Sanction the Player . Not the Spectator .The Game Plan

18 July 2024, Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think 62000 people pay to see a 15 versus 14 game   : Johan Ackermann  

 

 

What a pleasure it was to see Emirates Park packed to its 62 000 capacity last Saturday .What a pleasure to watch the Lion’s brand of rugby. What a pleasure to see a superb referee given the ultimate accolade of handling the Super Final – even though a team from his home country was contesting .

But, what a disappointment to see yet another great contest spoiled by a game- changing RED CARD .

Moving forward , something needs to change.

Hats off to Jaco Peyper who made the right call according to the rule book  , but even he seemed sympathetic  and disillusioned when handing a red card to Kwagga Smith in the 39th minute.

His face even tells us a story in this photo .

Jaco Peyper is brilliant at creating the right platform for many great games of rugby to be contested . But , this time the current rugby rule book stopped him from doing what he does best –  allowing for entertainment, education and enrichment  .

I don’t think 62000 people pay to see a 15 versus 14 game. The player can get disciplined after the game, especially if it is not out of the law from the dirty play perspective.       Johan Ackermann

Ackers you have got it spot on. And , what about the millions of television viewers worldwide who pay monthly subscriptions to premium sport channels .

We all know that world rugby wants to stamp out reckless play that can lead to serious injury. The players know that. We all know this.

But , the way they are going about it , does little to keep the spectators flocking to the game .

This is the second high profile match in less than two months , which has been ruined by a red card call. Remember Sonny Bill William’s red card in the recent British Lions/ All Blacks second test. It changed the series.

At Emirates Park , what could have been a true spectacular , turned into a one sided contest  > And it could have been worse if it was not for the Lion’s sheer tenacity in a near hopeless situation against a champion team.

It’s simple.

Sanction the player after the game –  according to severity of the incident.

Was Kwagga reckless?  Yes . Was he cynical ? No.

Give him a yellow card and a two match ban

Was Sonny Bill reckless? Yes.  Was he cynical ? Yes

Give him a yellow card and six match ban.

The referee on the field should only be tasked to issue a RED CARD  – if and only the player gets two yellows in the same game.

Let a special rules committee determine and decide on the player’s intent after the game – and hand down an appropriate discouraging sanction. Look at the player’s history and his playing intent .

Sanction the player – not the spectator.

Super Sport with their premium sports package brings us great entertainment , but maybe it’s time that they start questioning the current red card ruling.

Paying subscribers are not interested in a 15 versus 14 miss- match.

Spectators put in great effort and pay high ticket prices to watch the big matches. And they pay even more when they follow their teams on international tours .

They deserve better.

CONGRATULATIONS must go to the Crusaders who played superb rugby  – after travelling across continent to win a Super Rugby final . And that’s never easy.

Well done to them, but even they must be wondering if they would have beaten the Lions without that game- changing red ?

Let’s hope we will see change – sooner rather than later .


 

Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist , Entrepreneur , Author, Speaker, and Performance Coach to Business Executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.

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