How to fix the scourge of rugby penalty fests

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    Craig Joubert was not to blame, it was a lack of the basics. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

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    Ok, look. We’ve all had enough, haven’t we? We who adore rugby union are fed up to the back teeth with games which fail to reach their full potential because of the penalty-goal scourge.

    The last Bledisloe clash was a gripping, absorbing contest, full of drama and heroics, but it had no tries at all. Six penalty goals each, 18-18.

    That’s not even unusual – penalties are the preferred mode of scoring nowadays, and the rules are not calculated to enrich our lives or bless us with more of what we really love about the game.

    So it’s time to fix it. You’re lucky I’m around.

    There are two basic problems behind the penalty goal glut: the attacking team and the defending team.

    An attacking team will always go for the penalty goal when it’s available. Penalties are worth three points, so you can potentially wipe out the value of a try just by edging into opposition territory and knocking over two kicks.

    Most top level teams have a quality goalkicker, so why would they risk a failed raid on the tryline when they could take three points from pretty much anywhere in the opposition half – and sometimes even further?

    On the flip-side, defenders are happy enough to give away penalties to avoid conceding a try.

    When desperately defending your own line, with massive muscular men charging low and hard at you, it’s a lot easier to give three points away, get yourself a breather, and get back to halfway for a reboot, than trust to your own legal tackling ability to prevent a five or seven pointer.

    Penalty goals are too easy to take as a scoring option, and too easy to concede as the lesser of two evils.

    So here is my Special All New Excellent Plan for Breaking the Penalty’s Stranglehold, or SANEPFBTPS for short.

    1. Reduce the value of all goals to two points.

    There would be an argument for cutting it to one, but in the interests of a) baby steps and b) deterrence, let’s keep it to two for now.

    There will still be an incentive to take a shot when you get the chance, but you’ll need three goals to overcome a try, and four to overcome a converted try. The penalty goal would become less attractive.

    2. All goal attempts must be drop-goals.

    Increase the difficulty level a little. If the kicker isn’t as confident of knocking it over, teams will be more reluctant to take shots at goal from penalties.

    3. Here’s the big one. Penalty goals should only be kickable within the opposition 22.

    This has two effects. Firstly, it means that teams can’t engage in the cop out of going for long range shots instead of pushing closer to the line for a try. This reduces the probability of the game deteriorating into a shootout between sniping goal-kickers.

    Secondly, it takes a leaf out of football’s book by making it clear that the worst offence is that which is cynically committed to shut down a try-scoring opportunity. And on that note…

    4. Change the rules for restarts following penalty goal attempts by specifying that after each shot at goal, whether the kick is successful or not, the defending team must restart play with a dropout from the goal-line.

    This takes away one of the incentives to infringe within your own 22: the thought of respite by taking the ball back to halfway.

    This way, giving away a professional foul may result in both the concession of points, AND the prospect of the opposition immediately storming back at your line.

    This is a harsh punishment, but it’s designed to stamp out the scourge of deliberate infringement, which stymies attacking play. And to back that up…

    5. Mandatory sentencing.

    If a player gives away two consecutive penalties within his own 22, he gets a yellow card.

    If a team gives away three consecutive penalties within its own 22, the captain gets a yellow card. No exceptions.

    If it keeps happening, keep yellowing. When a team is forced to defend with ten men, maybe players will get the message. We want to see attack versus defence, not attack versus ball-killing.

    So there you have it. My plan reduces the incentive for teams to “roll over halfway and play for a penalty”, and increases the incentive to stay within the rules when defending your own line.

    Penalty goals will no longer be the dominant scoring method in rugby. Teams will attempt to score more tries, and they’ll be more reluctant to illegally prevent tries. Peace and joy will reign. Hooray!

    Or, as a certain ex-Wallaby suggested after hearing my plan, we could just increase the value of tries to ten points.

    What would you do?

    Ben Pobjie
    Ben Pobjie

    Ben Pobjie is a writer & comedian writing on The Age, New Matilda and The Roar, whose promising rugby career was tragically cut short the day he stopped playing rugby and had a pizza instead. The most he has ever cried was the day Balmain lost the 1989 grand final. Today he enjoys watching Wallabies, Swans, baggy greens, and Storms.

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    The Crowd Says (150)

    • Roar Guru

      October 25th 2012 @ 2:41am
      biltongbek said | October 25th 2012 @ 2:41am | ! Report

      1. Been tested in the Varsity Cup in SA and made little diffrence.
      2. Cool, Dan Carter isn’t the greatest exponent of the Dropgoal. Not cool, because Morne Steyn will be back in the Bok jersey.
      3. Not fair, what must Frans Steyn do then?
      4. Disagree with that, where is the benefit of being able to chase the restart and put the opposition uder pressure?
      5. Diagree, you want referees who struggle to consistently officiate breakdowns to have 13 men…….ah, I get it. No.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 5:32am
        mania1 said | October 25th 2012 @ 5:32am | ! Report

        agree fully biltongbek

      • Roar Guru

        October 25th 2012 @ 9:28am
        sheek said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report


        Sometimes I don’t know when you’re being serious or taking the ‘mickey.’

        Anyway, two words – “unintended consequences.”

        Always keep these two words in mind when considering laws/rules changes. Dastardly human nature has a way of using law/rule changes in a way not intended by the legislators.

        Case in point – 1992. The ‘5 point” try & “use it or lose it” maul law was intended to create more attacking rugby.

        Initially this happened, until coaches & players wised up. Then the ‘professional foul’ became rampant. Conceding a 3 point penalty was better than a 5 or 7 point try when under the pump defensively.

        And with ‘use it or lose it’ teams began to commit only 3-5 forwards with the remainder clogging the backline. Consequence was more kicking, not less.

        Beware “unintended consequences.”

      • October 25th 2012 @ 7:17pm
        Charging Rhino said | October 25th 2012 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

        Agree with you Biltongbek.

        Mr David Lord these have to be the worst ideas ever thought up! How ever said “Peace and Joy will reign” if teams score more tries? This past Test match between NZ – Aus was an absolute cracker with no tries.

        People quickly forget that a drop goal or penalty and a try used to be worth the same amount of points – 3
        Then it was changed to – 4 points for a try
        And only in the early 90’s it changed again to – 5

        And rugby has not changed much! Rugby is rugby. Stop trying to make it some loopy running around fest for the sake of running around because you think it may attract for fans in Australia only as it will bear more of a similarity to League or Aussie Rules.

        Leave the scrums. Leave the lineouts. Leave the tactical kicking. Yes score lots of tries too. Leave the drop goals and penalties and 3 points.

        My only gripe is some of the scrum penalties which are given away so easily by some refs which are almost “unfair” to the other team. Quicken up the scrums again like the early 90’s, while maintaing the safety issues, and you’d have less penalties resulting from them and fewer 3 easy points.

        Anyway my 2 cents worth. Rugby is extremely strong and popular in other parts of the world just the way it is.

        • October 25th 2012 @ 7:22pm
          Charging Rhino said | October 25th 2012 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

          Sorry David Lord…. Ben Pobjie is the writer

          • Roar Guru

            October 25th 2012 @ 9:24pm
            AdamS said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

            Don’t be sorry, it’s an apt expression and you can take credit for coining it.
            Can I use it?

      • October 25th 2012 @ 9:50pm
        MAJB said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

        If reducing the value of a penalty to two doesn’t change the teams approach to attacking Rugby then that says more about the entrenched style of Rugby being played and the skill sets not being taught and the negative attitude to running Rugby. I would like to see the reduced value of penalties trialled in Aus and NZ to see whether this can change scoring patterns. I hope it would because negative Rugby will destroy this wonderful game.

        • Roar Guru

          October 25th 2012 @ 10:17pm
          biltongbek said | October 25th 2012 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

          Sorry but you are now making assumptions about the perception that Sa teams don’t play running rugby.

          In 2011 The varisty cup had 6 tries per match, Although in 2012 the try count went up to 7.5 tries per match and would seem to have made a difference, TUT conceded 60 tries in their seven matches compared to 36 the previous season.

          So the difference was only down to TUT being very poor this year.

          The general consensus was that making the penalty kick count only 2 points and conversion counting 3 points to add value to the try only encouraged teams to concede more penalties.

          Ultimately the scoring didn’t change much, the results were similar and the teams still played attacking rugby.

          • October 26th 2012 @ 8:01am
            MAJB said | October 26th 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

            “The general consensus was that making the penalty kick count only 2 points and conversion counting 3 points to add value to the try only encouraged teams to concede more penalties.” This is the negative playing style I am talking about. Conceding more penalties because a penalty has less value! That is an interesting mindset.

        • Roar Guru

          October 25th 2012 @ 10:39pm
          biltongbek said | October 25th 2012 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

          Just to provide some perspective about SA rugby.

          Our Varsity cup provided 7.5 tries per match
          Our Currie Cup 1st Division provided 8.5 tries per match
          Our Currie Cup premier division provided 5.5 tries per match.

          NZ, ITM cup, provided 5.8 tries per match.

          Doesn’t suggest to me that we don’t play running rugby.

          YOu are confusing the PDV and John Smit era with what is really our capabilities.

          Just as an aside we scored the second most tries this Rugby Championship.

    • October 25th 2012 @ 2:58am
      Bee Bee said | October 25th 2012 @ 2:58am | ! Report

      Agree with 2 points for penalties. Great idea.

      Too many phases. Serious issue as well. Should be limited to six.

      Scrums, total waste of time. Just roll it near the lock and get on with it.

      Far too many players on the field. 13 is enough.

      Wallabies are too small and wussy. Call them Kangaroos.

      Hang on a minute….. Didn’t we do this 100 years ago.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 3:43am
        Johnno said | October 25th 2012 @ 3:43am | ! Report

        Bee Bee keep phases in otherwise players will just hang out in backline. Killing more play as it will be predicable and easy for teams to organise defensive patterns, rather than fast and unpredictable it will make the game slower phase limit.. 5 second rule fixes up wasting time at rucks and maul. .

        • October 25th 2012 @ 4:22am
          Bee Bee said | October 25th 2012 @ 4:22am | ! Report

          Tongue in cheek comment Johnno. I was actually pointing out that tinkering with rules too much can turn the game into a different game entirely. For example (Rugby League.)

          Here are 2 much simpler solutions that won’t involve reprinting rule books.

          1. Play by the rules and don’t give away penalties. Game is much more fun and your opponents can’t kick 3 points.
          2. Get rid of the Jouberts of this world who clearly think they are the stars of the show and everyone payed to hear them blow their whistle.

          • Roar Guru

            October 25th 2012 @ 6:24am
            Shop said | October 25th 2012 @ 6:24am | ! Report

            If you don’t want so many shots at goal, take away kicking tees.
            Mandatory dig a hole in the ground and thump. This still allows for the art of goal kicking but will stop marginal 60m penalties turning into points. We may even see a return to the toebash!

            The thing is though, it isn’t just shots at goal that are the problem, it is the endless stoppages for infringements. When the ref becomes too pedantic (like Joubert was) the game loses all flow and the penalties mainly come from the ruck area. A split second can mean the difference between a good steal or giving away 3 points. Plus it also relies on the subjectivity of the ref. The answer is bring back rucking and allow the players to sort the ruck area out.
            Quite simple but unfortunately won’t be adopted.

            • October 25th 2012 @ 9:10am
              Mike said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

              Great idea re taking the kicking tees away.

            • October 25th 2012 @ 9:46am
              Bakkies said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

              That means little the Don Clarkes of the world were drilling kicks from all over when they used a leather ball. Even Campo took long range kicks at goal.

          • October 25th 2012 @ 9:10am
            soapit said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            your number 2 reduces the incentive to do number 1

      • Roar Guru

        October 25th 2012 @ 11:28am
        jeznez said | October 25th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Bee Bee, I thought when Ben said –

        “the rules are not calculated to enrich our lives or bless us with more of what we really love about the game.”

        That he was talking about not enough scrums.

        I think it is criminal that we don’t have intelligent and knowledgeable commentators regarding scrummaging taking us through the game. In the game the other night we had the ridiculous circumstance that Benn Robinson was penalised for a collapse but the camera man focussed on James Slipper as he walked back and the people running the telecast gave us a replay of his side of the scrum.

