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Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Bulls

Hurricanes | 01 March 2018 | Kevin McCarthy

Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Bulls

Where are you Phil Kearns? Your country may not need you but the Hurricanes do.

We need your fat jokes. Your unfit jokes. Anything will do to rub salt into the wound. 

Yes, what to make of the 21-19 opening loss at Pretoria.

Well, for one thing, the hurricane is clearly not a weather system designed for high altitude. We saw that in Joberg last year. Surprising that a team, even so, at the start of the season should run out of gas but so it seems.

It was by no means a down trou of Canberra proportions, so it was good to see Chris Boyd rank it where he saw it. Even worse than Canberra.

I'm not sure everyone would agree. But Boyd should know. 

As I said last week, you don't win super rugby in week 1. But the team dug a little hole for itself, and now has to avoid tripping up in Argentina.

It follows some arduous travel but I doubt there will be anything but some steely resolve to stop the rot. There better be because the next match is the Crusaders, who seem keen on being boringly efficient this tournament, as you'd expect.

On the bright side, the Hurricanes are third on the New Zealand table! Even better, we've got a new team to cheer on called the Bulls. We now have to hope they prove a banana skin to quite a few other teams. 

RLM

And finally, remember, things were even worse in 2016. And we know how that ended. 

Oh and Scotland thrashed England. Really good weekend really.

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Every day seems to bring news of another player signing out, generally by heading overseas. This week, Wyatt Crockett and Jerome Kaino.

No disrespect to Crockett, but Kaino is the one deserving the bow.

He was the heart of two World Cup victories and the packs that delivered them.

Personally, I'll never forget the 2011 World Cup semi where the All Blacks were dominating the Wallabies, but Digby Ioane - a beast of a winger at his peak - threatened to blast them back into the game with a bullocking run to the line. Except Kaino tackled him from behind, and seemed to physically drag him back from over the tryline.  There was no stopping the beast that day.

++++++++

I read a horrifying piece by an Aussie rugby scribe the other day.

He suggested the law changes this year may favour the return of the endless multi-phase play of the Brumbies under Rod McQueen.

Let's pray he's wrong. I cannot think of anything more tedious than watching those mini rucks and pods of backs and forwards shuttling from one to another until the opposition broke down out of sheer boredom. Even the All Blacks began to ape the style until mercifully the laws changed.

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It was, of course, the opening weekend for the Vanuatu Hurricanes Rugby Supporters Club (membership of one, me). I could have got up at 2am to follow the Bulls match on the internet. 

Which would have been pointless and painful, because our internet provider crashed for 36 hours. 

So I only caught up with the bad news on another provider at a local cafe. 

Then I've only been able to watch five minutes of highlights interspersed by the blue buffering wheel of death. Let me tell you, we look quite good for half of those five minutes.

I am targeting the Saders match as being the one I'll catch on TV at a hotel downtown. That is the plan. I may even start recruiting and taking club subscriptions.

Kevin is a lifetime Hurricanes fan. He and his partner are on a two-year Volunteer Service Abroad posting to Vanuatu's Espiritu Santo island. He's working on a project to build a South Pacific World War 2 museum on the site of an enormous Allied base on the island. Check it out at www.southpacificwwiimuseum.com

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