GOOD SPORTS: Charles Monro to stand tall at rugby museum

Manawatu is to have its very own sporting statue in a few months' time.

Yes, while Eden Park is to have Michael Jones in bronze, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has Dennis Lillee and Suncorp in Brisbane has Wally Lewis, Palmerston North will have the founder of New Zealand rugby, Charles Monro.

The life-size statue will be unveiled outside the Rugby Museum at the Te Manawa complex in Main St just before the Rugby World Cup starts.

Costing close to a six-figure sum, the project was in doubt for a while, but now the Monro family is helping fund the project.

The statue is to be sculpted at the Dibble foundry by Sonny Edwards, a relative of famous All Black George Nepia.

* When Manawatu Rugby Supporters' Club head honcho Barrie Angland heard about Turbos coach Dave Rennie heading north to coach the Chiefs from next season, Angland immediately contacted him.

"I sent him an email as a rugby supporter to say firstly, Waikato take the cycle centre from us and now they pinch our top rugby coach. What a week!"

* Manawatu Turbos rugby player Isaac Thompson turned on one of the best goalkicking displays ever seen at Massey University on Saturday.

He slotted 29 points from 13 conversions (13 tries scored) and a penalty as Varsity slaughtered Freyberg by 94-7. Many of his kicks were from the sideline, and this while the spectators had their umbrellas aloft throughout the match.

* The Manawatu Jets basketballers will head to play the new Auckland Pirates in Auckland on Wednesday night and their game will no longer be televised.

That is because the Breakers will be playing the Australian NBL final the same night.

In a moment of madness from someone, the Jets' game has not been moved and will tip off 30 minutes later than the Breakers', in the same city as the ANBL game.

Jets coach Ryan Weisenberg threw out a crowd prediction for the game.

"There's going to be maybe six. If we are lucky there'll be six."

The American clearly had his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, but somebody has erred here.

* There had been fears the Country Road Manawatu Cycle Classic on Saturday might have been be too rugged for recreational riders.

It was well organised and the marshals were friendly. Fortunately the wind did not blow until yesterday and the early riders, who departed at 8am, even got through before the rain.

Big-city visitors enjoyed the scenic rural countryside, although many would get to the bottom of a hill and exclaim: "Not another one." It was the same distance as Lake Taupo's ride, at 160km, but the terrain ensured most times were a quarter-hour slower.

Manawatu Standard