Hurricanes blow off fans

It's easy to bag the Hurricanes. But it gives no satisfaction to vent about their continued inadequacies, about how they can't win games, about how they haven't got enough application, grit, determination or team work. And their supporters have regularly despaired over their making silly mistakes, taking the wrong options, playing as individuals, lack of ability to recover the ball from kickoffs, weakness under the high ball, and generally being outsmarted by teams that they ought to be able to put away. None of it is new.

Watching the dream back line of Cullen, Loma and Umaga regularly fluff their lines was a form, of vicious therapy for fans back in the day. It's not any better now, seven years on. So bagging the Hurricanes is not new and it doesn't do any good to anyone.

The players have changed over the years, even if the coach hasn't changed very often. But it was no better under Jamie Joseph than it is under Colin cooper, which makes me think that the criticism that he has stayed too long really isn't getting to the core of the problem. Maybe he has been in charge for one or two seasons too long, but the poor behaviors were there before, they are there now and there's no indication that they will be different when Hammett takes over.

Saturday's game against the Sharks illustrates well the problems. The Sharks are an ordinary team with their own issues and demons, but the Canes' let them build a lead. In the second half with fresh players on, the Hurricanes cut the lead and then squared the match at 26 all.

Two minutes on the clock, and the sharks kick off and the ball goes deep into the canes' 22. Do we kick for touch and try and hang on for the draw? No, we try to run the ball out of the 22, can't quite manage it, and get pinged in midfield close to the halfway and in centerfield.

We know Ruan Pienaar  can kick goals - he'd already kicked six  in the match so far - so we are left relying on him to miss to avoid defeat. He didn't. Canes lose 29-26. One bonus point instead of two for a draw. Seriously dumb play. Being doing it for ten years now.

 Who wants to turn out to see good players playing not just badly, but stupidly?. We can all handle defeat, even narrow losses in crucial games if we believe that the team did their utmost on the day.

These guys don't and that's the sadness of it. Because that burns off even the most ardent and loyal and long suffering fans over time. That's why the crowds have got smaller every game this season. With just three wins from seven games and the prospect of a good thrashing by the Crusaders on Good Friday, their season is already crocked, so who will follow them now?