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Bloodgate - what have we learned?

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:49 am

I see that Dean Richards is getting into the discussion threads again as we continue towards the end of his bloodgate ban.

But what has rugby learned from the Bloodgate scandal? What is the legacy of this whole incident?

From what I can see, those involved in this incident have been punished comprehensively. But the fallout was kept within this incident. A stern warning to teams not to visit the jokeshop before games anymore.

But should the powers that be have done more? Was the incident not an opportunity to look at;
- how injuries are treated/reported by the medical teams and the potential influence of coaches/players over what should be medical decisions? (eg. where a player is visibly concussed or knocked out during a game, yet this isn't put on the official report so as to allow the player to play the following week)
- injuries in other games in various competitions, where the medical decision could be in doubt as there was a competitive advantage (eg. prop injuries leading to uncontested scrums, etc.)

I think the Unions had an opportunity to get a remit from players/teams/fans to do a proper review of a part of this rugby where people don't ask a lot of questions, but doesn't always give the appearance of being above board. Is this view consistent with 606v2 at large.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:52 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:But what has rugby learned from the Bloodgate scandal? What is the legacy of this whole incident?

Vampires can't play rugby thumbsup

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:54 am

The move toward 23 man sqauds was a clear reaction to bloodgate finaly forcing people to face up to the uncontested scrums problem.
Its noticable that blood subs havve dropped across the game as well since this incident.

I dont know about a full public enquiry and peoples courts followed by floggings and hangings but there certainly has been some embaressed shuffleing and a general agreement that the divideing line between taking advantage of ill thought out rules and unnaceptable behaviour needed to be shifted.



The real thing we have learnt from bloodgate is that theres nothing like a good scape goat.

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Post by wales606 Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:55 am

Its is not to the benefit of the coaches, medical staff and indeed the player to play if they are injured or at risk - anything that endangers a players health will be put on the medical form.

As for faking an injury, im sure a lot of players (and coaches) will think twice now, knowing that their career is over if they get found out.
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Post by red_stag Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:56 am

Bloodgate had nothing to do with uncontested scrums. It was taking advantage of the use of substitutions.
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Post by wales606 Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:59 am

...however, I am still annoyed about that Leicester player in the Blues vs Leicester HC SF who, having had blood on his face for most of the second half decided he needed to go get cleaned up with 2 minutes before a penalty shootout...the coach decided to replace him with a goal kicker who had already been subbed.....Wink, just sayin....Poor Martyn Williams Sad
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:02 pm

red_stag wrote:Bloodgate had nothing to do with uncontested scrums. It was taking advantage of the use of substitutions.

Agreed stag, but Bloodgate arose from a medical report noting a cut, and the uncontested scrums generally arose where props were noted as being injured and not fit to play, both of which had a competitive advantage to the team involved and both of which required medical findings in a specific description in order to trigger that advantage taking place. Though I could be wrong in this regard.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:04 pm

what I really want to know is why whenrever there is a Scandal do we have to add "gate" at the end of it?

I know it's connected to the "Watergate Scandal" that chucked Nixon out of the white house but jeez can't we come up with a better titles?
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:06 pm

red_stag wrote:Bloodgate had nothing to do with uncontested scrums. It was taking advantage of the use of substitutions.

Yes but it opened up the whole issue of faking injuries and forced a surge of opinion that it had to stop. Everyone knew that both blood subs and prop injuries were reguallry being used to "play" the rules, it just took bloodgate to force a groundswell of opinion into doing something about the issue, or even to recognise it as genuine cheating rather than just something people did.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:08 pm

Some interesting responses here. I get the feeling that while there hasn't been any official moves since the Bloodgate incident, there is a feeling that the punishments and quiet words coming from upon high has effectively forced teams to clean up their act.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:16 pm

wales606 wrote:...however, I am still annoyed about that Leicester player in the Blues vs Leicester HC SF who, having had blood on his face for most of the second half decided he needed to go get cleaned up with 2 minutes before a penalty shootout...the coach decided to replace him with a goal kicker who had already been subbed.....Wink, just sayin....Poor Martyn Williams Sad

To be afir though its the refs fault. he shouldve sent the player form the field the minute he had an open blood would ( which he did have). In that case Tigers clealry played the rules, they wanted Hipkiss on the pitch up untill they maybe needed another kicker...so bought it to the refs attention when they suddenly realised that Dupuys kicking was more valuable. Its not cheating as such, or faking injury, just taking advantage of poorly thought out rules.

