It's a love hate thing going on

This may not come as much of a surprise but covering the Highlanders is not always a lot of fun.

Boo hoo, you might say, and I'd agree. I'd still rather be doing this than something which actually resembles work.

But while covering yet another loss can be a bit monotonous, the South African swing is my least favourite part of the season.

The time difference makes for some early starts - 7am teleconferences with Jamie Joseph, 10pm interviews with players to synchronise with their lunch break.

Last Sunday I covered off the loss to the Kings, trying not to make too much noise as I crept around the house at 2.30am.

After the game, and a quick update for the web, it was into the office to try and make contact with South Africa and get quotes for the story which appears in Monday's paper.

In past seasons this has been a bit of a nightmare.

I don't know if South Africa has a dodgy telecoms infrastructure or what, but getting hold of coaches on cellphones at stadiums over there has been especially difficult in the past.

That may, or may not, have something to do with the result.

This year has been a lot better, however, and I'm starting to believe we might get through a whole tour of the republic without a major issue.

Last Sunday was exacerbated by the fact the Steel was playing in Auckland the same night.

By the time I stumbled out of the office just after 9pm it was the end of an 18-hour shift.

Again, I know, boo hoo.

The Southland Times