Getting cricket pitches right proves hard task

Cricket pitches have emerged as a priority in Manawatu in the past two seasons.

A week ago the covers were left on at Fitzherbert Park during a hot day preceding the Manawatu one-day semifinal.

The pitch sweated like a hothouse and the game had to be shifted to Manawaroa Park.

At the weekend the covers were intentionally left off the pitch for the final because the pitch had been wet. Rain tumbled down overnight, and the showpiece of the club season ended up on the vastness of Manawaroa where there was a covered standby dry track.

Things just don't seem to be working out in this area.

KIA TOA have had enough of hosting College Old Boys in club rugby at Kia's home ground of Bill Brown Park. COB won with three penalties by 9-8 on Saturday.

Last year COB won there by just 20-18 even though outscored by three tries to one and that was Kia's first loss of all time at the ground.

PALMERSTON NORTH'S Craig Lyons is now a veteran of three international rugby matches for Spain.

His club has been iffy about him also playing for Spain so each time he has had to run on as a sub, and each time the team has won. That includes wins over World Cup sides Romania and Georgia.

The 33-year-old former High School Old Boys and Manawatu lock is looked upon as the veteran of the team, and his new brindle beard fosters that image.

TOUGH TIMES again for Manawatu Turbos' captain Nick Crosswell who has had a rough run with injuries for the past three seasons.

Sadly, Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph put Crosswell on at halftime against the Brumbies and after three minutes, his leg was trapped beneath a team-mate at a lineout and he wrenched his knee. He will be out for up to six weeks with a serious medial ligament tear. Ironically, he had replaced fellow Turbo Doug Tietjens who was making his Super Rugby debut.

There was a fine come-from-behind national victory by the women from the Northern Bowling Club.

They have emulated the Palmerston North women of 2006 and the Palmerston North men of 2008 in snatching an interclub title.

It was even harder for Northern because they won it on foreign soil at Howick in Auckland.

Most of the other national finals have been played at Palmerston North.


Just when the Manawatu Jets get up to nice cruise speed, they have to take an extended holiday for 16 days.

There was a time when the old U-Bix Palmerston North sides played every Saturday night. Now the NBL draw is all over the show, the Jets not playing their next game until April 11 against Auckland, away. That's annoying when they are in such good form – three wins in eight days.

Home fans won't see the Jets until April 14 against Nelson.

Manawatu Standard