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The only way is up for the rah-rah boys.

THE good news for the Rugby Football Union is that whatever they do from this point forward it is going to look like a positive move.

Given they have successfully managed to get the saying 'couldn't organise a rugby union team to play in a major tournament' to replace the age old one about failing to get people tipsy in a beer manufacturing establishment, really there is not much more they can make a mess of.

The whole Mike Tindall fiasco really sums up the clumsy knee-jerk reaction approach that appears to have become their entire modus operandi.

Unhappy with the reported 'poor behaviour' of the team in New Zealand (though if these people really have been involved in rugby union for years they must have some idea what happens on tour) they decided to make an example of someone.

The easiest person to ban for ages is the guy who is at the end of his career, so you won't miss him because you probably weren't going to call him up again anyway, and the best person to fine heavily is someone who has some money.

Enter former Wakefield schoolboy Tindall. The QEGS product was born in 1978 and, having played in the World Cup winning side of 2003, would be pushing his luck to be involved again in 2015 at 37 years of age.

Tindall also happens to be married to Zara Phillips and no doubt the chaps on the RFU disciplinary board were fairly confident his grandmother-in-law will not be too pushed when it comes to paying for the Christmas presents - so he should be able to get his hands on a bob or two.

The result is he is dropped from the England elite squad and has to pay a pounds 25,000 fine.

Example made and the RFU walk away feeling like they have proved they have really got some cojones as the Spanish would say.

Except that in the face of media criticism, the RFU then showed they perhaps are more like a neutered cat as they handed Tindall back his playing status and cut his fine to pounds 15,000.

So the sum total of all this activity is that Tindall is still lacking a percentage of his playing fee and the RFU is still lacking any credibility - thus making them winners as it really is impossible to imagine them being able to top their own ineptitude.


* VICTIM: Mike Tindall
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 2, 2011
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