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6347 Topic: Responding to injustice

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2500
Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 10:48:32

By Colin Kennedy Roar Pro

 The Springboks suffered an injustice in the Test played again the All Blacks this past weekend.

I am trying to ensure that the fact that I am a South African does not cloud my judgement in writing this, but they were really undone by the way that they failed to respond to the challenge.

I believe that it is true the Springboks have been on the receiving end of some dodgy calls since re-admission to international rugby, perhaps more so than some other teams.

I think it is possible that because the Springboks are regularly and unfairly dubbed bullies because of the physical nature of the way they play the game, there is a stigma or perception that has attached itself to them.

This does perhaps cloud the view of Northern Hemisphere referees; referees who do not have the relationship that the Southern Hemisphere referees have with all the players from the Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship.

Whether the South African perception of being unfairly targeted is true or not, the Springboks (and their fans) must use the experience to build character and resilience.

They must accept that this may be the status quo, and plan for how they will deal with it in the heat of battle.

Indeed, all teams and all fans should prepare for when things go wrong like this. Referees and officials are human.

They make mistakes, they have ulterior motives, they see things differently. Subjectivity is a human reality. Life is nasty.

However, games are won or lost by what goes on in the top half of the players’ heads. Adversity is supposed to make us stronger, but throwing our hands up and bemoaning an injustice will not fix the situation after the fact.

Adversity happens to everybody. Life is not fair. How we respond is the difference between winning and losing.

To expect an IRB angel to descend, wave a wand and fix the result, fix the injustice and fix the referees is just silly (particularly fixing the referees. It’s easier to time travel than fix that lot).

My point is, an injustice does not excuse giving up or responding with inarticulate rage.

An injustice is not license to throw your hands up and hope that somebody will come along and fix your problem for you, because the moment you do that you become a victim.

When the odds are against you, it is time to regroup, rethink and respond appropriately. I don’t believe the Springboks did that.

I think they let themselves get rattled, and they lost focus.

I believe that if an All Black had been unjustly red carded, the All Blacks would have played themselves into the ground – they would have used the injustice as fuel and they would have thrown everything at it.

That’s what makes them a great team.

The same goes for fans of both teams. There has been too much said, and too much of it has been angry, bitter and goading to the point of vileness.

True, much of it was by trolls from New Zealand and South Africa looking to gloat or vent, rather than The Roar’s regulars – but what did any of it accomplish? Absolutely nothing.

The doctors must have been dispensing a lot of blood pressure tablets in both countries. Anger hurts nobody but the angry person.

Instead of anger and recrimination, the message to the Springbok team (and any others who suffer an injustice, including the All Blacks) should be:

1. How will you use this to make you stronger?
2. How will you plan for this in the future, because it will – it will – happen again?

Everybody knows that anger clouds judgement and actually damages your health. There is a Chinese proverb that goes: “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow”.

It happens, but the mark of greatness is whether you get off that canvas and, with dignity and respect, whether you keep moving forward.

This applies to Wallabies because they are in the doldrums at the moment, to the Springboks because they were treated unfairly and to New Zealanders because when you’re the best everybody wants a piece of you.

In the words of Rocky Balboa: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, it’s a very mean, and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees, and keep you there permanently, if you let it“.

That’s not all he says, but never a truer word was said.

Think RWC 2007


Status: Squad member
Posts: 415
RE: Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 13:30:49


Taine the voice of reason!  Everyone loses in the end.


Former All Blacks captain Taine Randell says fans have been robbed of the crunch game of the year.

Writing in his column for Fairfax Media, Randell said: 'Romain Poite's officiating ruined last night's Test between the All Blacks and the Springboks, a game between the world's two best sides.

'I am so disappointed with the way a number of controversial decisions, which still don't make any sense to me, dictated the game.

'Bismarck du Plessis's yellow card for a legitimate tackle on Dan Carter was totally unfair, his second yellow which led to red was also marginal and as a fan I've not been able to watch the best of what we've got, against the best of South Africa.

'Last night's game was not decided on equal measure and at this level of the game, that is not acceptable.'


Status: Senior player
Posts: 2500
RE: Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 13:52:39

I think KalaedFreddie that Colin Kennedy was trying to look at the silver lining in the cloud - to take the positives out of the negatives! He probably would have agreed with Taine but then moved on from there IMO!


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3425
RE: Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 13:55:57

 Colin Kennedy and Taine Randell both take a bow......finally the voices of reason love those quotes and thank you very much hakwazeeeee for posting my good friend :)


Status: Senior player
Posts: 2500
RE: Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 14:26:46

hey Cloudy, how did that recipe Beens gave you go? Must come to your place for dinner one of these days - hopefully to celebrate the 2015 RWC Treble! 


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3425
RE: Responding to injustice
September 19, 2013, 14:34:07

 Oh man I was wanting to cook up a storm last night I was so hungry after that conversation......but then I just watched the Bachelor and went to bed hahaha im not the worlds best cook but you're welcome to come for a BBQ....naru is coming one day to have some chops not karate chops and I think beeno wants a boil up....I might get one of those big pots the mori hori used to cook dem Maoris in ...just for him lol


Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6042
RE: Responding to injustice
September 20, 2013, 08:44:04

Great article. Many of us have made these points but it's good to see a S African makeing them.

Cloudy: BBQ, ummmmmm, sounds good. If we made it a bring your own food and drink and instead of a grill we made it Maori hungi event. Low maintenance for you maximum fun for all. All posters could come, lol

For those who don't know what we are talking about:

Beeno, (aka its the refs fault)  Some lamb shank for you mate (double helping)?

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