As I sat in the rain and prepared myself for the final game of the season, all I asked for was an enjoyable 80 minutes. I wanted something to give me hope that 2017 might be different, some sense that next year — the real next year rather than the promise of ‘next year’ — might come close to living up to expectations. I hoped to witness a group of players fully committed to give something back to the fans who braved the weather to watch them one last time in 2016, a group of players who respected the efforts of Thomas Leuluai enough to send him out on a high note, enough to have him kicking a goal from the sideline as time expired while the Mt Smart faithful stood as one to applaud.
But, most of all, I just wanted to smile.
Continue reading Seven Minutes or Less
Everything we have done has led to this moment. Since February we have braved whatever the winter weather could throw at us. We’ve absorbed blow after blow, and there have been casualties — this is the nature of what we do, the price we must pay. We’ve travelled to foreign lands and fought ferocious battles in hostile territory. What we do is not easy.
There have been ups:
Continue reading Not Just Any Given Sunday
You’d never hear Manu Vatuvei talk like this:
But its becoming harder and harder for the Manu critics to argue against his greatness. Is he the greatest Warrior of all-time? I’ve reached the point where I’m willing to argue that he is. Stats alone make a very strong case, 138 tries from 199 games, but for me they don’t come close to telling the whole story. The impact Big Manu has both on and off the field is hard to quantify with words. The first to put his hand up to bring the ball out of his end in the toughest of situations, the way the young players look up to him and the work he does in the local community — these are the things that make him truly great. Continue reading Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like The Beast