Saturday 18 November 2017

Sky's Jennings gaffe exposes Kiwi attitudes

Hugh Farrelly

NEW ZEALAND regularly claims to be most rugby-mad nation on the planet and that may be true, but it does not equate to a level of expertise, or indeed interest, when it comes to other nations.

The Kiwis have made a concerted ploy to get behind the Irish cause since the win over Australia and it has been a boost -- as the auxiliary forces in Dunedin last Sunday helped to create a magnificent atmosphere that lifted the team.

However, Sky Sports New Zealand did not cover themselves in glory on their flagship rugby programme last Sunday.

"Okay, now it's time to hear from the Irish players who are getting ready to run out against the Italians in their must-win clash later this evening," said the presenter.

Cue shot of Shane Jennings with an accompanying caption that read: "Ireland centre Fergus McFadden" (neither was in the 22 to face Italy) while the backing track was from that well-known album -- 'Now That's What I Call Diddly-Eye 27'.

Ah shur, aren't we only great all the same?

Irish media loiter with hungry intent

THE post-match press conferences are odd affairs. Vast numbers show up at these post-mortems, particularly as we near the business end of the competition, and it is fair to say that it is a pretty mixed bag.

There appear to be a lot of randomers walking about and individuals have been seen taking photos of players on their phones, asking for autographs and, most heinously, cramming post-match snacks into their gobs and talking with their mouths full while the conference is under way. And, with live feeds back to Ireland, there is a simple explanation for those who are wondering why the Irish media loiter silently at the back of the room after travelling around the world to be there.

It's not hard to work out. The time difference (for Sunday matches, 24 hours ahead of papers hitting the stands, 48 hours for Saturday matches) and presence of TV, radio, local newspapers and internet agencies render the quotes useless -- which is why the Irish media have a separate conference with players and coaches afterwards. After subtly sampling some post-match pies, of course.


"There are two things that happened but they're in the papers every day. That's down to you guys. Move on and start writing about other things; it was three weeks ago" -- England's Mark Cueto throws the dwarves out of the pram.

"Mike Tindall gave his assurance he had not attended the Cowboys bar, having left the Altitude bar. In good faith, the RFU's solicitors relied upon that assurance. However, Mike now accepts that his recollection was incorrect" -- Tindall's PR firm. Perhaps players telling the truth would help keep them out of the papers.

1.07m The number of fans who attended the 40 pool matches.

Irish Independent

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