Gotta love the scoreline, but to be honest, it isn't very reflective of the way Manu Samoa played the game. They owned the first 20 minutes of the game and really tested the ABs defense. The ABs are fairly notorious late starters to a new season, hence the introduction of the match against Samoa. But it didn't take them long to get into the game.
I thought it was befitting that Beauden Barrett scored a double on his 50th outing in the black jersey. Another highlight for the Barrett's was the inaugural inclusion of 3 siblings in an ABs team. I just wish Hansen had subbed Scott and Jordie earlier (or Beauden later) so they got some game time together.
Enjoying the British and Irish Lions tour of NZ. There's been some great rugby, and I think it's gonna just get better.
1. "That is not how things are done up north. They expect the refs to show more understanding." When did "understanding" become synonymous with allowing infringements? Gardener's a great ref. His communication with the players is awesome. If he feels hard done by because of ONE call, then that's pretty lucky compared to some games we've seen lately.
2. "Normally when you have a new front row, you give it time to settle combinations." So, by merely changing the front row, he expects the ref to show leniency, no matter what's gone on before? Boy, that's a can of worms I'd rather not see opened in rugby. And where would that end? That's giving everyone on the bench a free pass for the first however many minutes they're on.
3. "They had to protect No 1, he said - a reference to his belief that they were getting a rough deal from the officials." Really? In four games they've had Gardener twice (you'd think they'd be used to him by now), and two French referees, Pascal Gauzere and Mathieu Raynal. How have they had a rough deal? I believe the Crusaders had a rough deal - not because of ONE decision, but because of constant infringements. However, I'm not doing to blame a ref for being outplayed on the day.
Just like all of us, refs aren't perfect. Unfortunately the rules are open to interpretation. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. As long as the ref is consistent. That's all we really want. I think Gardener is a great ref. He allows the game to flow, he communicates with the players, and is consistent with his decisions.
It's been awhile since I did any raving... well, not in person, but on website anyway!
I've been keeping busy with the theatre. January was a busy month for Beyond the Veil. We had Short+Sweet and auditions for our third production, Take the Ground.
The kids (Gypsy, MacKenzie and McCaw) are good. No doubt I'll be posting some photos of them very soon - coz I've certainly been taking them!
I've been doing a lot of PD courses through an organisation called FutureLearn. Honing my shooting and editing skills. I've been loving it and it's rekindled my love of filmmaking and all things media.
(10th February, 2016)
(atamanna lakum ‘eed milaad sa3eed)
I wish you a Merry Christmas, from Abu Dhabi.
I've always loved this photo. Let's face it, it all happened in this part of the world... maybe not in Abu Dhabi, but certainly in the region. For me, the stories come to life here. And while I miss my family dreadfully, it's nice being here for Christmas.
(25th December, 2105)
Merry Christmas to you all, from NZ.
Had a lovely Skype family in NZ this morning. It's always SO great to Skype but it's also VERY hard to say goodbye.
Got these images off the Internet: Christmas in New Zealand.
The tree is a pohutakawa and it's what we refer to as the New Zealand Christmas Tree. December is summer back home so many people escape to the beach at some point during the day, hence the Santa hat and the sand Santa. And finally, it wouldn't be NZ without a kiwi...
(25th December, 2015)
I started this website to make my life easier... it replaced the two blogs I had, Zakaia's Zone and Mediated Musings. But it seems that people are still visiting both blogs, go figure!
(19th December, 2015)
So the Christmas tree is up... much to the absolute delight to the cats!
When I'm at work, the cats are in the opposite part of the house to the tree.
They are on a strict, supervised visitation regime ONLY!
(18th December, 2015)
(16th December, 2015)
On my new (wonderful) MacBook, one of the new screen saver options is a tile configuration. So I uploaded my favourite photos of home - photos I've taken on my holidays home since living in the UAE. I guess it indicates how homesick I am at the moment!
(27th November, 2015)
Check out the Beyond the Veil website to catch up with all the latest news.
(27th November, 2015)
When I woke up this morning, all I was thinking about was the opening night for my play... I was devastated when I heard this news.
Jonah took the world by storm. He was an inspiration to so many. But the thing that impressed me most about Lomu was is humility. In this age of selfies and talking oneself up, he never lost who he was. He never considered himself anything other than one of the team. And that was the class of the man.
