Last night the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 29-9 in a pretty stop-start affair. Yet not many people are talking about that. When the rugby did break out it was pretty good.
Instead it is all about the aftermath from what was a decidedly niggly affair. After the demolition job in Sydney last week, Michael Cheika decided his best plan was to go out and dish out a bit of filth.
At best it might have knocked the All Blacks off their game, at worst it would limit the damage.
And for most of the first half it did work. The All Blacks retaliated in kind, and it was not a great advertisement for the game or for the reputation from the two sides.
The most glaring example was Owen Franks.
— Kevin Byrne (@kevinjbyrne) August 27, 2016
Once that video was circulated last night the talk was about how long the probable suspension would be; remembering that Richard Loe got 26 weeks back in the 1990s.
Yet nothing. No case to answer, no complaint lodged. At 10:30 on the morning after it was case closed. Memories of the 2005 British & Irish Lions tour came back. Remember how long the sense of aggravation lasted for that time.
Cheika afterwards: “I just saw it at the time. I’m sure the match review will pick it up,” What seems strange is that it appears that Cheika and co made no actual complaint. You don’t issue a citing via a press conference.
It is not just Franks who seems to have skipped on unfairly. Dane Coles will be breathing a sigh of relief today, you could compile quite the highlights reel if you followed Adam Coleman could , and then there is Stephen Moore.
— Stephen Lyon (@StephenLyon) August 28, 2016
It is possible that Franks did not actually gouge the eye; we will never know. But surely it is up to a proper independent citing officer to determine that. Justice must be seen to be done etc.
Amongst other things, why is there the need to cite a player within 12 hours of the match finishing, especially when most of those hours are spent sleeping.
Again, not a lot learnt from 2005. Proper international news deserves better than that.