The Roar

Southland Times sports editor Nathan Burdon's news, views and interviews. Feedback generally welcomed. Follow me on Twitter: @nathanburdon

Stricter measures at odds with TAB presence

05:00am 05 May 2014

NATHAN BURDON

Riddle me this.

The government have announced plans for far stricter measures to deal with match fixing in sport in this country, in case they are ever able to prove a case.

Anyone caught trying to 'fix' a game could face jail time under a recommendation from Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the NZRU would like to be seen as getting tough on match fixing, introducing an integrity unit in line with the IRB's Regulation 6.

Under those rules, ''all persons involved in the game at [international and contracted player] levels are required to comply with the IRB and New Zealand regulations. In the case of New Zealand, regulations also apply at Heartland Championship level on the basis that prohibited wagering only applies to betting on Pink Batts Heartland Championship matches.''

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Trying to fix the Blues

05:00am 22 Apr 2014

NATHAN BURDON

@nathanburdon On the face of things, we got exactly what we thought from the whole Benji Marshall experiment.

Marshall appeared to be a fading force in the NRL, struggling to hold his place in the West Tigers and no longer really an option for the Kiwis at international level.

He hadn't played rugby union since he was a schoolboy and came into Super Rugby cold, with only a short pre-season to find his feet.

He was playing for a flaky team which badly needed results, not an environment which would have given him space and time to develop his game.

And so Marshall failed, and was failed.

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Right name? Check.

05:00am 15 Apr 2014

NATHAN BURDON

Not sure where you sympathies will lie on this one, with the coach or the reporter who ends up with a red face after getting the coach's name wrong.

Some journos operate well in a press conference situation, others don't.

A couple of weeks ago, suffering heavily from the man flu, I asked Jamie Joseph about Liam Coltman's goal kicking.

Not Lima Sopoaga, Liam Coltman.

Unfortunately for me, I also wanted to know about Coltman's form, which appeared to be coming up to the sort of standard he was producing last year, which meant for general merriment for all except me during the follow up question.

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Who do you rate as the best Highlander?

05:00am 14 Apr 2014

NATHAN BURDON

The Highlanders head into their second bye round with four wins from seven starts.

Wow.

How many could have predicted a start to the season like that?

Can they sustain it?What can they realistically expect to do in South Africa, against the Stormers and Sharks?

Who has been your most impressive Highlanders player this season - Malakai Fekitoa, Shane Christie, the two All Black Smiths, someone else?

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The cost of competition

05:00am 11 Apr 2014

NATHAN BURDON

He might have been a cheat, but Lance Armstrong never wanted to be a rat.

Which is why his two-part ''confession'' with Oprah Winfrey a year ago was so frustrating.

While he did finally admit to doping throughout his seven Tour de France victories, there was no where the level of detail that many were hoping for, the level of detail which would finally rip open the festering wound which was the doped-up world of professional cycling.

Armstrong has been an enigma for me for most of my journalism career.

As someone who has developed a deep affection for the sport, the Texan was at the same time the greatest and the worst thing that ever happened to cycling.

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