The Hurricanes have been forced to purchase additional bandwagons to accommodate the anticipated influx of people who have suddenly discovered they are Hurricanes fans following the teams defeat of the Chiefs in the weekend’s semi-final in Wellington.
Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee said that while the franchise had easily accommodated the Blue’s handful of fans who were early season arrivals on existing bandwagon space, the recent surge in numbers first from former Crusaders, then Chiefs and Highlanders supporters has meant the Hurricanes have had to find additional space.
“Obviously at the start of the season we had excess bandwagon space due to the exodus of fans following last year’s choke and the departure of players who were clearly past their best but fan favourites,” said Mr Lee. “But as the season’s progressed and the team has looked more and more like actually achieving something, we’ve had steady demand for bandwagon places.
“And now that all the other sides have fallen short, the demand from jumpers has been unprecedented. Last year we had a small surge of bandwagon demand, but with the Highlanders in the final everyone assumed we’d fall short so it was manageable. Now that we’re up against the Lions, everyone’s forgotten how good they’ve been all season and for some reason they think the Hurricanes have a chance,” continued Mr Lee.
Bandwagon jumpers are easily identified via their multiple and vocal proclamations that they’ll be going to the final combined with obviously false attempts to play down their excitement by feigning that they don’t really understand sports.
Auckland Blues’ coach Tana Umaga has welcomed the announcement that hype-machine Sonny Bill Williams will be playing for his team in next year’s Super Rugby competition, highlighting the fact that Williams was a “perfect match for the Blues over-rated, under-achieving culture.”
“When you look at all the potential and hype surrounding the Blues each year, and compare that with Sonny Bill Williams, you’ll find the two are very similar,” said Umaga at today’s press conference in Auckland. “So it was only natural that Sonny Bill would want to align himself with the Blues so that we can let down the country and Auckland together.”
For his part, Williams said that he was excited by the opportunity to be part of a side that fails to live up to the immense talent at its disposal, “I really feel like I’ll be right at home here,” Williams said. “Ultimately, the Blues are a great parallel for how my rugby career has failed to ignite despite my massive athletic ability and natural ball skills.”
Williams also added that he finds it “comforting that the Blues switch coaches nearly as often as I switch codes.”
The following may be an opinion piece from All Black Ma’a Nonu.
You won’t be surprised to learn that I’m disappointed none of the Super Rugby franchises want to sign me for 2014. Well, that’s not entirely true. The Highlanders want to sign me, but Jamie Joseph makes me do things like actually having to turn up for training to make the team and to not wear mascara on match day, so I won’t be going back to that frigid hell-hole. Fuck him, I’m Ma’a Nonu and I’m the best thing that’s happened to Dunedin.
A lot has been made of my being a disruptive player for coaches to have in their team. I don’t think that’s a fair call to make. I just want them to piss off and leave me alone to do my thing. For example, Mark Hammett once tried to tell me to pass the ball so I told him to “Sod off, I’m Ma’a Nonu, I break tackles.” Nothing disruptive in that aside from disrupting the opposition’s defensive line.
Pat Lam wasn’t a great fan of me either, though I don’t know why. He barely saw me at all while I was at the Blues, I spent most of my time at the bars in Ponsonby or being sent off on the rugby field. You can’t really be disruptive while you’re sitting in the sin bin riding that exercise bike, can you? In fact, the way I kept collecting yellow cards meant that other players couldn’t get them. The referee only has a limited supply of those cards, doesn’t he?
Besides, I’m pretty sure Steve Hansen loves me. It’s not like there’s no one else capable of playing in the inside centre jersey as well as me, is there? I’m pretty sure this Francis Saili guy trying to take my jersey on Saturday night is only a temporary thing. If it’s not, I’ll tell Shags to stuff off and leave me alone too. I’m Ma’a Nonu, that’s my jersey.
Whatever happens next year, I won’t cry about it because I don’t want my makeup to run. If worse comes to worst, I’ll go play in the NRL, because they don’t use their arms in tackles either.
On the back of the All Black’s 47 – 29 demolition of the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday evening, coach Steve Hansen has announced a sweeping new selection policy designed to further cement the All Blacks dominance on world rugby. Starting from the end of year tour, only players with the surname of Smith will be picked for the honour of wearing the black jersey.
“It’s quite simple really,” Hansen said in explaining the changes, “Over the past 12 months our most consistent players have been Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Conrad Smith. If it was just two Smiths I’d call it a coincidence, but three clearly means there’s a scientific trend going on here.”
It’s hard to find fault with Hansen’s logic. Ben Smith picked up a hat-trick of tries in a faultless display on the wing while Conrad Smith added a try of his own to go with his usual clinical defence. While live-wire halfback Aaron Smith didn’t collect any points himself, his ability to point at the bottom of the ruck and trick the referee into awarding non-existent penalties was crucial throughout the night.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement has gone down well in rugby circles with rugby journalist Mark Reason calling it a “stroke of genius. The Welsh have been doing this for years, picking as many players called Jones as they can, so it’s apparent that Smith is the name that works and carries a certain mana for the All Blacks.”
Hansen’s decision gives hope to players such as David Smith, dubbed by the NZ Herald’s Chris Rattue in 2006 as rugby’s “next big thing” who, after unsatisfying stints at the Hurricanes, Blues and Western Force, decided it was all too hard and left from France. David is reported to have already booked tickets back to New Zealand saying, “I’m so grateful to have been given this second chance, I never could be bothered working on my defensive and aerial weaknesses like Julian Savea has, so it’s great to see him tossed aside like this.”
When asked if the policy of picking players named Smith could also be applied to the coaching staff and see the return of former All Blacks and current Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith, Steve Hansen appeared not to reply, instead preferring to scratch his nose with his middle finger.