Sivivatu's lawyer, Philip Morgan, QC, said that a criminal record would make it harder for him to get visas to play overseas. Sivivatu was a church-goer and a non-drinker, who had never been in trouble and simply "lost it" during an argument.To which I would say, so?
But the judge took a slightly different view. It is a small step forward that, unlike other All Blacks who hit their partners, Sitiveni Sivivatu didn't get permanent name suppression. But I don't see why the legal system should care whether he'll be able to play rugby overseas.
I'm not particularly fond of any part of the legal system, and if everyone got discharged without conviction, not just the rich and famous, then I wouldn't object. But just because you're an All Black is no reason to have a lesser penalty for hitting your partner.
Then, of course, he's off playing rugby the next week (because we've got the Super 14 to win). Stuff interviewed some rugby goers with a range of opinions, including some real staunch women. But the 'keep politics out of sport' crowd is still alive and well:
Fan Craig Clapson, at the match with his son, said Sivivatu should be able to play. "I can't condone wife beating, but from what I've read, it was basically a domestic that got a little out of hand and they've reconciled."I only wish I could make a snarky comment about rugby fans at this point. Unfortunately, personal experience tells me that 'just a domestic' is not a rare response.