GOOD SPORTS - Rugby a sellout in more ways than one

Last updated 12:00 29/08/2011

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Lampp's sports comments

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Hard on the heels of the Turbos rugby success has been the sellout of Green and White, 125 Years of Manawatu Rugby.

OPINION: Published by Grant Smith of GSA Design and written by Clive Akers and Peter Lampp, a reprint has been ordered. The book will be available for $30 from PaperPlus Feilding, Bruce McKenzie Booksellers in George St, Palmerston North, the New Zealand Rugby Museum at Te Manawa and the Manawatu Rugby Union offices.

* The Manawatu table tennis people are looking forward to hosting the senior national championships in the Barber Hall at Arena Manawatu in mid-October.

However, they also understand there will be stockcars qualifying and racing at the same time. The last time they coincided, some table-tennis players almost had heart attacks when crashes on the stockcar circuit reverberated through the hall.

At the national veterans tournament, some of the older players said they had trouble concentrating when such a high-contact sport was taking place through the thin walls.

* We'll try not to dwell on the All Blacks' loss at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, but the world of Twitter was awash with comments about the referee Wayne Barnes. The man who controlled the All Blacks' quarterfinal loss at the 2007 Rugby World Cup angered many again – and once more it was over a forward pass ruling or lack of one. Seconds after Australia's Will Genia passed to Digby Ioane (who set up Kurtley Beale for the match-winning try) there were calls for Barnes' head for yet another costly forward pass.

Replays were inconclusive, but it still caused a few stirs.

* Palmerston North is shaping up as something of a preferred neutral venue for national-level sporting events. Yesterday's Chatham Cup football final at Memorial Park between Wairarapa United and Napier City Rovers was an example.

Despite the neutrality, that didn't stop hardcore fans of both teams travelling the couple of hours north and southwest to make their voices heard.

There was even talk that Palmerston North could have hosted the ITM Cup premiership final if Taranaki had qualified top of that tier because Yarrow Stadium wasn't allowed to be used so close to the World Cup.

That contingency wasn't needed after Canterbury and Waikato secured the final spots on Saturday.

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- Manawatu Standard

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