The performance of Phil Lutton has been a joke so far at Brisbane Times, no more so than this effort. How did this make it to their online web page? It doesn’t get more unprofessional than this, which appeared 12 minutes after kick-off:

Reds in Easter resurrection Phil Lutton | April 7, 2007 – 7:42PM

The Queensland Reds have staged an Easter resurection of their own, upsetting the Sharks ??-?? at Suncorp Stadium to record their second win of the Super 14 season. The Durban–based Sharks were fourth on the Super 14 ladder but remain winless on the Australian leg of their tour after stumbling against a Reds side rejuvenated by the return of some quality troops from injury. The match was played in front of a small crowd at Suncorp who witnessed the Reds’ first win since round one against the Hurricanes.

Is this guy a journalist? This appeared at 7.45pm:

No Easter resurrection for Reds Phil Lutton at Suncorp Stadium | April 7, 2007 – 7:45PM

There was no Easter resurrection for the Queensland Reds tonight as they slumped to their eighth loss of the Super 14 to the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium. The Reds went down ??-?? as the Sharks recorded their first win of a demanding Australian tour after losses to the Force and the Brumbies. The Queenslanders went into the match buoyed by the return of some quality troops but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line in front of a small Brisbane crowd.

And then this at 8:06pm:

No Easter resurrection for Reds Phil Lutton at Suncorp Stadium | April 7, 2007 – 8:06PM

There was no Easter resurrection for the Queensland Reds tonight as they slumped to their eighth loss of the Super 14 to the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium. The Reds went down 59-6 as the Sharks recorded their first win of a demanding Australian tour after losses to the Force and the Brumbies. The Queenslanders went into the match buoyed by the return of some quality troops but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line in front of a small Brisbane crowd.

Then he changed 59-6 to 59-16:

No Easter resurrection for Reds Phil Lutton at Suncorp Stadium | April 7, 2007 – 8:06PM

There was no Easter resurrection for the Queensland Reds tonight as they slumped to their eighth loss of the Super 14 to the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium. The Reds went down 59-16 as the Sharks recorded their first win of a demanding Australian tour after losses to the Force and the Brumbies. The Queenslanders went into the match buoyed by the return of some quality troops but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line in front of a small Brisbane crowd.

But through it all, the crowd stayed small.

 


Mike van Niekerk, Editor-in-Chief, Online, Fairfax Media writes: It really grieves me when I read this kind of thing in Crikey: “A Crikey reader notes the rather flexible rugby league coverage offered by Brisbane Times reporter Phil Lutton: The performance of Phil Lutton has been a joke so far at Brisbane Times, no more so than this effort. How did this make it to their online web page? It doesn’t get more unprofessional than this, which appeared 12 minutes after kick-off.” It grieves me not because the distinction between rugby league and rugby union usually trips up those unfamiliar with sport played outside of Victoria — but because this is a gratuitous insult against a young, hard-working and talented journalist. The “Crikey reader” may well be a competitor of ours in sunny Queensland and I’m sure they take great delight in using Crikey to score points. It grieves me most of all that Crikey is maintaining its tradition of publishing first, asking … never. If you had asked I would have admitted that it was indeed a stuff-up — but not by brisbanetimes.com.au sports editor Phil Lutton. In this case Phil tried something different in advance of the Super14 game — two versions of the same short paragraph to be sent live with the score at the final whistle, and then to be updated when he had done interviews and written a full match report. Unfortunately the copy was parked in the wrong place and an auto-publishing feature in the online content management system regurgitated both versions to the site. I accept that this was an uncomfortable lesson in process, but I will strongly defend the quality of Phil’s work against your publication and your cowardly, anonymous readers.