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The weekly New Zealand sport newsletter that hopes you get sleep-ins for xmas, mainly.

Best of everything 2019

Most seismic shift - Al of a sudden the All Blacks look a bit vulnerable. Coach on the way out, a contender in the north, cracking under pressure in a couple of crucial Tests. Doesn't mean much for the world cup of course, the tournament's not being played in Dublin (or Chicago *cough*), and I suspect the Master Planners will ensure we're good enough to go three in a row.   

Biggest shock - Mike Hesson resigning. Luckily his hard work has put the team on a really solid platform and path.   

Best roller-coaster - The Silver Ferns. From the Gold Coast to the press conference to the selection shake-up it's been all go. Hoping they're on the upswing now. 

Most feel-good I - I just loved this year's football world cup. Waking up early to the colours and hum of the crowd, and the best players going trying to out-play and out-wit each other... it's like entering another world for a month, can't we do it every year?

Most feel-good II - a toss-up between Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner holding out against England for a series win, and winning away against Pakistan just the other week.  

Best TV - Sport Review towers was distraught watching the finale of Bron / Broen season four, knowing it was the last series ever. The darkness! The snappy Danish dialogue! The knitwear! Can't recommend this highly enough, track it down. The Bodyguard and Rick and Morty, too. 

Best podcast - My favs are Reply All and The Rewatchables but I'm currently midway through the Teachers Pet pod and HOLY SHIT you guys, I can't recommend it highly enough, get in there.  

Best film - I don't get out to the actual movies much, but I thoroughly enjoyed A Quiet Place and A Star Is Born.  

Best music - According to Spotify, the track I listened to most in 2018 was Good Times Bad Times by Led Zep, so I'm not your best new music guide. I *can* tell you you should check out Joe Walsh's early solo work, it is astonishing. I did enjoy the new Father John Misty, predictably. 

Best read - Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Bits of this are just devastating. 

Thanks so much for reading the Sport Review newsletter this year. I really hope you've found it interesting and entertaining, I've thoroughly enjoyed putting it together for you, even the two I did while horrendously hungover (guess which ones!).

Over the next couple of weeks there'll be a couple of scaled back editions, maybe with more long reads for your iPad and archive specials to enjoy while you go through the xmas ham, before we get back underway proper in 2019.

Thanks again, enjoy your break and some cricket, and see you next year. 

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

Duncan Greive's monster series on the state of NZ media just about broke him, but luckily for you, it's exhaustive, detailed and joins a lot of dots about where our media is going  [The Spinoff]  

The contenders to replace Steve Hansen - Liam Napier runs you through the possibles and the probables [NZ Herald] 

Steve Deane meets Katey Martin, the WHITE FERNS and Otago Sparks veteran who's still breaking records    [Newsroom] 

Gregor Paul runs you through the silent war NZ Rugby are waging to get some of your taxpayer dosh [NZ Herald] 

Video nasty

Amazing trip around brutal obstacle course - it took him 53 goes to make it. 

Long read

Tribute to the great man, Anthony Bourdain, such a loss this year [GQ] 

Selected weekend fixtures

  • The BLACKCAPS are back in white at Hagley Oval on Boxing Day, it's on SKY from 11am for five days
  • The Burger King Super Smash gets back underway in Hamilton on Saturday with an ND v Wellington women's / men's double header. There's heaps of top domestic cricket coming your way through your holidays, with 16 double-headers and loads on SKY, check it out (disclosure, I'm helping out over the summer, see you there!) 

Bring back the gif 

Sound advice for you in meetings this week. 
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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