Page 19

Wednesday November 15, 2017

SPORT

Marsden students win at College Sport Wellington Awards

19

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Perfect All Blacks a myth and that’s OK

High jumper Imogen Skelton is always working to improve her personal best. PHOTO: Supplied

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School had 18 girls nominated for the 2017 College Sports Wellington (CSW) Awards presented at Te Rauparaha Arena last week. Four made it to the finals; Imogen Skelton (athletics), Ruby Leverington (rowing), Jade Otway (tennis) and Rachel Bertschinger (floorball) – two of whom won their individual codes. Imogen was announced female Athlete of the Year and Ruby grabbed female Rower of the Year award. Imogen is an aspiring high jumper and runner, and has recently won a bronze medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas. The year 12 student had joined the 34 strong squad of Kiwi

Rowing talent Ruby Leverington has received a scholarship to study in the United States. PHOTO: Supplied

athletes who competed alongside sports men and women from 70 different countries. Imogen was the only Wellington athlete and competed in the 800m and high jump, winning a bronze in the high jump and jumping a personal best of 1.76m. Year 13 student Ruby has led the way in Marsden rowing, both as head of rowing and in breaking school records with her medal-winning performances. The 17-year-old won silver at the North Island Secondary School Championships and bronze at the Maadi Cup, both in the under-18 single sculls. She also won silver at the K2 regatta (under-18 single sculls) and, together with Marsden’s director of rowing, Rachel Gamble-Flint,

won gold in the women’s coxless quad sculls at the North Island Club Championships. Ruby will be heading to America in August 2018 to study at Indiana University, having received a full rowing scholarship. “We are very proud of our girls, of their dedication and the hard work they put into their sports. We are pleased to support our students with our sporting programmes and centres of sporting excellence at school, to enable each student to reach their personal best,” Margaret Adeane, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School acting principal, says. Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Excellence in Sport Scholarships for entry in 2018 are now open.

It’s starting to feel like the expectations on the All Blacks are entering the realm of the ridiculous. Steve Hansen’s men beat France in Paris 38-18 but received little praise for outscoring their opposition 2:1. Much attention was focused on another Sonny Bill Williams brain explosion yellow card and the subsequent momentum shift that happened. It appears winning is no longer enough and only a sublime, complete 80 minute demolition performance of all opposition is acceptable. Keep in mind the All Blacks won by 20 points away from home in the driving rain. Sure, the second half was sloppy but the All Blacks weren’t without excuses. The penalty try was absurd, the referee missed an obvious forward pass in the lead up to the Sonny Bill yellow card that should have halted the movement. Key forwards Dane Coles and captain Kieran Read were on the bench for the second half and the French got their tails up. We, as rugby fans, are becoming too entitled. It’s one thing to expect the men

in black to win as they are the most winning professional sports franchise in world sport, but to still find stuff to moan about after a comprehensive win is going too far. This is what happens when a generation of New Zealand rugby supporters can’t fathom “down years”. I remember when a win over the Springboks brought grown men to tears in the 90s, the 1998 season where the All Blacks couldn’t buy a win lingers in the back of my brain as does all of the World Cup failure between 1991 and 2011. As painful as those experiences are, those who can remember them have a greater appreciation of how dominant the national rugby team has been over the past decade. Granted, the All Blacks aren’t the well-oiled machine they were a few years ago but even with the loss of some of the best players to ever wear the jersey in more than a century retiring after 2015, the team is still the undisputed best in the world. Sometimes, it’s best to just be happy with a win because perfection is never truly attained and that’s the blessing and curse of the black jersey.

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Independent Herald 15-11-17  

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