Blokes rule rugby roost

05/09/2008

Oh dear, someone should take these blokes back to the 19th century where they belong:

The Canterbury Rugby Union is sticking to its guns after being dubbed “chauvinistic dictators” for barring a top women’s rugby team from playing at a premier ground.

While top men’s sides continue to play at Rugby Park”, the Canterbury women’s team has been relegated to grass-roots venues.

Rain, hail or shine, the Canterbury women’s rugby team keeps on training to retain their spot at the top of the women’s NPC.

This weekend they battle old foes Otago, but instead of hosting them at Rugby Park with its grandstand and strong rugby history, they have been relegated to the more modest fields of QEII’s Ascot Green.

“Basically, our home venue of Rugby Park was removed from us, and we were just not very happy with the way it was dealt with,” says centre Stacey Lene.

The team was told late last week it could not play at the park, because the grounds needed to be rested, only to find out the Canterbury Colts played a friendly match there that same day.

Then they found out all their games had been moved from Rugby Park, while the Canterbury men’s A and B squads and Colts would continue to play there.

“We thought we were possibly higher up the ranking, and we weren’t,” says captain Melissa Ruscoe.

In a letter to The Press, Lene challenged the CRU “to explain its arrogant, insulting behaviour to a team of talented women who sacrifice their time and energy, only to be oppressed by an ignorant, patriarchal minority”.

But the union denies it is favouring the blokes.

“It’s not about being more important,” says Hamish Riach of the CRU, “and as I say it’s not actually a story about the women, it’s about trying to manage Rugby Park.”

Riach says other teams have also been bumped from the park.

Yes but have other top teams been bumped from the park?


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