Sunvoice

EDITORIAL : Media Ban On Schools Rugby Ridiculous

Are they serious? Are they taking themselves too seriously? It’s definitely a serious concern that the practice of media bans by some rugby teams continues to grow. It has now
30 Jul 2016 09:55
EDITORIAL : Media Ban On Schools Rugby Ridiculous

Are they serious? Are they taking themselves too seriously? It’s definitely a serious concern that the practice of media bans by some rugby teams continues to grow. It has now spread to schools preparing for the Coke Zero Dean championships. Only some schools allow the media to their Under-18 training sessions. The other schools have opted for a media blackout. This is ridiculous.

Presumably these schools feel that they want to keep their tactical moves secret and keeping the media out would help their players concentrate on their workouts.

This rationale does not make sense. Firstly, the media are not the opposition team spying on their tactical moves.

Secondly, the media promote the sponsors and the event. Maybe no media, no sponsors.

Thirdly, the media would be there at the ground on match day. So they better get used to them.

While training sessions may be quiet without the prying eyes of the media, it would be different when the players run on to the ground for the game.

Not only would the players be facing the media, they would also be exposed to the noise from screaming fans.

So from the relative peace and quiet of the training ground to the noise and tension on match day would be a big step up for these players. The change could unsettle them and throw them off their game.

The buildup to match day is the perfect training ground for these rugby players to handle the glare of the media and the crowd pressure.

Lack of big match temperament can be the Achilles for many players. And it happens because they have not had the exposure needed to achieve the required level of composure.

The idea to keep the players away from the media during training is foolish.

When these players continue to develop they would be required to face up to intense media scrutiny. It could be unnerving and sometime traumatic.

Players who are relaxed and stable  would have had adequate media spotlight and are used to it. These are players who will survive on the big stage.

As the eight quarter-finalists battle it out today, may the best teams win.

We hope that those who progress to the semi-finals will not ban the media from their training sessions and take advantage of the situation to build confidence and prepare themselves for any eventuality.

They should take their cue from champion sevens coach Ben Ryan. Even in Santiago, Chile, he allowed the media to take photos of our sevens reps in training. He knows that in Rio the pressure would be considerable on a much bigger Olympic stage.

This is not the first time this media ban issue has been raised. The teams have more to lose than the media. This obsession about media ban should stop. It does no one any good. The team sponsors don’t like it because they are not getting the exposure they are entitled to. The players are missing out on getting much needed exposure.

These fixtures, while they are treated seriously by many, can be a lot of fun. So let’s open them up and lighten up, people.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper