OPINION: Hurricanes could once again be the Love Rollercoaster
James Mortimer 28 Jan 2014 Getty Images
The Red Hot Chili Peppers 'covered' the song in 1996, and it is a melody that associates well with Hurricanes supporters.
Supporting a side that has often looked the goods to blast their way to an Investec Super Rugby title is a proverbial rollercoaster, and international rugby purists could suggest that the Wellington based franchise are, in a sense, the French of the provincial rugby world.
On their day...
Indeed, fans of band The Ohio Players could even suggest that the infamous scream in the middle of the track could very well sum up the feelings of those who believe the Canes are close, many of their faithful have screeched in frustration with the side so often, so close to achieving the ultimate goal.
Remember the heady days where Christian Cullen carved up fields, Jonah Lomu created tram tracks and Tana Umaga jerked and weaved himself around with enough electricity to generate the most basic of chants - that call of 'Hurr-i-canes' with the distinctive thud of individuals banging on their chairs.
One match, they would tear apart the most illustrious, the highest class of opponent.
The next, passes would go to ground, absurd mistakes would be made, but even through this uncomfortable malaise the side still had that glorious ability to strike at will.
However as life often proves, we cannot always have the will.
This year, despite the glorious glow that seems to be settling in Hamilton - a shine that comes from that heavy Super Rugby trophy - the lurking menace of the Blues, the class of the Crusaders or the heart of the Highlanders could burn through.
But one cannot help but get excited by the Hurricanes in 2014.
Here comes the Rollercoaster again.
This writer, proudly born in Lower Hutt, has been holding onto the rails since 1996, and years before that periously holding onto the rails of the Millard Stand as the Lions and Hurricanes used the wind while the supporters swayed above.
Conrad Smith, likely done with his travels around the world and extended visits to the water tower in Hawera, his birth place, will lead the team fresh.
He isn't the only one, with Cory Jane entering this season fit after that nasty leg injury last year, and a man who re-wrote the handbook for All Blacks wings will be eager to test his wares against what is, as usual, a stacked queue of bluechip New Zealand based speed merchants.
Even the promise of the halves, with Beauden Barrett shaking up what used to be an impossible task in the musing of Dan Carter's replacement, and TJ Perenara beginning to rattle the halfback's cage - cannot distract from the pack.
Ben Franks, Dane Coles, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Jeremy Thrush, Victor Vito and Ardie Savea (the latter in an apprentice capacity) are the Hurricanes forwards that have all experienced the All Blacks environment.
Platforms have at times been as issue, even if backline firepower has not, but this campaign looks a bit different.
And even if we have been here before, would we deny ourselves a ride on the Rollercoaster?
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