The good, the bad and the rugby

Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012

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Do the All Blacks have dirty players, and do we have a history of dirty play? Maybe we should ask Richard Loe that question, or Troy Flavell perhaps? Actually maybe we should ask their many victims.

The answer is, of course, we do - we are not a squeaky clean nation of rugby players. Rugby is a physical game, and like any competition it is fraught with emotion, and where emotions run high the brain can explode. In rugby if your brain explodes you do stupid things, and that can be evidenced in this tour with Thompson and Hore. But are we alone in this? Are we the only team that has moments like this? Of course we aren’t. Rugby is rugby.

Do not get me wrong, I in no way condone any act of thuggery on the field, but I think some perspective is missing here.

Why is it that we fixate over an incident like that and brush over the good stuff. On the weekend, the ABs scored one of the best tries I have seen in years, a break that ended with Messam scoring in the corner. Try to find that described in detail in any newspaper and you will struggle. Yet the detail of what Hore did is not just discussed in detail, complete with a psychological assessment, but usually with a video clip or a series of still pictures.

People, it happens, Hore was wrong, Thompson was wrong. They deserve whatever punishment they earn (and maybe more if your name is Thompson). But let's not get lost in that. Rugby is a beautiful game. When the Lions came to New Zealand last, the All Blacks played some wonderful rugby, and frankly Carter’s game in the second test was probably the most complete game I have ever seen a rugby player have. But ask some in the North and the first thing they say about that whole tour is "Umaga and Mealamu deserved to get hanged for what they did to O’Driscoll". I mean really, it that your enduring memory of a test series? Ten seconds' play in the first five minutes of the whole series?

Its time to be reminded that rugby is a wonderful game, and the cup is three-quarters full, and has never been half empty. Let the bad be dealt with accordingly, and let it go. Then enjoy the game for all it is.

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