ON AIR: Daniel McHardy Afternoons

1PM - 4PM

Martin Devlin: Will Crusaders report see history repeat itself?

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 12:48PM
Crusaders player George Bridge, CEO Colin Mansbridge, and player Richie Mo'unga. (Photo / Photosport)
Crusaders player George Bridge, CEO Colin Mansbridge, and player Richie Mo'unga. (Photo / Photosport)

He said, she said. 


That's the word from Camp Crusaders as the official investigation begins into this latest round of post-match South African shenanigans.


I say that because, since pro rugby began, there's been a succession of unsavoury off-field incidents involving NZ players, from the infamous Roger Randle allegations in 1997, to the U-20s being shot at in 2002.


Who knows what really went down with George Bridge and Richie Mo'unga, the reality being that in all such occasions truth often lies somewhere between the various versions offered and proffered. What is certain is that another highly qualified lawyer has (again) been brought in to uncover, or not, the truth.


I remain dubious because the first thing lawyers always do is protect reputations, both theirs and their client's. However independent the investigation might be seen to be, one thing already guaranteed is that it'll never produce damning or guilty verdicts against those accused - because that's not what its purpose actually is.


And if you scorn my scepticism then re-read NZR's report into the Chiefs Strippergate from a few years back. Extensive rigorous examination of all evidence that time concluded that the worst of the behaviour belonged to the then 70-year-old bus driver.


Yes, it was him who threw gravel at her and physically and verbally abused her while all those big burly sober rugby players stood around helpless to intervene. Remarkable reading if you want a good laugh with about as much connection to reality as Game of Thrones. 


Now, I'm not saying George Bridge and those other Crusader players/management people did anything wrong. They were in a McDonalds late at night after drinking however much they'd drunk wanting to take selfies with other unsuspecting patrons.


Perfectly normal behaviour when you're out late at night in a country as safe as South Africa.


As for Mo'unga, the accusations against him are quite concerning. I really hope for his sake  that he didn't spit beer or pinch anyone's bottom. The fact he's supposedly apologised via Instagram is damning enough, the admission that he "can't remember anything about it" evokes memories of Kiwis Bromwich & Proctor snorting cocaine of a dealer's phone outside some Canberra nightclub.


What is it with these things that the players all tend to suffer from instant temporary amnesia? Now, I don't want to deliberately connect any dots between this and any ongoing CTE/concussion issues, but the inference is obvious. 


What a strange world we live in where this stuff dominates the "news" for days on end.

Ultimately it all comes down to varying versions of events, i.e. He said/She said.

It's not about who you believe, more like who's truth you choose to.

ON AIR: Daniel McHardy Afternoons

1PM - 4PM