Wet blanket watch 2 – it’s hotting up

Wet blanket watch 2 – it’s hotting up

In earlier postings on Green and Gold Rugby, we’ve covered how the Chief Rugby Correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald (and contributor to RugbyHeaven.com.au), Greg “the Gossip” Growden, has been waging a single handed campaign to disrupt the Knuckles regime by endlessly harping on about supposed rifts in the coaching team. This wouldn’t be so bad if he had a shred of new evidence or could actually name or quote one of his shadowy sources.

Well, it wasn’t just us who’ve had a gut-full of it. First off, in a pretty unusual step, Connolly himself wrote an article for the Herald singling out Growden as being a gossip monger and general pain in the arse:

“I can’t emphasise enough that the players, the staff and the coach of the Wallabies are united. I want to assure everyone that’s definitely the case. Unfortunately we deal with very inaccurate, unnamed sources in news reports at times and most of it has been driven by one individual. I’m sure after this column another serve is coming but I’m sure most people will see it for what it is.”

I recommend reading Knuckles’ article, it’s very well written.

Then, today we’ve seen a pretty interesting development with Spiro Zavos, author, journo and contributor to the SMH, coming to his colleague, Gossiping Greg’s defence over at TheRoar.
There are a lot of good points there, some made by Spiro, some by others. How about this one by Spiro:

“As it happened the articles by Greg Growden and myself lead (sic) to a new ARU regime with John O’Neill at the helm.”

This is the bit that actually worries me the most – the idea that these two are ‘kingmakers’. Because, even if you accept Growden’s dodgy sources and outdated, unrelated “facts” (which I just can’t), what possible good can come out of some sort of coaching witch hunt, or even worse, change in leadership with a month to go before the world cup?

The one bit of fact that both Spiro and Greg ignore, is that under this regime we’ve got to a point where we have at least an outside chance at the RWC – having beaten both New Zealand and South Africa in the Tri-Nations. I object to sabotaging that for the sake of a few column inches of unsubstantiated hot air.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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