The NZRFU HQ is on a secret mission to turn the dreadlock holiday Hurricanes into the Crusaders in the hope of being good at rugby and that. They picked the right man for the job – Mark Hammett, who comes from the Robbie Deans ‘what the fuck are you looking at? school of media relations is so embedded in Crusaders culture that his stools look a little bit like Grizz Wylie.
First job is the clear-out. All Blacks Nonu, an eye-liner-ed maverick that won’t listen to The Man, and Hore, a disappointing captain despite the ginger beard and that, are out. Dumping two current All Blacks is as bold a move as putting up a really, really cringey sign right beside your main airport, but it’s no surprise, the indications were were there all along if people had been paying attention:
More players are expected to go – hilariously, the enigmatic tweeter Corey Jane seems pretty disappointed not to be included in the first cut, and has been flouncing on and off Twitter in protest, when flouncing around a rugby field properly might be a better move. Throwing out All Blacks like a Dublin nightclub bouncer is a new thing for super rugby in New Zealand – all eyes will be on Hammett next year, if he hasn’t been made All Black coach by then.
Still, the latest challenge to the Hurricane’s title challenge is stuff.co.nz’s attempt to bring the team down from within. They’ve imported their very own Stephen Jones lite, Mark Reason, to provide some fist thumping, claret slurping, yorkshire pudding farting, jolly hockey sticks rhetoric to really set the cat among the grouse. This week, he aimed both barrels at Hammett and the wayward Hurricanes:
Nonu’s propensity for yellow cards and dissent is not acceptable. Hore’s drinking is not acceptable. Weepu coming back from injury overweight is not acceptable. Jane tweeting dissent is not acceptable.
Reason, who mysteriously googles very poorly and probably looks like an injured Piri Weepu, is obviously taking his ‘wind everyone up’ brief seriously, but he’s trying too hard. Outraging New Zealand rugby fans is easier than locating a dickhead in Australia – we’re unhappy when we win, let alone when we lose. Most people’s abiding memory of winning the 1987 world cup is being upset at that dork waving behind David Kirk. Word on the twitter street is that Reason is only starting to rev the Land Rover, and will be full steam ahead trolling the rugby public by the time the world cup comes around. Thanks, stuff.co.nz, that’s just what we need.