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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 13, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Brendan Venter: Saracens Manager

    Noel O'Reilly

    It seems Brendan Venter’s inspirational post-match interview last weekend was an homage to the performance of a gormless England coach in the not-all-that-amusing movie Mike Bassett: England Manager.

    Venter, still upset after being fined by the powers that be for his “honest” comments in the wake of the defeat to Leinster, said it best by saying nothing at all after Saracens latest Heineken Cup loss.

    Quizzed by an increasingly exasperated Sky Sports reporter, the good doctor simply repeated the questions or explained he would have to think about the issues “very deeply” before offering any further assessment.

    While certainly childish, it made for delightfully uncomfortable viewing with Venter modeling himself on the Dave Dodds character from the film.

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    “We watched a movie, Mike Bassett: England Manager, which is a bit of an English comedy a couple of weeks ago on a bus on our away trip and the assistant coach gave a great interview,” he told eyewitnessnews.co.za. “I thought I have got into so much trouble up until now so I’ll just learn from this guy because there is no way I will get into trouble if I do it like that.”

    • sendero says:

      Nothing much has changed in the 55 years I’ve been watching Rugby – the “powers that be” still refuse to accept that they should be open to even the mildest form of criticism from those that play, coach, or spectate. Brendan Venter raised a serious point about the way the Saracens-Leinster match was refereed and instead of the examination that was required, he was savaged (and that is NOT too strong a description) for doing so. And no, the “powers that be” do NOT care about keeping the reputation of referees inviolate from the criticism of the hoi polloi – they treat these as attacks on THEIR dignity! Hence the disproportionate response.

      we are not going to get a solution to the problem of inconsistency in refereeing any time soon. Those in charge are not going o accept that they’ve got it wrong. Meanwhile, players, coaches and spectators are going to boil with frustration and the poor bloody referees will continue to be abused for a situation over which they have no control.

    • Seanie fITZ says:

      venter should be entitled to criticise a ref, mr berdos contributed to a poor spectacle last sunday at thomand park and his performance should also come in for some criticism

    • John B. Reid says:

      Fair play to Brendan Venter. He showed up, in impressive satirical fashion, the near-total vacuuity of the waffle that has masqueraded as post (or pre) match comment from coaches and players in the game of rugby over the last number of years. The gelded, not honest, PR guru-proofed nonsense that almost all high-profile coaches are expected to excrete in front of the camera or the reporter’s pen is highly insulting to the intelligence of the discerning rugby supporter. It treats rugby supporters as complete morons who are expected to believe the bullshit. Brendan Venter has done rugby in this part of the world a service. And the Northern Hemisphere’s loss, will be the Southern Hemisphere’s gain.


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