Enough apologies Camp Crusaders, you broke the trophy and that's a shame. And it will be repaired and put back on display in its rightful place. But in the meantime can all this hand-wringing and brow-furrowing and ashen-faced press conference stuff please stop forthwith. Because it's both embarrassing and unconvincing.
From the moment the news broke that Tu Kotahi Aotearoa had been damaged there's been a butt-covering exercise more akin to Immigration NZ trying to justify it's failure in tracing our Covid cases. First it "was an accident" that "incurred some minor damage". Then the photos appeared with the mere missing and obvious chips and scrapes all over the base. So the next PR release admitted that "it was dropped by one the players".
That excuse cut no mustard with the daughter of master carver Bill Doyle who slammed the players and their obvious disrespect of the artefact on social media.
Her piece immediately prompted another flummoxed Crusaders media release with CEO Colin Mansbridge fronting the viperous press and even agreeing, ridiculous that it was, that this incident has now "damaged the Crusaders brand". Oh puh-leeze. Stop this rubbish right now and apply just a squidgeon of perspective.
Yes it's unfortunate it broke but as half the country goes back into enforced lockdown do we not have other things to worry about, things that are just a little more important? As precious as it is, it's a sporting trophy.
That a whole lot of yahoo rugby players were tussling over while celebrating and the same thing happened that did with the then SR cup back in the early 2000s.
Remember the parade where the Crusaders carried that trophy through Christchurch minus one arm? No none of this justifies the damage done but equally true that the damage done doesn't justify all of this grievous finger-pointing and half-baked apologising.
The Crusaders "brand" hasn't been damaged in the slightest. But their credibility in telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth certainly has.