From Dan Carter to Canada to the Warriors

It’s a day to think about sport. Particularly elite sport. It’s a fickle and unforgiving business, amazing when you’re winning and agonising when you’re losing. I guess we do need to keep it in perspective, Dan Carter has a ruptured groin, unlike Jonah Lomu, who has a failing transplanted kidney.

But still, Carter has trained for years for this, it was going to be the realisation of a dream and he is the best player in his position in the world, some would probably argue the best player in the world. And some think we can’t win the World Cup without him. With all due respect to Dan, I think that’s bollocks. Look at the Canada game today, OK there was some iffy handling for a period in the second half and they let in two tries. But they scored 12 themselves and some of them were glorious. Zac Gilford, Jerome Kaino, Israel Dagg, Victor Vito and others played out of their skin. Colin Slade was good, very good in parts and he needs to grow in confidence. I am going to join the Colin Slade fan club, you go get ’em Colin, you prove to us all that you have what it takes. No, you’re not Dan Carter, you’re Colin Slade and you play your own game. The most heartening thing about that display was how versatile our players are. For goodness sake, we had a flanker on the wing, a half back at first five, a lock at flanker and a first five at fullback. We have so many players who are able to use their incredible ball skills in more than one position.

Can you REALLY see us losing to Argentina? And then we play the winner of South Africa and Australia and that will be a hard match, maybe. And then a Northern Hemisphere team. France lost to Tonga, England had a ding dong battle with Argentina…I do really, honestly think we are going to win this cup. And I feel for you, Dan, I really do.

Haven’t the minnow teams done well? And haven’t they been great fun? Supporters dressed up and painted and having a ball. My favourite rugby tweet tonight was, “I love the fierce Welsh fans, bearded and painted. Chanting and shaking their fists while wearing a daffodil on their heads.”  Gotta love fans who are prepared to dress up in strange costumes and cheer on 15 grown men running around after a leather ball.

So the Warriors didn’t make it all the way. But they did bloody well to get there and I guess there is always next year. Have to admit I didn’t watch it apart from looking at the score occasionally, as a sport it just doesn’t float my boat.

Apparently Jonah’s kidney is failing and he will most probably need a transplant. After being so well for so long and following his dream. He is on dialysis. I met him once at a shoot we did for a car commercial. Years ago, around 1999/2000. But he was a star. And he was very nice. Mum brought sandwiches and she’d made corned beef and he genuinely made her feel like a princess in his own shy way. Contrast that with the Black Caps we used to shoot cricket coaching videos in 2000. They were members of the NZ cricket team and some of them were lovely and funny. Some were so arrogant and had their heads so far up their own backsides, when they thought I was a production assistant they wouldn’t speak to me, until they learned I was the Producer and scriptwriter and could have them fired. And Matthew Sinclair gave us his mantra, to camera, “keep it stupid, simple.” Right…says it all, really.


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