After their first two games in the 2013 Super 15 campaign, it is clear that the Crusaders have some work to do to live up to fan (and critics) expectations. One player is bound to be feeling that more than anyone though – because he has been given the gargantuan task of filling the boots of undoubtedly the most loved, feared, influential Crusader of all time. Obviously I’m talking about ‘Captain Fantastic’, Richie McCaw. With McCaw on his sabbatical until after the three test series against the French in June, the pressure is on second-choice #7 – Matt Todd, to perform… and to perform well!
24 year old Todd, who celebrates his 25th birthday later this month, is on his third season with the Crusaders, boasting 36 caps for the franchise – even if that is still 8 seasons and 90-odd caps less than the man he is inevitably going to be compared against. Matt is going to have to try and win over the die-hard Richie fans and the rugby community in general – which one must imagine, will not be an easy feat. A few good games and one must imagine the coaches and rugby community will be happy enough having Todd as first-choice flanker, but winning the hearts of McCaw’s fans – who, as with all Crusader and Cantabrian rugby fans in general, are very one eyed, may be a harder task for the young understudy.
While every move that Todd makes is going to be scrutinised and rated against the would-McCaw-have-done-that scale, this season is also going to provide him with the perfect opportunity to show the All Black selectors what he is capable of. Considering the All Blacks are playing three tests against the French in June – without their stalwart #7, there is every chance that if Matt Todd performs well enough during the Super 15, he could be called in as back up to Sam Cane, in the #7 role. In 2011 he flew from Christchurch to Auckland and helped out at one of the RWC trainings – making it clear that even though he hasn’t made the cut yet, he is certainly in the selectors peripheral vision.
With all the serious stuff out of the way, we move onto more… visually stimulating matters. I introduce to you, the ‘McBonbon Scale’. Long story short, my almost-wife and I (referred to as the McBonbons) are big rugby fans – and big rugby perves, regularly finding ourselves ‘grading’ rugby players in various categories. Those categories, for the most part, are unashamedly superficial.
For the purpose of the ‘Kiwi Focus’, I have decided to give each player a ‘McBonbon Scale rating’, with players being scored on: tattoos, hot Daddy points, chest, arms, facial scruff, ‘growliness’ (don’t mind a bit of biff), hands, personality, hair & overall hotness.
I told you most were superficial.
Without further ado, I give you the McBonbon Scale assessment of Matt Todd.
(each category scored out of 10, for a total out of 100)
Hot Daddy points: 8
Facial scruff: 2
Overall hotness: 7
McBonbon Scale standings:
Matt Todd – 52%