Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A pawn in the nasty old blame game

The Man In The Stand Sport Expert
April 22, 2008

I know from as reliable sources as I have, that Richie McCaw is still undecided as whether to follow his good mate, Dan Carter overseas at the end of next season or not.

That's why, amongst all the tears and tribulations contained in the comically-late World Cup report, it's truly mind-boggling that the New Zealand Rugby Farcical Union has so readily sanctioned dumping big heaps of the brown stuff on Richie McCaw.
Sadly, this band of marksmen from rugby's headquarters in Wellington, who have become so adept at shooting themselves repeatedly in their collective feet, could well have tipped our champion No.7 into a mindset to go.But why should we be surprised?
When an army is defeated and the battlefield is strewn with bodies, is it surprising that the generals are invariably nowhere to be seen?
After the calamity at Cardiff, Generals Moller,Tew and Hobbs have cleverly ducked every bullet that's come anywhere near them.At the same time, I bet my Colin Meads-signed jersey that they haven't minded seeing the hits that Richie McCaw has just taken, play a significant part in protecting their sorry backsides.

Funny isn't it how, in comparison to the vilification of McCaw in the document, only fleeting and indirect reference is made towards the guilty men who rubber-stamped all the reconditioning and rotation madness as well as the top-heavy number of support staff.

Not even the architect of these crazy experiments, Graham Henry himself, is made a villain to the extent that McCaw is.
And before you tell me that this report was an independent inquiry, let's remember that it was Messer's Tew and Hobbs themselves who kept emphasising that the report was not intended to become a personal witch-hunt.
At any stage of the report being produced, they could have reiterated that this directive must be upheld, especially when McCaw, a comparative innocent, was about to take the biggest volley of all. Of course, I'm not absolving McCaw of any blame in the disaster. His captaincy in the quarter-final was no more inspiring than it was against the Wallabies at Melbourne, earlier in the season.
But making him such the major fall-guy is dishonest at best.
In summary, the temptation for Richie McCaw to go overseas at the end of next season may well have just become enhanced even further.
As well as earning 2 million dollars plus a year and a break from the repetitive grind thrown up by the Super 14 and Tri-Nations tournaments, McCaw could understandably be angered enough by this ill-conceived blame to decide to go.

In light of the nonsense he's currently enduring, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if he did. Would you?

PS. To those who criticise me for criticising, remember that the only hope of not repeating mistakes of the past is to analyse how and why they occurred.
I also believe you can see them more clearly without your head in the sand.
I thank all of you who take the time to reply.


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