Hertford Highlander

They don’t smile that much in Christchurch anymore

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 20 Jun 2011 at 09:22
Tagged with : , ,

While five Super franchises raised a glass and celebrated a job well done after Round 18 brought the curtain down on the regular Super season, the same can’t be said in Christchurch.

Next week’s opposing sides the Crusaders and the Sharks victories were met in quite different fashions.

All six finalist’s thoroughly deserve their final log positions with the Bulls and the Highlanders just not good enough for long enough.

However the nature in which the various teams met the final shrill of the whistle were all quite different. The most exuberant were the Sharks after a momentous effort with the heavy weight Bulls at fortress Loftus and probably the most sedate were the New Zealand Conference winners the Crusaders. Only really Andy Ellis seemed excited after he handed out a master class in front of the All Black selectors and his opposite number Piri Weepu. Otherwise it was marked by a succinct lack of fanfare as the Crusaders won yet another game on the road even though it actually was a home game played at its opponent’s home ground.

Rugby to many in Christchurch has taken a back seat as Christchurch again last week was hit by some massive aftershock that has again sent the residents of Christchurch in to survival mode. Liquefaction has again covered vast areas of the city and more buildings, jobs and homes have been lost. Leaving many Cantabrians wondering – ‘when will it all end’.

Saturday’s win against the Hurricanes may have also be met by the Crusaders with a muted response in respect to four prominent Hurricanes that all were playing their last games for the franchise but were to have no fairy tale send off. Nem Tialata, Andrew Hore, Ma’a Nonu and Rodney So’oialo all bid farewell to a side they have loyally served for the best part of a decade.

This week’s clash with the visiting Sharks will be played four hours up the road from Christchurch in Nelson, to what is projected to be a sell-out crowd probably in the vicinity of eighteen thousand. It is hardly Loftus or Kings Park but it will provide the back drop for the knock out clash of two very fine teams, teams that have had their fair share of challenges to deal with during the course of the season. Like the Bulls last week the Sharks may find that the Crusaders are slowly running out of ‘get out of jail free cards’ and potentially it may be one hurdle to many for the seven time champions.

One thing is for sure that when the Crusaders win, lose or draw on the weekend there won’t be too many smiles back in Christchurch.


  • Yes I feel for the Christchurch folk. It would be nice for them to get at least a little good news. But as it is the Sharks I will hope it doesn’t happen. A little selfish, yes, but I am only human.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.06.11 09:30:56 by waje Reply
  • Yip, there are no words to describe the way the Christchurch people must be feeling. 🙁

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.06.11 09:46:29 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • It’s awful what’s happened to Christchurch. I hope it all settles down and they can start to rebuild.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.06.11 10:53:10 by lostfish Reply
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  • 🙁

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.06.11 11:01:02 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : what can you say about Kaplan’s last call – was it really crossing in your opinion? I didn’t pick it up .

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.06.11 11:02:24 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 5) : I was talking to Kette and just heard the whistle. I didn’t even think to go back and check it. I have the game on PVR. Will check it again and let you know.

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.06.11 11:34:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • The people from Christchurch have endured a lot and one can only pray that they can rebuild their city and they return to their former glory both on and of the field.

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.06.11 11:41:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : dankie 😛

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.06.11 11:43:40 by rekinek Reply
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  • This happening’s are awful, and every time you read about it or see it on tv, we feel the pain of these people. We will keep praying that they will endure the pain and rise strong at the end of it.
    … And may there team take pride of coming 2nd in saturdays clash against the sharks…

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.06.11 12:11:24 by franshark Reply

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