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Spot on mate.
Posted 15:00 30th July 2012
@APV1. spot on!
Posted 14:28 30th July 2012
@hay05 - thanks, yours are well-balanced comments.
Leaving aside all the comments using Henry's comments as an excuse to put the boot into New Zealanders as a species, the fact remains -
that in the game we love, the IRB as its custodians did not then, and still do not, have in place a system or process to review games that are, frankly, shockingly weird.
Questions like this will come up again. The France-NZ game was a statistical oddity. The tackle count was an amazing statistic, so was the penalty count.
Rugby's rules are deliberately designed to allow for all sorts of games and permutations. There will be other weird anomalous games in future years.
In order to squelch theories of last resort (because things don't seem to make sense any other way) such as match-fixing, the IRB ought to have a process. Then they can take the lead rather than be on the back foot.
when they do have a process, it ought to be applied sparingly. As a species we have a common trait of blaming others faults rather than our own team's shortcomings when our team loses. This is known among all sports followers and is the subject of academic research. It's part of being human, it seems.
Anyway, such a process should be triggered by exceptional statistical aberration rather than, say, a sense of entitlement resulting in an outpouring of emotion by bitterly disappointed fans.
Posted 14:11 30th July 2012
I'm a bit surprised by these new comments, as well as the others. Henry has lost some of my respect, which I previously had much of for him. Whiney, unrealistic and hypocritical - not the usual Graham Henry.
Posted 14:08 30th July 2012
@ cuw3100 - you seem to have your facts about cricket and players being banned a little muddled. But I understand your point, so I shan't let facts get in the way of a good rant. You crack on, sunshine!
This is nothing more than an attempt to raise the profile of his book and sell more. I'm also fairly confident that this is probably the only interesting bit in the book. If we don't want to, we don't have to buy it. I shan't, but if it ends up in my Christmas stocking, I'll have a read.
Yes, I have a romantic view of Rugby and believe that those associated with it are, by and large, honourable people. That's based on experience and rugby-tinted specs - I don't want to think that the sport I love might be corrupt. I was devastated when the cricket match-fixing scandals hit the headlines, be they Saffa, English, Pakistani, or where-ever. I don't want our sport rocked by this PR in a cynical attempt to sell books. If there's suspicion, investigate. If proof is found, punish hard. But don't tarnish my beloved sport with rumour and conjecture, just as a PR exercise to make more cash. It smacks of greed and a lack of appreciation for what really makes the sport great - the ethos and philosophies of respect and fairness, which underpin it.
Posted 13:44 30th July 2012
I guess now GH knows what its like for every other country when they are playing the ABs. Offisdes by the ABS get overlooked, the opposition gets pinged for everything, you only have to look at the recent Irish match to see the lifeline thrown to NZ in the second test. Terrible call in the scrum which penalised a dominant Irish pack (no, you read that right, I almost didnt believe it myself) and allowed the ABs posession in the last minute to go down and get 2 drop goal attempts to win the game. NZ always get the 50/50 calls and the benefit of the doubt, no one more so that Mr McCaw. Take this as the one where the roles were reversed.
Bees don't cry too loudly when they get stung and neither should you Graham!
Posted 13:16 30th July 2012
Oh yes, when the fabled All Pacific lose it can only be match fixing, either by a crooked ref or a waitress who lives a double life as a CIA agent named Suzie. All very logical in the land of the long white cloud. Of course, when their sworn enemies the "yarpies" say it was match fixing by New Zealanders Bryce Lawrence (NZ ref of the year 2011) and Paddy O'Kickback that knocked us out of the RWC then it's sour grapes. The hypocrisy is just astounding.
Posted 13:08 30th July 2012
@bokbevok do you deny that the All black team in the final of the RWC were suffering from food poisoning. Seriously do you deny this happened. Im not accusing anybody of doing it but it is a fact the team were hit by food poisoning.
I have followed rugby for many years and I too have never heard of the NH referees being responsible for the 1999 loss. This is just another figment of your fertile imagination. No doubt there would be NZers who criticised a certain Scottish referee but I have never heard any official or regular NZ fan blame the referees in 1999. I certainly heard many blame Barnes for the loss in 2007 and plenty of your countrymen blame Lawrence for your loss in 2011 so think it is a bit rich of you to mount the high horse. So before you accuse us of being sore losers re read some of the most amazing and vitriolic posts some of your countrymen made about Lawrence in the last RWC and accept that you too have some very sore losers as well.
Posted 12:46 30th July 2012
Interestingly, according to stats I have dig up from google searches (so apologies if any innaccuracies), NZ only conceded 7 penalties in the same game. This is also a very low count, and would point more towards a lenient ref than match fixing.
The same teams played in November and the penalty count was 5/7, also very low.
The penalty count is not the only unusual stat in this game. The tackle count by France and Dusatoir was unbelievable. Watch the game again and see an absolute masterclass in tackling. I think France chose not to target too much turnover in rucks as McCaw makes it difficult for teams to do this. Putting aside ref issues, France were outstanding on the night, and Henry knows it.
