Gatland 'cheating' probed

2011-10-19 10:00

Auckland -  The International Rugby Board will launch a review of Warren Gatland's admission that he considered cheating during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against France.

Gatland revealed that he and his coaches had discussed the possibility of ordering a player to feign injury to force uncontested scrums.

At the time, Wales were without captain Sam Warburton, who had been sent off, and injured prop Adam Jones. Gatland and his staff considered asking one of their remaining props to fake injury, which would have forced the referee, Alain Rolland, to order uncontested scrums.

That would have relieved the pressure that was building on the makeshift Wales pack, while ruining the game as a spectacle.

The IRB, which is reported to be alarmed by Gatland's comments, could now ask the New Zealander to explain his comments, which came in a press conference on Tuesday.

"We had already lost Adam Jones and we discussed in the box: 'Do we fake an injury to one of our props to go to uncontested scrums?"' Gatland said. "Morally I made the decision that it wasn't the right thing to do.

"We could have easily done that in the first 25-30 minutes of the game but in the spirit of the game, in the spirit of a World Cup semi-final, I didn't think that was the fairest or the right thing to do.

"That's why I honestly believe that Alain Rolland made the wrong decision, I think the right decision was a yellow card.

"In terms of the rules and regulations he was perfectly entitled to give a red card but every game is different and you take the circumstances, the situation and intent into account."

Gatland's revelation shocked the assembled media and, it seems, the rugby authorities.

In what appeared to be a damage limitation exercise, Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis attempted to defend Gatland by saying the coach should be praised for not doing what he could have done in claiming an injury to a prop.

"Warren Gatland should be applauded in this professional era where tough things and tough decisions are made, that he didn't go into that particular zone," Lewis said.

"Warren Gatland is a brutally honest rugby coach. He is a very serious thinker and he tells it as he sees it. That was something that was considered and the guys said, 'We are not going there'.

"In professional sport there is always an opportunity to manipulate the laws and that opportunity could have presented itself. But we did not go there."

Gatland's remarks overshadowed the announcement of his team for Friday's third-place play-off against Australia at Eden Park.

In the absence of Warburton, prop Gethin Jenkins has been appointed captain while Toby Faletau, the only Wales player with a 100 percent appearance record in the tournament, will move from No 8 to openside flank to fill Warburton's boots.

Ryan Jones comes in at No 8 with Paul James packing down at tight head prop instead of Adam Jones, who has failed to recover from that calf muscle injury. At lock, Bradley Davies replaces Alun-Wyn Jones.

"We are sticking with the majority of the side which has put together a string of performances for us so far in this tournament," Gatland said.

"We face Australia back home at the Millennium Stadium in just over a month's time, and we are single-minded in our assertion that we want that homecoming to be a celebration of us being one of the top three teams in the world."


Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Rob Horne

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Toby Faletau, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Paul James, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).

Substitutes: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Scott Williams

Rugby Heaven

  • Jason - 2011-10-19 10:26

    IRB is a joke....they are going to probe comments about something the coach considered doing, but did not actually do. But they will say and do nothing regarding Bryce Lawrence...... what a joke

      Felix - 2011-10-19 10:39

      Why would they do anything to Bryce? He was just doing what they asked him to, to increase profits from ticket sales.

      Thomas - 2011-10-19 20:20

      Another joke, Boks snubbed from awards!!!! Lets see who the ABs have played in their run to the final!! Fruit cake France who had no intension of winning that game, three ardious games against Canada, Japan and Tonga. One normal game against a much weaker Argentinian outfit than the last world cup and an Aussie team still trying to get off the canvas where we put them!! The two teams who came through the pool of death and were battle hardened and ready were reffed out of the tournament!! Before the wankers say we had it easy in "07" we beat the World champs twice, played all Pacific Island teams the best Argintinian team ever!!!! It wasn't the ref that stopped us from meeting the ABs and Aussies, it was the lower ranked teams they couldn't beat!!!! There was no way they were going to allow the ABs to face the World Champs even if there was a chance they could win, it was too risky!!!!!!!!!! RIGGED WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!!!! The final!! two teams from the same pool which was the weakest, plus a team that lost twice in the same pool!! If anything it should have been two teams in the toughest pool or one of them against the ABs!!!!!!! AND NOW THE IRB WANT TO INVESTIGATE WHAT A COACH WAS THINKING!!!PURE MADDNESS!!!!!!!!

