Responding to fierce criticism from the English management over Lawrence Dallaglio's yellow card, Jonathan Kaplan has admitted that his decision was not made on purely rugby grounds.
"To be honest it just seemed to be the best thing to do for the player," stated Kaplan to the three or four reporters after the game. "I mean, he was clearly out of breath and struggling a bit and I thought for his sake he needed a bit of a rest.
"It wasn't a snap decision either," added Kaplan. "I'd been thinking for a while that he was off the pace. I kept looking for him at the breakdown - in fact any breakdown really - and he was never there. And when he finally turned up he just stood at the back of the ruck trying to look really meaningful but I could see he was just trying to suck in as much oxygen as he could. And it wasn't much different in attack either. I watched him run into contact one time and then had to adjust my position rapidly as he was driven 5 yards back from the gain line.
"But I knew he really needed a good sit down when I spotted him at the bottom of a ruck and he looked disorientated like a guy with Alzheimer’s - he just didn't have a clue what he was supposed to be doing there.
"We've been given clear indications by Paddy O'Brien that when a player is clearly out of his depth like this we have a duty of care to remove him from the game for his own benefit. I was hoping the English management team would take the decision for me but for some strange reason they seemed unwilling to substitute him. So in the end, I sent him off."
Brian Ashton was unavailable for comment but Dallaglio's PR team has confirmed he is still the most important member of the squad and always will be, so there.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Dayglo's yellow card
Nice piece from the Scrum.com forum that I thought worth sharing, penned by a character called KiaKia, a kiwi with a sense of humour no less: