It's time Steve Tew got another job. The New Zealand Rugby Union looks bad after this Air New Zealand Cup which appears to be another Tew blunder.
He's known as "Teflon" Tew because nothing has stuck to him from the 2003 "clean stadiums" issue through to the 2007 World Cup debacle and now this. Maybe it's time, after the ridiculous business involving Tasman and Northland, that some of it did.
The NZRU has not come out of this well at all. We know they want to trim the provincial championship and cut costs. But the whole thing has been mismanaged.
Leadership and decisive action were needed. Instead we have had years of fluffing about with 'criteria'. Nothing has changed, even after the time, dollars and effort to streamline the provincial competition.
It's been mismanaged woefully. The criteria were unsustainable. Provinces had to have stadiums capable of seating thousands - yet few people were attending games. Even in Christchurch, they only got about 3000 to the Canterbury-Bay of Plenty match last week.
So the unions had to spend mega-bucks and then the NZRU impose more criteria which, even to a casual observer, seemed like they'd been set up to engineer a certain result.
Twice now the NZRU has made noises about trimming the provincial championship - and done nothing. It's not a good look.
If they are looking at performance, consider Auckland and North Harbour. They have the resources, population and opportunities - and a flat tyre.
I'm not saying Auckland and North Harbour should be dropped - that couldn't be so. But the NZRU have not shown custodianship of the game by aiming for Northland and Tasman to drop out.
The provincial championship has tradition to be respected - and Northland have been a big part of that tradition.
If the NZRU are determined to cut numbers, they must make the tough calls. Tasman only survived this year because of a $340,000 NZRU lifeline.
Fair enough, game over. The NZRU should have fronted and said the amalgamations hadn't worked and pulled the plug. I think Manawatu could go. They have faded a lot and probably don't deserve their spot as much as Northland.
We needed the parent body to make those decisions - not set up a lot of dubious criteria that could be challenged in court.
Yet Tasman could also point to NZRU-led issues. Like how much of that $340,000 was due to having players like Brad Thorn and Ali Williams, Rico Gear and Chris Jack on their books?
How could the NZRU have let that situation develop?
And how much better off would they have been if they hadn't had to do up their ground?
The NZRU have shown no guidance and no management and come out of it poorly - Steve Tew, in particular.