Posted 12:45 30th July 2012
To this day I have never seen or heard of a team concede 2 penalties or less ever in a game of rugby. Something did seem out of place although I wouldn't suspect it to be match fixing, just inexperienced officiating, which I would lay clearly as the fault of the IRB for giving WB such an important match. His actions immediately following the match actually saw him presented with the Pierre de Coubertin trophy, one of the worlds top awards for fair play. In the months following this match, GH completed this match analysis and presented this theory to the NZRU as the basis for being re-employed as NZ coach, which clearly worked. And now he is selling a book and wants to tell his entire story. He never actually accused anyone of match fixing, he suspected it but it may have happened but that's where it ended. Now he is telling his story so it has come out that he thought this. That is all. I respect him more for telling his entire story with nothing to hide rather than telling his story less this.
Posted 12:09 30th July 2012
Mhmmm... So they got Bryce to fix the injustice. And rewarded him with the NZ ref of the year award for his "efforts". Maybe even slipped him the old brown envelope. Who knows?
Posted 12:07 30th July 2012
I agree with him ! Last 11 saffa refs to ref Aus V NZ = 11 NZ win. Other refs Aus v NZ = very different results. Henry knows all about fixing matches !!!
Posted 12:02 30th July 2012
Accusations or not Henry does Have a point about there not being anything in place to monitor match fixing. The problem is where do yo begin with something like that. Surely that's like war on terrorism. There are too many variables. It also takes away from romantic view that corruption can't occur in rugby. But does that mean it should be left alone?
Posted 11:54 30th July 2012
Disgraceful comments, I never thought much of this guy before but honestly believe these comments are designed to help sell more books. It shows Henry's character that he's prepared to throw the whole sport under a bus just to make a quick buck!!! What a w@@@@r!
Posted 11:05 30th July 2012
Chancer - What u need is to learn how 2 win
Posted 11:02 30th July 2012
dear god. New zealand are the past masters of professional fouls. Teams come near the tryline, they get pushed to the sidelines and someone goes into the ruck from the side. better to loose 3 pts than 7. Slowing the ball? richie has made a career out of it.Targeting key players and not getting punished-o`driscoll ?---The all blacks are the best in the world at cynical rugby, importing talent from other nations and codes, and using them,and playing rugby to win at any cost. If they eventually loose, well it must be the refs fault, innit?
then, to actually win a world cup at home, they use a kiwi ref-, bricey, to hedge the bets, award him ref of the year, and then sack him. !
want any further evidence of cynical, underhand, total-rugby-at-any-cost?
Posted 10:58 30th July 2012
Crikey, I think some of us have taken this whole saga to another level. @bk47 - I agree. This is actually the media that have spun this more as it makes a good story. GH didn't actually accuse anybody of match fixing. The stats were so heavily stacked in the Kiwi's favour that he just asked the question, nothing more. In truth the AB's were void of ideas and direction in what was a tight game. The French played very well. The ref had a shocker. It happens. It has happened since (Boks v Aussies 07). I'm not really sure about the 2011 final as yes, Joubert didn't have his best game but the French had their chance to win it. GH is a miserable bastard but when you get chatting to him, he is actually a funny guy and very smart. He must be delighted with this as this will help to sell his book. You will then read it and be disappointed as to what he 'actually' says and does. Put everything into context and then we can calm down a bit. There was no match fixing and I really don't believe there has ever been. Just bad refereeing. Barnes is actually a good ref in general but does drop the odd howlers. All refs have bad games. Listen to Hansen and we can just move on. This is silly stuff.
Posted 10:44 30th July 2012
This doesnt clarify anything, it just fuels the flames. Henry has insulted too many people with this and punitive action must be taken for the good of rugby.
Posted 10:42 30th July 2012
bokvebok - 1995 food poisoning is a fact. Only whether it was intentional or accidental is up for pointless unprovable debate.
1999 - I don't recall anyone blaming the ref. French were awesome in the 2nd half.
2003 - Jon Mitchells poor selections gets the blame for that one. Had he not left Umaga at home we might've had someone to cope with Mortlock who was immense that day.
2007- I think you'll find most Kiwis agree that the officials were incompetent that day not corrupt. Most also realise that it was stupidity that cost us that day not the ref. So much time camped inside the 22 & no drop goal still has me shaking my head in disbelief. Also Henry tinkering with the 2006 squad (the best ever imo) still annoys me.
It's a bit much for a Saffa to sarcastically use the term fine losers when your lot have been blaming refs & POB for years with alleged conspiracy theories. Pots & kettles my friend.
As for Henrys comments. I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to ask if the IRB has systems in place to investigate sports betting. Especially with statistics as one sided as those in that match combined with the emotion of losing such an important game.
I'll never believe there's corruption in rugby until proven otherwise but no sport is immune to the possibility.
Posted 10:17 30th July 2012
Frankly, if Graham thought it at the time there was no way he could have said it, given his contract obligations. It's perfectly reasonable for him to say it now in his final word book as he has retired and that match was probably the most defining of his whole career.
The biggest concern is that the IRB have still not done anywhere near enough to ensure that the results of big matches are determined by the efforts of the players and not mistakes by referees and their assistants. Look at the nearly completed Super 15. The results of far too many matches came as a consequence of mistakes by referees.
It's not good enough.
For the NZ bashers, if we play well enough we want to win. We don't want a situation where mistakes by the match officials gives the game to the opposition. Isn't that reasonable?
Posted 10:11 30th July 2012