has been a journalist since starting a
cadetship on the Christchurch Star in 1962.
A passion for rugby since his childhood
inevitably led to his becoming a sports
He has been a staff member of the Dominion,
the Evening Post and the Auckland Star and
now works on a freelance basis. He has also
contributed to many publications in New
Zealand and overseas and is presently a
senior contributing writer to NZ Rugby
Lindsay has written 10 books on rugby and
been a contributing author to four others.
His devotion to New Zealand provincial rugby
has seen him write three different histories
of the Ranfurly Shield. In 2001 he wrote a
history of the national championship whose
introduction he had championed in several
newspaper columns during the early to
The malaise runs
deep in NZ rugby
Whether the New Zealand Rugby Union needs to
have an independent inquiry into the World
Cup failure might be arguable. Most people
know already where things went wrong and,
indeed, there are a significant number who
have not been simply wise after the event.
They saw months ago the dangers of the
rotation policy, which did have merit but
only if it was ended at the right time, and
more especially taking players out of the
Super 14 and other competitive rugby.
Consequently, this All Black side suffered
from being under-done and lacking match
glosses over the real points
As rugby's World Cup enters its second week
of what might be termed its "phoney war", a
sober, dispassionate observer must wonder
whether some, especially in the television
media, have suspended any public obligation
to be responsible critics.
To suggest, as some commentators in
television and others in the media have
done, that Portugal's performance against
the All Blacks justifies the places of
"minnow" nations in the tournament and that
it rebutted any argument for streamlining
the format, defies all that is logical and
Pumas power as
Among World Cup rugby upsets Argentina's
17-12 win over France in the tournament
opener takes its place with that of France
itself over the All Blacks in 1999 and those
of Samoa against Wales in 1991 and 1999.
It was a result which has added needed
intrigue into an event which often in the
past has run too predictable a course.
That's shown by the fact that in five
tournaments since 1987 the number of true
upsets can be counted on the fingers of one
And does the win by the Pumas come into the
Argentina has been a respectable rugby force
for many years, certainly deserving to be
rated with the likes of Ireland and
Rugby's chance to
regain its rightful place
Something, it appears, we all have to get
used to with the commercialisation of top
rugby is that many of the game's
institutions and icons will come under
increasing threat, even those like the
Ranfurly Shield and some of the country's
most celebrated stadia.
As sponsorship deals change, so too do the
names of some grand old grounds.
Wellington's Athletic Park is no more,
though no one probably mourns that too much.
Others like Christchuch's Lancaster Park and
Whangarei's Okara Park have had a variety of
names, to a point where the media and the
average punter can only be confused.