IRB boss Gosper decision sets a precedent

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012

Relevant offers

International

Which Kiwi rugby coach could save the Boks? England coach Eddie Jones wants dominant Six Nations Rennie tipped as a contender to take over Springboks coaching role Wallabies seek improvement without star flanker David Pocock as he takes sabbatical Cheika extends olive branch to Jones after fourth loss to England Wallabies have reasons for grumbles, but look as though they need a summer break Why England could break All Blacks' winning streak Michael Cheika frustrated by Wallabies defeat England beat Wallabies at Twickenham to complete perfect rugby year Eddie Jones echoes Steve Hansen in saying England 'not best team yet'

New International Rugby board boss Brett Gosper has just made life very difficult for himself.

OPINION: The decision by rugby's governing body to review All Black Adam Thomson's one-week ban for trampling has quickly set a precedent under Gosper's tenure.

Gosper has now drawn a line in the sand.

We wait to see what happens to the next case that steps over that line. Or if Gosper is willing to be flexible with his thinking.

But, when it comes to judicial matters, he will be under pressure to deliver consistency.

Consistency is the key ingredient players, teams and coaches want from officials - on and off the field.

With the boundaries set, players, teams and coaches know the confines they are working with.

So we can assume Gosper will to take an eagle-eye approach to all judicial matters. Or can we? How Gosper reacts from here will be under the microscope because he has taken a reactionary approach to the Thomson case.

Gosper is a fan of social media but, to get involved in a tweeting storm once Thomson's initial ban was delivered, was questionable for someone in his position.

In reacting to the predictable outcry by British journalists over Thomson's sentence, Gosper surprisingly tweeted: "The IRB will review this case as it is a match under our jurisdiction. If we decide to take action, we will make it public."

That has now happened. And with it has come Gosper's barometer for what he sees as acceptable. It's up to him to stick to that or risk becoming as "inconsistent" as this very process has proven to be in the past.

It's interesting that Gosper has come out so strongly over the Thomson case.

If it really is one rule for the All Blacks and another rule for the other teams - as is the perception up north - then the New Zealand camp can only look with bemusement at the judiciary's handling of some blatant thuggery against skipper Richie McCaw.

Springbok prop Dean Greyling copped a one-week ban for a flying elbow into McCaw's face and then Wallabies loosie Scott Higginbotham gets a two-week ban for kneeing and headbutting McCaw.

Not even the cynical - nor serial - nature of these acts and the resulting lightweight sentences could tempt Gosper to tap into Twitter and, as the boss of rugby, question the Sanzar rulings.

To make things worse, Higginbotham serves his punishment and declares: "I don't regret anything I did."

It will be interesting to see if Gosper has any regrets. 

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content