We were going to entitle this post "Whingeing Poms", but we didn't want to upset our mate James Stevenson who has gone into bat for us this week. So we resisted the temptation.
But the patronising attitude of English rugby clubs cannot go without comment; Stuff reports:
England's rugby clubs are furious the Crusaders were allowed to use Twickenham at the weekend, saying it was a "commercial venture dressed up in charity clothing" to raise money in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.
England's leading clubs have expressed anger at the Rugby Football Unions's decision to host the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and Sharks in London.
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported a meeting of the clubs two weeks ago resolved not to support the Twickenham fixture on Sunday (Monday morning NZT) but given the charitable aspect to the match - a percentage of the gate revenue was donated to the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake fund - the clubs decided not to campaign openly against it.
However, Saracens chairman Nigel Wray subsequently criticised the match ahead of his club's game against Newcastle, which was played at the same time in London.
Attendance there was 1500 down on the same fixture last season while a crowd of 35,094 walked through the Twickenham gates.
Premiership Rugby, the clubs' representative body, is now considering taking next year's domestic showpiece club final away from Twickenham as a form of retribution.
"We felt this game was the thin end of the wedge," one leading club official told the newspaper.
E oop; there's trouble at t'mill, it seems. But then comes the plain offensive part, to which we have added emphasis:
"The RFU keeps saying it is our partner, particularly when it concerns the England team, and yet it then allows a game to be played at Twickenham, from a different tournament and hemisphere, on the very weekend when domestic rugby should have been given the opportunity to shine.
"Teams from Super 15 have been trying for the last three years to get a game played in London and there were other options, such as Durban and any of the other stadiums in New Zealand for this game to have been played.
"This was a commercial venture in every way, a commercial venture dressed up in charity clothing."
Another unnamed source said there was anger the clubs hadn't been properly consulted and "the fear among the clubs now is that it sets a precedent for future Super 15 games to be played in England".
That match at Twickenham was a terrific rugby occasion, and the Sharks and Crusaders turned on a match worthy of the occasion. But the unnamed "leading club offical" treads on very dangerous ground when he criticises the motivation behind it. Christchurch has suffered a tragedy of major proportions. A board member of the Crusaders was amongst those who died in the February 22nd quake; a man known to us through family connections.We commend England's RFU for allowing the match to take place on their hallowed turf. It was a big success, and a fantatstic advertisement for running rugby; the game as William Webb Ellis intended it to be played, with ball in hand. The bitching and moaning of the premiership clubs smacks of sour grapes, and a myopic view of the rugby world. Or perhaps they just feel threatened when the final score of a match is not divisible by three!
The English rugby system is all wrong; clubs have all the power, to the detriment of the international game. On this occasion the RFU got it right, and the whingeing and moaning of the clubs does them no credit. Whaddya reckon James?