If you have about 15 hours a week spare "ear-time" over the next 2 weeks, and you might be interested in a different point of view, below are 15 podcasts from the "British and Irish Isles" for you.
The links are all to podcast site Player.Fm, so you can choose to either just browse to play/download the ones that appeal, or opt to subscribe.
(Most are also available through iTunes, Podbean.com or direct from the various sites - so use whatever suits you best.)
If you can reply with suggestions for NZ ones that would be great.
(Or from elsewhere with a Lions interest.)
I've already found the SportRadio online live-feed, NZ Herald's Out of the Box the Tony Veitch paper-shufflingly The Roar and Kirwan on Facebook's Feed the Backs
I'm an Ireland fan, so that's where I will start:
Podcasts from an Irish perspective
The 42 Rugby Show
Usually 2-3 a week during the tour. Main person is Murray Kinsella. a tactics-savvy journalist.
NewsTalk - Off the Ball
2-3 times a week: usually an Irish journalist and an ex-international (usually Keith Wood or BOD).
Joe.ie - Hard Yards
A mix of opinions, analysis and a few tall tales,
Usually about 1 a week but might be more during the tour. Usually with a couple of ex-players (often ROG). A mix of opinions, analysis and a more than a few tall tales,
Pundit Arena - Oval Office
2-3 times a week: 2 online journalists talking plus sometimes an interview.
Not a rugby podcast, but a range of long interviews, about 10-15 of which are of Irish rugby players (usually recently retired). Not the usual mundane soundbites - the interviewee gets time to talk. (Also Irish actors, comedians etc.)
Podcasts from an English perspective
3 guys talking about rugby. Opinionated, fun but not ignorant. 2 English guys and 1 Welsh.
Blood and Mud
2 guys talking about rugby. 2 English guys - the sort of rugby-conversation you have over several beers: sweary, funny, biased, but also well-observed, though sometimes endearingly daft.
2 recent retirees: Jim Hamilton (Scotland lock), Andy Goode (flyhalf for Leics & many others - think England's Steve Donald apart from winning a RWC). Lots of opinion, not a lot of objectivity and some very tall tales.
Brian Moore - Full Contact
Sundays: The former England/Lions hooker - always forthright, but as an ex-lawyer he likes a well-argued discussion. Different ex-players each week.
TalkSport - Rugby Special: Lion's Den
1 hour every day. Standard broadcaster interviews from a UK Radio station. Also include pieces from Ireland's Michael Corcoran and various NZ pundits.
2-3 a week during the tour. Standard broadcaster interviews from a UK Radio station.
Plus some in-depth specials such as:
"2005: How not to win a series",
"Making of the 1997 film 'Living with the Lions' " etc.
Podcasts from a Scottish perspective
About 1 a week - 3 fans who not surprisingly, more of a focus on the Scotland team, but a bit of Lions chat.
About every 2 weeks - also 3 other fans who likewise have more of a focus on the Scotland team, but also a bit of Lions chat
Podcasts from a Welsh perspective
Usually 2-3 times a week during the tour. Describes itself in duplicate as "Wales Rugby Podcast for Welsh Rugby fans" - just in case you weren't clear the first time.
Wales Online - Rugby podcast
About 1 a week. Journalists and ex-players.
There are various YouTube bloggers/vloggers but as you might expect from a Lions fan,
I've stuck to dull-routine mp3 (catch a download just like catching box-kicks out of an Auckland night-sky)
rather than the more visual video versions (even if it is usually just 2 blokes talking, sometimes with one shuffling paper)
Listen and either enjoy or be outraged, but hear a different point of view.
All Blacks team to play the Lions at Eden Park on Saturday (caps in brackets):
- Joe Moody (25)
- Codie Taylor (16)
- Owen Franks (91)
- Brodie Retallick (61)
- Samuel Whitelock (85)
- Jerome Kaino (78)
- Sam Cane (41)
- Kieran Read (97)
- Aaron Smith (59)
- Beauden Barrett (50)
- Rieko Ioane (2)
- Sonny Bill Williams (34)
- Ryan Crotty (26)
- Israel Dagg (62)
- Ben Smith (61)
- Nathan Harris (5)
- Wyatt Crockett (59)
- Charlie Faumuina (47)
- Scott Barrett (5)
- Ardie Savea (13)
- TJ Perenara (30)
- Aaron Cruden (47) / Lima Sopoaga (7)
- Anton Lienert-Brown (10)
British & Irish Lions
- Mako Vunipola - Saracens, England
- Jamie George - Saracens, England
- Tadhg Furlong - Leinster, Ireland
- Alun Wyn Jones - Ospreys, Wales
- George Kruis - Saracens, England
- Peter O'Mahony (capt) - Munster, Ireland
- Sean O'Brien - Leinster, Ireland
- Taulupe Faletau - Bath Rugby, Wales
- Conor Murray - Munster, Ireland
- Owen Farrell - Saracens, England
- Elliot Daly - Wasps, England
- Ben Te'o - Worcester Warriors, England
- Jonathan Davies - Scarlets, Wales
- Anthony Watson - Bath Rugby, England
- Liam Williams - Scarlets, Wales
- Ken Owens - Scarlets, Wales
- Jack McGrath - Leinster, Ireland
- Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins, England
- Maro Itoje - Saracens, England
- Sam Warburton - Cardiff Blues, Wales
- Rhys Webb - Ospreys, Wales
- Johnny Sexton - Leinster, Ireland
- Leigh Halfpenny - Toulon, Wales
Back from a good weekend in Rotorua. Can't say enough about the hospitality at plenty of venues, and really like the set up they have at Eat Street and surrounding venues. But the stadium/game day experience put a massive dampener (excuse the pun) on the weekend.
