On social media, the sides have already been struck in the debate over the Crusaders' behaviour in a Cape Town McDonald's in South Africa.
The mud slinging got heavier when a further posting emerged after the Cape Town claims. A woman in Johannesburg said that a week earlier, Richie Mo'unga had spat beer on her and pinched her bum. (In passing, she described the culprit as "huge" like the Marvel super villain Thanos. Mo'unga is 1.76m tall). Both allegations have been rejected by the Crusaders.
What's scary to me is how there's no filter on social media and usually no consequences for misinformation.
As a journalist, I've made many mistakes over the years. But I, and the vast majority of colleagues in print and radio, are bound not just by fairness, but also by libel laws, to try to be as accurate as possible, especially when making statements that damage someone's reputation.
Trying to tell the truth is the first concern for any journalist. But it can also boil down to the cold, hard reality of big bucks. I knew two good men whose careers were basically wrecked by inadvertent mistakes they made that cost the papers they worked for large amounts of money.
Successfully sue a blogger and the chances are he (it's almost always a male) will have no money, or declare bankruptcy. Win a libel case against a newspaper or radio station and the company involved can be up for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There's a good reason the Crusaders want an in-depth investigation by an independent person, in this case Wellington employment lawyer Steph Dyhrberg. The hope is that somehow the CCTV footage from the McDonald's episode in particular will establish more clearly what happened.
There are risks in requesting a formal investigation, and they're almost all being taken by the Crusaders. If Dyhrberg finds there is no case to answer, there are no formal punishments she can apply to the South African people making the accusations.
On the other hand, if she finds the claims from South Africa to be true, there will be draconian penalties for the accused players, ranging from suspensions and fines to loss of contracts. And the damage to the reputation of the Crusaders as an organisation will be huge.
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They're going ahead, it's obvious, because they are convinced they'll be cleared in a fair, informed hearing.
By a melancholy coincidence, the Crusaders' charges arose about the same time as the greatest scandal in New Zealand rugby, the sending home in 1972 of All Black Keith Murdoch, made headlines again.
At the time, the reason given in public was because Murdoch had punched a security guard, Peter Grant, at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff late at night after the All Blacks had beaten Wales 19-16.
Revisiting the Murdoch affair is a reminder of how hard it is to pin down exactly where truth lies, especially when blame is being apportioned.
Moyra Pearce is the daughter of the late Ernie Todd, the manager of the 1972-73 team. He would die just 18 months after the tour was over. In the years since, he has sometimes been pilloried for not standing by Murdoch and keeping him on tour. The captain of the team, Ian Kirkpatrick, has often said he wishes he had said at the time, "If Keith goes, we all go".
Now, at a function where Ron Palenski, author of a best selling book Murdoch — The All Black Who Never Returned , was speaking, Pearce has said her father told her family the real reason he sent Murdoch home was because the Cardiff police had told him Murdoch had threatened and chased a female staff member at the Angel Hotel who wouldn't open the bar for him. Todd's family believed their father was told that if Murdoch was sent home, the police wouldn't act. If Murdoch stayed, he'd be charged.
If you go to Palenski's book you'll find notes taken on the Wednesday morning (British time) after the Welsh test. There are extensive quotes taken from the transcript NZRFU secretary Ray Morgan made of a conversation between Jack Sullivan, the chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, who was in Wellington, and John Tallent, the senior official of the Home Unions, under whose supervision the tour was running, in London.
We can rely on the accuracy of the note taking. Sullivan would repeat what Tallent had said to him, and Morgan would write it down, under the supervision of Sullivan's deputy chairman, Ces Blazey.
There was no mention of police action involving a woman. But Tallent made it clear that if Murdoch was not sent home, they would demand Todd be replaced as manager. If that wasn't acceptable to the NZRFU, the British would call off the tour.
It was mutually agreed that the deal would remain secret. "Mr Sullivan stated that he was delighted Mr Tallent had kept his views out of the press, and we have done the same. Mr Tallent stated he thinks now it should not be put into writing."
I'd suggest exactly what happened that December night in Cardiff will never really be known. As Dyhrberg has said of the Crusaders' investigation, she will almost certainly find herself deciding on "the balance of probabilities", not the absolute truth.
In the 1990s, I spoke privately several times with Lin Colling about what happened with Murdoch. Colling, who before his tragically early death from cancer in 2003 was one of my best friends, was as close to Murdoch as anyone in the All Blacks touring party. They knew each other from the days they were both new boys in the Otago team.
Colling was in his room in the Angel when he was called by another All Black to come quickly because "the shit's hitting the fan".
The overwhelming sense Colling conveyed of what he found in the kitchen of the hotel was chaos.
There was an injured security guard, Peter Grant, there was an angry Murdoch, and swirling around them all were various people, All Blacks and otherwise, who had been, as was very much the habit then after a test match, drinking a lot.
What we can say for sure is that whether you accept the Todd family's belief the manager was under the threat of prosecution for Murdoch, or the '72 transcript of a clandestine deal between Sullivan and Tallent, judgement on Murdoch was passed in an atmosphere of secrecy.
That won't be the case with the Crusaders.
The coaches and management of the franchise have backed their players to withstand the public scrutiny that will come with Dyhrberg's findings.