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MacDonald collapses in Auckland match

Date

Duncan Johnstone

Concern … Hoani MacDonald.

Concern … Hoani MacDonald. Photo: Getty Images

FORMER Melbourne Rebels player Hoani MacDonald collapsed with a suspected heart attack during an NPC Championship division match near Auckland yesterday.

The Southland second-rower went down during the first half of his side's semi-final clash against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe.

CPR was performed on the 34-year-old, who was taken by ambulance to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition.

MacDonald played 23 Super Rugby matches for the Highlanders between 2004 and 2008 and after spending time with Welsh side Newport Gwent, signed a two-year deal with the Rebels for the 2011 season.

After sustaining a serious hand injury in Melbourne's opening game, he returned home to New Zealand early this year.

Meanwhile, it's not just the young All Blacks who have stepped up to the mark this season, the new coaches have proved their worth as well.

Assistant coach Ian Foster and defence coach Brian ''Aussie'' McLean have justified the faith Steve Hansen showed by bringing them on board for the new-look top table after last year's World Cup.

The selections raised a few eyebrows at the time but Foster and McLean have silenced any critics with influential roles in improving the performance of the world champions.

Foster has relished the opportunity to work with the best players in the business and his backline has operated with sizzle and style.

The high-paced approach took a while to settle in but after demolishing Ireland in the third test in Hamilton they started to find their rhythm against the next best teams in the world in the Rugby Championship.

And as good as the attack has been at times, the defensive work under McLean has been the foundation of their victories. When things were tight in the second test against Ireland and the early rounds of the Rugby Championship, relentless defence was the key ingredient to setting up eventual wins.

For Foster, it's been about growing into his new environment after a long apprenticeship at NPC and Super Rugby level. It's fair to say he's grown increasingly comfortable and so have the players and management around him with the ways of the Waikato stalwart.

''It takes a bit of time,'' Foster admits. He never got to play for the All Blacks but was earmarked by the New Zealand union as a potential coach at the highest level with his appointment as Junior All Blacks coach. There was even investment put into him during the 2008 Grand Slam tour when he travelled and trained with Sir Graham Henry's team for part of the tour. It was a move for the future and one which gave Foster the faith to stay patient, resist overseas offers, in his belief that a chance would eventually come.

''When you are a coach it's a fantastic honour to be involved in coaching your country. I didn't go into it worrying about it being post-World Cup and all those perceptions. You go in and say, 'It's a great honour and you're going to give it everything you've got'.''

That's exactly what he's done.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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