Basin Goings On

Basin Reserve scoreboardThe “Finance Company Implosion” has seen several name changes for our beloved Basin Reserve over the past few months. It is now known officially as the Allied Nationwide Finance Basin Reserve and the ground improvements continue at good pace. Between the end of the the rugby season and Labour Weekend the wicket block and practice areas were re-laid and improved drainage technology installed. The R. A. Vance Stand is having a new viewing platform built at the back for the media and, I’m guessing, to also improve television camera angles from the Northern (Or J. R. Reid Gate) end of the ground.

Meanwhile, a new edifice is being erected beside the venerable old (actually crap) scoreboard at the Southern End. Any ideas what this will be? It looks like a new replacement or additional scoreboard or a big screen (or some combination).

I walk through the Basin every day and it is looking a picture – the relocation last year of the war memorial to the top of the bank was a splendid move. This summer we have a visit from Bangladesh (recommendation: don’t buy a five-day-pass) for a Test Match from January 12 and England (hence all the media improvements) from March 13.

New Zealand v. Vanuatu

1982: every month was Movember for the All Whites

Ahhh, 1982 – when every month was Movember for the All Whites, and our bewhiskered team of British ex-pats and hard-grafting locals (and Wynton Rufer) took on the likes of Brazil at that year’s Football World Cup.

It’s been a long time since the All White’s graced the stage of the World Cup Finals, but, amazingly enough, over the next few months there’s an (outside) chance of the lads going ‘all the way’ again.

Since Australia has joined the Asia Confederation, the Oceania group is now pretty much there for the taking by the Kiwi boys. Barring disasters like the 2006 campaign’s loss to the Solomon Islands, New Zealand is most likely to go through and face the 5th-ranked Asian qualifier (again, a pleasant change from previous qualifying rounds, where the Oceania qualifier would have to battle past the 5th-ranked South American nation), in a home-and-away playoff for a spot in the 2010 World Cup Finals.

Given the current Asian rankings, that’s most likely to be one of Saudi Arabia, Japan, Bahrain or Uzbekistan – any one of whom the New Zealander’s would fancy upsetting on a good day.

But before this can happen, the All Whites need to nail down the Oceania qualifying pool, and, to that end, you can help by heading down the Stadium this Wednesday evening and cheering on the team to a win over Vanuatu – a win that would guarantee our spot as top team in the Pacific.

New Zealand v. Vanuatu
Wednesday, November 21st
Westpac Stadium
Gates open at 4.30 pm.
Kick off is at 6pm.
Adults – $27
Child (15yrs and under)- $15
Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $64
Concession (Senior Citizens 60+) -$15
Students with valid ID – $15

Get tickets online at Ticketek

Le Parkour Wellington

Ever been wandering around town and seen a group of youngsters behaving like a bunch of naughty monkeys? Whaddya know.. they’re probably doing parkour.

Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK) or or “free-running” or l’art du déplacement (“the art of displacement”) is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body.

Founded by David Belle in France, parkour focuses on practicing efficient movements to develop your body and mind to be able to overcome obstacles in an emergency. It is also practiced by many as a form of entertainment or as a pastime.

As I hinted above, there’s a thriving parkour scene in Wellington; especially in and around the urban/recreational areas of the waterfront and Civic Square.

Interested? There’s more after the jump..

Halloween Howl II

It may come as somewhat of a surprise to you to discover that Wellington has a pro-wrestling circuit. However, now you know, you really must come along to Halloween Howl II on Saturday October 27. It starts at 7.30pm so you’ll be out in time to attend other Halloween shindigs, and damn, it’s men in tights. Writhing around on a mat together. How rad is that? We especially recommend that you cheer for Lazarus Volt, and that you come dressed up to go with the Halloween theme.

For Sale – One Ticker Tape Parade, Unused

You could be here


25 shipping containers multicoloured shredded paper,
Day’s hire of novelty vehicles & floats,
2000 dancers & street performers,
50,000 black flags.
Speech from the Prime Minister*

Population of one small city looking for something to celebrate.

Make a loved one’s birthday celebration, or anniversary, unforgettable.

Ready to go for October 26.

*Late change, Peter Dunne Subbed for the PM.

Where to watch the Rugby World Cup – Wellington

Well, in response to Mike’s question, the only place open at 6.30am this morning was J.J. Murphy’s.

And a top bunch of people they are too. The beer was flowing for those still out since the night before (including a gaggle of French guys. Bad luck there Blues).

Even better! They did a hungry man a $5 breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausages, hash browns, tomatoes, toast.

So, to repeat that. No Occidental, no Bristol.

Get yourself down to Murphy’s next Saturday to watch England v. South Africa (and France v. Ireland the week after).

RWC: Where to watch the ‘breakfast games’?

This is a cry for help!
Can someone out there leave ideas, suggestions and even actual locations for those people, of a rugby following tendency, that wish to watch the Monday morning pool games (starting this Monday, 10th – get the schedule for Outlook, Google and others).

Within the Wellington CBD we mean.

The games tend to start around 6am and the Wellingtonista has discovered that most ‘rugby-type’ venues aren’t opening until their normal time of 7am due to licensing restrictions.

Now, whilst alcohol at 6am on a ‘school day’ isn’t a desired kick off (although some sort of coffee and breakfast is) the licensing issues does limit the number of places open for business with the TV on.

That’s where we (rugby following people) need your help.

Leave as many suggestions (play nicely people) for venues and the winner* gets a free breakfast on the author.

* chosen by the author using the author’s intricate and secret rules

Mana College v. Wellington College

If you’re stuck for something to do next Monday night, you could do worse than to head to Porirua Park for the final of Wellington’s premier one grade schoolboy rugby competition. The match is to be played between Mana College and Wellington College.

As detailed in a story in the Dom Post, Mana has made a dramatic rise through the grades after starting the year in premier two and being promoted mid-season, and to have made it to the final is nigh-on miraculous.

More, including much politicised frothing, after the jump

Wellington Sevens (1st/2nd Feb 2008) tickets on sale September 12th at 9am

Wellington International Rugby SevensYou have been told so don’t complain to us when you miss out at 9:05am
Tickets are ONLY available online or Ticketmaster:

… only available via the Internet at or by calling Ticketmaster on 0800 111 999. No tickets will be available through retail outlets.

(ticket details and how to get them after the break)

Phoenix in ‘not crap’ shock

Phoenix logo

Wellington Phoenix 3 Sydney FC 0

The Phoenix made a lot of friends on Sunday afternoon with a confident display against an out of sorts Sydney side. Rarely troubled at the back, showing good enterprise and pace going forward, and superbly marshalled by the experienced Ross Aloisi in central midfield, the Phoenix looked better than both the Rufer-era Kingz and the woeful Knights put together.

The official attendance was just over 6,000 (which is sensational for a pre-season match) and the organisers sensibly stuck us all on one side of the ground to help harness the atmosphere. The official site has yet to be updated with the result and Stuff don’t have a match report so I’ll tell you that there were two goals for Shane Smeltz plus an own goal from an unknown Sydney player.

The Brazilian number 4 Cleberson is going to be a definite crowd favourite – he’s a big lump of a bloke and he totally bossed the central defence, winning everything in the air – and compatriot Cortes looked pretty lively down the right wing.

Phoenix match tickets go on sale on August 13 and I’d recommend getting into them early, particularly as more than half the games are kid-friendly Sunday afternoon affairs and it won’t stay this cold forever.