The public shaming of Steve Hansen
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New All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. AAP Images
If ever you wanted an example of Kiwi tunnel vision in matters rugby there is no need to look further than Steve ‘One Eyes’ (yes, he has double one-eyedness) Hansen and his comments that Australia should ‘stop stealing’ Kiwi rugby players.
He seems to have been referring to Mike Harris, the man who could not even get a game at Super 15 in NZ; the same player who so effectively and wonderfully snotted Hansen’s All Blacks in Brisbane last weekend denying them a chance of taking the most-wins-on the trot record from Lithuania.
Hansen’s comments were sour grapes at best, poor sportsmanship at least. They also reveal an honours degree in arrant stupidity. Analyse his comments, drill right down on them, and they actually mean: “We did not want Harris, but you were not allowed to have him.”
Quintessential selfishness. In any sense, utterly perverse. Appallingly little.
In the face of that edict what could poor Mike Harris do? In the national rugby interest, obediently hang up his boots and retire to share milking on a God- forsaken, windswept dairy farm in the middle of nowhere and, over time, feel his lips become thin from bitterness – an angry man widely known in the district as The Dog Kicker.
In this, I applaud noble Lithuania for maintaining its rugby winning record; a record not even the mighty All Blacks – The Darkness – could break.
The what? Yes, The Darkness. It’s a recently coined Kiwi sobriquet. All Blacks equals The Darkness. Get it?
Even a fool like me ‘gets it’ of course but frankly it’s a disturbing turn of events perhaps indicating the possibility that New Zealand rugby fanatics have become even more delusional than ever; they have too much time on their hands.
I knew no good would come of them (just) winning RWC11.
The Darkness: a menacing force in the Devil’s keep, led by Darth Vader, musical score courtesy their Satanic Majesties. To be feared everywhere and every time; evil and invincible. Supernatural.
You can hear it now, All Blacks fans talking in pubs:
“May The Darkness be with you.”
I note with sadness that Sir Wilson Whineray, arguably one of the finest sportsmen to wear the silver fern and likely the greatest All Black captain, died earlier this week. No doubt he would have been appalled – ashamed – at the nonsense spouted at the weekend by Steve Hansen.
As a proud fellow New Zealander, I too am ashamed of Hansen’s miserable utterances. We are a far better race of sportspeople than that.
Finally, Scott Higginbotham. In any sense I do not condone dirty play. I have been on the receiving end of it and was always incensed by the unnecessariness and injustice of it. Higginbotham was stupid and has made his team pay the price for it.
Conversely, perhaps it also demonstrated – in an over-the-top way – how the current Wallaby forwards were finally able to mad dog up to and, at times, dominate the All Blacks.
Wow, how refreshing was that, maybe an omen, or portent for a golden future again?
Now there’s a though for a new sobriquet for the Wallabies: The Shining!
How does that sound?
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