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The weekly New Zealand sport newsletter that drinks and fries responsibly.

Big serve - catering the right food on game night

What do you serve when you've invited everyone over for the big game? In this country, if you don't offer sausage rolls when live sport is happening, you risk being punched in the face - but how do you take things to the next level, while still catching the game yourself? Behold, the Sport Review newsletter guide to hosting in-home live-sport events. 

Chips and dip 
Pretty valid if it's a mid-week match and you and everyone else has come straight from work. Fill the gaps with plenty of drinks - everyone's going to buy a kebab on the way home anyway.
Pro tip: Pistachio nuts make you look effortlessly sophisticated, pair tremendously with beer and gives your guests something to do with their hands that's not a phone.  

Also valid - but bear in mind that if it's a Saturday night Bledisloe or similar, all your neighbours have left it 'til the last minute too, and some poor engineering student is at this very moment pushing an electric scooter on 3% battery around your 'hood while carrying 35 pizzas. Yours will arrive one hour and 45 minutes after the final whistle. 
Pro tip: Order online and force one of your mates to pick it up on their way over. 

Most people bring their favourite poison, but how you fill in the gaps is crucial. You need a responsible supply of non-alcoholic options, so throw some juice and soft drinks (not just tonic water!) in the trolley. Check you've also got decent reds and a bottle of scotch in case you really need to celebrate. 
Pro tip: You need a good supply of overflow beer in case people run out, but don't want any university-age sons or nephews tagging along to chop the lot - keep the mother load in the garage fridge.

Pot luck
Great option if you're prepared to wind up with 6 x Cheese Doritos and mild salsa and 6 x sausage rolls.
Pro tip: Just roll with it, but make it clear a strict 'no double dipping' policy is in place. 

Do it properly
If the game is on a Saturday or Sunday, go nuts, you've got all day. Just aim to serve about half an hour before kick off and ideally, in front of the telly. 
Pro tip: Paper plates. No-one wants to be faffing about doing dishes when the haka's on.   

Bonus recipe - Rugby cheese 

Halloumi cheese - guess how much you might need, then double it, this is tasty 
A couple of tablespoons of flour
Olive oil 

When the pre-match coverage starts, cut the Halloumi into bite-size pieces, throw it all in a plastic bag with the flour and pepper, and shake it all around to cover everything. Heat a heavy pan.  

When they announce the teams, throw the olive oil and all the cheese in the pan and fry until the cheese is just turning brown. 

Dump it all out on big bowls and serve just as the players are running out. It won't last long. 

Thanks for reading - Richard
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The week's best NZ sport writing

Steve Deane on the lost art of sport reporters going to games - features towel intrigue [Newsroom] 

The Blues and Chiefs played a pre-season match in Kaikohe - Simon Wilson was there [NZ Herald] 

Rikki Swannell meets Alex Greenfield, who set her own British track cycling career aside at 21 to coach - she's now helping kiwi cyclists in Cambridge [Locker Room] 

Zac Guildford pitching up a new club is a very regular story these days, Hamish Bidwell looks at where he's been and where he's heading [ RNZ]  

Video nasty

Quite the free kick routine this one. 

Long read

Best selling author Dan Mallory wrote best selling thrillers, but his own life had its fair share of intrigue and drama itself. Winningly, it features Tom Scott and a Christchurch literary festival. If you like the Ripley novels, you'll love this [New Yorker] 

Selected weekend fixtures

  • Tonight it's the BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS v India double-header from a sold-out Eden Park, first game starts at 3pm, it's all on SKY
  • All the Burger Kings Super Smash finalists and venues for next week's playoffs and final will be decided tomorrow, key games are Aces v Stags at Eden Park at 4pm, while the Knights and Volts go at it at Bay Oval at 7pm, last one's on SKY

Bring back the gif 

When you get one cloudy day and someone says 'I thought it was meant to be summer!' 
Sport Review newsletter is the best of New Zealand sport writing and content, in your mailbox every Friday at 8am, just in time for the weekend. 

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