Opinion

Barton: Odds never good for disgraced jockey

David Walker

OPINION: The seven-year disqualification is proof racing can be tough on its own, says Tim Barton.

Page: Refs too quick to dish out yellow cards

rugby ball generic

JACOB PAGE - The Timaru Herald

OPINION: Yellow cards seem to be a bail out option for referees to maintain control in rugby matches.

Frustrated Sonny Bill Williams needs to fire up

Sonny Bill Williams

ANDREW WEBSTER - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: With his NRL career nearing an end, Roosters star Sonny Bill Williams needs to rediscover his mojo.

Snook: Taranaki's man from Gore a class act

Marty McKenzie

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: Marty McKenzie's selection at first-five eighth might herald a newcomer of the highest quality for Taranaki.

Reason: Man mountain Matfield still one of best

Victor Matfield

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: You can calibrate his height, but it's surely impossible to measure just how big a man the Springboks legendary lock is.

Mehrtens: Beware of Boks as World Cup looms

Cornal Hendricks

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: ABs march on undefeated but South Africa demonstrated they are big-time World Cup threats.

McCaw up off floor and to the fore once again

Richie McCaw

GLENN MCLEAN - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: There is little more that can be said of Richie McCaw that has not already been printed, broadcast or televised.

Kemp: Surprise Benji Marshall not in the mix

Benji Marshall

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

OPINION: I'm surprised Marshall is not in the mix for the Kiwis and I am dubious about the reasons for it too.

Napier: Test match a long time in the making

Steve Hansen

LIAM NAPIER - Sunday News

OPINION: Samoa is one of the few places the All Blacks could go where the whole country would stop for 80 minutes.

Wilson: Boks picked on merit, not quotas

Cornal Hendricks

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: The South African Rugby Union's philosophy should be to develop players of all colours, writes Jeff Wilson.

Snook: Give Barrett a chance or risk losing him

Beauden Barrett

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: With Beauden Barrett not selected to start in the test match against South Africa, perhaps his mind could wander off.

Reason: Tennis is just a game: Let Nishikori live

Kei Nishikori

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: Kei Nishikori, dragged down by the weight of Japan, couldn't keep his head above water in US Open final.

Mehrtens: Refs a blight on international game

Richie McCaw

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: Why does rugby have the worst standard of international refereeing?

Bidwell: Warriors nothing more than average

 Simon Mannering

HAMISH BIDWELL - The Dominion Post

OPINION: Your over-riding feeling about the end of another Warriors season is relief, writes Hamish Bidwell.

Knowler: Blundering refs applying heat to IRB

George Clancy

RICHARD KNOWLER - Stuff

OPINION: Horrible calls confirm standard of international refereeing is in freefall.

Gifford: Why the All Blacks are just that good

Conrad Smith

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: Why does New Zealand rugby continue to defy the odds and remain the world benchmark for success.

Kiwi rowing duo Murray, Bond are a class apart

Hamish Bond, Eric Murray

MARK REASON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are now among the best pairs in sporting history, and not just rowing.

Wilson: Can't afford to lose the valuable NPC

Empty seats

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: As the gap between Super Rugby and our provincial comp widens, crowds are dwindling, yet it remains a very valuable pathway.

Knowler: Steve Hansen demands accountability

Charlie Faumuina

RICHARD KNOWLER - Stuff

OPINION: Steve Hansen got his slingshot, imagined Charlie Faumuina had a bull's eye on his forehead and fired a rock just below the hairline.

Women spearhead huge year for Kiwi rowers

Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler

IAN ANDERSON - Waikato Times

OPINION: Rapid emergence of world-class women's group gives Rowing NZ a hefty tailwind, pushing it towards the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mehrtens: Code switchers, who will make RWC?

Sonny Bill Williams, right, Sam Burgess

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: It's early days but I know which guy I would be on to make a better fist of the role at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Robson: Ben Smith better suited out wide for ABs

Ben Smith

TOBY ROBSON IN NAPIER - Stuff

OPINION: Star utility is a better wing, while Israel Dagg deserves the nod at fullback for All Blacks.

Reason: Rugby replacements rule has its flaws

Pumas

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: If ever replacement rule made a mockery of the game, the second Pumas-Springboks test was it.

Hinton: Haka has no history in basketball world

Kirk Penney

MARC HINTON - Stuff

OPINION: It could be time for the Tall Blacks to bury their haka after a mixed reception in Spain, writes Marc Hinton.

Smith: Back to business now for Ryan Nelsen?

Ryan Nelsen

TONY SMITH - The Press

OPINION: Ryan Nelsen's sacking at Toronto FC is likely to bring the curtain down on his elite-level football career.