He will be sorely missed. Not just in NZ but in every rugby-loving nation.
(18th November, 2015)
There had been a lot of talk early on in the tornament about what an easy group the ABs were in, with the assumption that it would be difficult for the team to pick up the intensity needed in the knock-out round.
As a true-blue AB supporter, this never worried me. In the group games, the ABs looked comfortable... not always great, but comfortable. I always had the feeling they had something up the sleeve.
In saying that though... I was nervous during the quarterfinal with France. And then I was nervous during the semifinal with South Africa. But there was something different with this AB side. There wasn't the panic sometimes visible in the past when things weren't gong their way. They were on a mission, and it showed.
During the first half in final against Australia, it seemed too good to be true. But I knew the Wallabies would come out fighting after half time. And they put up a valiant fight. But once again, the ABs took it in their stride and waited until the opportunity arose for another offensive drive.
" But it was New Zealand that captured the imagination most of all. They came into the tournament being billed as the greatest team there has ever been. We can argue about that all we want but they proved without doubt they are the greatest team of the moment"
This team has been magnificent to watch. Their statistics are impressive (beyond belief really), but what's been just as important to me, if not more important, is the way in which they have played the game and represented New Zealand, both on and off the field. I LOVE that they all take turns sweeping out the changing room. This was incorporated as a way to keep them grounded and to show that nobody is bigger than the jersey. I also love that they invite other teams into their changing room after a game. To me, this is showing true NZ spirit.
Proud to be a kiwi, and proud to support the All Blacks.
Photo and Quote Reference: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-3298198/New-Zealand-34-17-Australia-Blacks-claim-record-Rugby-World-Cup-crown-tries-Nehe-Milner-Skudder-Ma-Nonu-Beauden-Barrett-settle-Southern-hemisphere-final.html
Most titles won:
Longest time held by Australia: 5 years (1998–2002) (5 Titles)
Longest time held by New Zealand: 28 years (1951–1978) (12 Titles)
and more recently for the All Blacks, 13 years (2003-2015 (13 Titles)
Interestingly, the Wallabies have not
beaten New Zealand at Eden Park since 1986.
Once again I've let life get in the way of communication!
Nothing since May... shame on me! Onward and upward!
(18th June, 2015)
GREAT music, GREAT dinner, GREAT location = GREAT night...
This is DEFINITELY one not to miss!
(4th March, 2015)
This wonderful poster was designed by Hana Al Katheeri. After a few emails and explanations about the play, Hana got it perfectly.
Season: 25th - 27th March.
Venue: Piano Hall, The National Theatre, 17th Street (entrance is behind the Al Jazeera Stadium), Abu Dhabi.
Tickets: Suggested donation (AED 25 Students and AED 50 Adults)
Bookings: Door Sales or email [email protected]
(4th March, 2015)
I could resist no longer! I finally rang Etisalat and ordered the ICC Cricket World Cup channels.
Unfortunately I didn't received the channels in time to watch the NZ vs England game. And that was one I really wanted to watch!
The coolest thing... the UAE have a team playing. Okay, not many Emiratis in the team, but it's a representative team nonetheless.
It's great to see teams like Scotland, Ireland and the UAE do so well. They aren't known as cricketing countries so it's great to see them being competitive.
(4th December, 2014)
(17th October, 2014)
spent a couple of weekends absolutely glued to my television. And I was
thrilled when the All Blacks won the title with a couple of rounds to
spare. But the game I wanted to see but missed was the one at Ellis Park
in Johannesburg. I was in Armenia when that game was being played. And
although I've seen no replays or anything, the fact that there were only two
points in it, make me think it must have been an exciting game.
Well done to the Springbok for the win.
(16th October, 2014)
My friend was given a box containing 100 postcards. Each postcard is of a Penguin book cover. So he decided to write (in 500 words or less) something about each postcard. However, don't be expecting book reviews.
Penguin Books was founded in 1935 by Allen Lane after being disappointed with the range of paperbacks on offer at the Exeter railway station. Lane believed that 'good design is no more expensive than bad' and declared that while paperbacks should look distinctive, they shouldn't cost more than a packet of cigarettes.
(6th September, 2014)
14-0 to the Waratahs in the first 14
Deep down I had faith. I kept thinking, if anybody can come out of this, the Crusaders can...
And when they started creeping up on the Waratahs score I screamed like a banshee.
