I grew up in Hamilton. Lots of Saturday afternoons at Rugby Park eating half-frozen pies.
I’ve lived in Wellington for more than twenty years. I’m so old that I was an original member of Oliver’s Army at Athletic Park, bribing the very little LittleDavys with fizz and chips so that I could watch the Paekakariki Express do his magic. And I play for the world-famous in Poneke Pies. (If by ‘play’ you mean standing at halfway watching other fellas run around.)
So it makes tonight’s contest between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes a tricky affair for shouting. It’s a must-win match for both teams if they’re to have any chance of progressing into the SuperXV post-season.
The Canes have had their normal season: lots of promise and glimpses of genius, loads of errors at the worst moments. But there’s enough grit and determination in the second-half of their season to think they could do some damage in the knockout stages. And even if they win tonight, they’re no guarantee of making the playoffs.
The Chiefs’ have had a horror run of injuries, but you still feel like they’ve underperformed after two championship runs. Coulda shoulda done better with the best coaches in the country. There’s plenty of intent, but they’re not in the flow. And even if they win tonight, they’re no guarantee of making the playoffs.
So a fine derby in prospect, with plenty of desperation on both sides, which should make for a cracker final quarter.
Go the Hurrichiefs!