New Zealand Rugby and Tana Umaga, coach of the Blues, have done themselves no credit with Umaga's handling of questions from British reporters about the incident that marred the last Lion's tour.
At the press conference to announce his team to play the Lions tonight, Umaga knew he would be asked about the tackle in 2005 that put that year's Lion's captain and best game-breaker Brian O'Driscoll out of the tour just minutes after the start of the first test.
The travelling reporters had made no secret of their intention to raise the matter, perhaps expecting that after the passage of so much time, some regrets would be expressed.
If so, they were disappointed. "That was 12 years ago," Umaga replied, "if people can't put it behind them I suppose they never will. It is not about that time now. It's about this group now and against the Lions and hopefully the memories they make that are positive ones, and we just move on from that."
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To many in Britain who saw televised, slow motion replays of that tackle, the way in which it was done remains deeply disturbing. They are not alone.
At the time our editorial called it a reckless and dangerous act unbecoming the All Black captain. "It may even have been malicious," we said, adding, "although that is unlikely, we do not know and possibly never will."
As the years have passed, and New Zealand rugby followers have reflected on it, more of them have felt uncomfortable about what happened. It was not only the tackle, and the failure of a post-match judiciary to punish at least one of the tacklers, it was also the way New Zealand Rugby and its loyal supporters closed ranks, refusing to give the Lions a fair hearing.
It did not help that their coach, Sir Clive Woodward, was inclined to whinge unnecessarily, and his press attache, Alistair Campbell, knew more about Downing St politics than New Zealand's rugby culture. He did not know the culture would never accept criticism from someone such as him. O'Driscoll was careful to say only that he thought it would have been "common courtesy" for the All Black captain to show an interest in his condition as he was being stretchered off.
It was 12 years ago and Umaga is not the only New Zealander who wishes it was behind us. Hopefully, he wishes it had never happened but in that case, why could he not say so? Why, when he has said he knew the incident would be raised at Monday's press conference, did he not come prepared to give a gracious expression of regret? New Zealand Rugby ought to have urged him to do so.
Until somebody on our side says the right thing, we are in no position to tell the British rugby press or public to put it behind them. We may hope their lingering disgust does not intrude on this tour but we are in no position to say it should not.
Nowadays rugby is under closer surveillance than it was in 2005 and dangerous tackles exposed by television replays see the offender sent from the field. If that had happened 12 years ago, the incident might not be the festering sore that it will probably remain until somebody in rugby does the right thing.