Why rugby is handicapped by its own rules

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    Dan Carter before suffering a torn adductor longus tendon (AFP Photo / WILLIAM WEST)

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    An out-of-pocket punter comes up with a fundamental reason why the game they play in heaven doesn’t get more free-to-air coverage.

    Question: “Why was that a penalty?”

    Answer: “Well, you see, when you get tackled, you must release the ball. That guy didn’t release the ball.”

    “Oh. Okay.”

    Score: 3-0.

    Q: “Why was that one a penalty?”

    A: “Well, you see, when the tackler has brought the ball carrier to the ground, he’s supposed to let go of him. But he didn’t let go of him in time.”


    Score: 3-3.

    Q: “Well, why was that just a penalty?”

    A: “Because, you see, in that scenario, both sets of players committed simultaneous infringements at the same breakdown.”

    Game over. Final score: 6-3.

    Q: “So if they’re all doing something wrong at the same time, then why’d the penalty go to team A instead of team B?”

    A: “I don’t know.”

    Echoing somewhere up in the commentary box, “From a technical perspective, you could say the visitors were very unlucky tonight. Some of those calls really could have gone either way…”