A dangerous policy

Why the All Blacks’ ‘no dickheads’ policy is simply a New Zealand myth

If adopted elsewhere, would leave the Saffas* team sheet a bit short, wouldn’t it?

*Insert whoever you don’t like to taste here.

20 thoughts on “A dangerous policy”

  1. It’s bollocks anyway. They behave exactly like most modern sports stars with lots of money and an adoring public – see Aaron Smith shagging some bird in the airport bogs, various others getting pissed and dancing on cars/taking coke/fighting.

    England players tend to behave better than most because our press is always eager to expose this sort of behaviour whereas the Kiwi hacks are, as Eddie put it this week, basically fans with typewriters. The dwarf throwing bullshit is a case in point – several other teams were in the same place doing the same stuff but no one really cared.

    By the way, what an outrageous infringement on the rights of little people to ban it. They can’t get jobs as shelf stackers, after all, and they can’t all be Warwick Davis or that bloke in Game of Shite.

  2. Insert whoever you don’t like to taste here.

    That’s a bit personal or do the subs need to report for a beating?

  3. @Interested “an outrageous infringement on the rights of little people to ban it.”

    Indeed. Midget rights have been trampled on for too long. I remember when my circus sideshow attraction in which I was billed as “The World’s Tallest Midget” was banned.

    Stand up for the little people!

  4. You have to parse “dickhead” correctly.

    It doesn’t mean no person *I* think is a dickhead.

    It means they don’t pick people who break team ethos, and ruin team cohesiveness.

    Sevu Reece’s in-rugby behaviour is reprehensible. But it doesn’t affect the team because he is a good team man. So he doesn’t count as a dickhead just because foreign journalists don’t like him.

    Zac Guildford is a dickhead because he drinks when team rules say he mustn’t. He got dropped quick smart.

    It works. The teams that impose it are better teams. Just don’t confuse “dickhead” with your personal values, because they aren’t relevant.

  5. I want to know why the Haka isn’t called out as cultural appropriation. How many of the team are directly descended from the Maori people? (Not that I give a toss for CA.)

  6. The haka should be met by the England team forming two ranks and raising imaginary rifles. It is, after all, a war challenge.

  7. The Frogs clearly don’t believe in a “no dickheads” policy. If I were a teammate of that idiot I’d be bloody furious.

    I was only once penalised for punching someone on the rugby field and he was a teammate. Silly bugger wouldn’t obey my repeated instructions.

  8. Chester Draws

    “It means they don’t pick people who break team ethos, and ruin team cohesiveness.”

    Correct. It’s about team discipline, not about their overall behavior.

  9. Chester has it right. ‘No dickheads’ is a handy reference point but a bit of a misnomer. If you’re a lovely chap but are always 10 mins late to training, you are a dickhead as far as the ABs are concerned.

    It seems to work well for team cohesiveness. There’s an interesting article in the Times where Matthew Syed compares the ABs to ants, because they behave like a single organism. They certainly do look like ants when they swarm in rapid defence and attack.

    Syed is prone to BS but I think he has a great point here. The ABs are the world’s most successful team because they’ve taken the notion of team a step further than everyone else, more of a swarm than a pack.

    From a personal point of view, when I read about their team culture and hear anecdotes about it, I find it horribly suffocating, unnatural even. I simply couldn’t cope in that environment, even if I was a brilliant rugby player.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    I was only once penalised for punching someone on the rugby field and he was a teammate. Silly bugger wouldn’t obey my repeated instructions.

    Sounds like a reasonable position to take, a bit harsh of the ref, although it appears you got away with it compared to the round ball game.

  11. The referee made a comment to the effect that “I’m not having that” followed by “I can understand your frustration”.

    It’s not as if I smashed my teammate in the face: I punched his back and dragged him out of a maul where he was (again!) obstructing us from working the ball back.

  12. The welsh I recall, and I think some other teams tried as well, once started slowly walking towards the haka arms linked and staring right at them.
    Apparently this was rude and intimidating and not respectful of their cultural display so was dropped. Clearly the people responsible for complaining have no idea of what the haka is, or were New Zealand’s not wanting to cede any psychological advantage they feel it might give them.
    Having been to an AB game in Cardiff have to say it’s impressive to watch

  13. The welsh I recall, and I think some other teams tried as well, once started slowly walking towards the haka arms linked and staring right at them.
    Apparently this was rude and intimidating and not respectful of their cultural display so was dropped.

    As a Kiwi I have no problems with this (and don’t think that any others do either); I quite like the challenge being met appropriately. It is the TV broadcasters who don’t like it as they want to line up at half-way and film the haka at eye-level – you can’t do this if the other team is eyeball to eyeball with the All Blacks!

  14. Re: “The haka should be met by the England team forming two ranks and raising imaginary rifles. It is, after all, a war challenge”

    Alternatively, to really scare the living daylights out of them, the traditional Morris dance could be considered. The Scotts could adopt the Carry on up the Khyber approach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1IOfbMqRHA

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