Monday, April 02, 2007

The indomitable Keith Robinson

October 18, 2006

One of the better surprises of this years' NPC championship in New Zealand is the return to the playing field of former-All Black Keith Robinson. The Mooloo Man (a dead-ringer for Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon, the tall shaven-headed bailiff on the NBC sitcom Night Court) was thought have had his career prematurely ended a couple years ago with debilitating injuries. But he never gave up and this weekend takes the field with Waikato for the NPC Air New Zealand Cup final against Wellington. If all goes well, Robinson may be packing his bags for the All Blacks northern hemisphere tour in November.

David Leggat at the New Zealand Herald catalogues the blunt force trauma:

...[A] depressing run of injuries which would surely have had a less resilient personality jacking it in.

Since playing his sixth and last test against the Pacific Islanders at Albany in June 2004, Robinson has been laid low by a succession of injuries to his lower back, calf and knee.

There have been a couple of false starts.

He tore a calf muscle in a warmup game for Waikato against North Harbour in July 2004, and that was his last game in the provincial colours before last month.

He was listed to start for the Chiefs against the Sharks in April last year but withdrew a few hours before kickoff.

There have been a few club games back in his old home town for Te Aroha dotted along the way, as well as a couple of operations, the second of which revealed a bulging disc putting pressure on a sciatic nerve.

Robinson kept his hand in helping with Chiefs lineout drills. Then, just when things had gone quiet, up he popped for Waikato against Wellington on September 23.

Jim Kayes at Stuff also gets in a good Robinson profile.


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