Slade Finds His Range

Slade Finds His Range

Barely two weeks after a sudden weakness of the groin decided to Get Carter, it seems the Jockey’s region is becoming a curse of the All Blacks as a near identical injury has left Slade, well, slayed.

And all I can say is ‘Good’. I hope young Colin makes a swift and full recovery, but it will be a dark day if he ever pulls the black jersey on again.

Although before anyone mistakes me for one of the herd of Slade detractors that have sprung up since Colin took over from the unfortunate St. Daniel, let me make it clear I think he is a damn fine rugby player. It takes a special nuggety breed to come back from two broken jaws in the space of a year and force your way into international reckoning. Sure there may have been the odd hiccup that the ever mischievous fourth estate has been keen to blow out of all proportion, but generally when it comes to matters of the oval ball, the boy has done good.

Where he has proved to be a spectacular let down is in that most important aspect of All Black sporting theatre – the Haka.

Like it or otherwise, the Haka is part of world sporting folklore; the ultimate symbolic challenge designed to thrill fans and raise the pulses and fears of any men fortunate enough to face it down. The sight of Piri Weepu lining up his troops and hurling them full-bloodedly into Ka Mate or Kapa o Pango is enough to bring a tingle to the spine of any man. Unless that man happens to look over Piri’s shoulder and catches a glimpse of our Colin.

The All New Range Rover Colin

Whether it is officially admitted or not, the Haka is a form of brute intimidation and Slade, for all his rugby talents, seems to permanently have the very unfrightening look of a rabbit trying to choose between headlights and a night in with Glenn Close.

That’s not to say I subscribe to the “White Men Can’t Haka” theory. Current squad members make the performance their own through sheer emotional input (Richie McCaw), the ability to temporarily depart into a Twilight Zone-esque realm of insanity (Ali Williams) or just simply being as scary as it’s possible to be without actually becoming Chuck Norris (Brad Thorn).

But Colin Slade performing the Haka is as wrong as Colin Meads wearing a Wallabies shirt; there are just some things should just not be allowed to come together.

Like Victoria Beckham and Range Rover for example.

From the outset I’ve been pretty impressed with the Evoque, Rangie’s new baby. Its aggressive styling captures the essence of the brand whilst the economical engine range and comparatively affordable pricing opens up a whole new target market. And by all accounts the sure-footed off-road performance on which the marque has built its reputation is still there in spades should you choose the four-wheel-drive model – although quite how many will be tackling anything more arduous than the kerbs outside Remuera schools is yet to be seen.

By producing a car that is backed up by fantastic styling, competent off-road performance and a brand with more heritage than the British Royal Family, Range Rover looked like pulling off one of the great automotive coups of all time: making a small four wheel drive that is genuinely attractive to men.

Yet, like South Africa in the quarter finals, they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of a seemingly undeniable victory by getting David Beckham’s missus to design the interior. And no man is his right mind is going to buy a new car which all his mates will simply take the piss out of him for because he likes his seats trimmed by Posh Spice.

Knowing that your interior has been inspired by a girl band member is almost as bad as knowing your country is attempting to terrify an opponent into submission with a pair of thin, pasty legs. The execution may be brilliant, but on an important level it is so very, very wrong.

Still, get well soon Colin.

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