The saga between World Rugby and the Scottish Rugby Union is now over, but it has left a bitter taste in many mouths.
World Rugby confirmed on Thursday that the SRU have issued an apology and paid a donation of £70,000 for comments made by chief executive Mark Dodson in the build-up to their match with Japan in Yokohama at the recent World Cup.
The match was in danger of being cancelled as it coincided with the weekend that Typhoon Hagibis ravaged part of Japan.
Cancellation would have eliminated Scotland from the RWC without playing their final pool match and Dodson accused World Rugby of disorganisation and unfairly treating his country.
Given the circumstances, and the danger that the typhoon posed, these comments caused outrage, but many Scotland fans seem to still back what Dodson said.
Bit disappointed that we have given in to bullying.
— Burgh Watch (@bigparahandy) November 14, 2019
Can't believe you caved to that hypocrisy.
— girl_unattached (@GUnattached) November 14, 2019
Scotland fans have accused World Rugby of bullying and have suggested that the SRU folded under pressure, as they clearly feel that Dodson was within his rights to say what he did.
During the RWC, Scotland adopted a siege mentality as it seemed that the rest of the world backed World Rugby’s stance to potentially cancel their match. While the SRU have paid the fine, many fans seem to still have this siege approach.
Disappointing. Folded quicker than an old deckchair. World Rugby will be delighted that we are no longer talking about their poor organisation.
— Roger (@RogerBainbo) November 14, 2019
Absolute joke. Shouldn't apologise for something we shouldn't be regretting. @WorldRugby made a fool of themselves by not having a plan for games getting cancelled, they should apologise to us.
— John Burns (@awesomeburner) November 14, 2019
And when will we hear World Rugby’s apology and improvement plan for failing to have ANY adverse-weather contingency planning?? ?????
— Carlos Fantasia (@carlos_fantasia) November 14, 2019
Three games were cancelled that weekend at the RWC – England versus France, Namibia versus Canada and New Zealand versus Italy. Although Italy captain Sergio Parisse did complain about the decision, there was no reaction comparable to Scotland’s. Equally, there was more riding on their contest with Japan.
Both England and France had already qualified from their pool, Namibia and Canada were already out (although it was maybe the Namibians’ best chance of securing a first-ever RWC win), and while Italy were still mathematically in the tournament, it would have required their first-ever victory over the All Blacks.
Scotland’s match with Japan did have a different feel to the other three, as Gregor Townsend’s side had a legitimate chance of qualifying, but these were extraordinary circumstances.
However, many fans are still clearly aggrieved at their side’s treatment in the tournament and feel that there should have been contingency plans in place, which was one of the main criticisms at the time.
Well done for bending over like the obedient little union you are. Tell me, did you get a good deal selling that spine?
— Steven Kelly (@kane_richards) November 14, 2019
Cop out. SRU were placed into an impossible position by World Rugby who were totally wrong. We were there we know what it was like and what the Japanese fans thought. Take the medals back from England.
— Bill Wilkinson (@billwilkinson9) November 14, 2019
The most disappointing thing for Scotland may be the fact that the game went ahead and they still lost in what was one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament. The punishment handed to them by World Rugby has only added insult to injury.
WATCH: Scottish Rugby fined and told by World Rugby to write ‘meaningful apology’
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