Could it have been some poor cooking skills from Hawke's Bay Sevens manager Conrad Waitoa on the barbecue?
The question had to be asked after Magpies and Chiefs wider training group rugby winger Tino Nemani was a late withdrawal from the Bay Sevens team which played in Saturday's Pre Nationals tournament at Mount Maunganui.
Chiefs assistant coach and former Magpies co-coach Tom Coventry and his family stayed with Waitoa and his family last week while down from Hamilton to watch Coventry's daughter Laura compete in the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club's New Year's Regatta at Clive during the weekend.
"No ... it was nothing to do with my cooking. In fact, Tom did his best to get Tino to play but at the end of the day the Chiefs doctor [James McGarvey] had the final say and he wanted to do a final check on Tino tomorrow," Waitoa said.
He was referring to the fact Nemani required one more check in the wake of his recent virus before being cleared to play.
"Tino was shattered. He begged the Chiefs backs coach [Andrew Strawbridge] who was at the Mount to let him play, but like Tom he had to go with the doctor's call. Providing Tino is cleared tomorrow he will be named on Tuesday night in our team to go to Queenstown next weekend," Waitoa explained yesterday.
"Tino and Gillies [All Black Sevens squad member Gillies Kaka] will do some damage working together at the nationals," Waitoa said.
Nemani's withdrawal was the start of a tough day at the office for Central Region champions Hawke's Bay who lost all four of their games at Blake Park.
"It was one of those days where nothing went right for us ... the bounce of the ball, the odd ref's call, those sort of things. Too many missed tackles cost us ... far too often there wasn't enough talk on defence."
HBS Bank Hawke's Bay opened their campaign with a 26-21 loss to Auckland. After a poor start Hawke's Bay fought back well with New Zealand Secondary Schools representative Trinity Spooner-Neera scoring two tries and captain Ihaia West one.
Hawke's Bay conceded a couple of soft tries when beaten 22-10 by Counties-Manukau in their second pool game.
These losses booked Hawke's Bay a plate semifinal berth against North Harbour, one of their pool opponents at this weekend's nationals, and Harbour won 17-12.
In a reversal of their Central Region final last month, Hawke's Bay lost 42-12 to Manawatu in their final game of the day, the plate playoff for third.
Bay coach Murdoch Paewai gave his fringe players, Sheridan Rangihuna, George Crichton and Penikolo Latu, plenty of game time against Manawatu.
"We had to think of the future. If these players don't make the Queenstown squad at least they know what is required should they get the opportunity again," Waitoa explained.
Isaac Paewai rolled his ankle and Brad Nicol collected a groin strain against Auckland and took no further part. They are expected to be fit for Queenstown.