Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

Opinion - Listening to Phil Kearns has become intolerable

By Ben Smith
Phil Kearns. (Photos by Getty Images)

The ex-Wallabies captain and one-eyed Fox Sports commentator Phil Kearns has come under criticism this week for his ill-thought remarks around Ireland’s halves, accusing them of time wasting while offering a poor mimic imitation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The incident caused a stir amongst a section of Irish fans, with some suggesting that it was racist. While that is a heavy accusation, ‘idiot’ is a more appropriate label and the incident is nothing new if you’ve been forced to listen to him for years. Listening to the biased, arrogant and lazy thoughts of Phil Kearns during either a Waratahs or Wallabies game has become intolerable and painful, even for Australian rugby fans.

Kearns rounds out a panel of ex-Australian players on a commentary team headlined by legendary broadcaster Greg Clark. Nick McArdle hosts a panel of ‘experts’ in Rod Kafer, Phil Kearns, Greg Martin and Tim Horan in pre and post-match shows. While Horan and Kafer look to add a fair amount of depth to their comments, the impact of Kearns & Martin is overwhelming and often leaves Horan or Kafer with the job of counter-arguing instead of providing more insightful takes on the game.

Video Spacer

Kearns outrage at every single call that goes against Australia is pathetic cheerleading, and only the balance of Horan provides some sort of fair commentary. Greg ‘Marto’ Martin is cut from a similar cloth. While providing enthusiasm to the call he cannot provide any level of insight into the game whatsoever aside from pointing out the obvious ‘big collision there’ or ‘he missed a golden opportunity’.

The problem is these two do more damage to rugby in Australia than good by severely impacting the quality of the broadcast. With the vast majority of the Australian public having limited access and knowledge of rugby, those that do stumble across a game will leave with no further appreciation for what is a complex sport with compelling strategies by listening to these two.

Both Greg Martin and Phil Kearns played the game in an amateur era as it entered professionalism and piggybacked it into media careers. While Kearns had the more successful playing career of the two, the insight he brings to the table is astoundingly low for someone who played 67 tests.

The reality is the game has evolved twenty-fold since these two played. If Fox wants to continue with having ex-players on the call, they should look to recruit from the recently retired crop of those who have played up until the 2010’s, who will have a greater idea of what the modern game involves. Horan and Kafer continue to add value, it seems they are prepared to actually do some research and prepare for games.

ADVERTISEMENT

Phil Kearns and Greg Martin struggle as professional commentators and are better described as professional complainers – either about the referee or the opposition. It’s time for the game to move on and leave these relics from the amateur days behind.

Video Spacer

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

T
Tim 10 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

2 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Aaron Grandidier Nkanang: 'Sevens doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s the Formula One of rugby – pure entertainment.' Aaron Grandidier Nkanang: 'Sevens doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s the Formula One of rugby – pure entertainment.'
Search