  • stormsingleton - 2011-10-19 10:40

    Pathetic. Only lot who should be probed is that bunch of arrogant self centred pricks who run the IRB and think they are above everyone else. bet you most of those old arrogant farts never played a decent level of rugby yet are so quick to dictate the way they want the game to go. hang the lot of em....

  • marius.roets - 2011-10-19 10:44

    He'd be an idiot for not considering, and he is a better man for not doing it. I don't see the problem.

  • jacques.ackermann - 2011-10-19 10:45

    this RWC will not go down in history for the rugby but rather for all the not rugby issues. NZ rugby union has rigged this world cup and lets hope they never ever get the world cup. they have brought the world cup and the rugby into chaos. even poor wales was a victim. not good for the game in my view. IRB needs to clean somehouse

  • Andy - 2011-10-19 10:47

    That's ridiculous, IRB is an absolute joke! England actually did cheat in the ballgate saga and they did nothing, Bryce and the IRB cheated the whole way through the tornament to help get a Northern Hemisphere team to the Final and now they want to punish someone for having cheating thoughts! I will not spend another cent on anything that will benefit the IRB ever again!

      CapeChappy - 2011-10-19 10:53

      Yes you will.... Supersport pays a percentage to the IRB via SANZAR. They have us by the short and curlies for the game we love.

      Alan - 2011-10-20 00:51

      We should not buy any products from companies sponsoring the IRB or the RWC2011 - start with TAG Heuer watches and Landrovers. So make mine a timex and a toyota please.

  • Gerhard - 2011-10-19 10:51

    There is no reason to investigate Gatland. They should investigate themselves for condoning blatant cheating to ensure that the All Black are in the final. The match between Aus and SA was fixed and there is nothiing being done about it. The result stand and therefore the AB's are in the final. They do not deserve to be there. It is because of financial considerations that All Blacks are in the final. I smell corruption!!!

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-19 12:44

      AHMEN !!

  • Michael - 2011-10-19 11:02

    Jeez !! What a you get condemned for what you think !! If that's the case, most fans would be banned from watching any live rugby given what we think and even say about the IRB; referees and Paddy O'Brien; the rugby laws that have become almost incomprehensible......

      Albertus - 2011-10-19 12:37

      One has to believe in something I believe I will have another beer

  • Klipkop - 2011-10-19 11:06

    Gatland and probed in the same line just sounds very wrong to me.

  • Kevin - 2011-10-19 11:18

    Gatland ,Bryce lawrence , Both New Zealanders . Both skelms

      Peter - 2011-10-19 15:12


  • Theprodigy - 2011-10-19 12:42

    It should read Paddy no Brain cheating investigated. Just a thought, i wonder what Alain Rolland would have done if it was NZ playing France & Richie Mccaw (or any other NZ player) that did the exact same tip tackle, what would have happened ?????????? I can tell you what would have happened, it would have been a penalty & nothing more, no card, no citing, no match ban.....Just like with Stuard Dickenson & Brad Thorn on JS.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-10-19 12:57

    I seem to recall the kiwis doing this against the Boks a few years back. They said they had 'no specialist prop' although on the field, playing in another position, was a test prop.

  • Barry - 2011-10-19 20:15

    Are Pocock's and Lawrence's cheating being probed ?

  • Alan - 2011-10-20 00:46

    @ Thomas - so well said!!!! You've hit the nail firmly on the head. The whole tournament has been rigged and they made absolutely sure no team with any chance of beating the All Chokes got even close to them. This is seriously damaging for rugby union and very much a Ben Johnson moment for the sport - note how athletics has never recovered. The real problem is the ethics of the people in charge - both Gatland and Dean's considered it an option at this very world cup. SA had to pick a team to counteract the possibilty the Aussies would do just that. The Welsh chiefs are arguing it is to his credit Gatland didn't do it? Paddy O'Brian and his henchman (refs and linesman) have rigged not only this but previous tournaments - see last years tri-nations. Bryce's man of the match job. Richie McCheat and David Pocock both blatantly play to cheat and it appears they are coached to do that - in fact if the ref doesn't allow them that leeway they become completely anonymous on the field and their teams tend to loose. The standard of refs and the regularity of bias shown is shocking. To sum it up, rugby is in the hands of the crooked - New Zealand, Ireland and Australia are the biggest culprits and shame on them for that. The real worry is that it seems if refs don't tow the Paddy "lets favour New Zealnd" O'Brian line then they are out (note Mark Lawrence - best ref in the world). Paddy even criticises publically if a decision goes against NZ but only if against NZ. Go FRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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