I must say that I did count at least 3 (yes, THREE) crooked throw-ins by the Waratahs replacement hooker, Silatolu Latu, and the referee, Craig Joubert, only played the advantage once. But that's rugby.
The end... well it wasn't what I wanted.
It wasn't what I thought it would be.
I thought, after the incredible catch-up game that the Crusaders had to play, they deserved to win.
But alas... it wasn't to be.
The penalty given with only a couple of minutes left on the clock, was a bit ify... but that's rugby.
And I admit to poor sportsmanship - I did hope that Foley would miss the penalty, and as it was at the end of his range, I thought there was a good chance of him not getting it. But he kicked well - especially considering all the pressure he was under.
According to Todd Blackadder, "Joubert’s decision to penalise McCaw was a 50-50 call" (Harris 2014, para. 10), but Ritchie McCaw conceded that "he should have known better in that situation" (Harris 2014, para. 10).
So the final score was Warratahs 33 - Crusaders 32, in one of the most exciting Superugby Finals I've seen.
After the hurt subsided, I thought the outcome was probably the best outcome for rugby anyway. After all, rugby union isn't the sport of the masses in New South Wales; Aussie Rules and Rugby League are more popular. So maybe this result will encourage people to support the sport more.
To quote a rugby adage... "rugby was the winner on the day".
While looking up all the different rugby trophies contested by the Southern Hemisphere teams, I came across this photo: "The New Zealand Rugby Union celebrated the All Blacks victory in the inaugural Rugby Championship with a public display of the team’s bulging trophy cabinet in Wellington" (Markwick 2012, para. 1).
This was actually the first time all three trophies had been in the same place, at the same time. I've just got my fingers crossed it wasn't a one-off!
(26th July, 2014)
So this is table of the competition since the beginning of the SANZAR era began in 1996. Before then there was the Super 6 (1992 - won by the Brisbane Reds) and Super 10 (1993 - won by the Johannesburg Lions; 1994 - won by the Reds; 1995 - again won by the Reds).
When SANZAR (South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) took over the competition it started at the Super 12, then it increased to the Super 14 with the Western Force (Perth) and Cheetahs (Bloemfontein). In 2009 it expanded to the Super 15 with the Rebels (Melbourne) joining.
Each of the three countries involved have five teams in the competition now:
South Africa: Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks, Stormers.
New Zealand: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes.
Australia: Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs.
Of course, as a South Islander (from
the Crusaders catchment) I particularly like the tables on the left.
These tables are from the SANZAR era of the competition so the statistics are
From 2016, SARU (South African Rugby Union) have been granted a sixth team for the competition. This solved the internal problem of having six franchises playing for five positions in the competition. The additional team will be the Kings, based in Port Elizabeth.
(26th July, 2014)
Ever such a cutie...
(18th July, 2014)
Boy I thought Argentina was going to
One of the things I particularly like about the German team, over and above the team work, is the fact they don't spend a lot of time rolling around on the ground trying to get free kicks.
However, I've supported Argentina since the days of Diego Maradona, so at first, I was a bit conflicted as to who I wanted to win.
I thought Argentina defended incredibly well. And let's face it, they were unlucky. But I guess that's sport - sometimes the calls go your way and sometimes they don't.
But I did think Germany looked like they were biding their time.
All in all, a great end to the competition.
(14th July, 2014)
the sweep stake at work, I tried my best to swap Costa Rica for Germany at the
beginning of the tournament. I lived in Germany for three years when I
was younger and have had a soft spot for the country ever since. But
alas, I wasn't allow to swap. But that didn't stop me supporting them.
There's probably nothing more that can be said about this game.
Like everybody watching, I was astounded. Four goals in 20 minutes... I don't think there would've been a person on the planet who predicted that.
And while I felt sorry for Brazil, I was hoping Germany would win heading into the game.
And how exciting... Germany in the final. I just hope it's Argentina that's there with them...
(9th July, 2014)
Doesn't she look happy?
This is a photo of Roxy in her new home.
One of my students very kindly made the offer of adopting Roxy, and boy am I grateful.
I see photos of Roxy and her new life very other day, and yes... she is happy in her new environment.
She's even become friends with one of the family dogs!
Isn't that amazing... especially when considering the length of time she spent at my house and the precarious relationship she had with Mack and Gypsy.
