- By Kevin McCarthy
Move on. Move on. Heard that a bit this week, after Ardie Savea’s infamous throat-slit gesture.
Moving on for some meant justifying or rationalising the act. Odd stance. You can’t really do that and expect an apology to be enough. No-one thinks it was meant in a literal sense, but guys like Ardie are influencers for better or worse. Just take a wander through Courtenay Place about 1 in the morning to catch the vibe, if you don’t believe that.
Moving on for others meant copping the penalty from the citing and wiping the slate clean. Which is a much more sensible stance. And giving thanks it wasn’t more than one match.
Personally, I won’t be moving on until after fulltime on Saturday. If the Blues are sent away with a loss, then I’ll move on.
If they don’t, especially if it’s a tight loss, I might just have trouble moving on swiftly.
Ardie is not for nothing sometimes considered the best player on the planet right now. To dial himself out of the encounter on Saturday because of a brain explosion is well, pretty dumb from his perspective. As captain, he’ll know that – and he’ll know that he sets the tone.
In a side that has a bit of discipline problem at times, that’s a factor. It already was last weekend, when the Rebels stormed back and threatened the win.
We all know as well that Ardie at 90 per cent or more is the absolute difference in some games. Last season at time he practically carried the Canes across the line. Most famously, in the last gasp try against, funnily enough, the Blues.
It’s not as simple as Ardie plays, Canes win, otherwise they’d have some trophies.
But the Blues will have been much relieved to see him absent, given they must get their show on the road.
Of course, they’re going to find out quite a bit more about Peter Lakai now, as we all are.
So, moving on, it should be a match really worth catching live – including the Hurricanes debut of Brett Cameron at first five. A win would give the Canes three from three, and a great start – while putting an early slow puncture into the Blues.
Get along – you’ll also, I get to suspect, the best water boy on the planet grumpily prowling the touchlines.
The earlier match of course is Super Aupiki, the home side Poua taking on the Blues Women (they need to work on that name!). The Poua need to win to get into the top two with the hot favourites Chiefs Manawa.
Now of course the competition is very truncated, and over before you blink.
But the NZR should not be castigated too much over that. The phenomenal success of the Women’s rugby world cup and the Sevens Olympic champions of course has some thinking the underlying game should be turbocharged as well.
However, there are sound reasons for taking it moderately slowly, and creating sustainable structures. Greater Aussie involvement, more international play, and even a British Lions concept will build over a time.
The next world cup is too, not actually that far away – 2025, England, which will be next level growth for fan interest.