Fridays Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Fridays Rugby News

Fridays Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Valetini hurt, Wallaby back row under pressure, the SCG turf fiasco, and Crusaders name change talk.

 

Valetini Gawn

Rob Valetini start-stop career has stopped again. The talented 20-year-old has struggled with knee problems since he debuted and this time is no different. Apparently, this time is not so bad because it’s not the medial ligament he’s hurt twice before. Whatever the injury his predicted recovery time is expected to be six to eight weeks.

Blocka Dutton talks of Valetini getting back on the park to stake his claim for a Wallaby World Cup berth in this article and while I can recognise the incredible talent he possesses I don’t share Blocka’s belief that he should go.

From his article: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been keeping a close eye on his development, although the Brumbies have warned against expecting too much too early from the powerfully-built flanker.

The Brumbies have 11 games left in the Super Rugby season, including a clash against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.

 Valetini’s injury will limit his time to impress at the back end of the season and will test the Brumbies’ back-row depth given Ben Hyne is already out for the entire season
I think we should take the long view on a talented player and let his body recover properly instead of rushing him to be ready for a world cup.

The Wallabies’ Backrow Under Pressure

Isi Naisarani dives over for the Brumbies 2nd try

Over on Rugby pass there’s a great article from Chips Blanch discussing the Wallaby back row options. He talks about the pooper and the alternatives and which camp the fans fall into. Got to say despite Pocock and Hooper being our two best backrowers I’ve never been a fan of playing them at the same time.

Over to Chips.

There were some real positives for Australian rugby, however, mostly around the performance of our blindsides and no. 8’s. Luke Jones had a standout game for the Rebels in the 6 jersey, showing the impact he can have around the park when he doesn’t have a prop’s arse resting on his shoulder. Isi Naisarani gets over the gain line more often than not, which is a big contributor to the Rebels being able to play as flat as they have been.

Lachie McCaffrey completely dominated an all-Wallaby backrow. He is a smart player that has a knack for big plays, something that comes in handy in test matches (hint hint).  Over in Tokyo, Scott Higginbotham had moments of brilliance, but it is obvious his mind is elsewhere and who could blame him? It is absolutely criminal the way he has been frozen out of the national setup over the last few years. The overall positivity around the back-row was somewhat dampened by this and another injury to Rob Valetini, but let’s talk about why these good performances are so important for Australian rugby.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Wallabies since the last World Cup has been the inability of the forwards to consistently give the backline a good platform to attack from, in general play and at set-piece. Tight five aside, why then do we consistently pick a backrow whose strengths don’t lie in getting over the gain line, resulting in slow, contested ball for our (usually) very sharp backline?

It’s no coincidence that the last good game the Wallabies played against the All Blacks was in 2017 at Lang Park, where Sean McMahon started at 8 with Jack Dempsey alongside him at 6. Two natural ball carriers working in tandem had the All Blacks on the back foot, and funnily enough, we ended up winning that one.

You know it makes sense.

 

And… The SCG Gets New Turf!

(Photo Credit: Keith McInnnes)

After the farce that was the Waratahs v Reds scrum battle at the SCG two weeks ago, where the Reds were cruelly robbed of one of the few perceived advantages by the pitch and the south-east coast elitists who prepared it, new turf has been laid.

Here’s the official word, kinda.

The Sydney Cricket Ground has been given the green light to host the Super Rugby match between the New South Wales Waratahs and Canterbury Crusaders on Saturday after having 3,000 square metres of turf replaced.
Concerns were raised about the safety of the pitch following the Waratahs’ round four win over the Queensland Reds which left the turf pocked with huge divots and prompted criticism from Reds coach Brad Thorn.

The Waratahs said in a media release on Wednesday that the New South Wales Rugby Union, the SCG and independent consultants had inspected the pitch and “deemed the field to meet Super Rugby standards.”

Seriously, we was robbed!

 

Name Change Talk Continues

Sam Whitelock – hard campaigner

I can’t help but wonder what the conversation would be like if an Australian sporting team was in the same situation the Crusaders are in. Would we have the same class and respect that the New Zealanders have shown? Sadly, I doubt it. One only has to look at the debate we’ve had over gay marriage and Australia day being proof of the pudding.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says he supports the initiative of Crusaders bosses to scrutinise the suitability of their title and imagery following last Friday’s terror act in which 50 people were killed at two mosques by an Australian gunman.

Critics have raised concern over the use of a name they say is offensive to the Muslim faith.

The Crusaders issued a statement saying the name was meant to reflect “the crusading spirit of this community” but understood the concerns raised and would consult widely.

Original Crusaders chairman Donald Stewart revealed to stuff.co.nz that he had reservations about the name when the Super 12 was launched in 1996.

Stewart said the name was given to them by New Zealand Rugby, which had full control of the process.

“I had doubts on the basis that we were trying to project ourselves globally with an international competition,”

“And I wondered whether this name might prove offensive to some potential viewers. I probably didn’t share that opinion widely.”

Sam Whitelock chimed in,

“I think at the moment this is much bigger than rugby,” Whitelock said in a video issued by the Crusaders.

“We are just trying to make sure we take the appropriate time and make sure we are respectful and those decisions will happen in time.”

 

  • RF

    Personally I don’t think that a name change is strictly necessary, but losing the Crusades imagery absolutely is.

