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IRB In Firing Line Again! 4 views 2 Comments
05 October 2011 by The Swede Eaters
 

Scotty Donaldson looks at how the IRB don't seem to be making many friends at the Rugby World Cup 2011.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) have shot themselves in the foot again as it seems that their heavy handedness is earning them a bad reputation.

Firstly there was the scheduling of matches which leaves the minnows playing matches with short rest periods between crucial matches.

Then there was the $10,000 fine for wearing the wrong brand of mouthguards for Alesana and Manu Tuilagi which seems to be extrememly excessive.  The irony of this is that most people probably struggle to be able to read the brand of a mouthguard until this huge fine actually drew further attention to it.

England's kicking away of balls so they could take conversions with a different match ball wasn't fined, but was left to the England team to deal with.  No fines or anything for blatant cheating.

Now SKY television is in trouble for broadcasting footage of an Englishman proposing to his girlfriend back home.  He had a sign at one of the games in Dunedin.  Have a heart IRB it sounds like you are just jealous by warning SKY television over the incident via a text straight away.

Samoan player Eliota Sapolu, got in hot water for tweets criticising the short turnaround between games for tier two teams, once again turned to Twitter condemning the decision to fine the Tulagi brothers for the mouthguard offence.  While, I think this player went overboard referring to "apartheid" and the "holocaust", I think he made his point.  He has been banned from all rugby by the IRB for not showing up to court following his online outbursts.  He believes he wasn't told where and when he was supposed to be appearing in court.

Don't forget about the All Blacks struggling after losing $13 million (and the other top unions also lost money) because of giving up sponsorship during the tournament and the money made from lost income from incoming tours when the tournament is on.  Remember, the IRB have their own sponsors and so they must have clean stadia to work with.

There is also the fine to Wellington strip club Mermaids for ambush marketing on the concourse at Wellington Regional Stadium.  They were fined plenty and probably caught colds to rub salt into the wounds.

The final gripe I have is with the IRB warning players about the Bible verses they have written on their wrist bands.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  Where do you draw the line?

I love the Rugby World Cup, but can't help but thinking that the IRB are stuck in the dark ages and if the Rugby World Cup is to continue to be viable they need to learn a lot from the FIFA World Cup as football has been professional far longer.  They should open it up as a free for all sponsorship wise and avoid such ridiculous situations.  The draw needs to be changed to allow for an even number of teams in each pool.

But there are two sides to every story and although the IRB do seem heavy handed, we are mainly getting the view of the minnows.

Interested to hear your thoughts as in New Zealand there is plenty of animosity towards the IRB, but it is hard to get a global perspective.

rugbyworldcuptips.com

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2 . 5de Span 06 Oct 2011 09:11 PM
Smells a bit of the 2010 FIFA World Cup here in South Africa. Most of us felt used after the event. FIFA made a lot of money, South Africa nothing(except maybe for a couple of corrupt execs).

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1 . BlessTheMaul 05 Oct 2011 02:44 PM
Re an even number of teams in each pool:

Yes! Specifically, 3 pools of 6, either with the lowest-scoring third-placed team missing out, or with the two lowest-scoring third-placed teams having the hard route to the quarter-finals via one midweek repechage match. That'd give a fair 45-match pool stage over 5 weekends, instead of the present 40 matches compressed awkwardly into 4 weekends and the weeks in between. I'd sooner see the number of teams reduced by two, than increased to bring in teams that'd get thrashed worse than Namibia and Russia.

Re the gripe list:

I can't add any global perspective, being just another NZ-er. But here's a question. Is the journalist Stephen Jones consistently IRB-aligned? I don't read him often enough to get a clear impression.


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