A Day In The Life of Scott Robertson - aged 47 1/2

Inspired by JP & Donsteppa’s 2004 “A Day In The Life of Sir Clive - the original of which which I found in my archives. An attempt to re-create the glory days of 20 years ago. (I clearly have too much time on my hands....).

A Day in the Life of Scott Robertson

7.00 am: Awake to a promotional Silverlake alarm clock that emits a verse of Surfin’ Safari, followed by a massed chorus of “Together we Walk” that repeats according to the hour the alarm has been set to. It never fails to put a smile on one’s face at the start of the day.

7.02am: Bugger. The team alarm-clock specialist is 1 minute late to turn off my alarm clock! Clearly discipline is slipping in the squad. I must send Patsy the PowerPoint presentation about it again later in the day.

7.03am: Thankfully, the official surf wax, jandals and comb-over specialist I took with me from the Crusaders is being much more dutiful and has arranged my custom print Urban Surfer morning chinos at the foot of my bed – right next to the pile of Advanced Break-Dance for Dummies books

7.15am: Breakfast time, engage in an enthralling conversation with Kat Darry – the official squad nutritionist - on whether the average size of the eggs eaten at the Crusaders is 5 or 10 grams heavier than the Blues counterpart, the possible implications this would have in a tight forwards ability to slow down a Blues No. 8 on defence, and whether the addition of Big Mac’s to Ethan Blackadder’s diet could bulk him up and make him less injury prone.

7.20am: Kat tells me Big Mac’s and rugby results aren’t natural bedfellows for forwards performance. Pointed out it worked wonders for Jason Ryan at the Crusaders.

7.45am: A most entertaining and enthralling conversation finished, plan to have a meeting about it later in the day with our 8-strong data input team and put the Big Mac supplement effect through the match stats analysis software to see how much more turnover-ball we’d win with an extra 1.25kg of weight.

7.55am: Found out that the punching bag fashioned in the likeness of Ian Foster hasn’t has been as effective in the treatment of Ethan Blackadder’s injury prone-ness as I’d hoped. Sprained his earlobe. On the bright side Ethan can sit out that extra sprint training I’d planned for later in the day.

8.00am: Strewth!! The official team ironer and uniform folding technician has left wrinkles in double cleats in my chinos. We must have a meeting about this later on. Need to tell Leon I only agreed to Perofeta on his ability with a steam iron.

8.05am: First meeting in a series of meetings about the meetings we are going to have later in the day to serve as a brief for the meetings we are going to have during practice to work on the things bought up from the after-match meeting we had during the first session of early morning meetings after the last de-brief we had after the last practice session.

8.06am: Meeting not going well, at least 52 of the Management group already looking confused…

8.12am: Sam Cane’s not writing his autobiography instead of taking notes now is he??

8.15am: And Jase Ryan’s started on his third pack of doughnuts. Admire his empathy, but clearly hasn’t realised Foster’s gone.

8.30am: Leon looks comatose and seems to have passed out with a thin smile. Hard to tell if that’s normal or he’s fantasising about Perofeta breaking the line.

8.45am: Veins red and throbbing on Scooter’s head at the moment…and I’m only onto slide 31 of 83 - the one about managing the Ref and with the picture of Matthew Carley.

9.00am: Poor Finlay Christie’s looking more and more nervous by the minute, Luckily, I’ve positioned Ceri Evans next to him to remind him that Ben Earl really isn’t all that big a tackler – despite what he did to DuPont.

9.15am: Meeting adjourned. Battery on laptop gave up – must have been the graphics on the PowerPoint slides draining it or Ajit Balasingham’s hacked it for Bitcoin mining again.

9.20am: On the way arranged for DHL to send Ian Foster a voucher for 20 Big Mac’s and a note asking him for his thoughts on how to treble Ethan’s Test experience.

9.35am: Disaster! The second logistics team manager tells me NZR have refused to block book the First Class section of an Airbus A380 for the management group. Thinks my commitment to “We Walk Together” may have been taken too literally

10am: Ended team meeting on effective reading of PowerPoint slides and dragged players into the pre entertainment-meeting meeting.

10.05am: Complaints from the new lads in the squad that the team gopher isn’t able to service the whole team evenly. Gentle reminder required that Steven Perofeta isn’t in the squad for their benefit and has extra duties with team management and the coaching staff these days.

10.20am: Received text message from Vern Cotter reminding me his team did better than the one under Leon. Offers advice on how to get the best out of your No. 8

10.21am: Replied to Vern stating that he proves my point exactly. My beloved Crusaders legacy was trashed by poor coaching, And the Blues always have had the better cattle – 6 & 8 excepted.

10.24am: Leon sees my text. Assures me he had zero input into Vern’s appointment.

10.30am: Received politely worded email from the Pope stating that he does not consider that the Sunday prayers of the entire Catholic Church should be solely devoted to praying for Ardie not to be injured and give an opening to Hoskins.

10.55am: Finished my email in reply asking him for a meeting to reconsider by reminding him that my social media fan-base would tell him God has yet to win multiple Super Rugby titles and my fanbois are his children as well.

11am: Video analysis meeting commences, but only after an extra 31 chairs had been scrounged up for the newcomers to the technical assistant roles. Pencilled a note to send an email to Patsy pointing out I specified the number of chairs in slide 73 of my presentation last month.

11.30am: Have noted the number of drop goal attempts by the England team in previous competitions. The actual tries they keep scoring in the second half of games against us are clearly the hapless desperation of a team wildly chancing their arm, desperate not to turn the ball over lest the elusive running of the likes of Ethan de Groot expose their defence. Make note to email George Bridge to see what he’s up to.

11.35: Bloody hell! I thought that fat bloke Fozzie had snuck into our team in his black jumpsuit. Thankfully on further inspection it turned out to just be Jason Ryan.

11.40am: Analysis of the first half of the 2022 Test v England shows plenty of positives for our side. Asked my 6 strong strategy team to identify a way to end the game after 42 minutes to keep our forwards fresh for the Second Test

1.55am: Pre-lunch meeting commences. Reminded Ethan of the importance of Big Mac’s to his diet and alerted Jase to the dangers of the Big Ben pie.

12pm: Welcomed to the lunchroom by a 63-piece orchestra playing “Together we Walk” and an impromptu break-dancing display by Tamiti Williams and Pasilio Tosi. 5 chairs broken in the resulting mayhem. Blackadder’s other earlobe injured.

12.03pm: Quietly pleased to see that the official Silverlake-sponsored steak and other solid meats carver into bite-sized pieces specialist is carrying out his duties well, resolve to have a meeting to congratulate him for doing a job well done, much like my steak…

12.05pm: Excellent. Heard one of the Polish girls at reception humming “Together we Walk”. Needs to work on her pronunciation of the last word though.

12.06pm: Back to my room to change. Notice my pillows haven’t been fluffed. Male note to speak to Leon about Perofeta.

12.07pm: Papers delivered and read an article about Borthwick. Recall Eddie’s email after the Japan game on his thoughts on the England team. Pleased that card-magnet Charlie Ewels has gone home. Would be embarrassing if he lasted longer on the field than Ethan Blackadder.

12.15pm: Did enjoy the article by Stephen Jones, where he ignores the coming game entirely and instead focuses on Forsyth Bar not being as nice as Twickenham. Cunning reverse psychology - after all if they think they have a better stadium logic follows that we have the better team

12.30pm: Lunch over; I wonder how my mate Eddie Jones is doing, an honest man that lives up to his word, especially about only coaching B teams.

12.35pm: Send the lads off to the gym for fitness work, might incorporate break-dancing and board-waxing for a bit of variety for the backs and send the loose forwards off to the greyhound track so they know how to handle Marcus Smith.

12.45pm: More intense video analysis with the 7 official squad head massagers in full cry as I try and come up with cunning new tactics. Am convinced that if we change tactics and have the ball carriers intentionally running into players – and not gaps - this will eventually tire England out thereby creating larger gaps that quick passers like Finlay Christie can exploit. At the very least it should prevent a repeat of England clawing back the 30+ point we to put on them in the 1st half last time we met.

1.30pm: Orientation meeting, which is a meeting about the meetings I’ve planned from previous meetings and informing the squad of new meetings I’ve decided that we’ll have during the day.

1.31pm: First, how to get Finlay Christie away from the Mogadon bottle…

1.32pm: Find a way to stop Perenara’s seagull impressions. It’s no longer funny and isn’t good for his arthritis.

1.33pm: Unlock Damien’s jaw which has set to a permanent grin after place-kicking practice...

1.35pm: Jason got lost on his way to the greyhound track but has been found at the local McDonalds… Disturbed to find that the forwards that did make it to the greyhound track got beaten by the local electrician who ran out to fix the bunny the greyhounds chase after when the wiring failed…

1.36pm: Possibly if I’d used a Toulon contract instead of a bunny, they’d have run faster??

1.40pm: I might let one of my 5 Assistant Managers take this meeting while I go off to polish up my break-dance routine for the 2027 RWC.

