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It’s hard not to be cynical about over-the-top Wallaby sanctions

Call me a cynic – there’s probably a club out there you can join — but I must admit I’ve found myself questioning Ewen McKenzie’s integrity in the wake of his extraordinary disciplinary crackdown.

On balance, I’m prepared to accept there may have been perfectly valid reasons –  “due process” etc – for McKenzie not hitting six of his “night owls”  with those bans BEFORE the Wallabies’ critical match against Ireland in Dublin last Saturday.

But, sorry, I’d be inclined to bet my (Gilbert) balls that if the Wallabies were playing England or Wales this weekend — not relative lightweights Scotland – those over-the-top sanctions would have been watered down to a range of fines.

There’s no doubt McKenzie inherited serious team culture issues when he took over from Robbie Deans. And he’s already made some big calls – not least in sending wild child James O’Connor to Coventry (OK, to be more precise, London Irish).

But I’m by no means convinced this has been one of his smarter ones.

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Love him or hate him, you’d have to agree Kevin Pietersen’s nothing if not a straight shooter.

One of the more interesting insights to emerge during an otherwise fairly juvenile anti-Pietersen campaign conducted by a Brisbane tabloid in the run-up to the Gabba Test was provided by mild-mannered former Australian batsman Ed Cowan.

Cowan was reported to have recounted a story of Pietersen examining the lunch buffet during an England-Australian A game and exclaiming: “What the f… is this?”

The Tasmanian opener told him that, being English, he should recognise bread-and-butter pudding when he saw it.

To which England’s South African-born batting trump replied:  “I’m not f…ing English, Eddie. I just work there.”

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Sports crossword tragics will no doubt be pleased to see we’ve finally got our act together  and picked up where we left off with our weekly interactive/printable puzzles.

But do me a favour. If you have any issues (using Firefox?) — indeed, any feedback — let us know. Pronto.

— Peter Thomson


One Response to It’s hard not to be cynical about over-the-top Wallaby sanctions

  • John Wagner says:

    I am certainly no fan of McKenzie. To me, he is largely a “big mouth” who became coach of the Wobbolies largely by relying on the Reds 2011 season, and, if reports are to be believed, by undermining Robbie Deans and Jake White to secure the job for himself. He seems to PUBLICLY blame everyone but himself (the refs. the players etc.) whenever the Wallabies fall short — something that Deans would never do PUBLICLY. However I do agree with his stand against O’Connor, and with his standing down of the “worst six” boozers. I am not sure that I agree with your point about it being “only Scotland” who have been Australia’s “bogey team” recently. Even if the “investigation” could have been carried out prior to the Irish Test, it would have left no time to prepare the remaining players for that test. And now with Kurindrani suspended and Toomua injured, it will be very interesting indeed to see how the “new backline” performs at Murrayfield, won’t it?
    Without commenting on the length of suspension of Kurindrani, I reckon that it is time that the IRB and national bodies swallowed
    their pride, and borrowed from the NRL by giving the player a yellow card and placing him on report, where the incident could be looked at AFTER the match with the aid of video evidence.
    It was fortunate that the incident occurred in the closing minutes, and not the opening minutes, if the Irish game. Had he been red carded in, say the first 5-minutes, it would have been the whole team who were penalised, to say nothing of ruining the game as a spectacle for the public. { I hark back to recent QRU Finals, where early red cards were given to two Brothers players, thus ruining the game as a contest. Also to Warburton in the 2011 RWC.} A yellow card on the day with a deeper investigation after the match so that mainly the offending player, and not the whole team, is penalised.
    What do you reckon, Peter?
    Regarding the Ashes, I found the Courier Mail’s front page on Day 1 to be absolutely despicable and vile journalism! In the end, the editor and staff of that “rag” must have egg on their faces since Broad (love him or hate him) was stirred up sufficiently to be man of the match on day 1.

    John Wag.

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