I realised that despite my high expectations last season, that expecting/wishing had no impact on the teams’ performance at all.
On the strength of last year, if I wasn't prepared to be more "realistic" I was only going to be disappointed if I asked too much of the Crusaders. Last year was a wake-up call for most New Zealand rugby fans, and certainly gave the "player burnout" issue a good airing.
So this year I thought that the "best thing" was to concentrate my mental energy on the boys reaching the top 4. Yes... any thought of actually winning the comp, should be put off until we were assured of being in the semi-finals, at least!
If I made the most of the competition as it was played, then I could enjoy that, and stop worrying about how things were going.
Of course we now know that the Crusaders choose a slightly different game plan for the year, namely: "Lets win every game in the regular season, and then worry about the finals"
I am NOT worthy... *sob sob*
OK its alright now, I found my Auckland Blues handkerchief (S12 jersey) and I'm really much better now.
I think that it is fair to say: GO YOU BLOODY BEAUTIES - !!GO THE CRUSADERS!!
Winning 7 in a row, and handling the bye with some aplomb. It doesn't get much better!
I know that some of you will note a certain lack of bonus points. Yes well... I am a fan of taking the 4 first - anything else is (as the say) a bonus!
Some others of you may still be thinking about the Crusaders depth. Yes... your point is? You only have to look at the Hurricanes to know that just having a great starting team isn't enough.
OK there is some other strange mental thing going on with the 'Canes as well, but you have to face it: 1) injuries happen, 2) often it is better to leave a hole than to fill it with a weak player.
One of the somethings that Canterbury has done well is player development. It's truly astounding (disturbing for non-Cantabrians) to have around 18 former All Blacks to choose from, without counting the Coaching / management staff.
But the "un-sung" something behind this is that the guys who "shouldn’t” be on the bench, are still on our bench! They didn't race (or drift) off to another union to get more game time!
There is something special about this team that you don't need an eye-patch to appreciate.
Here endeth the sermon.