    • Keith Butler

      Getting rid of the idiots on horseback waving wood3n swords would be a start. No shit to pick up before the game either. Anybody who has ever played at Old Deer Park in W London will know exactly what I mean.

      • laurence king

        Doing a face-plant into something hot and steamy might be just the thing on a freezing cold night.

        • Keith Butler

          Very true. ODP as you might have surmised was inhabited by wild deer. Their crap was small and round and used to get into those difficult places.

        • laurence king

          lololol gold

    • Custard Taht

      Should the Hurricanes lose their imagery? Hurricanes have certainly killed a lot of people.
      What imagery is allowed and what isn’t? Where is the line? Who decides?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        mate I think common sense can apply. The Crusaders name carries a lot of baggage to some particular groups of people. When you combine that with the same group of people being targeted in the city where this team resides then it makes sense to help them by removing one simple thing that increases their distress.

        • Bixbyvegas

          Nicely stated.

        • Dave P

          does that mean Saracens should change their nametoo?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I guess it depends on whether there’s a desire to do so

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          No, personally I think no comparisons can be drawn between the Crusaders and Saracens.

          Crusaders were Christian soldiers from Western Europe send to the Middle East on the premise of retaking formerly Christian lands from Muslims.

          A ‘Saracen’ was a term used in Western Europe to refer to Muslims and Arabs. It is essentially just another name for a Muslim.

          If the Crusaders were called the ‘Christians’ I don’t think anyone would feel offended. They might raise an eyebrow as to why a rugby team in a secular country wanted to brand themselves as Christians though.

        • Parker

          I thought the word Saracen was an English transliteration of the peoples we now call Syrians

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It may have started that way (in which case, you just taught me an interesting fact!), but it was widely used as a general term for a Muslim in European history.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Crusaders in the middle ages were Christian soldiers approved by the Pope to go to a number of places including Spain, France, the Baltic, Malta, etc. but a majority of campaigns were to the Holy Lands – i.e Palestine. The approval condition was always that the Crusaders would replace the local leadership and would enforce the official form of the Catholic religion as it was at the time. But as you know the word has a wider meaning too of campaigning for some cause. The team mascot clearly refers to the soldiers from the middle ages, who were not particularly anti-Muslim, just anti whoever happened to be in the way of their conquest, many of whom were not Muslim.

          There’s nothing inherently anti-Muslim about the name, and the mascot refers to something closer to a problematic thing, but still not particularly anti-Muslim.

          However, if a marketing device has lost its appeal and effectiveness for whatever reason, then why not change it – first look at the mascot, then look at the name.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Again, though, the Crusades were called for by the Pope to retake the Holy Lands from the Muslims, at the request of the Christian East Roman Emperor.

          You’re fighting a losing battle in trying to convince me they weren’t anti-Muslim.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          That only applies to some of them. I don’t think the Eastern Emperor called for Teutonic Knights to flood into eastern Prussia, Lithuania and Latvia. Nor did he call for a Crusade into southern France when an unauthorised Christian sect became popular there (which incidentally was the first crusade to be called a crusade). Do you think the Teutonic Knights were looking for Muslims in Lithuania?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘The Crusades’ in ordinary vernacular inherently applies to the Crusades against the Islamic Empire.

          There are plenty of terms in history that have multiple real meanings, and one meaning in ordinary vernacular.

          The swastika is the most obvious example.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The rugby team isn’t called “The Crusades” – they were “The Canterbury Crusaders”, and maybe now it’s just “Crusaders” which refers to people involved in some type of Crusade – not necessarily “The Crusades”. Their mascot is certainly more military.

          For people with a particular level of history knowledge – and there might be quite a lot of those, but I think less than a majority. – “The Crusades” seems to only bring to mind the ones to the Middle East. People who know less probably don’t know what “The Crusades” means and on hearing it would think of the term in a wider sense (i.e. The Caped Crusader, or crusading against climate change, or whatever), and wouldn’t assume it’s inherently anti-Muslim on hearing it unless someone tells them it is. I think these days with not that much history teaching in schools, that’s probably the majority. People who know more than the particular level, think of it also in a wider sense to include all the crusades. The only people who think of “The Crusades” as being only the ones to the Middle East would be people who only know about the ones to the Middle East. the vernacular meaning of “crusader”, which is the word in the teams name, is the widest meaning of the term.

          Jihad is another term with multiple meanings, a notably bad one in the west. It’s Islamic meaning isn’t that far removed from the widest sense of crusade in English, but I wouldn’t recommend from a marketing perspective that one of Twiggy’s new teams in Malaysia for example take on the name “Kuala Lumpur Jihadis”. I don’t know if that would go over well even in a Muslim country either – it might be sacrilegious or something.

          I’m not sure how many Muslims from overseas were, or are, taught about “The Crusades” in the same brief way a fair number of English speaking people are. Maybe the Muslim community has a whole different take on the word. Maybe it’s not a prominent word at all for them, or maybe it is offensive to them. Some Muslims refer to modern Israel as a “crusader state”. Israel isn’t Christian, but in that case “crusade” has a different, but still bad connotation. I’m sure they can speak for themselves and explain how they see the word in the context of a rugby team. I don’t know that we should jump to conclusions on their behalf.

          While, I can see how some people can extract an anti-Muslim connotation from Crusaders, I genuinely think it’s a little bit of a stretch. Still, in the end it’s a marketing thing, and if they can find something they think will work better, all things considered, then go for it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree that I don’t think it is intended as anti-Muslim at all. But I can see why the Muslim communities would be upset by it after last Friday.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Yes, they could well be. And hopefully someone will ask them about it to see what they think.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          100% agree mate.

