Five grown men miss a team curfew by 18 minutes. Is a one-match punishment a fair result?
All Blacks Julian Savea, Cory Jane, Victor Vito along with Ardie Savea and reserve prop Chris Eves were punished yesterday by Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd, being dropped from Saturday's clash with the Reds in Wellington for breaching team protocol.
It is the same punishment the Warriors players received after they stayed up till the early hours of the morning and mixed prescription pills and energy drinks.
The five Hurricanes players were late back to the team hotel on the Tuesday night before the side played the Sharks on Saturday (SA time). Breaking curfew four days before kickoff doesn't seem like a big deal, and Hurricanes coach Boyd himself admitted as much yesterday when he told media it was a "one-out-of-10 offence with a 10-out-of-10 punishment".
Boyd wouldn't say what the curfew was but said they were back in the hotel before midnight.
The fact is they did break the rules. Before arriving in Durban it was stressed that players shouldn't break curfew and if they did, then they would miss a match.
The five players put Boyd in a difficult situation. If he didn't punish them it might send a message that it doesn't matter if you break rules and that could grow from minor infringements to bigger issues.
Many professional rugby teams have curfews in order to impose discipline but they are seen as especially important in South Africa due to the added security risk to players.
But a fine possibly would have been more appropriate, especially considering Hurricanes' fans have already paid money for tickets and now will miss out on seeing four 'big names' on Saturday night.
Was Chris Boyd too harsh on the five Hurricanes players?