The word ‘spygate’ has a very nasty connotation in the online betting community all thanks to the infamous scandal involving the New England Patriots. If you’re a Patriots fan you tend to think that people overreacted and that filming practices didn’t really help the Pats out on their way to success. If you’re on the other side of the fence you’re outraged that any professional sports team would condone this type of petty behavior.
Nonetheless, it seems that the rugby community will now have to deal with their own spying scandal. Fresh off the wire is the news involving New Zealand’s national rugby union team, the All Blacks, and Australia’s own national rugby union team, the Wallabies. These two teams annually face each other in the Bledisloe Cup, a rugby union competition between the two countries. New Zealand has dominated Australia since the event was founded winning their 44rd cup in 2016, compared to Australia’s mere 12 victories. Now it seems the Aussies are bringing out the artillery in an effort to chip in on that gigantic lead. Deciding to not pull any punches, someone, somehow, managed to sneak a microphone into the Blacks’ team meeting room.
The microphone didn’t do much as the Blacks steamrolled over the wallabies 42-8 proving to online betting fans that Australia’s time would’ve been better spent practicing ruby instead of espionage. The microphone in question was discovered after the All Blacks’ management made a request to sweep the room for bugs. Apparently someone in their organization had a premonition, or a similar idea. Either way, the security was able to find the bug and the proper measures were taken.
Some are skeptical of the 5 day interim period that NZR (New Zealand Rugby) took in reporting the matter to the public and the police. NZR brushed off the skepticism stating that they were simply waiting for NZR Chief Steve Tew to return from Rio in order to properly handle the matter. This offense is a serious problem as it brings to light the constant attack there is on the integrity of sports. After all, no one is going to want to bet on sports if the games themselves are rigged.
Initially one would assume that the microphone was placed by the opposing team in an effort to gain an advantage in the match. But the fact that NZR waited to report that matter just doesn’t sit right with most online betting websites. Their actions have raised questions regarding the source of the microphone, with a particular theory postulating that a betting syndicate was behind the spyware. Any insider knowledge could lead to substantial gains for someone able to put down a considerably large amount of money on a wager they know will come true. History is replete with these types of stories and it’s important for governing bodies to step in and regulate the sport. This is the duty of World Rugby and they have been quick in accessing the issue. While they haven’t issued an official statement they are hard at work determining the nature of the confiscated microphone.