What is going on in the world of sport this week?
I'm only just coming out of a sleep-deprived, baby-brain
state after giving birth on Friday so please excuse my
I vaguely remember the men in the house cheering on the All
Blacks early on Sunday morning as I recovered from the
life-changing moment of becoming a mother for a second time.
Our family now consists of two children, which requires me to
lift my game a little when it comes to planning, logistics,
In many ways, the New Zealand Rugby Union is also dealing
with extending its family beyond the favoured first sons
known as the All Blacks.
Now with AIG willing to sponsor all the NZRU's prodigies,
November has become quite a busy season in the NZRU household
as each sibling team fights for media attention and attempts
to please its parent body so as to get more (or the same)
level of praise and resources next year.
The All Blacks have begun their mission to impress by
ruffling the feathers of Scotland and Italy, as well as the
The flamboyant but sometimes neglected Maori rugby team has
finally transitioned from being fostered to adopted and has
attracted interest from sponsors such as Aotearoa Fisheries
Ltd and BNZ.
Although the Maori couldn't avoid a mauling from the boot of
the Tigers in their opening match, they redeemed themselves
against the RFU Championship XV and really need to make a
lasting impression against Canada if they want to remain in
the good books with the olds.
The oldest daughter of the NZRU, the Black Ferns, has until
recently been neglected which culminated in a poor
performance against England last year.
This year, the Ferns have been overshadowed by the new
addition to the family, the women's sevens team.
However, they still hold the title of world champions in the
15-a-side game which provides them with just enough respect
to warrant another three-test series against England.
The Black Ferns have a new captain, and five new caps, and
unlike last year are coming off the back of a healthy NPC and
The status of the Black Ferns within the family is under
threat, but for now, they just have to beat England (not an
easy task) to keep their "shotgun" place in the NZRU family
when it comes to women's rugby.
Here in the Manawatu the New Zealand Under 20s camp is in
full gear, as potential Baby Blacks line up for their
inauguration into the revered All Black family.
Like any youngsters, they are full of hope and believe
anything is possible.
As the end of the month fast approaches, it is time for the
energetic members of the family to take centre stage.
The men's sevens team have been a part of the family for some
time, but the recent addition of an official women's team
adds a new dimension to the family dynamics.
Like parents pandering to the "needs" of their teenage
daughter as she plans her senior ball, the NZRU has invested
a lot of resources into women's sevens now, so as to steal
the show in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
A lot is riding on how the new member of the family goes in
November 24 is a big day for the NZRU family in terms of
putting on a show for the rest of the world.
The Maori team plays Canada, the Black Ferns play England,
and the All Blacks play Wales.
As a mother of two, I will learn how to appreciate each child
in their own right, and cherish what they bring to the family
unit in their own way.
Each of the rugby teams mentioned in this article is
different and special and November is a time for them to show
what role they play in the ever-expanding and evolving NZRU