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@Tony_Whelan: 'Classically defined, a Shakespearian tragedy is not misfortune': by @brianmoore666 zing @TulsenTollett #SportMatters

Dylan Hartley's personal tragedy masks serious issue facing game following Premiership final shame

This column has highlighted, at first isolated and now all too common, instances of bad behaviour of players and coaches towards themselves and officials; it has argued that unabated they threaten to harm the game.

On Saturday, the first, portentous, incident was the haranguing of assistant referee Greg Garner by a Leicester water carrier...There followed a sustained berating of the fourth official by coach Richard Cockerill...before the whole West Stand and incited crowd comment...there have been regular incidents and...the rest of the game is angry that it appears he is allowed to do this, and that it works...Indeed, had the Rugby Football Union done something more than send Cockerill and Conor O’Shea of Harlequins a letter for ill-judged comments at the beginning of the season, this might not have happened. If Cockerill escapes without a ban, there will be justifiable uproar.

Professional players should know the laws inside out...referee...Barnes is to be congratulated for taking a stand but had he and his colleague been harder on this growing problem by use of cards or the 10-metre sanction, we might not be here.

This fractiousness was caused, in major part, by yet more inadequate refereeing of the scrum and if Barnes and his elite brethren did not ignore laws and/or selectively apply them, reducing the scrum to a lottery, this tension would not exist.

Classically defined, a Shakespearian tragedy is not misfortune, it is the ineluctable consequences of a character’s flaws; their inability to avoid a disastrous denouement, however they try.

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  • Hey, Bart! Your epidermis is showing!


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