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Tag - Super Rugby

Israel Dagg “I might be on sleeping pills right now”

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All Blacks and Crusader’s fullback Israel Dagg has conceded this week that it may be impossible to tell whether or not he is still on sleeping pills and alcohol, following his infamous forgotten night with Cory Jane during the 2011 World Cup.

“Given I can’t remember what happened that night, there’s every chance that I might be on sleeping pills right now and not realise it,” the 38 cap All Black said today. “You could try asking me tomorrow, but I might have popped some sleeping pills and had a glass of wine before you get to me, I just don’t know anymore.”

Dagg went on to speculate that, “It’s a bit like being in the Matrix isn’t it. You always wonder if when you wake up from the Matrix whether you’re simply not in another Matrix.”

When asked about his All Black teammate’s admission, Hurricane’s winger Cory Jane was equally as disturbed by the prospect of still being under the influence. “That’s deep man. I’m pretty sure I’m not on sleeping pills anymore, am I?” Jane said. “I mean, I know that Hammer hasn’t picked me for a while despite my being fit, but I can’t remember the last time I played… was I using the pills then?”

When SportBox.co.nz approached other Super Rugby franchises for comment, only the Auckland Blues replied, with coach Sir John Kirwan admitting that “The Blues may as well be on pills given the crap they’ve produced on the field and my being asleep at the wheel this season.”

Hammett admits “I have no idea what I’m doing”

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Under fire Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett today conceded that he has “no idea what I’m doing” and that he instead relied on senior players such as Conrad Smith and Cory Jane to run the team while he and Alama Ieremia drew “dirty pictures on the team whiteboard.”

The shock revelation comes on the back of the Hurricanes failing to win their first three games this season, taking their total losing streak since 2013 to eight matches. While some rugby journalists, such as Fairfax’s Toby Robson, have tried to stifle criticism of Hammett’s performance by labeling it as “hysteria”, the former-Cantabrian said that the criticism was probably justified.

“Look, when I got this job I basically just told the Hurricanes Board that the Crusaders had done well w

While I was their assistant coach, so that meant that I was clearly their secret weapon, because we all know how bad Robbie Deans was with the All Blacks and then with the Wallabies,” Hammett said in his exclusive interview with SportBox.co.nz. “What I neglected to mention to my new managers is that I actually just minded everyone’s kids in the club rooms during team practice. The Crusaders didn’t have budget for a full time nanny, so Robbie signed me on under the guise of an assistant coach so that we didn’t have to worry about babysitters anymore.

“Of course, given the way the Hurricanes were back when I took charge in 2011, they were pretty much a pack of babies anyway. Especially Piri, Ma’a and Andrew. As soon as I took their McDonald’s and beer away they threw little temper tantrums and left.”

Hammett went on to admit that, “Even though I have no idea what I’m doing, I thought if I managed to bumble my way through a couple of seasons things would sort themselves out, especially when Alama Ieremia signed up as my assistant, however he’s just as bad as I am. So we both agreed we’d let the senior players run the side while we drew  penises and other dirty pictures on the team whiteboard for the lads to laugh at when they got back in the sheds.

“That was a perfect plan when we actually had some senior players,” Hammett went on to say, “except as they all realised how bad things had got we were left with only Cory and Conrad, so as well as holding up the team’s on-field performance they’re also trying to coach and manage the squad too. They’re doing a fucking amazing job all things considered.”

Despite his boss’s admissions, Hurricane’s assistant coach Alama Ieremia this morning was trying to play down the notion that he and Hammett weren’t equipped to coach at this level.

“Nah mate, the game plan was fine. We all know kicking the ball away at every opportunity is the best way to win games. Who needs to actually hold the rugby ball to score points anyway? Besides, if our players didn’t lack basic skills and drop the ball all the time we could kick it away even more,” Ieremia said.

When asked whether he felt ensuring his players actually practiced basic handling skills was part of the coaching role, especially the assistant coach, Ieremia responded by telling us to “fuck off” and hung up the phone.

