I know it sounds strange (and I know that you don't really care) but though I enjoyed reading the revitalised discussion board... it didn't get me the mood.
5 minutes of watching Olympic Super G (that's alpine sking) almost gave me snow fever, but I know that it won't be until my first game at Cone Stadium that I will start feeling super (12 - pun intended).
(Aside to Jules, DH, AT, Wobbly etc: I love you guys, sob, sob... ;)
But that doesn't mean I didn't watch the game!
Having given up my chance to go to see the mighty R&B machine start the season against the Highlanders, I tuned into the delayed coverage on TV 3.
Even the prospect of watching referee Paul Honis didn't inspire me. (He hasn't learnt to shut up yet!-)
But I was warmed by the Crusaders forwards display in the first half, and the 24 points didn't hurt either.
These new camera angles will take a bit of getting used to, as will a completed stand. The castle looks good, giving out 10,000 free swords is a great touch, but some things never change - 20 minutes is up and the scrums are still crap!
I was enjoying it all in a fairly detached way, that usually has more to do with blood/alcohol content, but really I didn't care, they may have well been Romania verses Canada for all the major excitment it caused me.
But it slowly became more fun, with those cute gloves the Highlanders were wearing, the tries that were being scored, the big hits - one sure measure of the worth of a month off ruggers!
There really was some excellent forward play, R&B mostly in the first half and Blue & Gold in the 2nd. Have to mention the fine work done on Ruben Thorne that prevented him scoring a try beneath the black dot - being well stopped and then rolled back short of the try line. Of course it handed Merhts a try, but you can only ask a guy to stop one phase at a time!
No by the end I was starting to warm to this rugby thing, although I will tape in off Sky next time rather than sitting through the ads on TV 3.
And after a good nights sleep, I got up and put on my three-peat T-shirt and Crusaders shorts. I'm going to get into the rugby mood - despite the fashon police!