Thursday, September 29, 2011


As the end of the pool play of the R W C is upon us, something is nagging at my sense of Fair Play.

Now it has been a tremendous event with the hospitality and support of most of our country truly on show giving us all the positive exposure possible. We have, in spite of many dire predictions, had good crowd support for all games.

An event of this nature must have a seeding system to bring the better teams through to the knockout stage but and for me it is becoming an ever larger but, why do the weaker teams have to contend with four day turnarounds and the stronger teams have nothing less than six days and mostly seven and even eight days.
Apart from an outburst by a Samoan midfielder the Minnows (no slight of them intended) are mostly just so pleased to be able to mix it with their big brothers and although a problem of getting their top players together for any semblance of a buildup with club commitments, some of the rugby produced has been very impressive.
BTW Samoa had four days to prepare for Wales and only five days for South Africa, they had to win one of those to realistically have any chance to qualify for a Quarter finals place.

My view of a move to fairness in future WCs must include one of three improvements.
1 Extend the pool phase by a week so no team plays with less than six days recovery.
2 If the time period of this cup is retained then a true draw as to timing be used so the 'Minnows have equal opportunity for longer recovery times.
3 Or my preferred move,have true seeding for the pools but have the minnows enjoy the longer periods and the stronger squads back up for 3 games in eight days.

Am I being picky or not when Canada who played Japan's Brave Blossoms last Tuesday night in Napier for the chance to avoid qualifying for the next cup, then relocating to Wellington to prepare for what will be the biggest game in all their lives next Saturday night to try and compete with the All Blacks who moved to the Capital on Monday.

No, I do not think the lower ranked teams got a fair suck of the Sav.

1 comment:

pdm said...

The only thing the organisers have to do is ensure every team plays two games a week. With squads of 30this should be no hardship and it is fair to all.