        • Who?

          The difference between Saracens and the Crusaders is that Saracens is a name taken from an opponent who was clearly respected/feared, whereas Crusaders is a name taken by people who identify themselves with the original Crusaders, people on the same side. Saracens is arguably the same as wearing the other team’s jersey – it’s showing respect.
          Of course, if there’s debate and Saracens (or the Muslim community in the UK – which isn’t a small community) decide their name should be changed, we don’t really have any right (as non-stakeholders) to tell them not to change it, either.

        • Custard Taht

          But those same people are left living in a city whose name contains the words christ and church, both pretty synonymous with the crusades and crusaders. They are still left living in a province named after the city of Canterbury in England, which was a rally point for the crusades and crusaders, and is essentially the capital of the church of england.
          Changing one half of the name of team in a city and province whose names are steeped in christianity, still leaves a lot of baggage.

        • RF

          You’re desperate for an argument mate. I don’t believe that you genuinely can’t differentiate between the situations.

        • Custard Taht

          Not desperate at all. Just don’t see how there can be a difference between crusaders, christchurch and canterbury, when they are intrinsically linked by christianity and history.

        • RF

          You can’t see how? Really?

          I suggest that perhaps you look up what the words mean for starters and then clarify your opinion. Or continue trolling, whatever gives you your kicks.

        • Custard Taht

          Which word? If you mean intrinsically, I stand by remarks.

          Are you suggesting that Christ, Church, Canterbury and the Crusaders are not essentially or naturally linked?

        • Who?

          Well, for starters, the Crusades were military campaigns by political officials that were the result of oversupplies of militarily trained elites with no land to conquer. The fact that the bloke who sent them was the head of the Catholic church is relevant, but it doesn’t mean that it was following precedent or doctrine. I don’t think anyone with a basic overview of the Bible would argue that Christ would’ve called for the Crusades.
          Christ is linked with Church, Canterbury is the home of a church (but it’s a town, not solely a church), Crusaders, I actually link more with the French and the Teutonic Knights. You can have Christ and Church without the other two words, so therefore I don’t see the need to change the town’s name, or the region’s name. If it were the other way round – if the team with the Christians, and the town was Crusaderville/berg/ton, then it’d be a different story.

        • Custard Taht

          At the end of day, the Crusades and Crusaders are remembered as being balls deep in christianity and the church and Canterbury was a pivotal city for the crusades and crusaders. The crusaders marched underneath the StGeorge Cross, a christian and church symbol. The Crusaders are widely remembered and perceived as a Christian Army, fighting for christendom.

          The name crusaders is a logical and good fit for the city and region they play in.

          I would imagine that there is quite a lot the Christians/Church have done and are doing that Christ would not have called for.

        • Who?

          I totally agree the Crusades are perceived as a Christian Army, fighting for the Christian faith (which is all true, even though it wasn’t at all in line with 1,000 years of precedent). Which is the problem the Crusaders now face.
          But the point is you can have Christ and Church and even Canterbury without Crusaders. It’s an option, but it’s far from the only option. Your argument was pretty well that it’s the only option, that’s not true. That if the team name needs to change, then the city name needs to change. But the city’s name isn’t offensive, because you can have Christ without Crusades. We had one without the other for a millennium.

        • Custard Taht

          Agreed you can have those things without the Crusades/Crusaders.
          But you can’t have the Crusades/Crusaders without those other things. That is why they are intrinsically linked.

          I am not saying that if you change the team name you must change the city and province name.

          What I am saying, is that the same reasons to justify the team name change, can be just as relevant to change the city and province name , or any other name.

          That if the name Crusaders is upsetting or distressing to the Islamics, then the names of the city/province could also be upsetting or distressing due to their links to the Crusaders.

          And that if changing the christian knight name removes some baggage for the islamics, leaving the other christian names, could still leave a lot of baggage behind.

        • Who?

          So we agree on most of it. But…
          There’s no reason for baggage for the other items, as Muslims consider Isa (their name for Jesus) to be a prophet, they allowed churches to continue, and they never went to England as a military force. It’s only the connection to the Crusades where (some) Muslims have issue.

        • Custard Taht

          That is the point, that group of people could find those names upsetting or offensive because of their links to the Crusades and Crusaders. If they wanted them changed for the same reasons, could you say no, after saying yes to the Crusaders.

          More likely, it would be a vocal minority of the perpetually offended who will take offence or be upset on their behalf that would push for change.

          As I said above, my issue is not the name change per se, but the wider issue of changing or re-writing things to be more inclusive and to not cause offence.
          It is a slippery slope because someone can always find offence in a name, but where do we draw the line and who and what decides whose offence is greater.

          You can bet their will be more than 2000 people who will be upset and oppose the name change. Why are the feelings of the people who are upset with the name, more important than the group who will be upset with the name change.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          While I can see the argument and there are some valid points, I think that there are levels where common sense can be applied. I agree with Crusaders changing their name and image but I think taking that link further to the names Christchurch and Canterbury is going to far as I don’t think they cause the same level of distress. I don’t think everything needs justification either.

        • Custard Taht

          At the end of the day, the team and community will decide, as is there right. It actually doesn’t bother me one way or another, as I have no skin that particular game.
          If they change their name great, that new team will have never won a super rugby title, and as such will sit below the tahs!

