By The Spotter
There won’t be much indepthness in here, more like lament.
The Blues-Chiefs last night, especially the first half: To borrow a J Marshall-ism (just this once- you have my cast iron word on that), “Wow, what a game that was. Yes, boy”. And yep, it was. I have not seen a better very early round game since the 2012 belter at the newish Forsyth Barr stadium between the Chiefs and the Highlanders. In fact that night Tim Nanai-Williams looked like the best attacking back in all of world rugby. He killed it.
Gee, those Chiefs are brave. And if there are two more fearless backs in our top-level Rugby than Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie, well…actually there aren’t. Augie Pulu of the Blues is a scary, no-fear hard nose as well. He should be in the boxing ring with the amount of menace he has. And the much-maligned Sam Cane proved once again that he is one of the toughest and canniest forwards anywhere in the world at the breakdown (I’ll now wait for the nuclear waste-like riposte to hit the inbox).
I’ll stake my claim and say that the key point of difference between the two teams was the influence of Liam Messam. I haven’t seen a better half of 15-a side rugby from him than his first half display. He got around with the energy of a 23 year-old. Even into the second half his driving play at the breakdown was still immense. Never underestimate how colossal he is to that side. Maybe even more than Brodie Retallick. And on Retallick and his non-start: Did the word go out for everyone to go the extra mile after he was ruled out? By the way the whole team gave their absolute all you’d have to say unequivocally yes.
And what of the Blues? Ah yes, the poor old beleaguered can’t take a trick, butt of all my mates’ mirth and jokes Blues (you’ll probably laugh when I tell you I’ve got the classic double whammy- I also support Arsenal; in fact it’s the quadruple shot of pathos if you count also the Phoenix and the Warriors). No doubt nothing will ever top the Devlin Curse but I’m out to give him a good run for his money. Sky are making their subscriptions cheaper and amen to that, but I may write to them and request THEY pay me to watch the sport I view. A grown man can only take so much pain.
Around two years now without a sole victory against another New Zealand side and one lone draw and twelve defeats and counting against the Chiefs. God, I can hear the giggles coming all the way from the Chatham Islands. Can we please just watch 1,001 replays of King Carlos flipping the bird to the bloodthirsty Lancaster Park faithful back in 2004? (even more incredible about that extraordinary moment was the fact that Spencer made it out of the stadium in one piece).
Never mind EP being no good for some of the cricket; it’s not much expletive deleted good for the Rugby either if your colour happens to be Blue, (although they actually went better than I thought they would, ironically). Where there’s James Parsons and Jerome Kaino though, there’s still hope.
Here then is an over-reaction, but I had to do it; you’ll understand.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul M)