Cricketers just as blue as us over duff results

PETER LAMPP AND GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 03/12/2012

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When we asked Manawatu's long-serving Black Caps cricketer Jacob Oram about the team's love-hate relationship with the public, he had a quick retort.

"What love?"

Oram, playing only limited-overs cricket now, was chuffed more than most after the the Black Caps' second test win against Sri Lanka last week. The national side had copped a lot of heat after falling over in the first test in Galle. Oram said the team felt the losses more than any disgruntled punter and they were disappointed with their play.

■ Baseball fans in Manawatu will have to wait a bit longer to see the game up and running in the province.

The Manawatu Softball Association is keen on setting up a baseball branch, but wants to test support before launching head-first into putting all its resources into baseball. It doesn't want to want to lose softball numbers in doing it.

■ Former Manawatu golfer and 2002 Players champion Craig Perks has been in the country.

Now a commentator for the Golf Channel, Perks was brought out by Men's Health Trust New Zealand to speak in Bay of Plenty on Saturday night and yesterday was off back to Louisiana. He was speaking at Fairview Golf Club, which has its third owner following two receiverships.

We tend to forget Perks was the 2002 New Zealand Sportsman of the Year.

■ The least All Blacks coach Steve Hansen could have done yesterday was leave Manawatu's Aaron Cruden on the bench.

Instead he whisked Cruden on in the 64th minute for his only defeat in 20 tests. No other player in rugby test history had begun their career so well, being part of 19 wins.

Yesterday was also the first time since 1996 a Manawatu player had been in a losing All Blacks test match. The previous was Christian Cullen against South Africa.

■ We hear Zara Phillips came through Palmerston North recently, probably on an equestrian errand.

She bought a horse from a Manawatu owner at the time of the Rugby World Cup when her now-husband Mike Tindall was in the wars in a nightclub in Queenstown.

This time the Queen's granddaughter was looking to buy another horse, and it was a coincidence her stopover coincided with that of two other royals, Prince Charles and wife Camilla.

■ Maybe the organisers of the World Cup showjumping at Manfeild need to shift the main event to the first night of the show.

The size of the crowd was disappointing on Saturday night, considering up to 600 horses took part over the whole show. But when many riders finish, their priority is to travel home. Maybe the event needs to be better publicised too.

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It is tough for the Manfeild people to get the surface top notch, with many events held in the indoor arena. But it was "shifty" enough on Saturday to prompt European officials to say they would not have jumped on it in Europe.

- The Manawatu Standard

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