          For mine, it is about the wider issue of appeasement in society and the notion of inclusiveness, which nearly always ignores, excludes and comes at the expense of the same group in our society.

      • RF

        If you can’t see the difference there’s probably not much of a point in me engaging.

        • Custard Taht

          Should the essendon bombers change their name?

          After all we call islamic terrorists who use explosives to kill non islamic people bombers. Western forces use bombers and those bombers have killed plenty of innocent islamic people.

          So using the logic behind the call to change the crusaders name, the name bombers should change to ease the distress of the groups targeted by bombers.

        • RF

          That is absolutely ridiculous and I am ashamed to say a typically Australian reaction. Thank God the NZ public have a more mature reaction.

          Whether or not the Crusaders should change their name is debatable, however the use of Crusades imagery isn’t subjective. It is explicit, and the connotations to the tragic events are obvious to anyone with primary school level comprehension skills.

          The Essendon Bombers are so-named because of their proximity to an airport. The comparison is a ludicrous attempt to justify a childishly contrarian argument.

        • Custard Taht

          So why use the name bombers? They could just as easily use Jets in lieu. But since they chose the name, thousands of civilians have been killed by the aircraft and the people commonly known as bombers.

          The crusaders were most likely so named due to the names of the city and province they are located in and the history behind those names.

        • RF

          Classic whataboutism

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

          I wouldn’t change the name either as I have said many times but it is clearly a discussion that is worth having and changes to their branding are necessary.

        • Custard Taht

          They should just remove the christian crosses. The name itself is a perfect fit for the city and province they are based in.

          In regards to whataboutism, if it end is in ism, and isn’t a four letter word starting with J, I take no notice. There are too many ism’s in society and I care for none of them.

          It is a slippery slope, and in my opinion, changing the name is letting the prick win and giving him what he wants.

        • Who?

          I don’t see how removing symbols of European history are what the terrorist would’ve wanted. I’m not sure he’d be stressed about removing the crosses (he wrote, “See you in Valhalla,” in his manifesto, according to the news, so I’m guessing he’s the average agnostic/atheistic person (because I don’t imagine there’s many who genuinely worship Thor and Odin anymore)).
          And if you’re removing the crosses, they’re more tied to the city name (Christchurch) than the image of a knight is! So your argument there doesn’t hold up.
          I’m not advocating for change. If the Crusaders stick with the name, that’s fine by me. If they change the imagery and retain the name, that’s fine, too. If they change to the Knights or similar, whilst only modifying imagery (removing the cross), again, fine with me. But I don’t see value in the argument that the name of the town forced them to name the team that way. I mean, if they really want to look at Cantabrian history, they could’ve gone Canterbury Choir Boys (they’re all angels, certainly never infringe, couldn’t possibly enter a breakdown sideways, could they Richie?! :-P Could also steal a pretty handy Aussie team song), or the a’Becketts.

        • Missing Link

          great suggestion, they should change their name to “The Offsiders”

        • Custard Taht

          It is giving him what he wants, he wants change.
          The removal of the crosses just takes out the christian symbol. Instead of looking like a christian knight, it just looks like a knight.

        • Who?

          I think you’re missing the point. He doesn’t want change. He wants things to stay as they were, which is effectively how they are (seriously, Muslims are less than 0.66% of the Christchurch population). He wants to live in the past.
          .
          Agreed, taking out the crosses simply takes away religious imagery. Isn’t that possibly what’s needed..? To take away what makes the name and imagery controversial? If that’s what they choose to do, I’ve no problem.
          .
          A bit disappointed no one’s picked up on the concept of the a’Beckett’s… :-P

        • Custard Taht

          He kind of does. The change he is seeking, is to change back to the way things were, from how they are now. It is still change he is seeking.

          I must admit, the a’Becketts has gone over my head.

        • Who?

          Henry II got a bit grumpy, made a careless remark about the Archbishop of Canterbury he’d installed, and a couple of knights who overheard it took it literally and then rode to Canterbury where they murdered Thomas a’Beckett inside the Cathedral. It was the subject of a Papal Inquiry, they almost excommunicated Henry II over it. He was later canonised, and is now St Thomas a Beckett.
          I wasn’t aiming at you, I just thought someone in here would get the reference!
          So, they could also be the Saints..? Pretty decent theme song (The Saints Are Coming, not When The Saints Go Marching In)…

        • Custard Taht

          Never thought you were aiming it at me….there you go, that is quite amusing and interesting!

        • Parker

          And then there are those many people who have died in jets. Your reasoning is a downward spiral. I’m with RF in objecting to the immaturity of your stubborn insistence on being contentious when a degree of graciousness is called for. Are you really feeling so put upon and deprived that you can’t just give a bit?

        • Custard Taht

          The thing is, there is always a call to give a bit. One part of society is always being told to give a bit, while the other part only ever takes.

          That is exactly the point, distress and/or offence can be found in any name with enough imagination. Why do some groups feelings take precedence over another groups.

        • Missing Link

          The Essendon 737 8 MAX’s …. actually on second thought

        • AllyOz

          I think you make a fair point but I think Saracens Rugby FC is a better comparison.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yes but a hurricane doesnt get hurt feelings!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think it should change.

      • RF

        Fair point.

        Changing the imagery and losing the Crusade horseback riders etc is something that can happen immediately.

