Chris Rattue 's Opinion

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Taylor must get onto the first plane out

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Ross Taylor. Photo / AP
Ross Taylor. Photo / AP

Ross Taylor's struggle with the great tragedy that has befallen his terrible life is becoming one of the turgid bores in the history of New Zealand sport.

Anyone would think the guy has only seconds to live the way his supporters go on about the dreadful event that ruined his existence on planet earth.

For some unknown reason, John Buchanan - one of the geniuses in charge of the New Zealand side - decided to, drum roll, break his silence in the middle of the test series between New Zealand and South Africa to tell us four-fifths of stuff all.

The gap between the first and second test may be distressingly larger than intended, but that's no reason to fill the silence with more corporate-style twaddle from one of the backroom staff.

Taylor, for those who may not know, is on strike. Having been dumped as the New Zealand captain in an appalling manner, Taylor did the same to us and bypassed the most important test series for yonks, turning the battle with the world's best into an embarrassing joke.

Thanks, Ross.

Buchanan doesn't see it that way. The Aussie whined on that poor old Taylor needed to find the "fire inside" before he could return to the ranks. If people such as Buchanan keep suggesting to Taylor that he's had the equivalent of three vital organs ripped out by coach Mike Hesson and the dastardly crew who bladed him, then he's going to find it harder and harder to discover that fire within.

Taylor and the New Zealand fans were hard done by but he wasn't exactly a captaincy genius, and he didn't have a right to the job. Until now we'd been given to understand that sports leadership involved making personal sacrifices for the team good, but Buchanan and Taylor must have ditched the concept. Fire within ... give us strength.

So, international sport is another place for the brattish throwing of toys out of cots. Lucky old us.

Maybe Taylor could ruminate on how tough life is for most people on this planet including the slum dwellers in South Africa, check his bank balance, check his daily dinners even, think on the amazing career he has had and then rip down to the nearest travel agent.

There was only one worthwhile silence breaker - the one in which Taylor says he is ready and available to fly over to South Africa for the second test while everyone else involved says they can't wait to have him back. Otherwise, troops, shove a cork in it while we try to find the fire within to stay interested in this nonsense.

•But wait, there's more. Buchanan and New Zealand Cricket's charisma-free chief executive David White have a "frosty" relationship at times. Oh no, our New Year's optimism is in tatters. We can't take much more of this.

•Anyone who describes soccer midget Marco Rojas as the "Kiwi Messi" needs their head read, as did those who reckoned Danny Lee was the next Tiger Woods. Rojas really is terrific, as we saw again when the Melbourne Victory beat the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night. But being short and tricky shouldn't attract the burden of being linked in any way, shape or form to one of the three greatest players of all time. Calling Rojas the Kiwi Messi is akin to describing Paul Ifill as the Phoenix Pele. Beyond that, Rojas is fabulous to watch and it would be wonderful if he could make the grade with a good European club. But there is a lot of time and space on the field in the A-League compared with the top echelons of world soccer.

•On the subject of Melbourne and the A-League, what incredible sights and sounds emerge from Australia's sporting capital for the club soccer action. The atmosphere is amazing.

- NZ Herald

Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Read more by Chris Rattue

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