Nick
Place at the Crikey sports desk:

“If you’re a male and
you’re about to play a Test match and you’re seconds away from kick-off and you
get the urge to go to the toilet, what do you do? Do you rush off and let the
game start with 14 men, or do you try to be as discreet as you can be and hope
that cameramen use common sense and don’t go showing it to everyone on the
screen?”

Umm, is this a trick
question? Steve Hansen, the All Blacks assistant coach who asked the apparently
rhetorical poser, is clearly either insane or has somehow made it through his
entire career without having ever dealt with anybody from the media.

Because yes, dear Crikey readers, you know
what happened. The p-sser in question is Jerry Collins, the New Zealand forward
and Wellington flanker who is now destined to be remembered not as a player
good enough to captain the All Blacks (v Argentina, last month) but because –
shock, horror – his on-pitch wee was caught by pretty much every camera
covering the game and it turns out – more shock, horror – that the cameraman
and director didn’t have a lot of “common sense”, to quote Hansen.

And to complete Hansen’s disgust at the
lack of media discretion, we found out about the whole thing via The Times website … as in The London Times.
That’s right: the British quality broadsheet press probably wouldn’t have even
bothered to report on the game except for the “watered pitch” angle, even going
so far as to list other great loo-stops in sporting history (Paula Radcliffe,
last year’s London marathon, cyclists in the saddle, even our own Dean Jones!).

There have certainly been instances of AFL players quietly
relieving themselves to the side of a quarter-time huddle, occasionally caught
on camera, so maybe it shouldn’t shock us to discover that burly New Zealanders
also need to spend pennies.

The biggest question we have out of the
weekend’s incident in Christchurch is this: why the hell didn’t Collins go
BEFORE he ran onto the field where 33,000 people were watching?

By the way, New Zealand beat Australia,
32-12. And Collins almost certainly didn’t wash his hands.

Peter Fray

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