I have vague memories from a couple of a player (Nick Evans?) going into a game with a knee injury and coming off for a blood injury, getting treatment for his knee at the same time, then coming back on when the game was heading for a tight and his goal kicking was required.



The problem with all of this is it really comes down to self policing. The rules have to take player safety as the first consideration, and then game integrity second. They cant have a full medical team with MRI snanners and legal represnetatives to argue what constitutes a genuine injury pitchside. At some level there has to be a degree of honour involved form teh individuals, and an understanding across the game of hwat is OK and what isnt.
Bloodgate was by no means an isolated incident, or unique in its character. Nor did it come out of a vacumn due to some evil mastermind as some liked to beleive at the time. There was a gradual creep and acceptance of those sort of practises.

What I argue is that the furore and media inflated public rage created by bloodgate has bought about a distincyt shift in teh midset of everyone involved in rugby toward what is and isnt acceptable in this regard. It also forced peopel to face up to the issue regarding uncontested scrums. Theres no question that theres less playing of the injury rules than there used to be, and the change came about because the people involved were forced to rethink what was OK and what wasnt.

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Post by johnpartle Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:10 pm

I don't think it's changed things that much. Teams will still try to get away with as much as possible, they're just having to be a little more savvy and make sure not to wink.

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Post by BATH_BTGOG Mon 13 Jun 2011, 4:10 pm

I was going to say don't wink.

Lets be honest if you want a blood replacement it wouldn't be too hard to get a real blood injury in rugby.

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Post by robbo277 Mon 13 Jun 2011, 5:02 pm

I would have changed blood subs completely. If you are bleeding, run off, get treatment and run back on. No sub, you play down to 14.

The only blood sub I would allow is that if a front row is in the blood bin it is akin to a front row being in the sin bin, and you can make a temporary replacement to get your full compliment of front row on by subbing a flanker or another less important player (sorry non-front rowers, but it's true!) off for a front row while the bleeding front row player is getting treatment. Then, when he's patched up, he and the flanker come back on the pitch.

Then you're left with a choice. Can he play through the injury until half-time/full-time? If yes, wait. If no, can you patch him up in a couple of minutes? If yes, do it. If not then you're going to have to substitute him off. Why should it be any different to any other injury?

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue 14 Jun 2011, 8:43 am

robbo277 wrote:I would have changed blood subs completely. If you are bleeding, run off, get treatment and run back on. No sub, you play down to 14.

The only blood sub I would allow is that if a front row is in the blood bin it is akin to a front row being in the sin bin, and you can make a temporary replacement to get your full compliment of front row on by subbing a flanker or another less important player (sorry non-front rowers, but it's true!) off for a front row while the bleeding front row player is getting treatment. Then, when he's patched up, he and the flanker come back on the pitch.

Then you're left with a choice. Can he play through the injury until half-time/full-time? If yes, wait. If no, can you patch him up in a couple of minutes? If yes, do it. If not then you're going to have to substitute him off. Why should it be any different to any other injury?

Thats essentialy how all injuries used to be treated. Trouble is it punishes teams for getting players hurt.

The whole point of teh blood subs rule is to ensure that anyone with an open blood wound isnt on the pitch, and jubblies the refs responsibility to ensure they arent. Saying to teams you go one man down to get that patched up may stop them "taking advantage" of the rule for tactical replacements but doesnt meet the basic healtha ndsaftey issue of having people with open blood wounds rubbing up against each other.
As well as being a bit gross theres an infection risk from open wounds , and the albeit remote chance of passing some nasty stuff from person to pwerson. You wouldnt want to be playing against Freddy Mercury if he was gushing blood from a broken nose.


Surely it would be much easier to just allow rolling subs benches, with a minimum 10 minutes play for each player coming on. That way there would be no reason to bother bending the rules whilst avoiding a situation where place kickers and props become entirely specialist set piece players.

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Post by BATH_BTGOG Tue 14 Jun 2011, 9:35 am

You know Freddy's been dead for some time!
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue 14 Jun 2011, 9:45 am

Even more reason why you wouldnt want him on the pitch bleeding all over you :P

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