Read it on TheSilverFern, too.
After the Radio Sport brouhaha, it’s time for something positive. Here’s ten reasons to be cheerful:
1. Graham Henry is learning from his and other’s mistakes. Lack of leadership a problem in the past? Give the responsibility to the players. Lack of injury backup costly at World Cup time? Get two players for each position (except, bizarrely, for #8) Lineouts a shambles? Get a specialist coach. He has the respect and loyalty of his players and the public, leaving hobbyist All Black baggers with not a lot to moan about.
2. You’ve gotta love those eyebrows, too. Nothing says ‘I do Rugby, not PR, me” more than a couple of bad boys like that on your dial.
3. Friday night’s Waikato v Canterbury match was a decent game of rugby, and showed there may be some life in this NPC malarky. Alright, the format is all over the place like a mad woman’s shit, but Friday night showed if you get two decent teams, you’ll get a decent match.
4. Waikato are building something big. Gatland came out with a big reputation that was tarnished ever so slightly last year, but this time he’s had more time with the team, and they’re looking fantastic, a great measure of experience (helped of course by the Duane Monkley factor of Waikato lose forwards never getting in the ABs) and youth. And they’ve still got the best rugby watching stadium in the land.
5. Just how many shit hot coaches have we got anyway? Deans, Gatland, Foster, G Cooper, C Cooper, the list goes on and there’s young coaches coming through after overseas experience like Todd Blackadder and Pat Lam. The JR Ewing of NZ Rugby even did a decent job in Perth. Getting onto that AB coaching panel is going to be harder than forming a Stephen Jones NZ fan club.
6. Everyone else is shit. The World Cup is still going to be tough, but with the exception of France, the other major nations are all in bits at the moment.
7. Carl Hayman looks like he could take on the Springboks on the high veldt by himself with a broken arm, restrain a pitch invasion, win the game, then take out the boat race afterward.
8. Richie McCaw looks like a First XV captain smirking from the assembly stage. OK, he DID bring the team around to wreck your party after the game, drink the keg and take the best looking girl home, and on the inside, you’re fuming, but there’s a grudging admiration there – THAT’S the kind of All Black captain we need.
9. Dan Carter just looks half asleep, imagine what he’d do after a decent night’s rest.
10. Stu Wilson can’t last too much longer on TV. I can’t be the only one quietly sobbing “Please, please, just shut up”. Stu rambles on like a shitfaced farmer’s quad bike, but for the love of all that’s holy, someone at Sky must see this soon and draw a veil over his TV “career”. Surely. Let’s all send a letter saying “Stu Wilson makes me drink my weekly recommended alcohol units during ReUnion alone and I’m scared”.