Gifford: Has All Blacks aura gone? Yeah, right

All Blacks

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: If the All Blacks and their coaches haven't shut up their critics by now, you wonder what will it take.

Randell: Sonny Bill will be second fiddle to Nonu

Ma'a Nonu

TAINE RANDELL - Sunday News

OPINION: While Sonny Bill Williams is a talented athlete, Ma'a Nonu remains New Zealand's best option at second-five.

Kemp: NZ should have a second NRL franchise

Marwan Koukash

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

OPINION: The time is right for the NRL to give a licence to another franchise in New Zealand.

Rugby's Superman McCaw deserves super fans

Richie McCaw

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: After Richie McCaw's display at Eden Park against the Wallabies, surely his critics will have learned to zip it.

Long: NZ Warriors wasting so much potential

Warriors

DAVID LONG - Sunday News

OPINION: The Warriors' long-suffering fans deserve better than what we've seen from the side in recent weeks.

Dean: Vuelta a Espana race starts with a roar

Esteban Chaves

JULIAN DEAN - Sunday News

OPINION: It has been a great first week at the Vuelta a Espana and for us at Orica Greenedge we've had great success.

Reason: Mercedes feud spotlights F1's dangers

Nico Rosberg

MARK REASON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: We relish blood sport and Formula One delivers. But Mark Reason questions our need for speed.

Page: Canterbury rules but NPC serves purpose

JACOB PAGE - The Timaru Herald

OPINION: The NPC competition may be losing some of its glory but the competition is still serving its main purpose of blooding players.

Cully: Only catering can stop ABs winning Cup

All Blacks 1995

OPINION: Optimisim for the Wallabies might be forlorn as depth and talent ought to push ABs to WC glory in 2015.

Snook: Fear of losing maintains All Blacks edge

All Blacks

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: Just when it seems like the Wallabies are closing the gap, the All Blacks produce a performance from another planet.

The sublime, the bad and ugly from Eden Park

Aaron Cruden

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: What a complete joy it was to watch the All Blacks pass the ball as only they can.

Mehrtens: Simple football with ruthless intent

Brodie Retallick

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: How wrong was I when I predicted the Wallabies would be an even bigger threat in Bledisloe II?

Knowler: NZRU courts controversy with SBW

Sonny Bill Williams

RICHARD KNOWLER - The Press

OPINION: No conspiracy here, guys. Move on, move on; can't you see we are trying to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.

Robson: Smoothing path for SBW is smart play

Sonny Bill Williams

TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: SBW's special exemption for the All Blacks end of year tour was a smart and pragmatic play by Steve Hansen.

Wilson: Boks need to find formula that works

Schalk Burger

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: The more things change with our old mates across the Tasman, the more they stay the same with our rivals in the republic.

Gifford: Whineray's heroes worth worshipping

Wilson Whineray

OPINION PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: Memory is a powerful drug and during the week mine got hooked on one of the great All Blacks teams.

Reason: Heretics question hallowed NZ skipper

Richie McCaw

MARK REASON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: As a nation, are we so in awe of the great All Blacks captain that we cannot mention the unmentionable?

Robson: All Blacks must show more arrogance

Steve Hansen

TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: It's often a dirty word when it comes to the ABs, but it's a quality they need to re-impose on the Wallabies.

Plumb: NZ team swims against tide of change

swimming generic

SIMON PLUMB - Stuff

OPINION: No more chances. Over the next four days New Zealand swimming has one last roll of the dice.

Rugby must front up to a refereeing challenge

Jaco Peyper

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: Before the latest Bledisloe Cup test the stats suggested only one team could win.

Johnstone: Time for All Blacks to break shackles

Dane Coles, All Blacks

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - Stuff

OPINION: Late heroics becoming an alarming trend for ABs, who instead should be dominating up front early.

Reason: All Blacks in need of some new tricks?

Steve Hansen

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: First test exposed All Blacks' lack of new ideas, so what's coach Steve Hansen got to do?

Johnstone: Rugby replacements revamp needed

Dane Coles

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - Stuff

OPINION: Coles deserved to stay on - playing the rugby of his life - but no, he's off in the 52nd. It's time for interchange.

Mehrtens: Records at risk as Wallabies eye coup

Michael Hooper

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: Andrew Mehrtens sees the Wallabies as an even bigger threat this weekend at Eden Park.

Kemp: Dally M Medal drought displays racism

Gary Freeman

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

OPINION: There have been some fantastic players from New Zealand who should have won the Dally M medal.
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Opinion poll

Is Simon Mannering the best Warriors player of all time?

Yes, without a doubt. He's a brilliant player.

No, Stacey Jones remains the greatest.

He's right up there but others were better.

It's too hard to compare him with former players.

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