Sunday, March 15th, 2009...6:00 am

I want 1990s rugby back, and I am not alone !

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Rugby Fans are very pissed off, how the tweaking and fooking around with this great game has gone in the last 10 years.

First, just refresh your self with my foundation post ‘Chess vs Checkers’, a few quotes from there:

..”If rugby administrators break the rule ‘rugby is like chess’, they will have a hybrid game that is some where between checkers (union) and chess (league). A hybrid game will see rugby lose its hard won identity”..

..”Rugby union can be broken down into combinations: Front row, back row, loose forwards, back of scrum, centre field, back three. These combinations perform as units within the structured game of rugby, performing specialised roles, with specific skills and body shape. Fracturing the demand for a player with these specialised skills is a move away from the structured (chess) game and a move towards a more generic player (checkers). The generic player will be selected on his ability to multi task rather than perform a specialised role (ie15 loose forwards).”…

..”Forwards should be forwards, and backs should be backs”..

..”The honest intention to attract TV revenues from the temporary fan (those that watch rugby league, Australian rules, American football, and soccer) is commendable, but not at the expense of the ‘true rugby fan’. Rule changes and playing times suitable for TV viewing are not always in the best interest of the rugby fan, administrators must protect the base that got the game to from 1901 to 2008.”…

What others are saying…

Source: Rugby facing entertainment issues – Greg Ford

Some quotes..

It’s a sad indictment on the game, and a rather embarrassed looking Jerome Kaino knows it.

The big All Blacks flanker packed down for the Blues in their romp over the Cheetahs on Friday night. But for once his most loyal fans, his two sisters, didn’t go to the game. The reason? They’re sick of rugby. Tired of all the aimless kicking.

“They actually can’t wait for the league season to start,” Kaino said rather sheepishly.

“Rugby, they reckon, has become boring, so they can’t be bothered watching anymore. I was a bit surprised but when I thought about it, some of it hasn’t been flash, has it?”

The question, albeit rhetorical, deserves an answer, because this year, more than any, Kaino’s sisters are not alone.


But more than ever there’s a growing school of thought that rugby is becoming its own worst enemy. That one of the game’s great strengths its complexity is leading to its demise. Nobody the players, coaches, referees and fans can understand what is going on half the time.

A high-ranking rugby official who shall remain nameless admitted recently: “It’s got so bad I have found myself flicking over to Rove on the Friday night because I can at least understand that.”

To add to the confusion, two different sets of laws are being trialled in the northern and southern hemispheres and there’s as much confusion about what path the game should take on the field as there is off it.

The International Rugby Board is keen to seize the initiative and avert further confusion by staging a potentially face-saving meeting at the end of this month.

The traditionally more conservative north has looked on disapprovingly while the south adopted short arm penalty sanctions for most offences in an attempt to speed up the game. The experiment has been a mixed bag. The north stridently disagrees, arguing rugby doesn’t necessarily have to be fast for it to be compelling.

COMMENTS:  I would watch rugby every week for 52 weeks a year, however this last weekend I watched ZERO games. My main issues are:

  • Tight five’s in the back line
  • Field wide defence
  • Kick, kick, kick
  • Scrum resets
  • Too many short lineouts
  • Super 14 2009 jersey fruit salad (NZ teams).
  • Too many fatties who dont have the skill running with the ball (fatties have other important roles)
  • Reduction of traditional micro rugby contests: Backs vs backs, tight five vs tight five, etc
  • All the above is the result of the loss of ‘traditional rugby structure’ (see my post called Chess vs Checkers).