After a weeks chorus of often misinformed beatup on the Chiefs for their ill-advised Mad Monday 2016 effort, the wonderful end of the Super Rugby Championship won in style by a Hurricanes outfit that has well and truly cast of any reference to bridesmaid status aside there was evidence aplenty that planning is not a prime agenda item in rugby admin 2016 at Board level
Standing in the cold waiting for the sponsors and the hierarchy to get their 15 minutes of fame the defeated Lions from Johannesburg appeared to be increasingly falling into hypothermia as they huddled tighter. Their adrenalin production had ceased largely by around the seventieth minute while the canes were still making it in spoonfuls when it was time to go home.
This idiot as a callow 16/17 year old was extremely lucky back in the day when on a very cold night he attempted to traverse high on the Amuri Range to be in place to ambush deer that were ravaging a winter feed crop. Although well equipped and dressed it was not enough with a wind chill figure that would have been in double figures minus Celsius he settled in the shelter of rocks and drifted off only to be roused by the suns rays which fortuitously struck perfectly some two hours later, very lucky.
Anyway back to Siberia last night, I accept the sponsors and the old farts have to be served but how hard to have had a couple of curtain sider trucks with diesel or LPG heaters arranged as the stage that was for TV in the main and any fans who wished could have rearranged their position easily.
The scene of rugby players rapidly cooling and boy some with their surface blood vessels well dilated can reach life threatening with alarming speed, being kept out in the cold while the well rugged and sheltered in the lea of the advertisers hoarding was a massive contrast. Just how bad the weather was, was given some perspective when inadvertently an image was transmitted of a bunch of men between six and ten on my recollection holding the façade down by hanging off ropes behind it.
Legend has Hewie Hewson during a memorable game at Athletic park, and in a southerly that historic ground had a two track railway to carry Antarctica's worst directly in, wore panty hose to ward off hypothermia.
Will Carling's apt statement on a TV talk show two decades ago about "fifty seven gin swilling old farts" came immediately to mind last night.
Maybe the only way to have got the snug idiots to see sense would have been to have asked them to don sweaty rugby gear and a plastic mac for the presentation.
Well done to The players and staff Hurricanes 2016 you finally delivered. Sad for Me that amongst all the references of those who went before, both living and passed ,not one mention of Mark 'Hammer' Hammett whose courageous action in changing the team culture from Tieam to team that the current coach Chris Boyd and his team so successfully built on.
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