        The Roar commentary following this was that Robinson was strong while Slipper was weak! (To be fair Slipper did get done over a few other times but I know there are plenty of uninitiated out there thinking Slipper was done in that particular scrum.

        Anyway, scrums are not a complete waste of time – for front rowers they are the key point of the game. Without them you might as well go play that other game.

        Oh, wait, I see your comment to Johnno that you were being tongue in cheek rather than trolling – carry on!

        PS. Mr Pobjie – I think I can abbreviate and fix your article – “The last Bledisloe clash was a gripping, absorbing contest, full of drama and heroics.”

        • October 25th 2012 @ 11:51pm
          Banger said | October 25th 2012 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

          I think there would be a massive improvement in the consistency of scrums if they just implemented the rules properly at the time. Two of the biggest issues for me are the half back not feeding the ball straight, and the fact that all teams are pushing prior to the feed. I shake my head in disbelief every time a team is penalised for not taking the hit before a ball is fed, when the laws stipulate that there can be no pushing until the ball has been fed. Additionally throw in a decent set of jerseys so the players can actually blind

          • Roar Guru

            October 26th 2012 @ 2:08pm
            jeznez said | October 26th 2012 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

            Bangarang, spot on – the feed and early pushing are both ridiculous and are up there with refs letting players who make contact at the breakdown being allowed to flop. Jerseys are a furphy though, the tops are fine.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 12:23pm
        yahyah said | October 25th 2012 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

        why are you watching Union for? League is your calling BB .. where people who cant appreciate a great sport go.

        • October 26th 2012 @ 1:48am
          Bee Bee said | October 26th 2012 @ 1:48am | ! Report

          No No!! Yahyah you are so wrong wrong.

          Please re read my comments

          Your loving friend.

          Bee Bee.

          • October 26th 2012 @ 5:52am
            yahyah said | October 26th 2012 @ 5:52am | ! Report

            Realised that when I finally decided to read the rest of the thread.

            I take that back in that case. Apologies mate. 🙂

    • October 25th 2012 @ 3:02am
      Johnno said | October 25th 2012 @ 3:02am | ! Report

      2 Great articles in the last few days I have read on this subject. And I agree rugby is killing itself with stoppages. Love to know what the average ball in play is in last year eg at RWC 2011, or all global test matches in 2012 is.

      Here is some articles on subject stoppages, time wasting etc.

      -And also another compelling statistic for what it is worth. Not once this year in 3 matches have we scored a try vs AB’S fortress defence. 4 hours of rugby and if you add on the world cup semi final we scored no tries either, .

      So in the last 320 minutes of rugby vs the AB’S, that is 5 hours and 20 minutes no tries were scored by the wallabies. “Ouch “, that is an unpleasant stat.

      -Yes rugby rewards all body shapes and rewards good defence is the balance fine, or is it jus threat AB defence, woeful wallaby attack, or just aimless penalties , and pedantic rule enforcement harming try chances. A bit of both.

      Or maybe pedantic refereeing is too blame. Maybe. 5 second rule should help. Another article suggested a phase rule kinda like tackle count in rugby league. Say on 4th phase you have to kick it or handover possession i think that is silly.

      One thing I fear with new 5 second rule is player fatigue which will lead to even more stoppages, and more penalties as fatigue increases. And heaps of players will just hang in backline and no rucks and mauls forms to conserve energy.

      You don’t want rugby to be like the super league in 1997 when the overgenerous or exact 10 metres was being enforced by refs rugby league was becoming like touch footy with scores like 50-44 each match

      Bringing back rucking could help at the rucks as the fear factor will prevent collapsing mauls. And laying on ground. But marketing wise will be terrible for safety image as with prying cameras not the world too potential soccer mum types whose kids maybe interested in rugby, could turn these type of parents away form rugby, aka shoulder charge in rugby league and banning of that.

      Penalties keep at 3 to reduce foul play, as 2 will encourage more big hits and taking out late hits of the star 5/8 eg Dan Carter. And 2 points only will only encourage tired teams to kill ball and sacrifice a try. 2 point penalty count would be disastrous for rugby, and i used to favour it but now firmly believe in 3 for reasons above.

