Best bang for bucks a no-brainer

Weekend Herald - - Your Sporting Weekend - Wynne Gray

Weigh­ing up whether to go to league’s in­ter­na­tional triple-header to­day at Mt Smart or the Bat­tle of the Bridge to­mor­row at Eden Park? For­get about the va­ri­ety of weather fore­casts, trans­port to the ground, the op­tion of watch­ing it from the com­fort of your lounge and all the other bits and pieces which go into mak­ing this choice.

Bot­tom-line for this de­ci­sion is clear-cut — it’s all about value for money. And the win­ner is — the league at Mt Smart.

Kick­off for the Ju­nior Ki­wis is midafter­noon be­fore the Kiwi Ferns play, then the Ki­wis in the head­line evening match, with $35 cov­er­ing the adult cost for watch­ing all three games.

Your mate has held on to his cash

and plans to fork out $27.50 which gets him into Eden Park to­mor­row for one game as the resur­gent Auck­land side hosts mid-ta­ble North Har­bour in the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship. One game in the con­crete jun­gle against three to­day in a lively sub­ur­ban set­ting — it’s a sim­ple an­swer.

Noises about crowd num­bers sug­gest the pull of live ac­tion at both venues is not a mas­sive in­duce­ment for ei­ther code as sports fans as­sess their op­tions. Hard­core fol­low­ers fol­low one rule. Un­less they’re laid up they al­ways trek out to watch live sport while oth­ers are more fickle about their de­ci­sions.

We’ve paid our tele­vi­sion sub­scrip­tion so let’s set­tle for that this time and make our move for a megaoc­ca­sion when Tonga and the Aussies play next week­end and when the fi­nals of the rugby come around.

Makes sense? It seems to as does an­other idea be­ing floated that a busi­ness group want to build a wa­ter­front sta­dium in Auck­land in ex­change for rights to re­de­velop Eden Park.

What’s not to like about a modern venue which caters for the needs of rugby, league and other codes while also of­fer­ing spec­ta­tors a world-class arena near trans­port hubs and en­ter­tain­ment precincts? Not much, ac­cord­ing to the re­ac­tion of the Eden Park Trust Board chair­man.

That makes as much sense as the de­ci­sion to let the Aussies play two league tests at Mt Smart while the Ki­wis are only in­volved in this evening’s duel where a strong per­for­mance from them is as crit­i­cal as the resur­gent work this sea­son of the War­riors.

New coach Michael Maguire be­gan the re­me­dial work against Eng­land in Den­ver and has taken his time to as­sess his best com­bi­na­tions from those with ex­pe­ri­ence and oth­ers whose form held up through the NRL play­offs. He’s picked a bright new cap­tain with a core of ex­pe­ri­enced for­wards and needs a lift from half­back Shaun John­son to bring the pieces to­gether.

When the War­riors be­gan to play strongly on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, tick­ets to Mt Smart were a hot item and that’s the mes­sage the Ki­wis need to de­liver to re­con­nect with their fans and give their ad­min­is­tra­tors some am­mu­ni­tion when they come to set­tle on the in­ter­na­tional fix­ture list.

Photo / Photosport

The Ki­wis head to train­ing for tonight’s test.

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