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Aisle be back: the hospital edition

Representative Rugby | 28 September 2016 | Kevin McCarthy

Aisle be back: the hospital edition

Perhaps it was case of the rugby season being a bit too predictable to date, but 10 days ago I decided to mix up things a bit by having a heart attack and winding up in Wellington's cardiology ward.

I don't know if you've had a similar shock but on Saturday evening, it was certainly panic stations to learn I was being admitted to hospital. Obviously it's totally unfamiliar territory, and the key question was where and how was I going to watch the Boks test.

Did they have TVs? Did they have Sky? Where were they. These are questions we don't normally ask of our health system.

Fortunately they did have a communal TV room, with Sky. So I was able to shuffle there in my elegant hospital gown, heart monitor around my neck. I dragged along some of my new ward mates. We looked like the gang breaking out of the asylum in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.


Clearly no staff thought we were at risk of any raised pulse rates during the game. Wise call, as that was a very oddly flat match. The Boks looked like the Boks but sort of going through the motions, without much spit or snarl.

So I'm here waiting for bypass surgery. Not sure if it will happen before or after the Argentinian test - and maybe that will get the pulse moving a bit more.


The consensus would seem to be that All Blacks are running away with games in the last 20 because of their bench and the oppoition running out of gas.

I think it's perfectly logical, but I think it tells you what is happening, not why it is happening. I mean both sides have benches, so it shouldn't be a point of difference regarding opposition defences becoming tired out.

I suspect it's more to do with the ease with which the All Blacks bench is coming on, slotting in, and not disrupting the team patterns. If you look at earlier matches, you saw nearly the entire backline at one point playing out of position. With no discernable attacking lapses or defensive hiccups. That seems to be something where a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes.

The other factor will be that we've got a very strong bench talent-wise in most positions.

Anyway we'll find out how that depth responds to the big overseas odyssey and whether the key players can be given just a bit of time to refresh.

Lifelong All Blacks supporter Kev has followed the Hurricanes since they began. This year his faith in them was rewarded when they won the title. Now he’s holding out hope that the Wellington Lions can again one of these seasons too.

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