2.10pm: Sent out press release emphasising that we are all in it together and the AB coach should always expect the support of the nation – win or lose, we walk together. Important to get your diversion psychology in place for the media before any loss…… clearly Fozzie wasn’t into crowd psychology.

2.15pm: E-mail back from Hoskins politely declining my latest offer to have a meeting on how many slides he thinks he’s needs to explain how he can improve his game. Asks me if I could arrange an intro to Steve Borthwick.

2.20pm: Great news! Ethan Blackadder has gone thru 20 minutes of training without injury, demonstrating the importance of a 9-strong nutrition team and a 190-page diet manual

2.45pm: Crisis. Had to bail Caleb out from the local police station on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. Apparently, he was out jogging and kept falling over.

3pm: Orientation meeting for the players over. Sent the forwards off to the scrum machine while I supervise the backs for a training run. Anton asks if the 15-strong backs coaching staff are there to simulate a real game.

3.05pm: Leon’s spaced the tackle bags out evenly across the entire width of the field. Set out the backs in standard formation and commanded them all to arrange their lines to intersect with at least one of the tackle bags. McLeod complains that he's the Defence Coach and not Leon.

3.06pm: Finlay Christie suffers cramp and tells me he can’t move his arms as he normally can. Speed of pass improves. Strange.

3.20pm: Handed the backs over to the Goal Kicking, Punting, Tackling, Running, Tee Placement and Drop Kicking Specialists and wandered over to the forwards. Notice Damian’s jaw rictus has returned.

3.22pm: Stopped De Groot from practicing winding up England by snorting the try line. Had to tell him Dallaglio retired from rugby years ago. Disappointing as I had mentioned this in the 113 slide PowerPoint Presentation on Monday. Typical Highlander.

3.27pm: End of several minutes of confusion trying to regather players that had got lost practicing long exits. Found Jordie wandering around lost, 3 pitches down

3.30pm: Took forwards over to customised wresting ring to practice knee drops off the top rope. A picture of Owen Farrell’s face on the ring floor seems to be doing the trick. Luke Jacobson pointed out Farrell wasn’t in the England side. Reprimanded him that you don’t get to such dizzy heights and impress a sharp mind like Mark Robinson without an intimate knowledge of the opposing team.

3.45pm: Meeting with a representative of the Players committee complaining that some in the squad were allowed Big Mac’s while other weren’t. Pointed out everything was done for the team’s benefit, and we must all make sacrifices – including me - which was why David Havili was only cover and not first choice 12.

4pm: Quick nap.

4.30pm: Strolled into a press conference but refused to continue unless “Together we Walk” was played 5 times.

4.35pm: Settled for twice.

4.37pm: Stared down a reporter who asked how many Crusaders players I thought would be in the 23. Ridiculous! Next, I suppose next they’ll ask how I rate George Bell’s throwing.

4:50pm: Concluded press conference with a brilliant summary of my argument that a captain shouldn’t be subjected to a Red Card as it ruins the game. Scooter nodded in approval and the veins on his neck became less prominent. Sam clearly pleased, makes notes for his autobiography.

5pm: Time for the early evening fly past by massed drones to have “Together we Walk” written in the sky.

5.02pm: Ordered a couple of them to be shot down for not using a wrong letter in the last word.

5.04pm: Unfortunately, George Bell was doing the aiming and he hit a nearby children’s hospital instead.

5.30pm: My favourite part of the day – building teamwork. Today it’s effective one-one communication and coordination between Assistant Coaches and its importance to team selection. Make note to book a conference venue as 103 people are cramped in the hotel ballroom.

5.35pm: Thankfully Perofeta has already prepared a selection of my Billabong chinos for me to choose from. Good to see Leon’s Blues choice is useful.

6.00pm: Dinner, as usual heralded by a rendition of “Together We Walk” thru the hotel’s PA.

6.30pm Quite exhausting eating dinner I assure you, you have to check whether the official squad nutritionist, diet planner, cook, assistant cook, chief kitchen hand, assistant chief kitchen hand, general kitchen hands, cutlery cleaner, cutlery arranger, head butler, assistant head butler, waiters, wine experts and serviette distributor have all done their jobs properly. Thankfully tonight they have all done a sterling job and I tick them off on my handy A3 iPad.

6.45pm: Receive a note from Martin Swan. TJ Perenara and Beauden have requested Voltarin or Naproxen to relieve arthritis. Thinks it a good idea and may make them move more freely. Suggest he has a word with Christie as well.

7.00pm: Now for the hard work of the day, compiling my list of support staff for the Rugby Championship, preposterous that we’re only allowed 126 – just goes to show what happens when Silverlake get involved and demand to see the financials.