I really can't voice how happy and relieved I am.
If I didn't have any other cats, I would have kept Roxy myself.
But three cats is a lot for a one-bedroom apartment.
I really do love this photo of Roxy. She looks comfortable in her surroundings.
I am very grateful to my student.
Prayers really do get answered.
(8th May, 2014)
(11th April, 2014)
Bath day is ALWAYS an interesting day at Casa Cvitanovich.
Gypsy, Mack and then Roxy.
And you know what... Roxy was even better behaved than Mack!
(14th March, 2014)
Air New Zealand's new inflight safety video has caused controversy. Have the witty, quirky videos of the past been replaced with a blatantly sexist approach at making safety videos entertaining?
Turn to Mediated Musings for more.
(21st February, 2014)
Picked up Roxy on Saturday morning from the Vet and brought her home. She's settling in well. Seems happy and stress free. Which is quite an accomplishment considering the welcome party Gypsy and MacK gave her! They sat in front of the cage for ages playing face off with her.
I'll allow them to associate when I'm at home, but when I'm at work or rehearsal, I'll separate them. Gypsy and MacK are going to be spending quite a bit of time in the other end of the apartment!
Had the WORST start to the day...
I had been feeding a
lovely natured black cat for around 2-3 months. Elvis would visit every
other day and although he was always hungry, he never struck me as being
desperate. I always figured he was somebody's pet - but somebody who
wasn't a real cat person.
Anyway, I hadn't seen Elvis for about 3 days. But I NEVER expected to see what I saw leaving for work.
It was about 6:45 and I was exiting the building, and Elvis was laying on the stoop, not moving.
I thought he was dead.
There was a gold and
white Persian sitting beside him which I thought was cute as - it was nice to
see Elvis had company while waiting.
I tried to pick him up but his back legs were like jelly. They just parted, like the Red Sea.
I put him back down and rushed back upstairs to get my cat carrier. By this time I had called the vets and was arranging to take him in.
So I got him to the vet's and the nurse who lives upstairs didn't hear my banging on the door or tooting on the horn for what seemed like an eternity.
But he finally came downstairs and took the cat and my details.
I cried most of the way to work.
The cat was OBVIOUSLY in a VERY bad way but managed to climb the 8 or so stairs up my stoop.
I kind of felt like he came to me for a reason.
Anyway, I got a phone call from the vet around 10'ish... Elvis, who is actually a girl, had either been hit by a car or kicked, and was in severe shock.
They couldn't do anything until she'd calmed down and they gave her enough fluids.
The next phone call I received (after deciding on a name change to Roxy) was to say that she was doing much better and that they'd planned to do the x-rays later that afternoon.
I was heading into the vet clinic after work to pay the account thus far, and by the time I got there the x-ray had been taken.
The poor little thing has a fractured pelvis - broken in 4 places. The vet said the fracture could mend by cage-rest or she might need surgery.
She said the orthopedic specialist needed to view the x-rays in order to advise me. God I saw the x-rays and the pelvis looked awful.
I got a text later that night saying the specialist recommended surgery, but that cage-rest (as long as the cat doesn't jump around) would also be good. After speaking to the vet, we decided on cage-rest.
So what started as a HORRIBLE day, ended with some good news.
(10th February, 2014)
Looking back, 2013 wasn't a bad year at all.
Now what will 2014 bring??? Well apart from the fact it's WAY TOO early to answer that one, it wouldn't be fun if one had the answers this early on!
Anyway... happy New Year to one and all.
(1st January, 2014)
Gypsy in her self-proclaimed position of power
(13th December, 2013)
Name: MacKenzie Dhabi
Birthday: 2nd July, 2013
He's affectionate. He's cute. AND he's a Scottish Fold (hence the name!).
Congratulations to Oracle Team America.
What a GREAT comeback to beat New Zealand 9-8 in the America's Cup.
Congratulations to great kiwi sailor, Oracle chief executive (kiwi) Sir Russell Coutts.
Don't really wanna be consumed by sour grapes, but how can little ole' New Zealand compete against the vast wealth of the other teams.
Just as well there's lots of places available for kiwi boat builders, sail makers and sailors on the other boats: NZ-designer-No-blank-cheque-from-Larry However... well done Emirates Team New Zealand. You really did do us proud.
