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Aisle be Back: Hurricanes v Rebels

Dane Coles captains the Hurricanes at hooker, while Du Plessis Kirifi plays openside flanker, as the Hurricanes take on the Rebels tonight at Wellington Stadium. 

  • By Kevin McCarthy

Are you getting the hang of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman? It’s a bit like Russian roulette, with five (Aussie) chambers, one of which is potentially fatal to your chances if it happens to contain a full metal jacket.

It’s not terribly complicated to see that, although this is true of every comp, that you need to keep winning every game to be in the final. Or pretty darn close.

Since every New Zealand team will fancy itself to win every game against its opposition, then it will come down to bonus points to sort out who is in the final.  After that, it’s points differential.

Which is where something like the jolly romp at the SCG is problematic. It resembled one of those early NFL games where both sides score heaps and (spoiler alert) everyone knows they aren’t going anywhere near the Super Bowl.

So, 64 points good! Leaking 48 points bad!! Almost fumbling the bonus point for three-try margin – awfully bad. As a rule of thumb, the Hurricanes need to operate on the basis of doing better against every Aussie opponent, than the other Kiwi teams

That’s of course because there is no crossover back into facing a New Zealand competitor and nobbling them directly.

Curiously, there was no protected species classification bought into the system to ensure one Australian team and one New Zealand team in the final. Perhaps that will follow.

The close calls, no doubt post-finals hangovers, for the Chiefs and the Crusaders certainly give the other three New Zealand sides a sniff.

And they demonstrate that being complacent will see a loss to the Aussies on the cards. Like Russian roulette, getting it wrong once is all it will take.


The arm wrestle death match over the Silver Lake deal is now in new territory. Quite frankly the NZR has not covered itself in PR glory – and has now conceded it should invite in the Players’ Association with their rival proposal for a chat.

A grudging chat mind you, with the invite pretty much saying we will listen to you but with our tin ears on – as we looked already at the idea of a public share float, and it is not a goer.

That is still a much better positioning than the previous take it or take it approach, and the crude campaign to paint the players as the obstructive villains in this.

As to the rival proposal, which predicts that floating a slice of the All Blacks on the New Zealand stock exchange would be extremely popular, it’s easy to get swept along in hand on heart patriotism, as we all stump up our thousand or so dollars.

But the stock market is just that. A market, where people trade. A share may produce a dividend – and that could well be better than the miniscule amount that same sum would realise at your local friendly bank.

However, generally in these floats (if demand outstrips supply) then the price you paid as an initial subscriber is quite a bit less than what the share opens at on the market. So, say your ABs stake. worth one thousand dollars, is suddenly worth three thousands, a few months down the track.

What price patriotism at that point? Do you sell, and take the profit? And if you sell, who is buying. Maybe those nefarious overseas types are buying.

In all seriousness, as much as it would be great to buy a slice of Black, it is also something you should be hard-headed about.

That’s if the current power struggle ever reaches a resolution.

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