The incompetence of SARU
January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
SARU, fronted by Oregan Hoskins and Jurie Roux, takes the brunt of the criticism but in the end the decisions are made by the administrators of South Africa’s 14 provincial unions. and with their ham-handed and soft-cocked handling of the Kings entry into Super Rugby SARU and South Africa’s provincial rugby administrators have created a toxic environment where two franchises, the Lions and the Kings, are on a hiding to nothing.
SARU, and SA’s provincial administrators, by springing the Kings’ inclusion in Super Rugby without a clear process of how it will be done, allowed for the the issue to drag on for seven months in the search for meaningless alternative solutions, solutions that were never going to be considered or put to a vote.
And in the end the Kings were left with insufficient time to put together a competitive squad while the Lions were summarily dumped without a safety net, financial or otherwise. The result is that the Kings, with only one year to prove themselves, have to take on the might of Southern Hemisphere rugby with a squad ill-suited for the task while the Lions were put back to pre-2010, losing more that 20 players who would have formed the backbone of their team in 2013, and are now forced into another rebuilding process.
Financially both franchises are sucking the hind tit too. While both the Lions and the Kings will receive their share of the Super Rugby TV monies the Kings can only promise potential sponsors a one year guarantee while the Lions sponsors are left with less than they bargained for and deals had to be renegotiated.
Looking to the future, with no guarantee of participating in Super Rugby in 2014 the Kings still cannot offer players more than partial contracts while the Lions cannot really start renegotiating contracts with current players until after the Wooden Spoon Knockout game in August with the result that 2014, for whichever team wins through, the situation will hardly be any better.
The Kings and the Lions administrators are not exempt of blame either.
The Kings have been receiving their share of the Super Rugby TV Pot o’ Gold since 2009 already. They could have prepared themselves better by at least getting into and becoming competitive in the Currie Cup Premier Division. There is really no excuse for them to have languished in the First Division.
The Lions, on the other hand, were naive, especially during the 2012 Super Rugby season. The goal should have been not to end last of the SA teams, simple as that. I said it in a previous post, the Lions tactics during the 2012 Super Rugby, where they ignored points on the board through penalties in order to try and score tries, were counter productive. Winning, even winning ugly, should have been their focus.
In the end South Africa’s provincial rugby administrators, including those of the Kings and the Lions must shoulder the blame for the vitriolic them vs us atmosphere that is currently prevalent amongst SA’s rugby supporters. Supporters are currently sharply divided into pro-Kings and anti-Kings camps and, going by the comments on various online sites and forums, there are very few taking the middle ground. This just cannot be good for SA rugby.
With the Super Rugby season at hand the Kings will be hard-pressed to win a few games and not to end last of the SA teams while the Lions, through the Wooden Spoon Knockouts Preparation Programme they put together without any assistance from SARU, will hope to rebuild a team that can at least get them back into Super Rugby in 2014, which they will have to take on, once again, with a young team of rookies.
South Africa’s rugby administrator really didn’t think this one through or, if they did, they didn’t really care what the implications were.