Cardiff Moneybags became the latest Welsh Club to suffer ignominious
defeat by an English side in last nights 'friendly' vs Sale RUFC.
The friendly was not sanctioned by the WRU who have threatened reprisals
against Cardiff if it took place. What form these will take have yet
to be made clear.
(The RFU have also 'banned' friendlies between English AD1 sides and Welsh
Clubs but only on Saturdays of the English season. As this game was on Friday
night it presumably doesn't count. However, next week, 2 such friendlies are
scheduled on Saturday and the English clubs have promised to fulfil them
against the ruling of the RFU.)
In last nights game, Cardiff mixed it with Sale and the game was anything
other than friendly. The Welsh rebels edged the opening exchanges but didn't
last the pace and a penalty try and 2 more from Chris Yates and Simon Raiwalui
ensured that the dismal Welsh record vs English sides in pre season games this
year continued as they capitulated 21 points to 11.
The fitness of the Welsh side was called into question as their massive pack
were run off their feet and visibly tired.
To put the result into prespective Sale are mid-table English Premiership
hopefuls and Cardiff Moneybags are the cream of Welsh Club sides who hope to
be able to arrange regular fixtures with top English sides and would be
regarded as a shoe-in for Wales in any British League.
Aside from proving, as if it still needed to be, that Welsh Rugby is a lot of
dingo's bottoms, tonights game will have wider ramifications. Already, Rob
Howley, Cardiff s/h and Welsh Skipper, has been told by the WRU that he must
not play any games ahead of Wales' participation in the Commonwealth Games
starting Sept 15th. Cardiff have also raised the 2 fingers to the WRU about
this and intend playing Howley as and when fitness allows.
The man himself is not amused by the situation and admits to conflicting
While the response of the WRU is expected at any time, the RFU will wait until
next Saturday when 2 AD1 teams play Cardiff and Swansea, the 2 Welsh rebel
sides, in friendlies instead of playing each other as part of the openers for
the new English season. The RFU have been told not to sanction the games by
the IB as the WRU are against them taking place. The RFU will not sanction
them but are also unable to stop them taking place. If and when they do, that
automatically puts English Clubs in dispute with the RFU and ipso facto the
The RFU hope that as they will not be seen to be supporting cross-border
matches then the IB cannot take action against England in the WC. Brian
Baister, Chairman of the RFU, weakened his position with the IB by saying the
RFU had no objection to midweek friendlies. This was not enough for the
English Clubs and a fixture list containing Saturday games vs the Welsh rebels
has been delivered to the RFU by the clubs but the RFU have not accepted it
while admitting they were powerless to stop the games taking place.
Whether the IB accepts this is anyones guess. If they take the view that the
RFU is acting against their wishes, they have threatened to ban England from
This one will run and run...