Wednesday, 13 September 2023

Who is the youngest player to ever make their debut for the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks?

In the rich history of the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks, one name shines brightly as the youngest player ever to make their debut: Jonah Lomu. At a tender age of 19 years and 45 days, Lomu donned the All Blacks jersey for the first time on 26 June 1994, facing off against France. Little did the world know that this young prodigy would go on to leave an indelible mark on the sport and etch his name in the annals of rugby greatness.

Born in Tonga in 1975, Lomu's journey to rugby stardom began when he and his family relocated to New Zealand at the age of 10. His exceptional talents on the rugby field quickly became evident, earning him a spot in the New Zealand under-19 team in 1993, followed by selection for the under-21 team in 1994.

Lomu's debut for the All Blacks against France in 1994 was nothing short of remarkable. Displaying a blend of power and speed, he scored two awe-inspiring tries, propelling the All Blacks to a resounding 22-8 victory. The world took notice, and Lomu's name echoed through stadiums as he became an overnight sensation. His meteoric rise was further acknowledged when he was crowned the International Rugby Board's Player of the Year in 1995.

Over the next eight years, Lomu continued to astound audiences with his prowess on the rugby field. He represented the All Blacks in two Rugby World Cups, contributing to their

historic triumph in 1995. Lomu's impact transcended mere statistics; his immense physicality and unrivalled speed forever changed the way the game was played.


Friday, 9 June 2023

Britain's Got Talent 2023: Voting percentages

I must confess I didn't tune in this year, as to my mind the format is getting a little long in the tooth. However, I'm well aware that some still enjoy watching and indeed placing a wager on acts in this still popular  ITV show. 

This year's winner Viggo Venn, certainly wouldn't have been on the radar of many, since funny as 'novelty' acts are they typically don't actually end up winning. Before he won his heat he was 150-1 with bookmakers, before dramatically shortening after.

In any case without further ado, here are the series voting percentages by show, and including the grand final. A relatively easy win by all accounts:

Vote 1 Musa Motha - 38.2% Amy Lou - 18.3% Abi Carter-Simpson - 16.6% Enzo Weyne - 10.0% Parkour Collective - 7.5% United 2 Dance - 4.3% Gamal John - 4.1% Ichikawa Koikuchi - 1.0%

Vote 2 Viggo Venn - 43.7% Johns' Boys - 16.4% Olivia Lynes - 13.3% Nathan & Joanne - 7.2% Lewis Fuller - 6.8% Yo Highness - 5.1% Tia Connolly - 3.9% Andrew Stanton - 3.6%

Vote 3 Ghetto Kids - 39.7% Travis George - 19.4% Harry Churchill - 9.5% Notorious - 8.0% Toy Toy Toy - 8.0% Dylan B - 7.5% Miki Dark - 5.1% Markus Birdman - 2.8%

Vote 4 Malakai Bayoh - 27.5% Duo Odyssey - 21.8% MB14 - 13.1% Felix Clements - 10.0% Noodle & Tom - 9.0% Chickenshed - 8.6% Boycanto - 7.2% Kimoon Do - 2.8%

Vote 5 Cillian O'Connor - 29.4% Tonikaku - 18.3% Lillianna Clifton - 17.7% Unity - 12.5% Cammy Barnes - 10.6% Nurse Georgie Carroll - 5.9% The Pixiebelles - 4.4% Romeo & Icy - 1.2%

Vote 6 (Final) Viggo Venn - 22.5% Lillianna Clifton - 13.1% Cillian O'Connor - 11.8% Malakai Bayoh - 11.3% Musa Motha - 10.9% Ghetto Kids - 10.1% Amy Lou - 5.8% Travis George - 4.4% Olivia Lynes - 4.2% Duo Odyssey - 3.0% Tonikaku - 2.9% 

Saturday, 20 May 2023

Manchester City v Chelsea FC

Having come through their first major test to secure UEFA Champions League football, thrashing Brighton 4-1 at St. James Park, Newcastle now face a desperate Leicester side looking for points. The Toon have been one of the most spoken about teams in English football this year for various reasons, but another win more or less seals their return to the top echelons of European football. Can they overcome a Leicester side fighting for their dignity?

Newcastle United News

While the injuries are adding up – Jacob Murphy, Joelinton, Matt Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Jamaal Lascelles, Emil Krath, and Joe Willock are all out – Newcastle know they are in good enough form to see this out regardless. They have built an exciting team that can go and get the job done; the only question is whether the lack of bench depth might hinder them as the afternoon carries on.

Leicester City News

The Foxes are being hunted, and they are arriving into this game with some major misses from their squad. Kelechi Iheanacho will miss out, as will James Justin and Danny Ward. Other players who look doubtful to get on the pitch include Caglar Soyuncu and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.


Newcastle win. Despite Leicester still having some threatening attacking players, they lack the quality needed defensively to win a tight game. And Newcastle have enough goals to overcome a shootout with relative ease. Expect a comfortable home win, and more or less confirmation of UCL football.

Score Prediction: 3-1


Friday, 12 May 2023

Everton v Manchester City

As far as games go, this is one of the biggest remaining in the season for both teams. Formerly a bogy team of Man City, the Citizens now regularly hammer the Toffees. Everton need points to try and guarantee survival, but are they likely to get anything at home to the champions elect?

Everton News

Everton come into this one off the back of a roaring 5-1 win against Brighton and Hove Albion. It should be enough to help them stay up, but the Blues are only a couple of points off being back in the bottom three. They are going to be without a few important players, too, including Seamus Coleman who is out for the season and Ben Godfrey who is unlikely to get back before the end of the year.

Manchester City News

City are coming into this one after an engrossing draw in Madrid, and will be sure to rest players ahead of the return leg at the Eithad. Only Nathan Ake is ruled out, but expect some rotation given that Guardiola made no substitutions in Madrid. Rotation should see some squad players come in, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne almost certain to be rested.


A tough one for City, one of their tougher games left given Everton’s need for results, but we cannot see anything other than an away win. City are on a 10-match winning streak in the league, and show no signs of letting down as they push for a historic treble to match that of Manchester United’s 1999 team.

Score Prediction: 1-3

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Liverpool Hurdle

The Liverpool Hurdle is a Grade 1 hurdle race run over 3 miles and 149 yards on the Mildmay Course at Aintree in early April. The race is open to horses aged four years and upwards and is currently scheduled for the third and final day of the Grand National Festival.

Inaugurated, as the Long Distance Hurdle, in 1974, the race was originally run over 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 118 yards at Ascot before being transferred to Aintree in 2004. At that stage, it was renamed and the distance extended to its current yardage. The Long Distance Hurdle was promoted to Grade 2 status in 1991 and the Liverpool Hurdle was promoted again, to Grade 1 status, in 2010.

The Liverpool Hurdle often features horses that contested the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The prolific Big Buck's, trained by Paul Nicholls, completed the Stayers' Hurdle – Liverpool Hurdle double four years running, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, while Thistlecrack, trained by Colin Tizzard, also won both races in 2016. Long after his retirement, in 2006, Martin Pipe remains the most successful trainer in the history of the Liverpool Hurdle, having saddled Pragada (1992), Sweet Glow (1994), Galant Moss (1999), Maid Equal (2001) and Deano's Beeno (2003) for a total of

The result of the Stayers' Hurdle will, no doubt, influence the ante-post betting market for the Liverpool Hurdle. Looking ahead to 3.35pm on Saturday, April 9, 2023, last year's runner-up Flooring Porter – who has won the Stayers' Hurdle for the last two seasons – is an obvious starting point, while the likes of State Man and Blazing Khan, to name but two, are promising, young horses whose best days are ahead of them.