Thursday, 25 September 2008

Jamie's Weekly Sports Thought

At the time of writing I have absolutely no idea of the outcome of the Stags v Steamers game or the Northland challenge to the NZRU to retain its first division status.

The Stags result is in the hands of the rugby gods. More disconcertingly, the Northland challenge is in the hands of the rugby gits.

I don’t wish to be mean-spirited or uncharitable but has God ever put breath into a more disorganized organization than the NZRU?

Ummm …let’s have a look at some recent cases of its stupidity.

There was the appointment of the clearly ill-qualified John Mitchell in 2001. The youngest coach in All Black history then set about getting rid of some of the best players in All Black history, namely Jeff Wilson and Christian Cullen, then he proceeded to pick Brad Thorn, who promptly turned his back on the All Black jersey. Don’t even get me started on the muddled riddle that was Mitch-speak!

Messrs Murray McCaw and David Rutherford lost us the co-hosting rights to the 2003 Rugby World Cup and then followed a relative period of sanity where Mitchell was dumped in favour of Graham Henry (who should have got the job in 1999 rather than the accident-prone Wayne Smith following John Hart’s ugly demise).

The good ship Henry then sailed through calm waters in 2004-06 before becoming becalmed in 2007 and sinking without trace in Cardiff. And let’s not even go there, when it comes to the Robbie Deans decision.

There was a welcome break in the bungling when jocular Jock Hobbs managed to score the 2011 World Cup. However, normal transmission was resumed when the NZRU decided to extend the national provincial championship to 12 teams, got 14 applicants, couldn’t make the hard call and finished with a free-for-all.

Then in its infinite wisdom the NZRU decided this year, mid-competition, to go back to the 12 team contest it should have had in the first place! The coup de grace was surely telling Northland and Tasman of their probable fate, only a few games into their respective campaigns. Talk about a kick in the guts!

Here’s hoping that great rugby nursery, Northland, survives while the delicious irony of Tasman winning the Ranfurly Shield, albeit an unlikely outcome, is mouth-wateringly tantalizing to contemplate.

I bet the NZRU welcomes the welcome diversions of Fonterra, Wall Street and Winston.


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