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MacDonald collapses in Auckland match


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.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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