Image Reference: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/americas-cup/9198871/Punter-puts-10k-on-Team-NZ-to-lose
Here's the (very) dramatic footage from the near capsize of Emirates Team New Zealand in Race 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoOjcDf_dJA&feature=youtu.be
(30th August, 2013)
The second round of The Rugby
Championship was televised this weekend.
And the score... New Zealand 27, Australia 16.
So NZ extended their hold on the cup to 11 years (having won it and held it since 2003).
In a nutshell (especially for non-rugby people), the Bledisloe Cup was donated in 1931 by Lord Bledisloe, the Governor-General of NZ at the time. It was designed in NZ by Nelson Issac but made in London. And if you didn't already notice... it's the largest cup played for in rugby.
Image Reference: http://www.3news.co.nz/Plenty-of-hype-around-All-Blacks-V-Wallabies-Bledisloe-Cup-Test-2013/tabid/415/articleID/309295/Default.aspx
(24th August, 2013)
Watching the opening Rugby Championship pre-game broadcast and the following things have been made apparent:
So far in the programme, the New Zealand team has been called "a
beast", "old", "aging" while Australia are
"young", "hungry." An interesting difference in use
of language. Why? Well, (and I'm trying to be objective here, AND I'm not
the only person to have recognised this) the panel always plays down New
Zealand. If Wales, Scotland, English or ANY other rugby nation makes an
error - it's discussed factually. However, if it's NZ that makes a
mistake... well, get the claws out!
The panel has just been discussing the new scrummaging rules and the final words before the ad break, "please guys, no cheating." It's not the first time I've heard the OSN panel call the NZ'ers cheats. It's not rocket science (or a state secret) to acknowledge the different game played in the northern hemisphere as opposed to the south. The southern hemisphere teams have always played a faster, tougher game of rugby - and this has often been called 'cheating' in the northern hemisphere. Now if this was the case (and remember Mother England has said these things looking down her nose at us) why have they modified their game to be more similar to ours? The realisation that this is the way the game is (and should) be played these days? Being tired of losing to southern hemisphere teams? Let's face it, the aerial ping-pong of the northern hemisphere teams is the rugby of the 70s! The fast, running game (i.e. OUR game) is way more entertaining and in these highly commercialised times, bums on seats is what matters (whether those bums are watching from the stadium or at home).
(17th August, 2013)
(10th August, 2013)
Sorry it's SO dark. In hindsight I should've turned on the lights!
I find it quite funny that Gypsy has a tendency to knead the (toy) dog. Often when I come home from work, I find the dog all over the apartment. Even stuffed under the entertainment unit! I see this as her attempt to establish (or rather maintain) her position of authority in the house). Interestingly, the dog's removal off the the sofa ALWAYS occurs AFTER I have made a big thing of patting the toy (and obviously thereby making her jealous).
(11th February, 2013)
Well... after about 2 months (or if it's not two months, it certainly FEELS like two months) of TRYING to post on my blogs (Zakaia's Zone and Mediated Musings) so I've finally swapped my loyalty!
Although I received 5,896 hits on Mediated Musings
(http://mediated-musings.blogspot.co.nz) and 2,629 on Zakaia's Zone
(http://zakaias-zone.blogspot.co.nz/), after a
lot of perseverance with blogspot (and trying to contact them over, and
over, and over, and over...), I decided that if I can't post new
information for family and friends... it sort of defeats the purpose of
Why a website now?
Well, I created a website for the Drama Department in my last school (http://eismdrama.webs.com/) and liked how easy it was to use. So here's website number 2... the second installation of Zakaia's Zone.
(2nd December, 2013)
Well the Bledisloe Cup is ours again.
Israel Dagg celebrates after scoring the only try of the game.
That score is amazing... even more so because it is against Australia.
(25th August, 2012)
From the opening haka to the end-of-match celebrations...
It's been a LONG time coming... the moment we have all been waiting for
(11th July, 2012)
Not sure what's up with England wearing black at the RWC. I know
imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I do think it's rather
disrespectful to the ABs. Especially considering the RWC is on our
turf. They wore their usual white strip in the game against Georgia tonight,
and they actually looked like England. I much prefer them in the white
(11th July, 2012)
The opening ceremony made me very
proud. It was spectacular. I LOVE how anything like that always
involves children and ordinary citizens as opposed to bringing out the big
names like other countries tend to do. Well done NZ.
(11th July, 2012)