Well, it's been a long old time since I had a rant and as has happened many times before, the impetus and inspiration for it involves an international break and rugby fans across social media.
There has been several stories across the usual groups on Facebook that has seen the usual mix of vitriol, hatred, uneducated opinion passed as fact and blatant arrogance (add in a tinge of jingoism (that words for you, Dad!_ and mild xenophobia in some cases)
The thing I've noticed, it's no longer just the Facebook users that are causing the exchanges, but some of the clickbait driven groups with misleading headlines. Without sounding douchey, International breaks are a time where the 'casual' rugby fan comes out to play. A lot of these people have minimal knowledge of the laws, so when a headline is screaming about a referee 'bottling' a decision, it get's largely taken as gospel. I've been on a bit of a Facebook crusade to point out certain gaps in knowledge, but even then, some people don't want to listen....(one more week, and they'll all bugger off to watch the ashes!)
Case 1 - Naholo should have had yellow/ red for the tackle in the air of Hogg. (or how the ref bottled the decision/ NZ get all the decisions/ the ref was anti Scottish)
The discussion on the TV was about was it a yellow card, but I've literally seen someone say it should have been a red for a headbutt (yeah, no fucking clue where that came from).... there's been so many comments and articles about this, all claiming the referee was wrong, the TMO was at fault, it was the work of a rare Gorgon Sungod who used ESP to influence the referee away from executing Naholo for the offence....
Law 10.4 -Dangerous play and misconduct - section (e) A player must not tackle an opponent who's feet are off the ground - SANCTION - PENALTY KICK
From the world rugby lawbook.
Take away the potential blocking by Price, the referee saying there was extenuating circumstances, the allegedly biased ref, the unpunishable All Blacks, the TMO suggesting another look..... this is 100%, nailed on, text book, the punishment as given by the OFFICIAL LAWBOOK!!
If some of the people both running and posting on these pages really think they know/can do better...
There's a few links for some refereeing courses. I look forward to seeing some of the commenters grace a rugby pitch near me soon, taking over from the existing crop of referees with their huge and superior knowledge of the game.
Case 2 - The Samoan players match fee's
OK. The Samoan situation is a sad indictment of the current state of how the 'Tier 2' sides are being treated. However, the Samoan Union need to take a lot of the blame for where the existing funds they are given have vanished to. The likes of Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Dan Leo have long talked about this and to be honest, I'm not in posession of all the facts needed to make a judgment, but I will say that it should be World Rugby and the bigger Unions responsibility to help these nations grow.
Mako Vunipola had stated a while back that he was trying to encourage the England players to give up £1000 out of their estimated £22k match fees to help boost the coffers of the Samoan players (reportedly only getting £600 per person match fee)
Since then, the RFU have offered a 'Goodwill gesture' of £75k to help cover costs after hearing that despite their own claims, the Samoan union are in fact NOT bankrupt! Although there is still confusion over where the cash should be paid. Following this the players and RFU voted to not get further involved with the row between the Samoan bosses and World Rugby and the offer to donate match fee's has been taken off of the table.
Obviously RugbyClickbait.com and their friends on Facebook had a field day with this one. Headlines like ENGLAND PLAYERS REFUSE TO HELP and ENGLAND PLAYERS WITHDRAW OFFER TO HELP SAMOAN PLAYERS.
I mean, they cleverly omit the 75k payment from the RFU and concentrate solely on the 10 million or so pounds the home internationals are worth, also cleverly forgetting to mention the costs and overheads of putting on these matches and the money that rolls down from the RFU all the way to grassroots. But yeah, they should certainly be slated for not doing the job of World Rugby and the Samoan Union, damn them for being successful.
I don't recall reading that Scotland or Romania's unions and players passed on vast amounts of cash to the Samoans, but hey, lets not worry about them. Fuckin' RFU and England players. I mean, Steve from Kidderminster has just said that England only pick Samoan players now, so it must be a conspiracy!!! Kelly from Dagenham has said the RFU are scared to play in Samoa cos they'd hammer us out there and we don't want them making money either! Must all be true.
I mean, the international matches are arranged by World Rugby not the individual unions (otherwise we would have seen England vs New Zealand this season) but, let's not allow these facts to get in the way of slagging off England and English players hey! Also, Roko and Hughes are Fijian origin and the Vunipola bros are Tongan via Wales, so we don't have a huge Samoan presence in the current line up, unless George Ford is hiding a secret, but Ben from Fife says they're all Samoan, so clearly, they must be.....
anyways. I was at a loose end and felt the need to vent, so thanks for reading this, I'll see you soon!!!