Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html en-gb 30 Fri 29 May 2015 01:59:39 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=96#comment30 Against-the-grainWhat about golf? Not a sport, because of a history of good behaviour and honesty? Lombardi is not a role-model, and any American coach probably knows a lot about the 'advantages' available. A country where taking performence enhancing drugs results in a 12 week ban? Good model. Thu 08 Oct 2009 10:53:15 GMT+1 Against-the-grain http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=93#comment29 Being a new member to BBC Sport and a life-long fan of all sports, I think that some of the comments thrown across this page are self-fulfilling rubbish.It is easy to slate any sport that has been caught red-handed, and compare this to other sports and strengthen your affiliation and beliefs by these narrow minded perspectives, but the simple fact lies is that "sport is sport".Sport is about competition. This is seen in any sport, even those that start out as recreational activity such as 'Ultimate Frisbee' and even 'Extreme Ironing'. Anything that people participate in on mass, will sooner or later become competitive due to the nature of sport and therefore of 'athletes'. So while it is dissapointing when high profile teams of sports we love, or do not love, are strewn across the media for "cheating" I think that it is ridiculously small minded to then compare sports and attitudes. The ethos in any professional sport is to win, and when it is someones job and someones life the prssure is much higher and their will be a few in every sport that will go above and beyond rules and morals to secure that place. Anyone who has studied sport may have heard of the Vincent Lombardi effect - if not I suggest you research this.I'm afraid I will also have to have a dig at ScuttleScuttle - clearly a league fan or affiliate even though you deny it. Give league all the coverage and professionalism it wants and lets see how long it is before its first 'high-profile' case of cheating. If anything you sound bitter.I am not sticking up for Quins or Rugby Union, but I think that it is time to accept that professional sports will always have "cheats", whether it is something like this, performance enhancing drugs that are seen all over athletics (STILL) or the previously mentioned F1 driving into walls, spying, or such abundancies as steroids in weightlifting. If you are going to compare sports, then shall we try and find one professional sport where their is no examples of cheating, or 'bending' rules... I don't think you can.I think the bottom line is...Let's get over it and move on!(I am not surprised that only 23% of players returned the questionnaire. How many people usually return any sort of questionnaire for anything??? Half of them probably feel as i do, have had enough of it and no questionnaire is going to appeal to them as 'an opportunity to restore the name of rugby'.) Sun 04 Oct 2009 10:04:50 GMT+1 captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=90#comment28 'mwmonk'"No other sport in the world is as pompous and self-eulogising as Rugby Union, and when the chickens come home to roost, its fans just can't take it." Many attempts to explain, this is not about comparison, and RL, ARF and all the other sports in the world suffer from cynical, professional cheats. Fri 02 Oct 2009 11:55:38 GMT+1 captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=87#comment27 Also, is the lack of fan violence/abuse (Gareth Thomas in France?) not down to the fact that the clubs don't receive the same support levels or loyalty as in football, where clubs have been around for 100 years or more, and don't move to find more fans? Fri 02 Oct 2009 10:01:12 GMT+1 captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=83#comment26 'I am not comparing union to other games as such, more the fact players and fans have such a superior attitude about the spirit, fraternity etc of the game.'Footballers dont't gouge eyes. Rugby players do, Union for sure. Fri 02 Oct 2009 09:43:00 GMT+1 Pierredelot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=80#comment25 No cheating then. Well what a suprise !!! The trouble is it starts when the lads are twelve and goes on all the way up. Try refereeing on the Sunday morning junior club circuit. One team turns up with fifteen players all looking about the right build for their positions the other team turns up with three minnows in the front row. When questioned the coach insists that they always play there, despite him having two monsters playing in the centre. The first scrum goes down the minnows are either shunted back are collapse and the referee resorts to playing non contested scrums for a boring thirty minutes each way. Naturally the winning side is invariably the one whose front row are mysteriously unable to hold up a scrum. In the bar afterwards the coach comes over and says thanks referee that was a great game. You confine yourself to a brief "Well if thats your idea of rugby, don't come near me again". The side who lost know they have played a fair game. But lets face it it's cheating and someone somewhere does it every week. If it starts with that where will it end. Also never forget there's money involved and if demotion can lose a club millions, then to sit back and believe there's no cheating going on proves just how simple some people can be. It's happened and been found out once. Dean Richards says that it has happened elsewhere. I believe him but no doubt the honourable blind people of the RFU will sweep it under the carpet until it raises its head again. Probably sooner rather than later. Maybe an element of drug testing could be brought in at 16 and over level as this is the age when the youth starting looking at such options. It was around when my son was playing but mysteriously no reports have come to light and probably never will. Its about time the RFU grasped a big bunch of nettles not just by electing a celebrity panel, but by having a permanent committee to look at such things and receive and investigate any reported misdemeanors either anonymous or otherwise.Rant overBon nuit Thu 01 Oct 2009 22:02:56 GMT+1 mwmonk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=77#comment24 Dear Elboy,Thanks for sharing that up to the minute news with us - 7 years old, and still relevant!! I thought you all believed that nothing in sport had ever happened before (or since) 2003 and the legend of dear old Johnny?? Obviously if you are bolstering your shambolic argument with something that old, there is no point in using it in the first place. What next, a shock report on never giving up based on Rafa's teamtalk in Istanbul, or advice on when not to use a brolly based on Dutcssh Shhteve McLaren? Give up now, and go and buy some fake blood capsules.If you bite one, people believe you are seriously injured, and your cheat coach will love you more!! Hooray (as they like to say down your way....)No other sport in the world is as pompous and self-eulogising as Rugby Union, and when the chickens come home to roost, its fans just can't take it. An eight week ban for trying to blind someone. Folly!! Thu 01 Oct 2009 14:17:31 GMT+1 tailskidder http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=74#comment23 Simon - come on I really think that Rugby has got its head in the clouds on this one. Surely the blindest of blind can see this is a total utter whitewash - what angers me is that the RFU can call in a posse of 'friends' to create a Task Force and think its fans and media are dull enough to believe in what they say.Personally I think Dean Richards got a raw deal, punished - yes for being so stupid but it didn't deserve a 3 year ban. Thu 01 Oct 2009 14:15:19 GMT+1 MarkWeeks http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=70#comment22 8 subs, 9 subs, 10 subs, rolling subs? How long will it be before we see American Football-style "special teams" jog onto the pitch to scrummage? The modern professional game has sometimes favoured the physically extraordinary (Bayfield, Lomu), but the game has, rightly, been one for all shapes and sizes. But I can forsee positions on the rugby field accommodating nothing but grotesques as is typified by the American Football "Nose Tackle". Thu 01 Oct 2009 14:07:11 GMT+1 Sam Whiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=67#comment21 The 23% doesn't really bother me; I can happily put that down to apathy rather than a something to hide. I get many e-mails on course evaluation at university, all of which have gone unanswered.I don't get the 59% that say that they have never seen "tactical injuries" to result in uncontested scrums. Either these people are in serious denial, lying or just flat out naive. But hopefully this has been addressed with the eighth replacement and the fact that if another you force uncontested scrums, the player that went off injured doesn't get a replacement.I'm not a fan of rolling subs, it's not right for Union. I think if a player goes down with a blood injury, he can leave the pitch to be patched up and his team can play down with 14, or he can be replaced. The only "blood sub" I would allow, would be to keep scrums contested. For example, if a prop went off with a blood injury, at the next scrum a flanker (or whoever) could be brought off for a prop so scrums can take place, and when the original prop has been patched up - or the management decide to replace him - the flanker (or whoever) who was brought off can come back on. In this instance the blood-bin acts in the same way as a sin-bin, (you play with 14, a prop can be brought on to scrummage at the expense of another player etc), but it's the coach's/player's choice if they use the blood-bin, make a substitution or just wipe it clean, whack a bit of vaseline on it and play on - like we do in the amateurs! Thu 01 Oct 2009 13:21:18 GMT+1 Simon Austin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=64#comment20 mikemmp...I think it means that 4% of the respondents had rarely seen or participated in blood fakingBut they had still seen/ participated nonetheless The 10% were split into very rarely/ rarely/ often/ very often Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:59:43 GMT+1 ScuttleScuttle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=61#comment19 Delboy, I know league is flawed. I've seen some nasty things in both codes. But league does not have the establishment running it, twisting and covering up issues, influencing the 'classier' rags to give it coverage way beyond the support the club game enjoys.The best comparison is with football. There is no difference between the two in terms of what professionalism means on the field. Yes union boys love slaughtering the fans.What's education got to do with sport!?!?!?I'm on high horse here! Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:55:59 GMT+1 ScuttleScuttle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=58#comment18 Delboy, no.I don't follow any sport, except cricket, slavishly.I just hate the holier than thou attitude over the years of union boys. Be it over football or league. Education alone does not guarantee class. Acts and deeds are needed. Union is littered with blatant attempts to cheat, con, injure in shocking ways.I just believe the sport has tried to set itself apart as the oasis of righteousnous in a corrupt sea. It is as tawdry as any other, as has been proved, so no matter how commentators, fans, writers or players try to set union apart, we all now know it us pure hypocrisy. Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:50:22 GMT+1 Delboy-the-Doughnut http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=54#comment17 wmonkGareth Hock and Cocaine ring any bells.http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/rugby-league/rugby-league-hit-by-positive-test-findings-641993.htmlFollow this link to another interesting article.Both league and Union are two tough games played by tough athletes. Yes some people like one more than the other, but neither is better than the other as they both suffer from drugs/violence and numerous other scandals. So please stop with the "my sport is better than your sport" attitude. Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:38:55 GMT+1 john_cogger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=51#comment16 League and Football have their fair share of coke and GBH cases. Admittedly they have a lot less little Lord Fauntleroy's drinking champagne and whingeing that their expenses account isn't what it used to be!! Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:34:44 GMT+1 Delboy-the-Doughnut http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=48#comment15 http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/rugby-league/violent-tone-marks-buildup-to-ashes-test-647906.htmlScuttle Scuttle "sneaky, almost cowardly, acts of on-field violence"You delude yourself if you don't think this also happens in league. Follow the link and read the article. Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:30:29 GMT+1 Delboy-the-Doughnut http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=45#comment14 Scuttle scuttle, it just seems to me that you are trying to prove my sport is better then your sport. Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:11:25 GMT+1 mwmonk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=41#comment13 Lots more nonsense from the Union fraternity - a troubled sport totally riddled with and lost in violence and cheating. The idea that it is just the fault of the English RFU is sheer idiocy also; the whole sport needs to learn some hard, well deserved lessons from the League men - a properly tough, fair and clean sport, free from class bigotry, cocaine junkies, GBH and little Lord Fauntleroy's drinking champagne and whingeing that their expenses account isn't what it used to be!! Take Union's TV contracts and media coverage away until its house is in order, that's what I say!! Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:09:00 GMT+1 DavidBeckhamsBeard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=38#comment12 77% of all pro rugby players didn't reply to an anon questionaire? How does this prove that there is no cheating in Rugby?With regards to the rule changes, they should be tightening up the rules, increase the subs but take away blood bins. If a player wants stiches, or treatment, take him off with no replacement, like they do with football.If we're being honest, if 100% of players replied say "we've all see widespread cheating" would they be hosting such a self congratulatory press day? Seems like they've hung one man out to dry (rightly in my opinion) and then said problem solved Thu 01 Oct 2009 12:03:57 GMT+1 mikemmp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=35#comment11 i run lots of surveys, we have to manage them for various types of bias. when we are asking about things that may present a person in a negative light, response rates fall. therefore, 23% returns are likely to come from those who are less likely to portray a negative view.... therefore the 77% non-respondants are likely to have had a more negative (higher amount of cheating) view of the game...10% reporting 'bloodgate' incidents suggest there are 3 players in every game aware that are cheating - seems very high to me!!!ps. you need to change your text: when you say 10% knew of blood incidents, you then say "of those" 4% said it happens rarely. If that is what you meant - then 96% of the original 10% think it happens pretty often!!! I think you mean that 4% of all surveyed (who also said they had seen or were involved in blood incidents) thought it happened rarely. Thu 01 Oct 2009 11:31:30 GMT+1 ScuttleScuttle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=32#comment10 WaxyGodfather No, no sports are clean. Give me a choice of codes and I will prefer league, mainly because it's so conscious of its position in this country (sneered at by a lot of southern union boys, M62 corridor) that it punishes people well and gets a grip very quickly on its problems and acts swiftly.I am not comparing union to other games as such, more the fact players and fans have such a superior attitude about the spirit, fraternity etc of the game. It's no better than football, which it looks down upon, nor league, which it again looks down upon, nor any other sport.Cheating is endemic and barely frowned upon. Supporters and administrators know the players are so professional that their first thought is to kill play when things go against them. Yet, they still worship the players as examples of wholesome manhood. Rubbish.It's a professional sport that condones and accepts cheating.What difference union and football? None that I see Thu 01 Oct 2009 11:26:12 GMT+1 LeedsWanderer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=29#comment9 I've been encouraged to cheat by every rugby coach I've ever had. The whole sport has the view "if I don't get caught, its not cheating". This extends to young pro players with their supplements that I'll allege are widely used. Sad but true but I get the feeling the only people who don't recognise this and accept it as okay (I'm over it) are the media. The fans know, the players know and the coaches know, have done for years but as everyone is doing it, it doesn't affect my enjoyment watching the sport or playing it. Thu 01 Oct 2009 11:08:17 GMT+1 captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=25#comment8 On the flipside, should we commend the RFU for conducting some in-depth research into cheating. They are the only union in the world to have done so...23%, with no transparency. No, the RFU should be replaced, not praised. A joke since they hung Clive out to dry Thu 01 Oct 2009 10:52:39 GMT+1 john_cogger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=22#comment7 23% is to low a figure to take such a stance of 'its all right guv' from. The spin that 80% of that low figure were representative rugby players is also misleading as there are so many rep teams and rep team levels (schoolboys, counties, U18's, saxons, etc). From a quick read it looks like 70%ish of the responses were from players who have played in National 1 and below, which might show that a larger number of Premiership players avoided answering the survey.The findings of the report could also be misleading, take recreational drugs in the community game, the results are passed by as 'the prevalence of these drugs in society, particularly at the 16-24 age group which forms the basis of many rugby clubs.' Yet the survey shows that only 8% of survey respondents were from that age range.But is ok as cheating is not prevalent, but gamesmanship is quite ok. Thu 01 Oct 2009 10:19:51 GMT+1 captainlazytim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=19#comment6 looks a total whitewash, Australia cheated throughout the 2003 WC and were never punished, so why do we bleat about rugby being clean. it has a history of violence and cheating that is celebrated in the likes of Meads, Lima and the 99 call. Also, other sports aren't really important when discussing rugby. just sounds like tit-for-tatism Thu 01 Oct 2009 09:38:34 GMT+1 Kubali http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=16#comment5 Rugby players are not going to openly admit they cheat on a questionaire, no matter what the PRA say! This questionaire was never going to prove anything. Thu 01 Oct 2009 09:35:49 GMT+1 barchart184 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=12#comment4 I have just watched the interview given by Dallaglio and was sruck by a numer of things: -1.How little eye contact he gave the interviwer when answering the questions.2.How he has sudedenly mastered the politicians vocabulary3.His body language didn't fill me with much confidence.Perhaps this is from a senior member of a Wasp side that last season "went uncontested" in so many matches between 61 and 65 minutes of the game only for the "injured" props to be available the following week.If the autorities are going to embark on a process like this then it really should be about taking the game forward rather than trying to aportion blame. Stunts like the ones Wasps pulled regulalry last season, is cheating, perhaps not sufficienlty major to get bent out of shape like everyone has about bloodgate, but cheating nontheless. Low level cheating that isn't dealt with by the authorities only gives others the signal that it is OK and the environment that low level cheating will go unpunished.Much of the angst has been about the possibility that Leinster could have been cheated out of the game due to the reintroduction of a recognised goal kicker in the game in question. How manay results have been tarnished by most of the last quarter being played with uncontested scrums? It won't have been the side with the dominant scrum that suddenly has a series of front row injuries.Isn't the whole point of this task force to take the game forward, then the authoritirs need to take most of the blame for creating rules and not managing them properly, only to over react when someone tries something stupid. Thu 01 Oct 2009 09:32:07 GMT+1 Simon Austin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=9#comment3 Thanks for your comments so far.I'm interested to know what you think of the report. So here's a blunt question: Is it a whitewash?Only 23% of professional players sent back their questionnaires and you could argue that the stats don't support the assertion that cheating is not endemic in the game.On the flipside, should we commend the RFU for conducting some in-depth research into cheating. They are the only union in the world to have done so... Thu 01 Oct 2009 09:26:22 GMT+1 WaxyGodfather http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=6#comment2 'Scuttle Scuttle' Which sport would you rather watch instead?Football where the players often dive and play act, where the fans are segregated and try to kill each other? Where off-side goals are given and whether the ball goes over the line is still an area of debate.Or perhaps you'd rather watch F1 where teams spy on each other to gain an unfair advantage or crash into walls in order to gain an let their teammate win.....You really are blind if you dont think cheating happens in every sport, just because there has been one high profile scandal in rugby everyone is now on its back.....its the sport i love and always will. Thu 01 Oct 2009 08:22:15 GMT+1 ScuttleScuttle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=3#comment1 I'm afraid I can't take this sport seriously anyway, what with the superior attitude of administrators, the delusion that the spirit of union is so much better than any other sport, the blandly-spoken, PR consciencous players with the same generic accent.But this and the Schalke Burger's nonsense makes me realise just how warped union is.What struck me most about 'bending the rules' being so much a part of the system was the reaction of players to the Bloodgate stuff. It was a case of shrugging shoulders and apathy, and blame apportioned to someone for breaking 'Omerta', rather than a club for cheating.What with static set-pieces, players admitting they deliberately kill play and sneaky, almost cowardly, acts of on-field violence, it's a sport that has sunk into the mire, only to find a lot of fans, players and officials sunk there first. Thu 01 Oct 2009 07:01:17 GMT+1 ScarletIeu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/simonaustin/2009/09/twickenhams_spirit_of_rugby_ba.html?page=0#comment0 Dallaglio stretched the laws.. To breaking point! He hit more rucks from the side than Charvis (and that's saying something).. Still, a good man to have on the panel, knows what he's looking for! Wed 30 Sep 2009 22:09:55 GMT+1