28 May

What A Jack The Ripper!
by Paul Waite
28 May 2006

Talk about foggy old Jack The Ripper weather in 1888 London Town – Christchurch did a bloody good impression of it for the Super 14 Final this last Saturday!

It seemed like a keenly contested game between some number, probably 15, blokes on each side – I couldn’t tell exactly how many. And naturally the Crusaders won, as they usually do, bringing that legendary class and clinical execution to the fore and using the conditions that bit better than the Hurricanes.

There isn’t much to be said about the game itself, which passed like an indistinct ghost across my television screen. I briefly considered listening to the radio before smacking myself on the forehead as I realised the commentators would be either at the ground (totally useless), or watching the same TV pictures I was (slightly better but still useless).

You know that old saw we have in rugby – “adapt to the conditions”? Well the teams made a good fist of it (allegedly), but that’s more than can be said of the television professionals.

I have a question for the Sky crew of the day, in particular the Director in the control room.

First, picture the scene. The Director is sitting there watching a bank of screens, one per cameraman. He chooses which one of these to cut to the live feed at any particular time, the idea being to pick the best, in his view.

But to my consternation, we constantly got views of white swirling fog, as viewed from the ‘normal’ high-up camera surveying the pitch. Then, when the ball went out or something, the Director would replay us some clear action recorded by cameras on the touchline or at the ends of the pitch.

Here’s an idea: why the fuck didn’t we have the clear pictures shown live? A melee of arms and legs contesting the ball visibly is a shitload better than staring at something that looks like a swirly white abstract artwork.

Oh well never mind, it isn’t like we get fog like that coinciding with an important game very often.

So the Crusaders notch up their, what is it now.. 200th Super Trophy, or 100th..? ..whatever, it’s a lot we know that for sure. I don’t know why they don’t just craft the trophy in Red and Black, and weld it to a plinth in Cathedral Square – that would save all that presentation bollocks at the end. Oh, did anyone see the presentation? – I’d sloped off _way_ before that. I suppose it was a case of a bunch of disembodied suits speaking at the fog in the hope that some of the crowd had stayed behind was it?

Congratulations to the Crusaders, still the heart of rugby in New Zealand!

Paul Waite

Paul Waite

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