Former Hurricanes and Wellington hero Tana Umaga, who has been widely touted as a possible successor to Mark Hammett has played down speculation that he’s interested in the role saying, “I’d prefer to see a much wider public outcry from Hurricanes’ fans against Mark Hammett than a handful of blogs and Twitter comments before I step in and save the day.”

Russia seizes Waikato to bolster Sevens team for Rio

Russian Soldiers

Waikato residents have woken this morning to discover Russian armoured personnel carriers and camouflaged soldiers patrolling the streets of their towns and cities. In a highly clinical operation, Russian forces conducted landings and paradrops throughout the region overnight in order to seize control of the region’s rugby riches and harness them to improve their chances to win gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Hello Zealand,” Russian President Vladimir Putin broadcast to the Waikato at 7am this morning, “Welcome to Russia. We have expressed great gratitude that you volunteer to join the glorious Russian Federation so we can win gold Sevens Rugby together at Rio Olympics.”

While most New Zealanders elsewhere in the country were at first skeptical that anywhere called Waikato actually existed, after having it pointed out to them as “that place you use the State Highway 1 Bypass to try and avoid” and “it’s where the milk comes from”, they now acknowledge that Russia’s seizure of the Waikato might be of some cause for concern when it comes to the nation’s rugby fortunes.

“Aw, it’s a bit stink eh? said Taupo resident Ben Saunders on the edge of the Russian occupied zone. “That whole Chiefs rugby team were doing alright weren’t they? Won a few games, smelled a lot like someone had been using too much Rexona, but yeah, stink one. Don’t know what we’ll do without them.”

The New Zealand Rugby Union and Government were seen entering into crisis talks shortly after news of the occupation emerged. However Prime Minister John Key was quick to dismiss rumours of a Gordon Tietjens for Waikato swap, “Look, I think the majority of Kiwis wouldn’t support that course of action. Clearly, Titch is something of a national treasure and Aucklanders aren’t necessarily that bothered with having a buffer zone filled with angry Russians to separate them from the rest of the country.”

“And let’s be honest, the feeling is probably mutual,” Mr Key added.

While it’s not yet clear if the Russians will release any specialist 15-a-side rugby players from the Waikato, All Black’s coach Steve Hansen seemed optimistic regardless.

“Most of those Chiefs players are replacable,” Hansen said. “The only one I’d really want to be released by the Russians is Aaron Cruden and that’s only because nobody is sure where Stephen Donald has gotten to.”

Benji Marshall to hide at fullback

Benji Marshall

Auckland Blues coach Sir John Kirwan today confirmed that Rugby League convert Benji Marshall would feature at fullback in next year’s Super Rugby competition as a way of hiding his defensive frailties from opposition teams.

At the launch of the Blues’ 2014 squad, Kirwan said that it was obvious “even to a blind man” that Marshall lacked any defensive ability and that the Blues had signed the League star purely as an attempt to encourage Auckland Warriors fans to switch codes too.

“We’ve all seen the magic that Benji can create on attack,” Kirwan wrote into a large sandpit with a stick, “but we also know that defensively he couldn’t tackle a paraplegic in a wheelchair. Obviously we can’t afford to have that type of defensive weakness at halfback or first five, so we figured sticking Benji at fullback would minimise the chances that he’d embarrass himself by trying to tackle anyone.”

Kirwan went on to also write that “The All Blacks and Crusaders already hide Israel Dagg’s lack of tackling ability in the same way, so we figured it must be a pretty successful measure,” before he ran out of room in the sandpit.

For his part, Benji Marshall is said to be excited about his positional switch, “Absolutely am I excited,” Marshall said while Kirwan continued to stare blankly into the middle distance. “Being at fullback means I get to do all the flashy stuff like catching balls, passing balls and kicking balls without having to worry about big guys trying to run at me. If someone does run at me, I’ll just blame the guys up front for not making their first up tackles. So it’s pretty much a win win for everyone.”

Hurricanes relieved not to have any Super Rugby fixtures

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Hurricanes fans were today sparred the ignominy of another disappointing Super Rugby season as SANZAR released the 2014 Super Rugby fixtures calender which contained no scheduled matches at all for the Wellington based franchise.