      What I would do is encourage tries to be made to 6 points, and 2 points conversion makes 8 points to be gain from try not 7 as current.

      Also get tougher on professional fouls. Any professional foul committed in your on 22m zone, is a yellow card to offender. That would really get players behaving . As players know the rules and they are just as much to blame as pedantic referees in all the penalties.
      Fatigue is to blame for penalties too, but so is lack of punishment eg yellow cards not given enough .

      -So yes rule ideas I think the IRB should try
      -6 point tries
      -Yellow card to any professional fouls committed in your own 22m zone
      -Also penally on 2nd scrum collapse every time no 3rd re-set of scrum

      There is no simple solution to the problem of stoppages in rugby union, but something has to change as the sport of rugby union can not go on like this in it’s current stoppages format No sport is perfect and so many sports have the same problem with stoppages.

      I have no idea how so many fans in USA can tolerate the sport of gridiron. Wowee so many stoppages.
      I love basketball but it has too many time outs, and needs to cut them down. Also so many fouls in basketball since checking was banned and endless fouls and players to frees throw line , so boring this type of stoppage for basketball.

      Soccer is not bad but has a lot of time wasting and faking injuries, and arguing . Watch the soccer’s VS Croatia match in world cup 2006 for a game littered with stoppages.

      Rugby league wastes time with wrestling, uncontested scrums meaning scrums don’t add to contest just give players a breather.

      To me Ice Hockey and FIeld Hockey are the 2 best flowing games overall. International Ice hockey has very few time outs think 1 per game per team ,so in match minimum of 2. In NHL 3 TV time outs per game.

      -I know time outs stop the clock but they are still annoying int he sports that have them excessively like basketball,. I like international ice hockey rules of just 1 each per team, 2 total in whole match only.

      T20 cricket flows quite well, in pace. Test cricket annoying stoppages with drinks waiters, coming on all the time, giving gloves and pads is annoying, plus slow over rates by fast bowlers is annoying too.

      So all major team sports in World have stoppages, and time wasting (just look at some old soccer matches int he 1980’s and early 90’s when it used to be legal to kick the ball back to your goal keeper who would be allowed to pick it up with is hands, bounce the ball around like a basketball for a while then kick it back to his teammate to only repeat the same offence).

      So all major team sports have time wasting, and excessive stoppages it seems to be a universal problem of team sport. Boxing and Tae Kwando also have the same problem,. So much wrestling in boxing or holding , and in Olympic games Tae KWON DO, and also fighters running around ring too as a time waster. Baseball with it’s endless strike 1,2,3. And 9 innings each per team too.

      AFL is pretty good with the ball in play, and now if you take a mark you have to get kicking or running pretty quickly , unlike in the olden days in the 1980’s.

      But rugby union to me is right up there stoppages being a momentum killer to match. And it has to change if it is to go forwad rugby otherwise it will lose more fans.

      • Roar Guru

        October 25th 2012 @ 6:09am
        Shop said | October 25th 2012 @ 6:09am | ! Report

        Didn’t Nathan Sharpe score a try in the first Bledisloe this year?

        • October 25th 2012 @ 8:03am
          Shungmao said | October 25th 2012 @ 8:03am | ! Report

          Sharpe scored in the first test in the 38th minute.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 7:39am
        Ben said | October 25th 2012 @ 7:39am | ! Report

        The stoppages are not the problem in grid iron because the clock stops. They Need to introduce this in rugby. Soon as the whilstle blows the clock stops. Simple.

        • October 25th 2012 @ 8:44am
          Post said | October 25th 2012 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          They’re not a problem for the amount of time spent playing, but they ARE a problem in that it creates a 3 hour game to watch on TV. That is just too long and why I don’t watch NFL anymore despite living in the USA.

          • October 25th 2012 @ 8:48am
            mania said | October 25th 2012 @ 8:48am | ! Report

            post – i play gridiron and i agree. i cant be bothered watching an nfl game and will only ever watch superbowl but i tape it so i can ff thru the ads.
            ben – i agree, they should at least freeze the clock for kicks at goal. its not fair that the clock keeps ticking while 29 guys are standing around watching one guy line it up.

