(born in Wellington, New Zealand of
Greek immigrant parents) is an Australasian
historian, philosopher, journalist and
writer. He also played one first-class
cricket match for Wellington in the 1958-59
After gaining a Bachelor of Arts from the
Victoria University of Wellington, Zavos
taught history at St Patrick's College.
In 1967, Zavos gained a Master of Arts
(Education) from The Catholic University of
America in Washington, DC. It was then that
he moved into journalism, working as a
reporter at The Dominion newspaper in
Wellington (now amalgamated into The
Dominion Post). In 1976 he shared the New
Zealand Feature Writer of the Year award
with fellow journalist Warwick Roger, won
for a series on New Zealand under Prime
Minister Robert Muldoon.
The following year Zavos moved to Australia.
In 1978 he was awarded the Katherine
Mansfield Fellowship and spent a year in
Menton, France writing a collection of
autobiographical short stories, which he
later published under the title Faith of Our
In 1979 he became an editorial writer on the
Sydney Morning Herald, where he would remain
until 2000. At the Herald, he also moved
into rugby writing. He has written seven
books on rugby.
Why a win for South
Africa will be a win for those who love the
The Wallabies' dismal performance in going
out of the tournament to England in the
quarter-finals has elements of a Bermuda
Triangle mystery about it. How on earth did
The Wallabies' scrum had improved,
supposedly, to the extent that a scrum was
taken against Wales instead of a tap kick.
Yet, like the All Blacks' scrum against
France, the Wallabies scrum disappeared
under a heap of opposition bodies. And then
there was the lack of a reaction, except for
the occasional swing of the arm from
second-rower Daniel Vickerman, to England's
Yet in this year's Tri-Nations all the sides
were counter-rucking madly. Watching a
plodding England side with no back-line
attack hold France and then take the lead
with 10 minutes to go raised the inevitable
question - how did the Wallabies contrive to
lose to such a pedestrian team?
It's the quicks v
Jonny and his plodders
AFTER giving England a scare for the first
30 minutes of their enthralling
"elimination" match, Tonga got tired and
careless and gifted "Les Rosbifs" a victory
that looked more impressive on the points
tally than it was.
The World Cup is a cruel event. Tonga, who
played the match of the tournament against
South Africa and led England for 30 minutes,
are now out of France.
England fancy their chances against the
Wallabies because they believe their front
five can out-muscle their Wallabies
counterparts in the scrums and mauls.
points towards running game
JUST about every aspect of this World Cup
has been analysed and commented on over the
first three weekends of play - except the
way the pointy, plum-shaped Gilbert balls
used in the tournament are affecting the way
games are being played.
The plum-shaped ball, a throwback to the
original ball made by the bootmaker in the
town of Rugby, a Mr Gilbert, in the 1850s
and 1860s, seems to have a smaller
sweet-spot for the kickers. My guess is that
there have been more easy penalty kicks
missed so far in this tournament than in the
whole of the 2003 tournament.
Latham will make
Burke of himself
The gospel about the Rugby World Cup,
according to Phil Kearns, a World Cup winner
as a Wallaby and now an ebullient rugby
commentator, is this: "If they play the
World Cup for 1000 years, the All Blacks
will always be favourites to win it."
Not win it, which has only happened once,
but favourites to win it.
Perhaps 3007 is too far away for us to make
predictions. For this year, though, Kearns
is right. The All Blacks are favourites,
according to the bookmakers. And it's a
In the four years since their 22-10 defeat
in Sydney by the Wallabies in the semifinal
of the 2003 World Cup, the All Blacks have
played 43 Tests for 38 wins. This is one of
the great winning streaks in world rugby.