        Changing the name, should they choose to do it, should in my opinion not be done as an initial reaction and should be done on consultation with supporters, the community etc.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Why?

        I am wholly undecided.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          In my post mate

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Why? Not saying I necessarily disagree, but interested to hear both sides of the argument.

      • RF

        Firstly in response to the tragic events in their home city where the (actual) Crusaders were referenced and glorified, I don’t think it is appropriate for a team representing that community to feature people dressed up as those figure with their imagery, waving swords on horseback, and having that imagery in their branding.

        Secondly, I don’t think that it was appropriate in the first place. However, I am in absolutely no doubt that no offence was intended. The name “Crusaders” could still be totally apt.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Please see my response below on KRLs post.

          I see the argument for that, but also see the alternative argument.

        • Parker

          I believe it’s ultimately about making a part of the fellow citizenry feel less alienated. What’s wrong with that?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Absolutely. It would be different if changing the name were to isolate another section of the community, but it wouldn’t be reasonable for a Kiwi Christian to feel isolated by the name change. For all it is really doing is stopping venerating Christian armies that killed and pillaged for hundreds of years.

          Anyone who thinks that it is a part of Christian history that should be venerated or celebrated ought to read up on on Christ and his message. I don’t think anyone who decided to follow Christ himself could possibly defend the Crusades as a Christian thing to do.

  • Happyman

    Thanks Shane
    My thoughts
    – Valantini he is a great prospect but IMHO he needs to mature a bit. I wonder whether he is going to be one of those guys who just seems to be injured when he starts to get games under his belt. As a QLD fan I suspect you will remember the day that the sniper got CFS from the top of Suncorp in about 2012 when he looked like he could have been anything and he hasn’t been the same since. It can be a cruel game and I hope I and wrong.
    – I hope MC reads the article on the back row but strongly suspect he won’t. the definition of insanity and all that
    – If the SCG turf holds up it could get very ugly for the Tahs. I think the Saders will be in a mood.
    – Moondogs face palm when will the Rugby administrators in this country and NZ realise that our future lies both together and in Asia. South Africa is quickly becoming as Sir Humphrey from Yes Prime Minister put it a TPAC Tin Pot African Country). The Rand is in freefall the in the next TV rights deal they will be heading north.
    – For all the Rebels/Reds fans out there a quick note that the ref from the Lions/Rebels game last weekend will be running the sidelines. Thankfully no whistle this time try to make him feel welcome.
    -Shame there are no Aussie games on tonight as it is lost momentum for the comp.

    • misha

      Western force play world xv on tonight. Nick Cummins and Digby Ioane on the wings. On viceland SBS apparently.

      • Happyman

        Excellent Thanks

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks Misha, have set the recorder!

  • nick51xx

    I think you’ll find that Luke Jones will have a prop’s arse on his shoulder whether he plays 4,5,6, or 7

    • Good point!

    • Happyman

      Probably meant both shoulders

  • Ed

    Thanks Sully for this.

    Has anyone else noticed the link posted earlier this week of Swain and Hoiles discussing NIck McArdle and Cheika from October last year has been taken down? The tweet GAGR posted about this doesn’t appear in the Twitter timeline of GAGR either. (A pity I did not take a screenshot at the time).

  • T.edge

    Good stuff Sully! I think we have more options in the back row now more than ever. Its picking the correct combination. If anything its the backline thats let the Wallabies down not the backrowers. We need to earn the opportunity to play expansive rugby not let the backs spin it wide and get flustered that they didnt score.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks for this Sully, I tend to agree that we should let Valetini continue to develop and build before rushing him into higher duties. I think there are enough options around that we don’t need to push this guy through and he has enough time to get his body sorted out.
    I hope the turf does hold out for this game, however I also think that the turf, like wet ground and wind is something that is neutral and just needs to be managed. I’m not sure that a conspiracy theory about the turf being set like that to depower the opposition scrum holds water, although it’s not a bad theory.
    I think changing the Crusaders name will provide more positives than negatives and so it should change. While I 100% agree that there is no intent to cause pain or concern with the name, just because there is no intent doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. If people think they can’t rally around a new name then I think they need to take a bloody good look at themselves.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Well said old boy!

    • I agree about the turf. The Reds should have adapted and I wasn’t really thinking it was on purpose just playing to the audience .
      I’m really impressed with the maturity shown around the name change discussion .

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The main issue with that is that almost all historical events and figures are offensive to some people or groups.

      Personally, I think we should tread very cautiously about rewriting history and changing important names and landmarks because they offend some people (statues of Cecil Rhodes and Churchill are under attack by some groups in the UK currently)

      Some things in history are beyond the pale (the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition), but two questions we need to answer is:

      1. Do the Crusades count one of these events?

      2. Even if the answer is no, does what happened in Christchurch last week mean it should be changed anyway?
      l

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think that after what happened last week it is entirely appropriate to change the name.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I can totally understand that logic, and if the Muslim community in Christchurch was generally untited in wanting a name change, I would probably agree.

          Do we know for a fact that they are?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah we do. The Crusaders (for now) management is meeting with them on this subject and is also including the local political parties and others. It’s a pretty open and frank discussion to be fair. Lot’s of whinging about it from some people but I believe these are in the minority for the most part

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Do we know that it is the majority though, or a few outspoken imams and self appointed community leaders? I’m always cautious of ascribing the opinions of an entire group to a few outspoken people.

