never spawns.’ Haden was happy to swim upstream.
Andrew Maxwell Haden, born at Wanganui on 26 September 1950, was a terrific rugby player, one of the giants of his generation. He was also a dedicated rugby man who gave great value to the game. He respected, and was respected by, his rivals. Administrators may have held dissenting opinions, but that didn’t matter. One thing Haden never forgot was that the game was all about the players.
His last public rugby appearance was as MC of Ponsonby’s luncheon late in 2019, to celebrate the club’s 50th Premier title. He was funny, caustic at times, witty and very much a part of the whole event. He was, in short, exactly what Ponsonby people remembered him to be.
The Ponsonby District Rugby Club wishes to acknowledge one of its greats and extends its condolences to Andy’s family: Trecha, their son Christopher and daughter Laura, at this difficult time.
Nasi Manu starting Chemo.
Wishing him all strength in his battle and a full recovery.
Benetton Rugby number eight Nasi Manu is set to begin a cycle of chemotherapy in the coming days, the PRO14 outfit announced on Wednesday.
The news was confirmed after the ex-Highlanders back-row went for tests on Tuesday.
Benetton said that Tonga international forward Manu, 30, had an operation at a Treviso hospital on August 30 to remove an abnormal growth. However, he now requires the chemotherapy sessions.
As well as Benetton and the Highlanders, Manu has enjoyed playing stints with Canterbury, the Crusaders and Edinburgh.
Latest posts made by Daffy Jaffy
RE: Blues 2021
The Blues have found a kindred spirit as they plan a long-term restoration of their regional development programme.
Ganellen Construction have confirmed their support as naming partner of the Blues Development teams and the soon-to-be-announced development programme.
Ganellen has been operating in New Zealand for 11 years. In that time, they have been associated with several high-profile projects in Christchurch as part of the regeneration of the city, and in Auckland central with high rise projects including Crest Apartments, Horizon Apartments, Eden View Apartments and Alexander Park.
The unique partnership is more than a straight commercial arrangement, with Ganellen sharing much of the same ethos as the Blues when it comes to developing talent.
“Our policy is to hire people based on shared values and passion and promote from within which builds a loyal, experienced team, while mentoring and coaching enhances our people-focussed culture,” said Ganellen Director, Mitch Blunden.
“When we are looking to bring young people into our business, all we are looking for is someone with passion and commitment.
“We can provide everything else to make them a leader in the construction industry.
“And that our approach can provide a positive opportunity in partnership with the Blues.”
Blues CEO Andrew Hore said a cornerstone of the future for the organisation is sustained long-term development.
The organisation has been engaged for several months with their provincial unions and stakeholders in revamping the development programme, which will be unveiled this month.
“When we met with Ganellen we realised there is a shared vision of mentoring young people and what success looks like in a values-based organisation,” he said.
“They came on board earlier this year but much of our programme and plans were curtailed with the effects of the coronavirus.
“The timing is now ideal to press-on and we are looking forward not just to their support, but the unique opportunity for us to share the expertise and experience from both Ganellen and the Blues to help nurture young people to realise their dreams.
“It is a unique partnership that is exciting for the Blues and our provincial unions.”
Several development players have been included in the enlarged Blues squad for pre-season training, including the Interim Training Contracted players.
The Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa competition gets underway on February 28 with Blues membership and details of the pre-season Footy Fest occasion at Eden Park at www.blues.rugby.
RE: Blues 2021
This from an espn report about where Argentinian players are contracted - "the rumor that links Santiago Chocobares with Blues seems to have waned". If so that likely leaves Maraku, Fomai and Mikaele-Tuu competing for the final full squad position. Fomai would be my pick on experience and I like his sevens pace. The other two would likely be happy to stay involved in a wtg/development spot at their age.