          • October 25th 2012 @ 9:26am
            soapit said | October 25th 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            it wouldnt take the game to three hours tho. there wont be timeouts.

          • October 25th 2012 @ 12:27pm
            yahyah said | October 25th 2012 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

            NFL goes on for three hours because there’s stoppages after every play. won’t be the same for stopping the time just for the kicks at goal.

            • October 25th 2012 @ 1:51pm
              post said | October 25th 2012 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

              Yahyah, the clock keeps ticking during those stoppages. It only stops for special circumstances like penalties, time outs, going out of bounds, incomplete passes, and challenging the call. If I watch a game of football with friends, I need to set aside the whole afternoon, not just a couple hours.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 25th 2012 @ 10:57am
        Steven Metzger said | October 25th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        The NHL has 3 television timeouts per PERIOD, for a total of up to 9 (sometimes the TV timeouts get scrapped if there isn’t a stoppage for 10 minutes or so). A quick game takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete, at minimum, and most of that downtime is spent because it takes at least 15 minutes to resurface the ice (twice a game). While the clock is going, though, it’s non-stop action.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 3:03pm
        chachi said | October 25th 2012 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        I agree with 6 point tries, but would reduce the conversion to 1 point. In my opinion, conversions represent too great a proportion of the possible 7 point bucket, and effectively create inequity between tries – a try under the posts is statistically more valuable than a try in the corner. To some extent, that’s unavoidable, but limiting conversions to 1 point minimises the influence of where the try was scored whilst still providing teams with a good kicker the ability to put some icing on the cake.

        I’d leave penalties at 3 points. Reducing them to 2 points makes it a no brainer for defending teams to infringe father than risk a try – they’d take 2 points over 5 (or 6) or 7 every time. Three points is enough of a disincentive, especially if the ref is prepared to hand out yellow cards for repeated infringements within the 22. Conversely, you want to provide genuine incentives for attacking teams to go for the try rather than taking the shot at goal. That’s where the 6 point try gives them extra incentive to be positive – 3 points vs 5 points doesn’t really encourage that positive approach. However, an opportunity to score double points (at minimum) by going for the try probably decreases that incentive imbalance.

        So 6 point tries, 1 point conversions, 3 point penalties and rigorous policing of the breakdown in the 22. Converted tries are still worth 7 so the basic scoring paradigm remains the same, but assigning a higher value to the tries themselves provides the required incentive, and reduces the (in my view) unacceptable prevailing situation where black dot tries are worth much more than tries in the corner.

    • October 25th 2012 @ 3:20am
      Johnno said | October 25th 2012 @ 3:20am | ! Report

      A good article indeed. To be honest after thinking about this is not just a rugby union problem, but a problem universal problem for all major sports in world team sport and individual.

      You name it , you think about it k the following sports
      Rugby union-yes we have covered it in this article
      Rugby league- plenty, wrestling, uncontested scrums just an excuse for breather now, not a critical phase in match
      Basketball- Endless time outs too many allowed, and endless fouls going to free throw line zzzzz. Boring these 2 parts of basketball and i love basketball the stoppages annoy me big time
      American football- After every play a stoppage
      Test cricket-slow over rates by fast bowlers, and endless drinks break at end of over and brining out fresh pair of gloves or bats, or shoes.

      AFL and ice hockey are pretty good. International ice hockey rules only allow 1 time out each per team over whole match which is only 2 in total for whole 4 quarters and match. NHL 3 tv time outs per game. T20 cricket flows well too.
      AFL has flowed so mich better and faster since the umpires made the players after a mark kick or run with the ball within 5 seconds i think.
      Baseball has endless strike 1,2,3. And also Ball as well which is play when ball is not thrown straight or batter hits out of lines. ANd 9 innings changes.

      Boxing has endless stoppages eg holding or wrestling, lying on the ropes too, running around ring to. Plus 1 minute rest between rounds. taekwondo is bad to a lot of stoppages , or waiting ot make play watch Olympic taekwondo and you will see why.