          If it is the majority of the community, then I would probably change it after last week.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure the Muslim community in Christchurch should be the primary deciding cause. Even if they say they don’t need a change. Because it’s only 2,000 people. 2,000 people who appreciate their community, in a city of over 300k, it’s a tiny fraction of the population (under 66%).
          I’m happy to trust the people of the Crusaders catchment (because we all forget it’s not just Christchurch/Canterbury, it’s also Tasman and a few other catchments – it’s no longer the ‘Canterbury Crusaders’ – this wouldn’t be their first name change) and the NZRU to handle it all respectfully and make their best call. They’ve done alright so far. :-)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Sure, totally agree! I’d consider the opinion of the Muslim community in the entire catchment, and also that in all of New Zealand. You don’t want a name that makes a large proportions of Muslims feel unsafe or upset.

        • Custard Taht

          The name Canterbury Crusaders didn’t seem to affect their decision in deciding where to put down stumps. They clearly felt safe and not upset with the name prior to the event

          Letting one dickhead change all of this, is letting said dickhead win. Basically, don’t give the prick the satisfaction

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think that’s a bit of a peurile argument, and not one with a lot of thought behind it. Looks like you just balk at the thought of a name change, and are coming up with absurd arguments to justify your emotive view.

        • Custard Taht

          But the arguments for name change aren’t emotive? And they aren’t using this event to push an agenda?
          If the name change upsets 2000 or more non-islamics, should their feelings be taken into account? Or should their feelings be disregarded as the feelings of the 2000 are more important?

        • Who?

          How many of the victims were from Syria? Seems to be a significant number. I’d take a house in a suburb named Shia’ville if my town were a killing field and if Shia’ville was more free, secure and welcoming than my killing field home town.
          I don’t know that they had a massive choice in their settlement, but clearly the history there wasn’t a major issue.
          It is, however, interesting that the local soccer club seems to have had large scale involvement from the Muslim community there, but the Rugby club doesn’t seem to have the same ties (yet). Hopefully that can change.

        • Custard Taht

          I would put the difference in uptake down to Soccer is very popular in the middle east and rugby is foreign to them.
          That and probably, like many, think fuck I don’t want to tackle or be tackled by the big islander.
          Apologies in advance to anyone here offended by the term big islander.

        • Who?

          I agree, soccer’s popularity is likely cultural and historical rather than anything local. But if they can use it as an opportunity to improve their chances of drawing from that community, it’s good for the game and good for the wider community.

        • Custard Taht

          What happens if the name change makes a large proportion of Christians upset, do their feelings matter?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not as much as the Muslim community in my opinion, in this particular instance.

          Christians themselves are not being ‘attacked’ nor are they being denied the right to use their religion, or having their religion wiped from polite society. Instead, the name of s team names afterviolent religious wars that went totally against Christ’s message may be being changed. And I don’t think that glorifying violent wars is a very Christian thing to do anyway.

        • Custard Taht

          But how is changing the name for a few inclusive if it excludes many more?
          It is possible that it will just breed more resentment towards that smaller group. As it could be perceived that the feelings and needs of the few are more important then the feelings and needs of the many.

          The islamics are not being denied the right to practice their religion, nor are they having it wiped from polite society. In fact western society is far more accepting and tolerant of Islam than the other way around.

          I don’t think Christianity has been very christian for a very long time!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Why should it change?

          Because we’re human beings and have the power to be empathetic and compassionate. As empathetic and compassionate human beings we should feel joyful that a change that that did is no harm made other people safer, more comfortable and more accepted.

          Not that it is relevant but I’m not a Muslim, while being religious, and I wouldn’t feel excluded if it was changed.

        • Custard Taht

          But the change won’t have that effect. It is that exact reasoning that is causing the problems in the first place, it is building resentment.

          We would all like to feel safe, unfortunately for the best part of two decades, our polite western society and its innoncent civilians have been anything but.

        • laurence king

          Depends where you look mate, the real ones are where they always could be found. Helping the hungry, the widow, orphan, disabled etc. I would imagine there’d be few to find the further you look up the hierarchies.

        • laurence king

          Absolutely agree, any thinking Christian would not have a moments hesitation in ditching the name.

        • Geoffro

          It’s the imagery thats the problem not the name per se.Maybe change their mascots to wearing black capes and batman masks.

        • juswal

          That’s my thought. Caped Crusader crimefighter mascot.

        • Who?

          Would that be allowed? Marvel’s bought into the SA franchises… I think there was a DC series of Aussie jerseys a couple of years ago (League had Marvel)…
          Copyright might be an issue! But if there’s a team Batman should want to get involved with, surely it’d be one as dominant as the Northern South Islanders. :-P

        • Keith Butler

          Steady Geoffro. Bringing up the Caped Crusader and you’ve just opened a whole new can of worms.

        • Geoffro

          C’mon,it’s The Batman.

        • From NooZealand

          Totally agree. Though I support the Crusaders, never felt at ease with the name. Cheers.

      • Huw Tindall

        Did you know Socrates was a massive misogynist? It’s true. It’s why I refuse to debate rationally. ;)

    • Parker

      Bravo for your second paragraph. I urge Custard Taht to meditate upon it.

      • Custard Taht

        Why? If I was to meditate upon it, I could use that same logic to come up with numerous other names and sayings that should change.

        • RedsFanDan

          There *are* numerous other names and sayings we shouldn’t use because we know better now. Redskins for instance. The N word is another.

