Apr 082013


By Martin Devlin

Published: 7:30AM Tuesday April 09, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

A selection of issues thatve emerged from another action-packed weekend of sport:

Q: Does the Highlanders 0-6 record suddenly make Jamie Joseph a bad coach?

A: Not necessarily, no. Having said that theres obviously something not quite right with this franchise and, unfortunately for Joseph, each loss is only now providing more ammunition for those whove argued against his appointment from the day it was first announced.

Injury problems aside, the Highlanders just arent that good this year. They make too many basic mistakes, get beaten at the breakdown every time they play, cant seem to close out winning positions lacking both the confidence and composure to do so -remembering also that this is a team most people predicted would easily make the playoffs.


Whatever happens from here on in, (which only involves that ugly old cliche playing for pride), Mr Joseph will clearly have some explaining to do come his annual end-of-year review.

Q: What was Maa Nonu thinking?

A: He wasnt. I have no doubt at all that his reckless shoulder charge on Piri Weepu wasnt malicious in intent but rather just a dumb rush of blood to the head.

Nonu isnt a dirty player. He has no consistent track record of foul play and, watching him over the years, it isnt something hes ever brought to his game either. Yet every year of late, in this comp anyway, he seems to get sinbinned for doing something totally stupid.

Stupid and costly. That hit on Weepu cost his team 12 points while he was off the field, one more point than the Blues final winning margin.

The man looks to me like he doesnt particularly like playing Super Rugby. Two seasons ago he was nothing but disruptive for the Hurricanes, last year (when he eventually turned up) he made zero impact for the Blues, and this year is playing some of his worst ever rugby for the Highlanders.

Maybe its lack of motivation, maybe hes bored, maybe he cant be bothered, maybe hes carrying niggles, maybe he should act like a professional and go to work prepared to perform like everyone else on the planet with a job has to.

Q: What next for NZ Cricket after last weeks Parker Report?

A: A question perhaps best answered by asking another:

Q: Whats more boring here, the ongoing debate or this debate actually still going on?

A: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Q: Will the Breakers successfully complete their three-peat?

A: Yes. Hardly a state secret is it? Coach Lemanis has his troops perfectly primed to play their best bball at the precise moment when needed most.

Quite possibly the most impressive NZ sporting franchise of any code right now, the Breakers deserve every accolade and piece of praise coming their way.

Whether they wrap this series up in Perth this week or again at Vector this weekend, their third championship is as certain a sure-shot as saying the Highlanders wont win this years Super Rugby.

Q: When its your turn to do the oranges for the kids footy, how much is not enough?

A: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GET THIS WRONG! As my youngest said to me on Saturday, make sure weve got more than we need Dad otherwise everyonell think us Devlins are tight.

Honestly the pressure I felt while slicingndicing the half-time snack for Saturdays game was (I imagine) something on a par with what Graham Henry mustve felt during that last five minutes of the 2011 World Cup Final.

Obviously he had the whole country riding on his back I merely had the honour, pride and ongoing reputation of an unforgiving 10 year old. No, I dont for a second think I also deserve a knighthood for my efforts – a simple thank-you wouldve sufficed.

Truth is, sadly, Ive got more chance of getting that gong.

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