Opinion

Dean: 'A gutsy and impressive ride' from Bauer

Jack Bauer

JULIAN DEAN - Stuff

OPINION: It was a real heartbreaker for NZ rider on the Tour de France, but he should be proud of his effort.

Webster: Wayne Bennett puts legacy on line

Wayne Bennett

ANDREW WEBSTER - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: Wayne Bennett's legacy will be defined by what happens in Brisbane over the next three years.

Mehrtens: Crusaders get a shot at redemption

Richie McCaw

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: Memory of that shock home defeat to the Sharks will help Todd Blackadder motivate his men.

Wilson: Crusaders will win - All Blacks say so

Jacques Potgieter

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: History doesn't decide football games. And they're not played on paper either, writes Jeff Wilson.

Kemp: Warriors need to overhaul recruitment

Daly Cherry-Evans

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

OPINION: Too many big-name players past their prime are handed cushy retirement packages, writes Tony Kemp.

Plumb: Commonwealth Games in identity crisis

Mo Farah

SIMON PLUMB - Sunday News

OPINION: The once revered Commonwealth Games faces crisis - both financial and of identity, writes Simon Plumb.

Randell: Could 2014 be the year of Waratahs?

Kurtley Beale

TAINE RANDELL - Sunday News

OPINION: Those underachieving pretty boys of Australian rugby are finally delivering on their promise, writes Taine Randell.

Gifford: Nine reasons why Crusaders bet safe

Dan Carter

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: The wolves were howling for Todd Blackadder's head early in the year. A title might shut them up, writes Phil Gifford.

Couzins: Time for game plan for Black Sticks

Dean Couzins

DEAN COUZINS - The Press

OPINION: The Black Sticks men's team are determined to get off to a good start against Canada, writes Dean Couzins.

Mehrtens: Tahs, Crusaders may rue week off

Richie McCaw

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: A rest period before the Super Rugby finals may not be ideal for the players involved, writes Andrew Mehrtens.

Knowler: Crusaders more than a shot at title

Nemani Nadolo

RICHARD KNOWLER - The Press

OPINION: Qualifying for Super Rugby semis means much more for Crusaders than just having a crack at another title.

McCall: New friends and great experiences

Vaughan McCall

VAUGHAN MCCALL - The Southland Times

OPINION: I have been away for two weeks, and it has been awesome to make some new mates, writes Vaughan McCall.

Snook: Mediocre imports jeopardise the game

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: Professional sport has long ago lost its "soul", as codes have grown from fun and friendship to ones governed by big business and self-interest.

Robson: Nonu made mistakes, time to move on

Ma'a Nonu

TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: Whatever issues Ma'a Nonu had at the Hurricanes in 2011 it is time for all involved to move on

Bidwell: Promises from new Cane Ma'a Nonu

Ma'a Nonu

HAMISH BIDWELL - The Dominion Post

OPINION: Now we get some indication of the environment Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett was operating in.

Reason: Super Rugby table not a fair reflection

Mark Hammett

MARK REASON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: How strange it is that so many judgments are made according to the Super Rugby final standings.

Dean: Aggressive Tour de France racing ahead

Alberto Contador

JULIAN DEAN - Stuff

OPINION: With Contador and Froome out, the Tour de France is anyone's race.

Johnstone: Sixth South African side bad move

S'bura Sithole

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - Stuff

OPINION: It's a good thing they have a good off-field argument as their Super Rugby on-field effort doesn't deserve it.

Romanos: Questions to ponder during ad breaks

Lou Vincent

JOSEPH ROMANOS - Stuff

OPINION: Why do people keep saying the Commonwealth Games are not the Olympics? Who ever claimed they were?

Rowing New Zealand must make tough call

Kerri Gowler

IAN ANDERSON - Stuff

OPINION: Rowing New Zealand must act quickly to rectify a blunder of judgement ahead of the world champs.

Robson: Hammer failed to nail it at Hurricanes

 Mark Hammett

TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: Mark Hammett slipped at the start line and never fully recovered.

Crusaders crank it up on home run in title chase

Matt Todd

TOBY ROBSON - The Press

OPINION: The Crusaders wouldn't be a bad bet to end their Super Rugby title drought.

Kemp: Memo to Steve - get Benji back in black

benji marshall

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

OPINION: The Kiwis need Benji Marshall back in black. The team hasn't got the depth and Benji is back to his best.

Plumb: Kickstarters for football in New Zealand

Empty seats

SIMON PLUMB - Sunday News

OPINION: Since New Zealand failed to be part of the action in Brazil, will the World Cup actually have an impact on the local game?

Randell: Hammett has failed for the Hurricanes

Mark Hammett

TAINE RANDELL - Sunday News

OPINION: After four seasons without reaching the playoffs, Mark Hammett exits the Hurricanes having failed to deliver on expectations.