9.00pm: Incomplete list complied after a painfully tedious process of elimination…

  1. ME
  2. Manager
  3. Assistant manager
  4. Offensive coach
  5. Defensive coach
  6. Assistant coach
  7. Assistant offensive coach
  8. Assistant defensive coach
  9. Backs coach
  10. Forwards coach
  11. Assistant backs coach
  12. Assistant forwards coach
  13. Technical advisor
  14. Assistant technical advisor
  15. Scrum specialist
  16. Lineout specialist
  17. Ruck specialist
  18. Maul specialist
  19. Goal kicking specialist
  20. Punting specialist
  21. Drop-kicking specialist
  22. Doctor
  23. Physio
  24. Masseuse
  25. Witch Doctor
  26. Team Ironer
  27. Big Mac weigher
  28. Egg Measurer
  29. Tattoo adviser
  30. PowerPoint Colour Scheme consultant
  31. “Together We Walk” Drone coordinator

Tough call on the official squad team PowerPoint Colour coordinator being picked ahead of the official squad Tarot reader but that comes with the big jobs…

9.05pm: Time to watch more videos, especially a repeat of my Netflix documentary…

9.30pm: And now for some in-depth video analysis of the RWC final.…

9.31pm: Crusaders players clearly have the better barbers

9.32pm: ….and their bootlaces are much more expertly tied than the Blues players.

9.35pm: We win the bi-lingual national anthem singing hands down, terrific performance all round by the Crusaders guys.

9.36pm: Make note to get Richie’s barber’s details for Ardie.

9.38pm: Note that Ardie is out of step in the haka, and that Christie jumps at the end. Looks like they are practicing something. Finlay clearly thinks quick ball more important than the haka.

9.40pm: Just spotted myself in the crowd. Much better dressed compared to that Foster who looks to be in a suit several sizes too small or has put on weight. Notice it’s actually Jason Ryan.

10pm: Went down to the hotel bar for a suitable night cap.

10.01pm: Looks like Sam Cane and Tamiti Williams have already had too many sherberts and have fallen asleep in the corner. Asked Finlay Christie to go over there as quick as he can and wake them up. They deserve a snooze with all the work they’ve been doing

10.03pm: Not the best move on my part, Cane woke up shouting “Fuck you O’Mahony!” and smacked poor Finlay in the head.

10.05pm: Further blunder. After Cane protested that he was aiming for the shoulders, I asked George Bell to give Sam an anatomy lesson as to the location of a player’s arms and head based on his lineout throwing skills. Promptly hits Christie on the knee.

10.30pm: Ah great, just what I needed. A conversation with Reiko on mental skills and how to wind up the opposition after a key victory. Ask him if his elder brother is still playing these days. Don’t think he’s that hot on chit chat.

10.33pm: Stopped Perenara from accidentally going into the disabled toilets. Good halfback, not in Aaron’s class, but good to see him modelling himself on the great man. Go for a stroll outside

10.35pm: Luckily, it’s only Mark Reason lurking in the shadows looking for a scoop.

10.45pm: Received clearly mis-sent text from Eddie Jones telling me he’s looking forward to being the first Japan coach to beat me. Pass his text onto Rassie.

10.55pm: Returned to hotel, good to see that the team chaperone is out rounding everyone up for a return to quarters. Passed a bloke looking like Cheslin Kolbe doing down the entrance steps. Seems to have shaved his head. Make note to pass Ardie’s barber’s details onto Rassie.

11.05pm: Arrive back in room after walking past the entire team giving a spontaneous rendition of “Together we Walk”

11.30pm: My evenings reading is interrupted by an emergency call from the 3rd assistant baggage handler. Apparently, Mark Telea went out for a late-night snack at a local chippy and got really upset the England supporter in the shop thought he was Cheslin Kolbe and asked for an autograph.

11.31pm: Calmed down chip shop bloke and told Mark it was an honest mistake as people assume AB’s follow team rules and stay in camp.

11.35pm: Checking social media. Some outrageous comments about it being ridiculous to even think I’d lose to England. Set the record straight with a couple of Kiwi clowns by pointing out my ability to manage expectations and the media. Posted slide 49 of my presentation to Mark Robinson - one of the 6 on expectation management - to set the record straight

11.40pm: Set about the last task of the day – writing up a list of the 13 meetings to have tomorrow, thankfully my A3 iPad is at hand.

11.55pm: Settle into bed with a subliminal motivation tape called “Effective Team Management from Synchronised Walking” playing in the background…ahhh…

11.59pm: Did I do enough to calm the chip shop bloke? Must send him a signed CD of “We Walk Together”.