          “What happens if the name change makes a large proportion of Christians upset, do their feelings matter?”

          There’s no reason to assume this will be true tho? What Christians have a deeply religious (and positive) relationship with the word “Crusader” such that they’ll be offended by its removal? Even if there are there’s going to be a consultation period so they’ll be able to make their feelings known.

          Are you aware that ISIS refers to western soldiers as Crusaders in a deliberate effort to recruit more fighters? The cultural memories left behind by 300 years of religious wars die hard.

          To give you some perspective, the modern use of the word mujahideen is roughly equivalent to the literal meaning of crusader. Would you consider it acceptable for a rugby team in Australia to be called The Mujahideen? If not, why not?

    • David Creagh

      HI KRL, to clarify, my position is not that the SCG turf has been deliberately done that way to make the depowering the scrum and advantage for the Warratahs deliberately. The ground is not designed for it, plain and simple, AFL does not have that sort of force exerted on the ground nor does cricket. My position is that if it an advantage use it, play on that ground. If it makes your opponents set piece less of a threat so much the better. P.S. I don’t believe in conspiracy thoeries, my aluminium hat stops that from happening.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Personally, I don’t see any reason to believe that Australia would be any less respectful than the Kiwis if we were in their position regarding the name change.

    The cultural cringe that Australians feel (especially educated ones) is very disappointing to see once one has returned from living abroad.

    • RF

      The whataboutism going on here for people arguing against it though, is pathetic. Is there much of that going on in NZ?

      I’m not sold on a name change but all the Crusades imagery is harder to defend.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’ve seen plenty of discussions from Kiwis about why it shouldn’t be changed, as well as arguing that it should.

        Personally, I think both sides of the argument have valid points.

        • RF

          I wouldn’t change the name but what is the defence for the people dressed up as the medieval crusaders on horseback etc, in the city where dozens of people were murdered by someone who glorified them and referenced them in his horrific acts?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The fact that it is a historical fact that that is who the Crusaders were. They were soldiers that travelled to the Middle East and attempted to retake formerly Roman/Christian lands that had been captured by the Islamic Empire in that empire’s series of invasions over hundreds of years.

          Personally, I don’t see the logic in allowing the name, but denying the history?

        • RF

          Who is denying the history?

          The name of the club was chosen to reflect the style of rugby, not the historical connotations. I see no problem with that.

          The branding and marketing have been using the imagery related to the medieval crusades. I can see a problem with that for a rugby team representing Christchurch.

          Plenty of football teams in Europe had to change aspects of the club in the past for understandable reasons.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I think it’s a denial of history and a contradiction to say that it’s okay to call yourselves the Crusaders, but not to brand yourselves as Crusaders.

        • Mica

          Ironically enough RF, you seem to be on a bit of a crusade right now……….just saying

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        I agree. I think the relative case in point here is with the Washington Redskins. Both the logo and the name have been under fire (in my view, quite rightly), but if the team were to merely change the logo, I think it would go a long way towards helping the “historical nature of the name” argument.

  • Bixbyvegas

    It seems a bit self loathing to drag in how Australians would handle the debate. While it’s great handling of it all by our kiwi cousins, it shouldn’t have taken this tragedy to address semi automatic weapons and a culturally offensive team name. Glad their being great about it and planning to take action.

    • Who?

      Taika Waitit’s tweet was rather poignant. Something like, “So, a bit bummed that we could change the law inside a week, but we couldn’t have the debate over the past 15 years.”
      It’s a little disappointing, though, that it’s just another area (‘we’re more sensitive, progressive, and just generally morally better than you!’) where Kiwis will aim to hold the supposed moral and ethical high ground over us supposedly insensitive knuckle dragging convicts. :-P :-(

  • Who?

    So, World Rugby’s committing to 8 new trial laws, in ‘closed markets’. They include:
    Tackles to be below the waist.
    50-22 kicks where the kicking team is rewarded with the lineout throw if they find touch, like a League 40-20.
    Yellow Cards can be Upgraded to Red Cards by video review whilst the player is off the field.
    .
    Can somebody please sack World Rugby?! I don’t see a need for any of these changes.
    The tackle height was well discussed yesterday, where people mostly agreed that the outcome of lowering the tackle height is to make tacklers less upright, put tackler’s heads more in the line of ball carrier’s knees and hips, increasing the likelihood of head impacts. In other words, it’s typical WOrld Rugby insanity.
    50-22 kicks are apparently an attempt to increase kicking in an attacking manner, to reduce the amount of ball carrying, to reduce the amount of tackling. This is stupid. If we want to reduce the amount of tackling, we should make it harder to retain possession at the tackle. Like, not requiring tacklers to enter through the gate. Not creating offside lines off the tackle, but waiting for the formation of a ruck. Hang on, they were among the last 6 unnecessary and ill-conceived law changes made by World Rugby……
    Yellow Card upgrades is terrible. It takes away power from the on field ref. The outcome will be that NO player will ever receive a RC from a ref again. If the YC can be upgraded, there’s no reason for the ref to take the weighty decision of issuing a RC. But some faceless man in a box – who isn’t consistent with the rest of the game’s refereeing, who doesn’t feel the weight of the decision – will just let them know halfway through their YC period, “You’re not going back on.”
    .
    So, I ask again… Can someone please remove the idiots who are running World Rugby? They don’t understand the game, they don’t understand the outcomes of their decisions.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      Well said.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      50/20 rule is meant to stop rush defences so that allegedly there will be fewer concussions. Also means there will be more attacking rugby and less excellent defence.

