I think it is time for Saru to find greener pastures, and move away from the joke that is becoming of SANZAR. Recent events have bought to the fore, the one sided affairs that the Springboks somehow consistently seem to be on the receiving end of.
Now I am not one to complain often about a ref. There have been instances where they have been the difference for a team wining or losing, but these have been few and far between. Personally I feel for referees of today, as the rules that are currently in force make it practically impossible to either be right or wrong, specifically at the breakdown.
The tackler is not offside, but must release immediately, you can play the ball, until its a ruck, then hands off, was he there before the ruck started... Its all just so complicated, and is totally up to the interpretation of the ref at that time.
We all know of the much publicized Auckland test. New Zealand once again on the right side of the whistle on the field. Poite ruined what was a potential classic and we were all left extremely frustrated. The biggest frustration must surely be the New Zealand Coach, Steve Hanson's response to the whole saga.
In one instance he bleated about Bismark's second yellow card for the elbow. When one watches it over, you can see quite clearly he was going for the hand off, and Messam got on him too quickly. He claimed it should have been a straight red card. In the very next breath, he defends Ma'a Nonu's late, high, shoulder charge on Jean De Villiers.
He claims 'rugby is a mans game' and 'we need to man up'. That is laughably ridiculous, and stinks of arrogance.
The recent citing and banning of Flip Van der Merwe is the latest in far too many inconsistencies by SANZAR. How they can justify this is beyond comprehension. I am in no way defending Flip, he fully deserved his yellow, and his 10 minutes in the bin. What I cannot understand is how SANZAR can Cite Flip for his transgression, and yet have nothing to say about Nonu's incident. It is quite plain for any human, rugby fan or not, to see the enormous differences between the two. I am not even expecting Nonu to get punished for his hit.
What every rugby fan wants, is consistency, and SANZAR has once again has failed to do this. It has happened far too much since its formation. The only consistency has been that South Africa, who are the chief financial provider within the 4 nations are on the receiving end of one sided, off the field decisions.
I would personally love to see South Africa give the antipodes the boot, and move north to join the European nations for both national and international levels. England and France have just broken from their ties with the Celtic countries, and have left an invitation open for 'others' to join, and I sincerely hope we do.
There are a few reasons for this:
Financially we will be far better off, as we will be dealing in Pounds and Euros(think of match fees, sponsors, all in Euros, conversions will be very healthy!). We will no longer be funding the Australian youth system, but rather our own! It would also mean, with the added income, that we could offer our players better salaries, and thus keep them in our rugby systems.
Another reason is that, as we have 40+ top South African players currently plying their trade in Europe, that we could measure them accurately with our home based players, and thus make them available for Springboks again. Its would bring them closer to home, which I see as an enormous positive. We all need to face the facts, that rugby is professional, and that players go where the money is, so why not follow the money with your structures?
It would also allow us to have one rugby season, and be able to manage the amount of rugby that our top players are playing. We are currently playing too much rugby, and the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Goosen, Schalk Bruger, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies(not my favourite), are being burnt out long before they should be. Players will not be travelling across the globe none stop, which has a larger effect than thought. Less time on the plane, and less expenses!
Saru could also finally solve the ever tiresome issue of including the Kings in national competitions by going north.
Now there would of course be teething issues, for instance, when the rugby would happen. Do we move to northern hemisphere seasons, or will it be somewhere in the middle? Do we make European based players eligible for Springboks, seeing as they play in the same competition? I am sure there are other things that would surface too.
As a rugby enthusiast, with the Springboks in my heart, I am tired of being giving the wooden spoon from the people who we supply the spoons for! We do not need Australia and New Zealand rugby to remain a strength, they need us! I think its time we use the strength we have to our own advantage!
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