Back Chat: Kirstie Stanway talks Chiefs, ABs and F-bombs on-air at lawn bowls

Kirstie Stanway learned an important broadcast lesson at the New Zealand Bowls Open in 2018.

SKY

Kirstie Stanway learned an important broadcast lesson at the New Zealand Bowls Open in 2018.

Kirstie Stanway is one of the country’s brightest young entertainers, working in TV and radio – and in particular becoming a big part of Sky’s rugby coverage.

She picked the Blues to win the Super Rugby Pacific at the start of the season, and she rightly feels happy with that prediction now.

Kirstie Stanway is showing her true colors - and she hasn't given up on the Chiefs' Super Rugby Pacific victory.

SKY

Kirstie Stanway is showing her true colors – and she hasn’t given up on the Chiefs’ Super Rugby Pacific victory.

So, Thing chose his brain on a range of topics.

Here, she opines on the Cortez Ratima or Folau Fakatava debate, the nicest person in New Zealand sport, and unscripted F-bombs on lawns.

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Your beloved bosses just got beaten up by the Brumbies in the Tron. Is it time to forget about 2022 and put on a Blues or Crusaders hat?

I love the Chiefs but I’m also realistic. From the start of the season, I picked the Blues with optimism to win the title, and they are finally living up to the hype after a rocky start. If they win, it’s good for rugby right? Saying that, any of the top four right now could win it.

You are Ian Foster. Cortez Ratima v Folau Fakatava for the All Blacks third halfback spot. Who and why?

If Folau was eligible it would be him, but both will be All Blacks in the near future. One has been compared to George Gregan and the other to Tawera Kerr Barlow, that’s a pretty good 1-2 punch going forward. 2027 in Australia… too early?

THING

Rikki Swannell hosts a chat on the state of women’s rugby with journalist and broadcaster Ashley Stanley, Black Fern Chelsea Semple and former Black Fern and NZ Rugby high performance manager Hannah Porter.

You are Wayne Smith. Is it a yes or no to bring Sevens stars such as Sarah Hirini and Portia Woodman into the Black Ferns mix for the Rugby World Cup?

Absolutely. It’s simple. Do we want to win the World Cup? Well, the best players in their position then have to be selected. Portia Woodman is the best player in the world, so why wouldn’t you want her on the team? However, if I was in the Black Ferns, my answer would be different.

Every broadcaster and journalist has goofy moments they would love to cover. Please describe your worst misstep with all the horrible details.

Before Covid there were lawn bowls, and it was a happening business. It was 2018, and a young Sky reporter had her chance to cover the New Zealand Bowls Open on TV in Blockhouse Bay. What could go wrong? They were bowls after all. I spent my days basking in the sun, waiting for the next batch of homemade treats to arrive on the sidelines between post-game interviews. Growing more confident as the day went on, I was about to take on my biggest challenge yet. The first rule of broadcasting, never give away your mic. Well, I wish I remembered that under pressure. My mic got hijacked by a rogue competitor and next thing I know he dropped three F-bombs on live TV. If you think it couldn’t get any worse, the bowling club had the PA system hooked up and proudly playing the commentary and interviews for everyone to hear. Fair to say, it was the most shocking thing to ever happen in the bowling world, and I still fear it!

Is Caleb Clarke the nicest person in sports?  The Blues wing certainly gets Kirstie Stanway's vote.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Is Caleb Clarke the nicest person in sports? The Blues wing certainly gets Kirstie Stanway’s vote.

Who is the nicest person in New Zealand sport?

Currently playing – Caleb Clarke

Colleague – this is a direct shootout between Israel Dagg and Jeff Wilson: extremely talented and kind

Are the Warriors bad or just misunderstood?

Terrible, but we love them, and I’ll be watching them again this weekend. Come on Warriors!

Olympic legend Lisa Carrington at Lake Karapiro last month.

Christel Yardley / Stuff

Olympic legend Lisa Carrington at Lake Karapiro last month.

You can be any Kiwi Olympian from the past 20 years. Who would it be?

Lisa Carrington – who wouldn’t want to be our golden girl?

What is the best sports complex in Aotearoa?

Everything at full capacity! But if I have to pick one, I will never forget the first Super Rugby game at Eden Park after the 1.0 lockdown in 2020. It was special and so was the Garden of Eden.