Thursday, 13 November 2008

Why do the All Black coaches persist with Sivivatu?

So Graham Henry has announced the All Black team to face Ireland with a good thing being that Joe Rokocoko makes a return to the wing. However, I’m not so thrilled about the reselection of Sitiveni Sivivatu on the other. I mean, Why? The guy can’t defend for peanuts (several tries against the All Blacks this year have been directly related to him and his shoddy defence).

And if that wasn’t bad enough, has he scored any tries for the All Blacks for the whole of 2008? I mean, he’s meant to be a winger for one of the best backlines in the world for Pete’s sake. Declan Kidney’s Irish will be licking their lips I’m sure and no doubt there will be plenty of punts on the fact that several Irish bombs will be heading Sivivatu’s way come the weekend.

I’m not the only one that’s frustrated – here’s a very succinct letter to the editor in the DomPost in June from an equally exasperated fan, summing up Sivivatu’s capabilities quite well: “Hopelessly out of position in most of the games and his handling is dreadful. Apart from his burst of speed and the compromising photos he has of the selectors, there is not much there. C at best verging on D.”

Amen to that brother.

But for handling errors, bad defence, lack of positional nouse, not to mention poor sportsmanship, the main reason why he shouldn’t be in the team is more clear cut. He has a record in the courts of domestic violence. Ok – only once that we know of, and everyone deserves a chance of redemption right? No. Not when it comes to the All Blacks. His membership should have been stripped as soon as word came out that he had hit his wife. For a country that is drowning in the blood of its many domestic violence scandals, there should be no room for a person to represent the national team in what is supposedly the national sport.

He can seek his redemption out of the public eye as far as I’m concerned. Mud sticks


Matt @ Green and Gold Rugby said...

We've had problems tackling him, that's for sure.

Naly D said...

I agree with you on Sivi. He's an enigma though - just like Nonu. He has bad days/games where he just can't do anything right. Then he has others where he is amazing.

I think it is a little like Nonu in that he doesn't lose skill, but the opposition gain it. You'll notice some teams mark both of them quite tight which prevents Sivi doing his favourite 'eel move' - you know, the one where the top half of his bidy continues to travel one way, while the other part slides through a gap...