How NZ Rugby could schedule such a significant fixture at such a below-par venue is beyond me. The fourth biggest game of the tour was plonked at about the 28th best ground in NZ. I'm probably being generous too. One pokey stand, two thirds of the ground is embankments. Far from an international standard ground. At least our own embarrassing temporary scaffold stadium is all seated.
Our personal experience was that after arriving more than an hour before kick off, we made a beeline for the concrete terraces opposite the stand, which were far from what we would consider full based on past terraces experiences. Walking down a stairway we spotted some space and tucked ourselves into it. Pretty standard procedure back in the day at Lancaster Park and Carisbrook. What ensued was a torrent of abuse from locals who insisted we were either standing in space reserved for friends, or space they were going to sit down in. Yes, SIT DOWN IN. A cold, hard, wet concrete terraced embankment. We tried two different areas, argued our case, but ultimately we were outnumbered by disgruntled locals and couldn't be bothered with the drama so bailed and found plenty of space just behind the terraces near the bottom of the grass embankment. Which in the conditions was half mud and very slippery. Best avoided in the conditions. Meanwhile, the remaining paved areas (stairs and pathways) began to fill up with people which a smattering of thoroughly unenthused security staff quickly flagged trying to move on. By kick off, visibility was seriously obscured by people standing where they shouldn't, and the risk of slipping down a muddy slope increased by the minute.
We could see a block of toilets but had no idea where to get a beer, plus the paths were mostly blocked by spectators avoiding the mud and slippage risk. So the game was a dry argument. If not for the rain, in our exposed position.
By no means were we the only disgruntled punters. We talked to Lions supporters who couldn't believe they were dealing with the same crap, including getting shit from locals on the terraces. I'm sure sitting on those terraces on a cushion for a Steamers game with 5,000 people in the ground works well, but it's not at all appropriate when the venue is packed. Something should have been done to pre empt this situation, at the very least.
Ultimately though, this game should have been held at a marquee venue and my suggestion would be Forsyth Barr as this would have sold out, at higher prices, and would have certainly dragged more Lions supporters to the SI in lieu of a test.
This was a really shithouse scheduling decision from NZ Rugby.
|Blues v Reds||Apia, Samoa||2-Jun||7:35 PM|
Melani Nanai, Declan O’Donnell, Rene Ranger, TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Piers Francis, Sam Nock, Steve Luatua, Kara Pryor, Jimmy Tupou, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sione Mafileo, James Parsons (c), Alex Hodgman
Reserves: Hame Faiva, Sam Prattley, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Akira Ioane, Murphy Taramai, Billy Guyton, Stephen Perofeta, Jordan Trainor
Karmichael Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi (c), Duncan Paia’aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, James Tuttle, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Hendrik Tui, Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Andrew Ready, Sef Fa’agase
Reserves: Alex Mafi, Kirwan Sanday, Sam Talakai, Kane Douglas, Adam Korczyk, Caleb Timu, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre
|Crusaders v Highlanders||Christchurch||3-Jun||2:35 PM|
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Reserves: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Israel Dagg
Ben Smith (cc), Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Rob Thompson, Richard Buckman, Marty Banks, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Alex Ainley, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown
Reserves: Ash Dixon (cc), Aki Seiuli, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Joe Wheeler, Elliot Dixon, Kayne Hammington, Lima Sopoaga, Matt Faddes
|Chiefs v Waratahs||Hamilton||3-Jun||5:05 PM|
Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Stephen Donald, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (c), Mitchell Brown, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Kane Hames
Reserves: Liam Polwart, Siegfried Fisi’hoi, Atu li, Taleni Seu, Mitchell Karpikk, Jonathan Taumateine, Tim Nanai-Williams, Solomon Alaimalo
Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Rob Horne, David Horwitz, Cam Clark, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson
Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Angus Taavao, David McDuling, Jed Holloway, Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas, Bryce Hegarty
|Brumbies v Rebels||Canberra||3-Jun||9:45 PM|
Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Aidan Toua, Wharenui Hawera, Joe Powell, Jordan Smiler, Chris Alcock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter (c), Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Josh Mann-Rea, Nic Mayhew
Reserves: Robbie Abel, Faalelei Sione, Leslie Leulua’aili’i-makin, Tom Staniforth, Jarrad Butler, De Wet Roos, Andrew Muirhead, Nigel Ah Wong
Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Marika Koroibete, Ben Volavola, Nic Stirzaker (capt), Amanaki Mafi, Colby Fainga'a, High Sinclair, Lopeti Timani, Steve Cummins, Tyrel Lomax, James Hanson, Toby Smith
Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Cruze Ah-Nau, Laurie Weeks, Culum Retallick, Will Miller, Ben Meehan, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Jonah Placid
|Force v Hurricanes||Perth||3-Jun||11:35 PM|
Dane Haylett-Petty, James Verity-Amm, Curtis Rona, Bill Meakes, Alex Newsome, Peter Grant, Michael Ruru, Isi Naisarani, Matt Hodgson (c), Ross Haylett-Petty, Adam Coleman, Matt Philip, Jermaine Ainsley, Heath Tessmann, Francois van Wyk
Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Pek Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, Richie Arnold, Richard Hardwick, Mitchell Short, Luke Burton, Marcel Brache
Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Brad Shields, Callum Gibbins, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Ben May, Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Mark Abbott, Ardie Savea, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Nehe Milner-Skudder