Does anyone recall when rugby was fun?
The woeful Waratahs have the Wallabies staring down the barrel (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
Has the professionalism of rugby and the chase for money killed off the fun and enjoyment of the game?
I don’t believe that I am really so old. I was born in 1964. At school, I played rugby.
I went on to play a few games after school. I wasn’t that good and life sort of took over, so my rugby experience became one from the other side of the chalk lines.
I freely admit that I always believed that rugby was a players’ game and that for a non-player it was a hard game to follow, when compared to open games like AFL and league.
Begrudgingly I accepted many of the changes to the laws and to the “persona” of rugby as being ‘good for the game”.
However it has gone too far. On Wednesday in a SMH article, Georgina Robinson quotes Waratahs’ Coach Michael Foley talking about a Waratahs board meeting he had to address.
The first quote was: “I presented a review paper to the board with an action plan for the 2013 season”.
Wow. Review papers and action plans presented to the board. It really does make you wonder what Foley actually spends his time doing.
When you then see his second quote, “Now all my focus and energy will be directed into preparing us for the last two games of the season,” it reinforces the idea that Foley spends most of his time doing paperwork and writing pointless reports.
Even if this is an exaggeration, it must drag him down. The players and coaching staff look to the coach for inspiration and direction, so if Foley is not having fun and enjoying the job, then could this explain why the Waratahs players look like they are going through the motions, lack commitment and are happy to kick away possession?
Do they just see it as a job? Has the fun and life been sucked out of their rugby experience?
If they aren’t enjoying the game, how are we, the spectators, supposed to enjoy it?
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