Dodson and Company on a Supposed Lack of Respect Torrent

We find that this [the SRU’s attempts to get the game delayed because of Hagibis] was part of a campaign wrongly played out in public designed to put pressure on Rugby World Cup Limited to have the match played when it was properly and understandably endeavouring to plan for and deal with the consequences of a substantial imminent natural disaster.”Pushing the nuclear button

The SRU can weather the fine of £70,000 that comes with this verdict, but the allegation of heartlessness will stick in its craw. Being accused of a lack of sensitivity in the midst of a disaster that claimed 88 lives is akin to the committee pushing the nuclear button.

It should be noted that while lecturing Dodson and company on a supposed lack of respect, the committee referenced a previous typhoon that hit Japan, but they couldn’t get the spelling right. Typhoon Faxai – not Typhoon Faxais as the committee called it on two occasions in their written verdict – hit town a month before the beginning of the World Cup and killed three people while causing $7bn worth of damage.

If you’re going to accuse somebody of disdain then it’s best you don’t open yourself up to a similar accusation while doing so. We should recap what went down in that deeply divisive week in October. From the Monday it was known Hagibis was going to be one of the most violent typhoons in decades. It was raging across the Western Pacific at a terrifying speed.

The tournament organisers decided to cancel two games that could have been close to the eye of the storm. New Zealand versus Italy and England versus France were both ditched. Tournament rules decreed that the games could have been moved to another venue – World Rugby said that had become a logistical impossibility – but not to another day. The games were off. End of story.

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