Sunday, April 01, 2007

Monday Morning No. 8 (07/03/2006)

July 3, 2006

1: Official charges are still pending in the investigation into the death of Riaan Loots, the young South African assaulted and killed on the field two Fridays ago.

Malani Venter in Die Burger writes, "[Loots] fell to the ground after a stiff arm tackle to the throat and was then kicked to the head."

Murray Williams, writes in this weekends' Cape Argus that the provincial Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has called for more eye-witness accounts of the violent brawl. A police report on the incident was sent within days to the provincial DPP, Rodney de Kock, for a decision on whether to prosecute anyone in connection with Loots's death. The DPP's office said today that they needed more information before making a decision.

Karen Breytenbach of the Cape Times has more:

The National Prosecuting Authority is expected to announce on Monday whether it will charge two Ceres rugby players in connection with the assault that led to a Rawsonville flyhalf's death.

Meanwhile, a commission of inquiry appointed by Boland Rugby Union is to try to determine what might have triggered the assault.

Ismail Jamie, SC, of Cape Town, has completed his report and is to lead a commission of inquiry from July 10. Witnesses, match officials and the medical staff who treated the injured player, Riaan Loots, are to be asked to testify.

The union has also appointed advocates to a commission to investigate allegations of racism, biased refereeing and other problems in Boland rugby.

A Boland Rugby Union report on the refereeing of the match has been completed.


2. Argentina destroyed Chile 60-13 in an Americas World Cup qualifier at Santiago on Saturday. The Pumas outscored the Condors twelve tries to one.

3. The USA Eagles beat Barbados 91-0 in another Americas World Cup qualifier at Stanford, California, on Saturday, scoring 13 converted tries.

4. Reuben Thorne is rightfully back in the All Black frame. Inky comments:

Sticktoitiveness is a New Zealand characteristic, and it's a special quality in a rugby player. The last sentiment I expressed in 2003 after our World Cup exit was a plea not to lightly discard anyone whose pain would stop them ever forgetting such a hard-earned lesson.

I was talking about Reuben Thorne, basically.

The one who proudly stayed rather than leaving to play overseas. The man who clocks eighty minutes of every game every season. The man who won back the Bledisloe Cup when a host of people were saying he was invisible... those being the same people who were saying Jerry Collins was one dimensional, by the way, my other favourite player... Thorne has since been dropped, recalled, dropped again and recalled again.

Collins hasn't needed to use all his skills to keep others in second place. But now that he and Thorne are finally recognised as the country's two best blindside flankers, the last shred of doubt has been erased from my mind about these selectors. They were never blind or closed-minded, like the tens of thousands out there who didn't understand the role of the blindside flanker yet whose voices often seemed loudest.

What Collins provides on the field is extra. Everything he delivers over and above what Thorne does is a bonus, but he's the only number six in the world who delivers more than Thorne.

Read the rest...

5. All Black fullback Mils Muliaina has been selected as center for Tri-Nations despite not playing the position in the prior three tests. Was the move a long-term plan or a panic after the earlier test match "trials" determined the contenders were pretenders?

6. One of those contenders, Ma'a Nonu will miss most of the Tri Nations series after breaking his left thumb. Nonu faces at least six weeks on the sidelines after sustaining the injury playing club rugby for Wellington.

7. The entire starting All Black lineup to face the Wallabies next weekend is here.

8. The Daily Telegraph reported today that Australia coach John Connolly knew about the All Blacks starting 15 late last week. The New Zealand Herald reports an "explosive suggestion that the Wallabies have secured inside intelligence about their arch-rivals is likely to trigger an investigation behind closed doors in the All Blacks camp."


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