33 hours ago
Say it isn't
Dear me Wendell, your latest plea for respect will continue to fall on deaf ears as the Rugby World Cup further degenerates into a farce. We are the ones getting bored, not you.
In your Sunday column, you ask for the general public to support you in the bigger games against Scotland and Ireland? Is this the same Scotland who are ranked in the top ten Rugby nations in the world? Is this the same Scotland who were walloped 51-9 by France last night? Say it isn?t so Wendell? One of the bigger games? Oh, I see, the Wallabies will fail to crack the ton against Scotland so that makes it a bona fide contest? Now I am seeing the bigger picture. You guys had Bradman on the ropes yesterday with you mesmerizing performance against fellow Rugby giants Namibia.
Like yourself, the Rugby World Cup isn?t about supporting your country or team, it?s about being seen. It?s about sending a sms message to your mate on the other side of the ground to ask how many Heineken?s he?s downed or how much did the ASX rally during the week. Riveting stuff but where?s the tribalism or is that level of support seen as a faux pas by the IRB? Say it isn?t so Wendell. So many questions and so few answers.
I had to laugh when I saw the Telstra advert where the players are making a commercial about the World Cup and the director calls out for everyone to take a break. Talk about life imitating art. I thought it was a fair dinkum match with live footage such was the similarities between the advertisement and the ?real? thing.
You see, here?s the problem. I can?t support a side that is manufactured and stands for very little in the greater scheme of things. There are no Steve Waugh?s or Andrew Johns in the Wallabies. Sure there may be some level of pride, but when it comes to passion, well I guess it depends on the size of the pay cheque. What we saw on grand final night between the Panthers and Roosters cannot be replicated by Rugby, no matter how much the spin doctors would like us to believe otherwise.
I have to admit there are a lot of gullible people out there. Tell them it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and they?ll think it?s a duck. ?A? for effort on that front.
You see Wendell, I am ashamed to say you, Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri ever played the greatest game of all. I know there have been Rugby players who crossed the cultural divide and played League. But in a lot of cases, it was the players themselves who came looking for the money as they were never looked after in Rugby until it became professional.
In your article, you took a shot at Penrith CEO Shane Richardson for his negative comments about Union. Maybe, just maybe you should look in your own corner first and see your boss has also been slinging mud in the hopes of not losing any valuable exposure and fast diminishing credibility of the RWC to the Kangaroo tour currently underway in the U.K. People in glass houses Wendell. You know the rest.
Cast your mind back to the 2000 Rugby League World Cup and when Australia (a team you played in) were posting record scores against Russia, the ARU were the first to lay the boot and question the legitimacy of the tournament. But what we saw yesterday surely cannot promote the game in any country where national pride is reliant of habitual floggings.
The Kangaroos overnight beat a French selection XIII 34-10 in France. Whilst I have not seen the game, the scoreline would suggest the match was competitive and Lord knows the game needs reviving in France after the French Rugby Union sought to destroy League through their collaboration with Vichy regime and Nazis in WWII.
In 1941, the French Rugby Union was in decline and Rugby League was making massive inroads into Union?s market to the point where the French Rugby Union were banned from the Five Nations and clubs were failing left, right and centre.
Influential French Rugby officials sought about having League banned, its assets seized and players blacklisted if they did not convert to the 15 man game. Even though an official government inquiry found this to be true, no compensation has been paid and no assets returned.
At its height (1939), France had 225 Rugby League clubs but today the game is still struggling to survive in France and it?s a skeleton best left in the closet such is the shame that surrounds the actions of the Vichy regime and the French Rugby Federation.
All this probably means very little to the average Heineken drinking Rugby fan, but to kick us in the guts and then ridicule us for lack of success when your own sport can be directly held accountable for its demise is the attitude I just can?t cop from the games administrators. It makes me sick to my stomach like few other things can. So excuse me Wendell and Mr O?Neill if I choose not to support the Wallabies because they don?t represent anything I stand for.