Gould: Second-tier NRL cap serves no purpose

David Shillington

PHIL GOULD - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: I have often written of the unfairness and inadequacies of this second-tier cap system. It serves no worthwhile purpose.

Wilson: Canes' era of Hammer came up short

Mark Hammett

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: So now the Hurricane era of the Hammer is over, what are we to make of it all?

Reason: Extraordinary talents of ordinary man

Thomas Mueller

MARK REASON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: Argentina have only conceded three goals in six matches, but they have not had to contend with anyone like Thomas Muller.

Dean: Better luck needed after a tough week

Tour de France

JULIAN DEAN - Sunday News

OPINION: Well, that's the first week of the Tour de France over and for us at Orica- Greenedge the theme so far has been Simon Gerrans' bad luck.

FitzSimons: Let's hope Thorpe is happy as well

Ian Thorpe

PETER FITZSIMONS - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: Ian Thorpe is gay, you say? He's reportedly "come out" in a TV interview. Well, who would have thought it?

Phil Gifford book extract: Rugby's clown prince

Andrew Mehrtens

The Press

In this exclusive extract from his memoir, Phil Gifford talks of his affection for Andrew Mehrtens.

Whitelock: Black Sticks' attitude must change

Kayla Whitelock

KAYLA WHITELOCK - The Press

OPINION: The women's Black Sticks have had a hard look at themselves ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Mascord: Ideas on money, league need tweaks

Jarryd Hayne

STEVE MASCORD - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: Both Jarryd Hayne and Marwan Koukash believe they have the secret to getting more money into rugby league.

Snook: Welcome to the year of the Waratahs

Michael Cheika, Daryl Gibson

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: If you had $100 on the Waratahs to win their first-ever title, you would be feeling happy with yourself.

De Barra: Origin just a storm in a teacup

Paul Gallen

SHANE DE BARRA - Stuff

OPINION: Given Ray Warren's Biblical references, you'd swear this was the greatest sporting show on earth.

Dean: Great start, but now for dreaded cobbles

Mark Cavendish

JULIAN DEAN - Stuff

OPINION: The Tour de France is back on familiar ground after beginning with three days racing in England.

Knowler: More runaround guff from Ma'a Nonu

Ma'a Nonu

RICHARD KNOWLER - The Press

OPINION: Latest instalment in the tale of a roaming Ma'a Nonu should be of immense frustration to the NZRU.

Reason: Will Messi survive World Cup brutality?

Lionel Messi

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: They call football the beautiful game, but it has been hard to see the beauty in some of this World Cup.

Romanos: NZ's sporting history sorry moments

Wayne Barnes

JOSEPH ROMANOS - Stuff

Some moments in New Zealand sports history have left me shaking my head and sorry, writes Joseph Romanos.

Kemp: Mannering leads by example for Warriors

Simon Mannering

TONY KEMP - Sunday News

Warriors captain Simon Mannering's leadership has been outstanding in a year of discontent at the franchise.

Randell: Key to Waratahs lies at No 7 position

Michael Hooper

TAINE RANDELL - Sunday News

Head-to-head between Michael Hooper and Shane Christie is pivotal to Highlanders' hopes of upset win.

Gould: Rugby league stars are not all rogues

Sam Burgess

PHIL GOULD - Sunday News

The Todd Carney affair obscures how much good NRL players are doing in the community.

Wilson: Super clash of the fullbacks awaits

Ben Smith

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

It's the match-up within the match-up that that excites most about the Waratahs against the Highlanders.

Gifford: Clever play carries Chiefs to victory

Aaron Cruden

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: The Chiefs treated the ball as if it was gold, the Canes as if it was the wrapper off a Big Mac, writes Phil Gifford.

Couzins: Black Sticks focused on Games medal

Dean Couzins

DEAN COUZINS - The Press

OPINION: Black Sticks captain Dean Couzins is confident his side will take the next step and medal in Glasgow.

Opinion: More than one side to Lou Vincent story

Lou Vincent

The Southland Times

OPINION: Southland Times sports editor Nathan Burdon and cricket writer Logan Savory discuss Lou Vincent's confession.

Smith: Penalties the purest sporting theatre

Theofanis Gekas

TONY SMITH - The Press

OPINION: Even hardened rugby heads can't deny the drama of a World Cup penalty shootout.

Opinion: Toby Robson's Super Rugby 'Teamtalk'

Blade Thomson

TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

OPINION: Fairfax Media rugby writer Toby Robson gives his take on a week of Super Rugby thrills and spills.

Snook: Pressure matches unearth odd reactions

Beauden Barrett

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

It's pressure time, and pressure does some strange things to players and coaches.

Mascord: Rugby league, your image stinks

Todd Carney

STEVE MASCORD - Sydney Morning Herald

OPINION: Rugby league, your image stinks to high heaven. It's time to do something about it.
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