      Unsure if the latter is a good thing, but if the former is true, I think it is a good change to trial.

      • Habitual Offender

        After watching it last night I’d agree. Does sound a bit leaguey but does seem to work ok

      • Who?

        So an option that encourages kickers is supposed to stop players from rushing through, when the key thing to do when someone’s kicking is to rush up on them..? I don’t buy it. They’ve said it means more players in the backfield, that I can buy, but that’s down to field position and tactics, which is already the case.
        They don’t understand the game as it stands, and they don’t understand the true impact of their changes. I don’t care if it works in the first game, you don’t truly understand the outcomes of law variations until coaches have had 18+ months to truly digest them and work out how to best exploit them. And they ALWAYS end up working out differently to the first week, and to the intentions of the law makers.

  • Missing Link

    I can’t wait until the Crusaders change their name. It will set a precedent for the culturally inappropriate name “All Blacks” to finally be changed as well. I’m hoping to get enough support from fellow citizens by drumming up enough faux outrage. The All Blacks preferred name going forward will be The Shaky Isle Limp Dicks. I believe it has a certain ring to it.

    • Parker

      If it’s a certain ring you want, better to change dicks to dongs.

    • Custard Taht

      I would submit they become the Canterbury Gluten Free (Appealing to noone and bland for everyone).

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think it’s sad you’re offended and upset so easily. I feel sorry for you. I hope you find a way to be happy, and at peace.

        • Custard Taht

          Bahaha….I don’t get offended or upset. I leave that to the many others who find names hurtful.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You say that, and yet you’re the one talking about people being ‘excluded’ by a name change. You may not be offended or upset, but virtually every single one of your comments indicate that you are.

        • Custard Taht

          Think what you like, makes no difference to me. Just because one argues a point of view, it does not mean that one feels what they are arguing.

          It is not me saying it, it is what others are saying, hence the push to change. I am just arguing the opposite position, using the same justifications.

          There will be people who will feel excluded or upset by the name change, even if you aren’t. It seems as though how they feel is irrelevant as long as the other group feel better.

          I just find the hypocrisy of it all astounding. The name excludes a few and makes them upset and unsafe, it needs to change. The name change will upset and exclude another group, oh well, not important.

          Funnily enough, those preaching about change to make others feel safe and not upset, seem to be quick to hurl names and insults at those who hold opposite views… Unsurprising, really, there is nothing peaceful or tolerant about that section of society.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The problem is that’s a slippery slope argument. If there was a team called Isis in 20 years in a Muslim country and a Christian minority asked them to change it, would that be unreasonable? Personally, I don’t think so given the history of what that name referred to.

          People feeling ‘excluded’ by the name being changed would be snowflakes. The idea that Christians are excluded from New Zealand society is patently absurd.

        • Custard Taht

          The thing is they wouldn’t change it.

          So is the idea that muslums are excluded.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          And there it is. I think the first part of your last comment shows your true colours.

          I never said Muslims were excluded. However, what I said is that they may feel excluded. I am sure that the Crusaders would wholeheartedly accept any Kiwi Muslim rugby fan. However, If I were a Muslim I would probably feel somewhat uncomfortable with the name. Equally, if I were a Christian and moved to a country in the Middle East, I would probably feel somewhat uncomfortable with a team called “Isis” or “Jihadis”.

        • Huw Tindall

          Interestingly back in the day what we know as the Crusaders didn’t call themselves Crusader. It’s a modern English word probably derived from a French word meaning marked with a cross.

        • Custard Taht

          It shows nothing at all, other than an understanding of reality. Having travelled extensively through Muslim countries and interacting with the locals, I can categorically state that my experience is that they would not change it. And guess what, I wouldn’t ask or expect them to, nor would I get offended or feel uncomfortable.
          Our experiences were good and we enjoyed ourselves, however, at no point was the culture we came from taken into account when interacting with their culture and society. We were told we must dress in a certain way and were told what we should avoid saying and doing. My partner was forbidden from entering certain areas, and you know what, we accepted that, despite the fact our culture is different.
          You can imply whatever you like from that statement, but how YOU chose to interpret it, says more about you and your mindset.

  • AllyOz

    In terms of the name change of the Crusaders I think the most apt comparison is actually Saracens Rugby FC in the UK which not only features a name of the Muslim army that fought against the Crusaders but also the star and crescent moon. I am not sure if the history of the club or why they chose it but I am certain that it never occurred to me after 911 or the London attacks that there would be an association with the rugby club and the acts of those terrorists. Also the murderer/terrorist in Christchurch was clearly anti-Muslim but I am not sure he claimed to be Christian. I think he actually claimed to support the murder of some African American Christians in their church last year or the year before.

    Having said all that, it is really up to the people of Canterbury what they call their team. The could call themselves the Knights and keep all the imagery they have now without the connection to the crusades if they wished or find another name associated with Canterbury – the Pilgrims perhaps. ;). I am less inclined to see a change of name as necessary for the reasons stated above but I really don’t think it’s my place to say as it’s not my club or my community. I think the Reds need to change their name as they are Red.

  • Huw Tindall

    Rebels the whole Crusaders names debate can we just scrap the names to start with. Been a long term criticism of the comp…nobody knows where The Bulls are from? At least the Tahs are NSW Waratahs.

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