New Zealand Rugby's Scheduling Clash Leave Fans Disappointed

New Zealand Rugby's Scheduling Clash Leave Fans Disappointed New Zealand Rugby's Scheduling Clash Leave Fans Disappointed
Colleen Mooney

New Zealand Rugby fans will have a hard choice choosing what match to watch this weekend with the Black Ferns’ World Cup quarter-final and the All Black’s test against Japan scheduled to take place at the same time. 

 

Strangely, they had forgotten about the World Cup they were hosting when they made the scheduling error. The rugby-crazed fans were unimpressed when they saw that the men’s All Black team were to take on Japan only 40 minutes prior to the women’s Black Fern team playing in their World Cup quarter-finals against Wales.

 

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New Zealand Rugby announced a statement saying how they did not realize that the host nation would play in the quarter-final two time slot regardless of pool results. 

 

“There was never an intent to overshadow the Rugby World Cup in any way and New Zealand Rugby is delighted with how New Zealanders have embraced not only the Black Ferns but the tournament as a whole. NZR did make a request to Japan Rugby to move the kick-off time but we respect the reasons provided for not being able to shift the time.”

England is New Zealand’s biggest competitor for the World Cup, but all of that will be pushed aside for the men’s team playing at the same time. It was known since last May that the Black Ferns were to play their first World Cup knock-out match on Saturday. This scheduling clash was labeled as ‘disgraceful’ by New Zealand’s own justice minister, Kiri Allen. 

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The opening day of the women’s World Cup, there was a world record crowd of 34,235 fans watching as New Zealand defeated Australia at Eden Park. 

 

There were recent discoveries that the NZR lost more than £140,000 in funding because they had less than the minimum requirement of women on their board. Sport New Zealand’s requirement is that 40% of the board must be women, and they only had three females on their nine-member team. 

Scotty Stephenson, a Spark Sport journalist, was the first to raise a scheduling issue through an Instagram post. He says:

“How an organization can do this intentionally when it undermines its own team, when it disadvantages its own fans, and when it only serves to illustrate its own hollow rhetoric when it comes to its support of the women in the game no longer surprises. It only serves to reinforce the belief that those in decision-making roles are just not fit for purpose”

 

Black Ferns’ assistant coach, Wesley Clark, acknowledged it would be a difficult decision for rugby fans. “We’re conscious that we are trying to play an expansive, attractive game that’s going to pull people to the women’s game. That’s what you’re going to see if you pick us.”

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