Tuesday, 9 October 2007

All Blacks, Wayne Barnes And A Sense Of Perspective

In the wake of the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between New Zealand and France a lot of vitriol has been spewed forth, websites created and nasty homophobic comments posted on Wikipedia about the English referee Wayne Barnes, and his handling of the game. Yes – he did make some mistakes (I myself screamed at my television set on account of a couple of his calls) but the match is finished now and the result has been decided. We lost. There is no going back. So why do we kiwis have to still be moaning on about this? Even our numbskull media have got into the attacks on Barnes (surprise, surprise), rarking up the (I would like to think) minority in this country that only have half a brain cell to rub together and who let these myopic journos do the thinking for them. It was bad enough losing – but why do we as New Zealanders have to be such bad losers into the bargain?

While the All Blacks bow their coiffeured heads and weep into moisturised hands; while the nation as a whole collectively mourns with grief over another shock exit, it wouldn’t hurt to look at the people who are true victims of this world cup fiasco. And no, it isn’t Graham Henry, the NZRFU, TV3, Murray Mexted, the publicans, the players or the WAGs. The real victims are the women and children who have had to report to Women’s Refuge or the Police this weekend as their abusive partners were plunged into a black mood when the All Blacks bowed out. There has been a huge upsurge of reported domestic violence in the last 72 hours. While we’re all worrying about Richie’s feelings or whether Ted is staying or going, it wouldn’t hurt to spare a thought for those who live their lives in true visceral fear. A way to get this perspective back about what really is important in life would be to make a donation to the Women’s Refuge. They need our help more than any world cup administrator sitting uneasily in a bigwig chair at NZRFU today.

13 comments:

Nursedude said...

Ferdy, it is surreal to think that some bloke would take out his All Black frustrations out on his wife/partner/kids...Rugby is a tremendous game, but it is JUST A GAME. Thanks for taking a look at the bigger picture. Re: Refereeing, I watched Setanta's coverage, which means Irish(northern Hemisphere) bias. They really did not mention towards the end when the referree signaled advantage, then McAlister took a shot at a drop goal...usually in such situations,the referee will come back to the original spot of the foul and give the option of going for posts. That would have been in a very make-able spot. That said, as a neutral, I don't think you can blame the ref for this loss..for starters, it's a moot point, what's done is done. Secondly, I can think of some sports where there have been way more dubious referree decisons.(Olympic Boxing comes to mind)

Anonymous said...

The advantage was for a knock-on, so after a reasonable drop-kick at goal, the advantage was over.

Anonymous said...

As a neutral I have to agree that the ref did a poor job. McAlister took the drop goal because the ref had signalled advantage. It was poor decision making by Barnes (forward passes aside) that means the All Blacks now go home.

No matter what the northern hemisphere gloaters may say - the kiwis were playing against 16 men in that quarterfinal. Barnes will never ref a game involving New Zealand again.

Anonymous said...

Being an ex-pat Kiwi in the UK I did not have a pleasant day back at work yesterday. Some English are as poor a winner here as it appears some NZers are about the loss to France. Humble in victory and gracious in defeat seems to have disappeared from many people’s ideals. This was one of the first thing drilled into me when I started playing rugby at a young age and 35 years on I still abide by it. It can be a bitter pill to swallow sometimes but there is no use in getting bent and twisted over things you cannot control.

The referee was poor but if you can’t win a game with 70 odd percent possession of the ball then the opposition has done a fantastic job in defence (which the French did) and the ref not giving some vital decisions such as not spotting a single French infringement in the 2nd half / forward pass / yellow card (could argue for or against it).

Still only another four years until the RWC comes back to New Zealand. I am saving up for the flights right now because it is going to cost me a fortune to get my Welsh wife and the two NZ / Welsh supporting kids over.

Ferdy said...

Thanks for your comments ex-pat Kiwi. yes - I sympathise with you living in London at the moment! The All Blacks have fallen from a great height considering everyone was dissing the NH a week ago and I can understand (yet think it is a bit rich) the cheery NH souls who thought their time was up and are now celebrating with gay abandon (if not in the most gracious of fashions).

However - I think celebrations for the English rugby team may be a tad premature. If there is one thing to learn from RWC 2007, expect the unexpected and counting chickens and gloating normally comes back and bites you when you least expect it (sadly I'm speaking from experience on this one!)

Anyway - not to worry because Argentina is going to win anyway.

And if all else fails - as both nursedude and you so wisely say - roll on 2011!

Anonymous said...

Trust me Pal most of us northern hemishere gloaters wanted AB win because four years of listening to England is the worst faith possible. On the day the French showed more passion and gave a better performance. Face it NZ were looking past the QF and did not rate the french team. This is what cost you and this is a mentallity that will continue to cost you

Ferdy said...

Happen you're right anon. Happen you're right.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Non-choker said...

As a Bok-supporter from SA, all I can say is that it is dissapointing to see the way the Kiwi's are attacking the ref this time for their loss (if I remember right, in SA in '95, they blamed a girl called Suzie).

The French so deserved to win, with 70 percent possesion for the AB's, and looking at the "tackles made" count (due to the best defensive effort I've ever seen) you could not give the winning blow. I've seen the AB's (more than once) build up fase after fase in the final few seconds in matches before to win it in the last move of the game, but the fact that McAlister took that desparate drop goal, is proof of the fact that they felt they won't be able to get through the French defense ,so please don't embarres yourselves by blaming one forward pass missed by the ref for the loss. As the greatest rugby nation by far (my honest opinion), you should know better............

Anonymous said...

A very valid and real comment hope all visitors to this site will indeed make a donation to womens refuge. The thought went through my head after the defeat of the ABs "how many women are going to receive the 'bash today'"! we know our countrymen too well. Alas.
Jane

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'm 100% happy with linking the All Blacks loss to spouse abuse. Its unfortunate that the loss is a factor in these dickheads beating their wives, but the reality is these cowards are going to hit their wives anyway. It could be a loss on the pokies/horses, bad day at work, anything really. We need to focus on the reasons behind it and work on it at all times, not just when we lose a rugby match.

In regards to the rugby: I think the issue would have died down a bit if the IRB had admitted it was a mistake to have an inexperienced ref for the game, and that he did make crucial mistakes. The fact they haven't done that has fuelled peoples outrage. The ref made several poor decisions (the obvious ones were not the crucial ones, the ruck and maul policing and offside were more crucial) which affected the outcome of the game - the IRB must accept that.

Ferdy said...

Hi - I won't be linking any All Black with domestic abuse (although sadly in the past there have been a few who have been to court for just that - but this isn't what the blog is about).

I am linking the loss of the All Blacks as a potential catalyst for violence in the household. Sport is great but the sickening element of it is that people who have a history of violence and don't know how to control their tempers can easily be swayed by the scoreboard. Some people drink, some people feel a bit depressed or disappointed and have a wee cry(me), some people gloat and preen and like being a bit racist (Stephen Jones Sunday Times a prime example), and some people use violence as an outlet on their families.

Domestic violence is a worldwide tragedy but statistics sadly prove - that a rise in domestic related crime often coincides with that of a big sports match. Whether it be football, rugby or synchronised swimming, in whatever country in the world - this is the terrible reality.


http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~webfac/lee/e251_Sp06/Dahl.pdf

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the assertion that domestic violence increases following a sporting loss. However, I feel my point stands - dropkicks who beat their wives/partners don't need an excuse, they will do it anyway! I noticed in the stats provided in the link that the incidences increase during holidays as well.

Nice to read an apt description of Stephen Jones - he doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good story.