Martin Devlin: Live sport just one sign of a return to normal life

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 Jun 2020, 12:58PM

Martin Devlin: Live sport just one sign of a return to normal life

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 Jun 2020, 12:58PM

Five days away folks, and then live sport returns to New Zealand.

By Saturday's Super Rugby kickoff at Forsyth Barr, it'll have been 13 weeks since professional sport was played on these shores. 

Saturday March 14th saw The Blues beat the Lions at Eden Park before it all came to a shuddering halt. Into self-imposed isolation we all went before the lockdown meltdown curtailed every professional comp on the planet.

At that time I remember thinking the best-case scenario for any sort of resumption anywhere on earth would be sometime in June. And that was optimism talking.

Yet here we are. And not just live sport on our tv screens but spectators back in the stands no less. Pat yourselves, ourselves on the back, New Zealand. We have done it!

We have done what we were told, sucked up the inconvenience of it all, weathered the worst of this despicable disease and re-righted our ship while most of the world still struggles to realise that social distancing actually means staying physically apart.

The NRL has shown that, yes, it can be done, and successfully so. Now it's the turn of our national game to provide the sort of fillip and pick-me-up us sports fans have been wanting for weeks.

And what better than a revamped in-house round-robin providing 10 weeks of ferocious local derbies? What should be one great big non-stop All Blacks trial without the silly distraction of some no-name Ozzie bunnies and cobbled together Japanese cast-offs.

And yes, I do realise that for as many of us so who might be so very much looking forward to Saturday's start there'll be an equal number of those thinking who really cares, I've got much more important things on my mind like trying to find a post-Covid job. So yes it's fun and fantastic for all of us who find it so but bear in mind the return of rugby is not, in fact, the be all end all cure-all.

But it is another crucial part of this equation that hopefully signals a return to what pre-Covid-19 we all considered normal.