Happy Thursday people, this week I have sufficiently recovered from the spicy cough to return to work. So here is my usual Wednesday evening attempt.
I was chatting to my son after the two tests on Saturday this weekend and he made the comment that “A great game of rugby is superior to jail rugby in every way”. It is hard to disagree after what was served up by the Nearlies, Paddies, Soap Dodgers and The Wallabies.
Anyway it’s test week in God’s (if I believed in such things), the skies are clearing and I expect we will do the Poms over by 20 this week. Bring it on.
The Chocolate Wheel of Justice
My opinion may be unpopular on this and many other forums but If Darcy Swain was guilty of a headbutt then a two week sanction is entirely unjustified. Headbutting is one of the lowest forms of physical abuse and properly done it causes a devastating injury. If it is accepted that Mr Swain committed the act, he should have got a much longer ban.
Australia second row Darcy Swain has been suspended for two weeks after appearing before an independent Judicial Committee via video link, having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.12 (a player must not physically abuse anyone) in Australia’s test match against England on 2 July.
The independent Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Wang Shao-ing (Singapore), joined by former players Chris Smith (New Zealand) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa), heard the case and considered all the available evidence, including hearing from the player and his legal representative.
The player admitted that he committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card. Having reviewed all the evident, the committee upheld the red card under Law 9.12.
On that basis, the committee deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of six weeks given the provocation before the incident, low degree of force exerted by the player and that no injury was caused to the victim. This resulted in a starting point of a six week suspension.
Having acknowledged mitigating factors, including the player’s acknowledgement of foul play, clean disciplinary record, conduct at the hearing and expression of remorse, the committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent of three weeks.
The committee further determined that given the above off-field mitigating factors and that a three -week sanction would be wholly disproportionate given the level and nature of the offence, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week, resulting in a sanction to weeks. The player will therefore miss Australia’s next two matches against England on 9 and 16 July.
The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision, which will be appear here once published.
Now if Darcy were say SBW then he would play 6th grade in Brisbane on Friday night. Line up for 10 minutes of Queensland Premier Rugby on Saturday at 3pm and be good to play Saturday evening at Lang Park (Suncorp).
Wheel of Justice Continued.
Now if I were a man who believed in conspiracy theories I would ask the question as to why Johnny Hill got away with not getting cited in the post match. The footage that Stan put up as quite compelling with a two handed slap to the face and then pulling hair deliberately. Report Here
Somehow Scott Barrett also got away with no arms to the head also. Report from state media here
Concussion and How Rugby is Doing a Good and a Bad Job
Congratulations to New Zealand and Sam Whitelock (that hurt a bit). Sam Whitelock is sitting out the upcoming test against the Irish after exhibiting late onset of concussion like symptoms after the game on the weekend. The NZRU are to be congratulated on this stance.
Ireland on the other hand seem to be taking a different approach to Johnny Sexton’s HIA on the weekend. Sexton has a history of head knocks and while the Irish are following all of the protocols it does appear from the outside that they are looking for ways around the issue.
Player safety is paramount and personally as a parent I think the sport is approaching the issue head on which means we will have a sport in the future. Rugby League and AFL are handling the message using spin and ignorance. Whitelock self reporting shows real leadership and is an example of how players should view head knocks going forward.
Babies and Bledisloe on the radar for Kurtley Beale
Just no, please, no. Kurtley Beale has come back to Australia wanting to get back into the Australian team and if he gets picked based on merit this time I will be OK with it. In the past Kurtley hasn’t necessarily been picked on performance but if he comes back and performs who am I to say no. But let’s be honest, a 33 year old outside back who always relied on elusiveness and speed but is now rehabbing a very bad hamstring injury is going to struggle. Personally I have always thought he is a bit soft and I struggle to see a spot for him at the Tahs let alone the Wallabies.
But, as always, money plays.
Kudos to Stan
Last week I had a bit of a go at Stan for the Rugby Heaven product. This week a big thumbs up on the production values on the test from Perth. It was very well done. I listen to quite a few English podcasts driving around for work and more than one have said it was the best produced telecast of the weekend. SBW excepted, he was rubbish. The piece on Dave Porecki spoke to every parent who has driven his kids to multiple sporting events and supported them to achieve whatever level they play to.
Compare that to the Saffer commentary and production values and, my goodness, I’m thankful for the work of the boys and girls from Stan.
Wallabies will sing the dual National Anthem
I love this and think it would be an excellent project to have a version for each of 200 indigenous languages in our country. Probably one for Senator Pocock.