READER REPORT:

Coming off the long run: Disciplining the ABs

BILL HADDLETON
Last updated 14:39 16/09/2012
Aaron Smith
DAVID HALLETT/fAIRFAX nz
STAR OF THE SHOW: Aaron Smith.
Cory Jane
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ
AN EASIER RIDE?: Cory Jane escaped any harsh punishment for his antics.

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So Aaron Smith is benched because he broke team protocol and was out past the curfew, and I suspect if there were three halfbacks in the squad he would be out of the 22.

This is completely fair and I have no issues with this, being an All Black comes with a lot of responsibility.

We all know last year how Zac Guildford, during the world cup, had to apologise for his excessive drinking after the Tri-Nations loss and, again, that was necessary and fair.

However, only two weeks after Guildford's public humiliation, Cory Jane and Israel Dagg went on a drinking binge yet faced no playing ban, no dropping to the bench and no public press conference nor forced apology for their actions.

Dagg was injured so this isn't really pointed at him, nor is it actually pointed at Jane, but more the All Black coaches and management.

Why was Jane allowed to play and face no consequences, yet Smith has been demoted and Guildford publicly shamed?

I think it is definitely a fair thing to have the players apologise in a press conference as they are international sports stars and are idols for many.

But was the reason that Jane wasn't banned because he was so important to the World Cup campaign?

He was probably the best winger in the world. Did the coaches feel that during the world cup they couldn't afford to drop him, especially with Dagg injured as well?

Now, because it is not the world cup and because the All Blacks seem to have quite a handy lead in the Rugby Championship, do they think that they can afford to have their best halfback on the bench?

Really, the rules should be the same for all: either make them front up, or don't.


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