Newshub's 2022 Year in Review: Fearless Predictions for 2023

  • 01/01/2023

Alex Powell - Blackcaps mass exodus

Over the past six months, we've seen a worrying trend emerge in our men's cricket side. Three senior players have opted out of their national contracts and another has turned down an offer to look elsewhere.

Their decision is understandable, but at the same time shows us that the shifting landscape of cricket is pointing towards a club v country split - and New Zealand won't win.

The biggest worry for administrators and fans will be who goes next?

After the 2023 World Cup in India, more and more players could follow the example of Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham, and trade the international game for the riches of the Twenty20 circuit.

How many of these Blackcaps will still be around in 12 months?
How many of these Blackcaps will still be around in 12 months? Photo credit: Photosport

The likes of Kane Williamson and Tim Southee in particular are both on the wrong side of 30, and have earned their chance to cash in while they can.

It just hurts that the greatest era of New Zealand men's cricket will be immediately followed by the potential end of the international game as we know it.


Reece Labuschagne - All Blacks lose in 2023 RWC quarter-final

After an up-and-down 2022 season, the All Blacks head into the World Cup year as second favourites to lift the William Web Wellis trophy.

That's despite historic losses to Ireland, Argentina and South Africa, with a come-from-behind win at Ellis Park keeping underfire coach Ian Foster at the helm.

The All Blacks may have won the Rugby Championship, but their inconsistent performances have been highlighted, none more so than their northern tour draw with England.

David Havili reflects on the All Blacks' series loss to Ireland
David Havili reflects on the All Blacks' series loss to Ireland. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand have been grouped with France at the World Cup, and will almost certainly face Ireland or South Africa in the quarter-finals.

A match-up against their most recent series loss or the world champions doesn't bode well for Foster's men, and has all the makings of an early exit.


Stephen Foote - Sam Cane will be dropped from All Blacks

On the face of it, this may not seem the boldest of predictions - but how often has a reigning All Blacks captain returned from injury to find he's now surplus to requirements?

The old premise alone that a captain must have a firm grip on his/her starting position should essentially be enough for Cane to lose his captaincy, particularly when you have a player of such immense mana and experience as Sam Whitelock. 

Sam Cane gives his All Blacks a rark-up
Sam Cane gives his All Blacks a rark-up. Photo credit: Photosport

That edict needs to extend to his spot in the overall starting XV. Dalton Papali'i's emergence has been one of very few highlights of the 2022 season for the All Blacks and he simply has to start in France for them to have any hope of bringing home the World Cup.


James Regan - England to wrestle back the Ashes from Australia 

'BazBall' is in full flow and the good times are back for English cricket.

By the time the Ashes roll around in June, Brendon McCullum's side will be primed and ready to dispatch the Australians.

Led by the fearless Ben Stokes, who will be Player of the Series, the English will take back what is theirs and order will be restored.

Ben Stokes leads England off the field against Pakistan
Ben Stokes leads England off the field against Pakistan. Photo credit: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Australia will no doubt sabotage themselves and will be no match for McCullum's men, who will be so full of confidence and class, they'll be almost unbeatable on home soil. 


Will Hewett - All Blacks to win 2023 Rugby World Cup

For most of Rugby World Cups, the All Blacks are expected, but in the 2023 edition in France, that won't be the case.

After a horror start to 2022, Ian Foster's men showed they were on the right track with a successful end-of-year tour. If you take out that last 10 minutes against England, they looked like the real deal, which gives me confidence going into next year.

All Blacks celebrate their Bledisloe Cup win
All Blacks celebrate their Bledisloe Cup win. Photo credit: Photosport

The All Blacks have a tough World Cup quarter-final draw, but if they can get past that, they'll most likely play England or Australia in the semis, depending on which side of the draw they are on, and most fans would back them in those match-ups.

Once they make the final, we will all be dreaming of a historic fourth title.  


Grant Chapman - Silver Ferns will retain their Netball World Cup crown

Twelve months ago, you wouldn't have found much support for this prediction and forecasts for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games were particularly pessimistic.

The NZ women should have benefitted from Jamaica's upset over Australia in poolplay, but could not topple the 'Sunshine Girls' in the semi-finals and were consigned to facing hosts England for bronze.

Toppling the reigning Commonwealth Games champions was a mild surprise and when the Ferns sprang out to a 2-0 lead in the Constellation Cup series against Australia, they seemed to have regained their mojo.

History will show they were unable to replicate that performance across the Tasman and lost their grip on the silverware in agonising fashion. Perhaps the key mistake was not taking midcourt Petea Toeava to Australia, after she had proved a revelation in the opening two encounters at home.

Silver Ferns celebrate their 2019 World Cup victory
Silver Ferns celebrate their 2019 World Cup victory. Photo credit: Photosport

Coach Dame Noeline Taurua has not had the services of senior players at various times over the past 12 months, but will be focused on getting Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Jane Watson and Gina Crampton on court together when it counts.

Does anyone doubt she can't resurrect this programme as she has before?