      So does soccer as well big time. Faking injuries, arguing with referees, . Watch the socceroos vs Croatia match in 2006 world cup as evidence of a match filled with time wasting and stoppages.

      SO all sports team, and individual this a problem. Stoppages,time wasting, pedantic umpires and refs, also video refs making designs is a another big time waster stoppage. All sports do. But rugby union needs to fix it up too, as it has the problem very bad but so do many other major popular sports in the world .

      With rugby union rules change i would do if I was the running the IRB
      -6 point tries
      -keep penalty too 3 points , otherwise even more penalties will happen, and star players taken out in cheap shots.
      Yellow card more for professional fouls
      -Yellow card automatic if professional foul is committed in your own 22m zone.
      -And penalty on 2nd scrum collapse overtime, no more 3rd scrum being put down. ANd 2nd scrum collapse in own 10metres is a penalty try.

      Some ideas but good news is if you are a rugby union fan, all sports are guilty of the same problem of time wasting, stoppages, pedantic refs. But also with pedantic refs, players also if more yellow cards were committed would not break rules as much.

    • Roar Guru

      October 25th 2012 @ 3:55am
      Poth Ale said | October 25th 2012 @ 3:55am | ! Report

      I think this penalty fest is really only a problem for the Southern Hemisphere sides of late.

      If they played a bit more running rugby, instead of sticking it up their jumper and falling down in rucks, you wouldn’t need to make any changes to penalty goals.

      Argentina didn’t have any problem scoring tries against NZ or Aus in the 4N.

      • October 25th 2012 @ 10:33am
        Pogo said | October 25th 2012 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        Bring on November Pot Hale, I hope your northern hemisphere sides are as keen on running the ball as you say they are.

        • October 25th 2012 @ 11:04am
          Mike said | October 25th 2012 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          I suspect PH was making tongue-in-cheek reference to all the mud thrown at NH sides in recent years for their supposedly stodgy play.

          Irish stirrers – they should be transported for 7 years. Oh wait, we already tried that…!

          • October 25th 2012 @ 1:58pm
            Pogo said | October 25th 2012 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

            It’d probably improve the wallaby pack if the brought back transportation.

    • October 25th 2012 @ 6:52am
      Andrew C (waikato) said | October 25th 2012 @ 6:52am | ! Report

      Ok, a lot of teams bring penalties on themselves. However in International rugby, in my opinion, it is PEDANTIC Refereeing and referees that blow their whilstle IMMEDIATELY instead of playing advantage. Joubert, Barnes and Bryce Lawrence are classic examples of this. Even Steve Walsh has had some bad games in the past 12 months (and I used to really rate him) The IRB need to issue a strong edict to Paddy O’Brien that he needs to select /promote referees (on an international stage) that let the game FLOW.

      • Roar Guru

        October 25th 2012 @ 7:10am
        biltongbek said | October 25th 2012 @ 7:10am | ! Report

        Well to be fair to Bryce Lawrence, there were games where he refused to blow his whistle, except of course for de Villiers’ forward pass. 😉

        • October 25th 2012 @ 7:31am
          mania said | October 25th 2012 @ 7:31am | ! Report

          and paddy obrien isnt in charge of the refs anymore

          • October 25th 2012 @ 12:20pm
            Andrew C (waikato) said | October 25th 2012 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            So now, who’s in charge then _ a Pom or an Orstralian? 🙂 – bet they both love the clour of money.

            • October 25th 2012 @ 12:28pm
              Mike said | October 25th 2012 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

              I thought you knew Andrew, an Australian can be a Pom or an Irishman, plus a sentence of 7 years. 🙂

              • October 25th 2012 @ 5:53pm
                Andrew C (waikato) said | October 25th 2012 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

                Hah, like it, Mike …………… just for you (not incl others 🙂 ) 3yo Proisir to win Saturday’s Cox Plate (OZ bred by it has its roots in NZ – old NZ Sunbride family. Fill ya boots as well as the Poms & the Oirish 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        October 25th 2012 @ 11:39am
        Argyle said | October 25th 2012 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        You nearly had to get a photo of Gilllard didn’t you old mate?

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