Tag Archives: Sport

Damian McKenzie: Hamilton’s greatest thing since the invention of things?

Chiefs livewire Damian McKenzie will start at fullback for the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe test. Self-confessed Wannabe Rugby Mum Angela Cuming takes a moment to appreciate the many talents of our (adopted) hometown hero.

 

First let me say that Damian is practically family. My Aunty Marion and Uncle Peter have a grandson who went to varsity with Damian and they are good mates and one time he brought Damian over to their house for dinner. I am insanely jealous about this because my Aunty Marion is an amazing cook and by Uncle Peter loves having a few beers and telling people everything that is currently wrong with the state of modern rugby and I feel if I were there Damian and I would have become firm friends and probably snuck out early to go to Shenanigans for a Wild Turkey and Coke.

 

He probably would have looked at me like this when he was suggesting we go for a beer:

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My Aunty Marion later reported that Damian was a very nice young man and very quiet and polite. This was a couple of years ago and I predicted then that he would be an All Black before too long. I based this prediction on a few things, most notably the fact he seemed to be playing very well for the Mighty Mooloo Men of the Waikato Rugby Union.

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Damian made his debut for the Chiefs in 2015 and was named in the All Blacks squad in 2016.

I for one am very happy about his sudden rise to rugby fame. I am what you called a Wannabe Rugby Mum, or WRB. I have three little kids and my dream was for at least one of my children to one day play rugby for New Zealand. Then I ended up with three boys and I had to re-think my ambitions but I figured the All Blacks were about as good as the Black Ferns so my dream was back on.

As an WRB I have a very special place in my heart for Damien. A lot of it has to do with his smile.  His wholesome, cheeky, yes-I-know-I-am-a-little-bit-cute-but I-don’t-have-time-for-romance-I-am-here-to-play-rugby-and-I-call-my-mum-every-Sunday smile.

I love that he’s not the biggest bloke on the field. That he’s probably had to work harder at training than a lot of his team mates, that he’s had (and still has) doubters questioning his ability to play at the top level.

My little boy Tommy is not yet two but already loves running around with a rugby ball. Tommy is an identical twin,born at 34 weeks. He was in NICU for a fortnight. If ever he decides he wants to be a professional rugby player I will tell him about Damian, about how he was never the biggest or strongest but he had the heart of a lion and when it comes to playing for the Chiefs or the All Blacks that’s what counts most.

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Did I also mention Damian’s smile?

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Sometimes he switches up his smile and he does this:

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And then he does this:

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People say Damian was a surprise selection to start as fullback for the first Bledisloe game in Sydney but people who said that must never have watched him play rugby because he’s always been a standout on the field.

I asked Mr Angela, who when not letting our cats out at 5am or cleaning baby spew off the rug, is  Very Respected rugby writer Paul Cully.

He says Damian is ”brave, fast and has fancy footwork” and he wasn’t surprised at all to see him selected at fullback.

”McKenzie plays above his weight,” he said.

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”He is definitely the real thing.”

And finally, if ever there was any doubt about Damien’s skills as an All Black, let my Google image search results have the final word.

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And Damian, if you are ever over at Aunty Marion’s again please feel free to invite me along. It won’t be weird at all, promise.

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Mooloo and More: Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!

Amazeballs #ChiefsMana illustration by @pommypixelpaint.

@jess_vandy cheers the Chiefs on to a resounding success against the Crusaders, at Waikato Stadium.

Masterchef @JoshEmett heads down to the Tron on a foodie mission and sent us this mouthwatering twitpic of shortrib.

What a way to start a game: @DarkroomJesse soaks up the atmosphere at Waikato Stadium before the Chiefs versus Crusaders.

Los Angeles-based artist @nicktheartist captures our local girl and Grammy Award winner, Kimbra. So proud.

Los Angeles-based artist @nicktheartist captures our local girl and Grammy Award winner, Kimbra. So proud.

Modigliani nudes on the walls, opera softly playing in the background, and delicious dessert. We treated ourselves to Adriana’s, and we weren’t disappointed.

No wonder @ChiefsRugby dubbed this the #SuperRugby Photo of the Year!

Bright colours and cute faces: watch mania at the Hamilton Nightmarkets, from @chamfy.

The Middleton Effect: New Zealand’s biggest hospital campus dazzles on the Hamilton Lake. Gorgeous, from @JMiddleton_imgs.

Royal treatment: Bridge St bridge is lit up for the Chiefs and @JMiddleton_imgs was there to capture it in its tricolour glory!

@webtaniwha gets his #ChiefsMana on at Waikato Stadium!

Gorgeous! @kyleebee hangs out at Hamilton Lake.

Nawwwww. This is the cutest. The Eden Whanau get behind the Chiefs and make their own waka at Parana Park.This from @lisaeden10.

We are madly in love with this piece of geek chic headwear from Mark One Comics. A must-have for all fans of the Doctor.

The CBD’s newest cafe: Little J. Pop in for great coffee and delicious treats to go.

@chamfy and @gydeelaine enjoy pretty sparkly things at @trelisecooper at The Base.

Rhinos in the Tron: @KyleeBee makes new friends at the Hamilton Zoo!

@jaimeep89 visits the bright lights of the #ChiefsBridge.

Students at @waikato enjoy the sunshine, lakeside.

@NZVic goes glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing in the heart of the CBD. We can't wait to try it out!

@NZVic goes glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing in the heart of the CBD. We can’t wait to try it out!

Old school: @chamfy spots a pop-up barbershop at the Hamilton Nightmarkets.

Zealong fun: @jess_vandy goes tea-tasting at New Zealand’s only tea plantation.

@benhurleycom popped into Hamilton and @jess_vandy was there to enjoy!

@benhurleycom popped into Hamilton and @jess_vandy was there to enjoy!

One Fish, Two Fish, Three Fish, Blue Fish: @JMiddleton_imgs spots local artist Jeremy Shirley’s street art in town.

Amazing lady: Enterprising Hamiltonian legend Mary Jane Innes is inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. This from @SODACheryl.

Cuuuuute. @angelacuming makes friends with Hamilton’s famed unicorn duck!

Animal Friends: @ZooWildMan gets to go to work to this everyday. We are jealous!

Animal Friends: @ZooWildMan gets to go to work to this everyday. We are jealous!

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