It’s bad enough for the credibility of an international sport when one team wins by a mammoth 92-7; it’s even worse when one team patronizes the other by purposely leaving themselves one player short with the best part of a quarter of the game remaining. And all in the name of ‘preparation’. It’s no real wonder a big proportion of the rugby world like planting the boot into our smugness whenever the chance arises.
Put the Adidas Size 11 on the other foot for a second- how would we feel playing France or Holland in a football international with the score at 7-0 with fifteen minutes left and they drag off one of their players to replicate a sending off scenario? Our talkback radio lines would light up with such force it would put the national grid into a spin. Some affronted punter would probably champion for the expulsion from NZ of that country’s ambassador.
In any case, such a thing would never happen in an official football international. Exactly how are developing Rugby nations supposed to take the sport seriously with the World Cup on the door step and this nonsense taking place? The Tongans are probably far too polite and self-effacing to allude to being patronized.
Really unfortunately in light of him being such an iconic coach, but there are now a couple of recent calls that Steve Hansen has surely got wrong. This one, and the inclusion of the self-confessed domestic violence perpetrator, Reece in the World Cup squad.
However, I’m pretty sure there are plenty out there who couldn’t give a fat rat’s about such things. And that alone speaks clearly about the blurred and murky lines of professional sport in the nutty world we are in.
You are of course free to think what you like but I know what I think of it all.