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said that the decision to remove the Hurricanes from the season calender, while still pretending they were in the competition, was done out of compassion for long suffering Hurricane’s fans who each year find they are over-promised on the side’s potential, before seeing those hopes ruthlessly crushed. “We spent quite some time with the management of the Hurricanes trying to decide what was the best course of action for them,” said Peters, “Ultimately, rather than toy with the hopes and emotions of their loyal fans for yet another year, we all agreed that it’d be better for everyone if they simply didn’t play any Super Rugby fixtures to save everyone from getting embarrassed.”

Hurricane’s coach Mark Hammett welcomed the announcement, saying that he was looking forward to being employed for at least one more year. “I think it’s a really mature decision by SANZAR,” said Hammett, “After all, it should be pretty clear by now that I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing as coach, so at least I can go off and get someone to read to me from some books about the topic.”

Hammett added that he was “fairly certain” that omitting the Hurricanes from all Super Rugby matches in 2014 meant that “we can claim we went unbeaten next year,” but that he would “need to check with Snakey [Conrad Smith] who’ll explain to me how all this stuff actually works.”

Hurricanes to sign Savea if they win Lotto

Julian Savea

In an move to end speculation about Julian Savea’s future, the Hurricanes have announced that they’re confident they’ll be able to the sign star All Black’s winger if they win First Division and Powerball in this Saturday’s $27m Lotto jackpot draw.

Speaking on the franchise’s weekly conference call, CEO James Te Puni let journalists know that he’d been out buying Lotto triple dip tickets all of Sunday in an attempt to give the franchise the best possible chance of collecting the multi-million dollar prize. “As soon as I heard that the First Division prize wasn’t won on Saturday night, I went straight down to my local Lotto shop and used all the office’s petty cash to buy Triple Dips,” Te Puni proudly advised callers. “Then I made Brenda transfer all our cash into my EFTPOS account so I could buy some more, I really want us to win that prize so we can buy all the All Blacks we need.”

When asked by journalists why the Hurricanes were in such dire need of winnings from Lotto, Te Puni confessed that it was a mix of poor on-field performance deterring sponsorship dollars and “having blown all our spare cash on the hair products required to entice Beauden Barrett to stay in Wellington.”

Te Puni was evasive on what the franchise would do if they didn’t win Lotto at the weekend, suggesting that “If we do lose Savea, I hear nobody else wants Ma’a Nonu, so I figure he’ll be pretty cheap to sign instead.

Nonu: Fuck off, I’m Ma’a Nonu

Maa Nonu

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.

Game of Thrones to screen at Super Rugby matches

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In order to boost flagging attendance numbers, SANZAR CEO Greg Peters today announced that from 2014 all Super Rugby venues would show re-runs of Game of Thrones on their big screens. The move comes on the back of years of declining match day crowds and failure by local teams to successful boost those numbers on their own.

“We know that Super Rugby just isn’t the bums-on-seats generator that it once was,” Greg Peters said during the announcement, “and that we need to both adapt the entertainment package offered by Super Rugby as well as increase our appeal to a broader audience. Showing re-runs of Game of Thrones ticks both those boxes.”

The Game of Thrones episodes would be shown from start to finish, occasionally being punctuated by score updates and TMO decisions so that fans could pretend they were still paying attention to the rugby.

“When you think about the idea, it’s really a match made in heaven. People like to pretend they support their local rugby team while actually staying at home and watching American produced TV. At least this way they can do both of those things and continue to fill our coffers,” Greg Peters said.

When asked whether he had any concerns about the violent and sexually explicit content in the award-winning HBO series, Greg Peters replied, “Not at all. Unlike Ma’a Nonu’s shoulder charges, the acts of violence in Game of Thrones actually have a point to them and involved some amount of thinking by the characters involved.”

The SANZAR CEO conceded though that showing Game of Thrones could distract the players too, but pointed out, “For teams like the Hurricanes, being distracted by Game of Thrones doesn’t really matter as it’s not like they were playing rugby worth watching to begin with.”