Kissing your sister or mine: Why rugby needs to do away with the drawn Test

Harry Jones Roar Guru

By Harry Jones, Harry Jones is a Roar Guru

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101 Have your say

    The adage that a draw is like ‘kissing your sister’ is attributed to US Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz.

    Erdelatz was reacting to a scoreless gridiron tie between Navy and Duke in 1953, although the idiom had been widely in use to describe any joyless or lukewarm or mediocre experience, such as decaf coffee or a weak cocktail.

    Nobody asked Erdelatz to explain himself: how many sisters did he have and were they all equally unpleasant to kiss, and what type of kiss was he describing, for goodness sake?

    A codicil to the ‘kissing sister’ term is baseball player George Brett’s pointing out that losing is like “kissing your grandmother with her teeth out.”

    When the British and Irish Lions famously drew with the All Blacks earlier this year, Lions captain Sam Warburton was asked a question about kissing his sister. Steve Hansen spontaneously used the phrase to describe his feelings.

    What is all this talk about sister-kissing?

    I never spent much time kissing any of my sisters. Any kisses were around big departures or life passages or moments of grief, and always on the cheek. I don’t remember any sort of emotion about those kisses even vaguely resembling the feeling of a draw in a rugby match.

    It’s tough to draw in rugby. I only remember one in the 200 or so matches I played. It was 13-13 with a muddy conversion tying it up at the death.

    Unlike in football or cricket, where draws are as common as a Michael Cheika tantrum, rugby usually has a winner after 80 minutes.

    For instance, in the 84 matches between Australia and South Africa, only two have been drawn. Only seven of 160 Bledisloe matches have been drawn.

    Peculiarly, the French-Bok rivalry is draw-heavy (six of 42 matches have ended in a tied score).

    Allister Coetzee appeared to be the happier coach after the Perth draw, even though his young Boks were the team with two chances to win at the end. Perhaps it was because any points from an away fixture between Australia and South Africa are extremely rare, or because the team down 10-20 that forces a draw feels like more was achieved than the team which lost the lead at home.

    Allister Coetzee smiles

    (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Cheika chalked his team’s losing the big lead to ‘immaturity.’ I believe the psychologists call that sort of thing ‘projection.’

    Coetzee did say that a Springbok team is never happy with a draw, but I found myself not believing him.

    Neither coach spoke of any sort of pleasureless kissing.

    But if draws really do cause mature (or immature) men to think incestuous thoughts (albeit critical of such smooching), why not follow the NFL’s example and force an outcome?

    Extra time (ten minutes each way) followed by a ten-minute sudden death period is usually going to provide a winner. A kickoff seems bizarre, but fair enough, since it’s a football game.

    Who can forget poor Martyn Williams of Cardiff, shanking his kick to give Leicester the Heineken Cup semifinal victory in 2009?

    I for one would love to see Rob Simmons or Eben Etzebeth kicking off the tee.

    Who would you think is the worst kicker in the Wallabies squad? I am pretty sure the worst Bok kicker would be Steven Kitshoff. I just cannot even imagine his pre-kick routine.

    Let’s put an end to sisters being kissed and criticised for kissing. Rugby demands a winner in every game.

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    The Crowd Says (101)

    • September 11th 2017 @ 8:47am
      Rhys Bosley said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      I finish reading this article disurbed that more than half of it is about sister kissing, with only a bit of rugby thrown in … ?

      • Roar Guru

        September 11th 2017 @ 6:14pm
        Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

        Me too. I’m disturbed by this saying. I want to save the rugby coaches of the world from having to say this mantra.

        • September 11th 2017 @ 8:04pm
          cuw said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

          in T20 cricket , unlike in any other form , there is the super over in case of a draw. that is irrespective of whether it is a knock out or just round-robbin or series match.

          super overs have proven to be too much fun 🙂

          also in test cricket , i will say it is the TIE that is more comparable with rugger ( or any other game with small scoring numbers) rather than the draw.

          i remember a tie between West Indies and England , when Walsh (i think) bowled the last man in the final over of the match !!! forget the year but probably in the 80s i think .

    • Roar Guru

      September 11th 2017 @ 9:24am
      RobC said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Hazaaa! I concur. I dont see my sister often, and give her a big hug and a brotherly kiss everytime we meet. Its always a good reunion.

      A draw totally sucks. NRL gives us a 10 minute overtime with a golden point win after that OT doesnt yield a winner. I think that will work.

      • Roar Guru

        September 11th 2017 @ 6:15pm
        Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

        Yes, it’s so anticlimactic. Like bonking your ex.

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 10:25pm
          RobC said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

          before, during or after the split? Or any/all of the above?

          • Roar Guru

            September 12th 2017 @ 12:51am
            Harry Jones said | September 12th 2017 @ 12:51am | ! Report

            Loooooooong after.
            13 years and 2 months.

    • September 11th 2017 @ 9:58am
      scrum said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      A draw is a result. Unless it is tournament play or a Finals series there is no need for extra time. The Golden Point fiasco in NRL only came in because Qld held the SOO trophy twice as they were the holders the year before. One suspects had the previous holders been NSW Golden Point would not have been instituted . So we have each team playing for a dropped goal. Where is the justice in that – if you were good enough to have a drawn result at full time it is hardly fair the team can end up with zero points. Like fiddling with the clock in the latter stages of a match- this is changing the rules at the end to disadvantage the team in front.

      • Columnist

        September 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm
        Geoff Parkes said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        I’m with you scrum, love a good draw.

        And I don’t even have any sisters (but would be up for meeting Harry’s)

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 6:16pm
          Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

          Never, you Taranaki goat.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm
        mitzter said | September 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

        Absolutely hate golden point. If you haven’t won in regulation time you haven’t won.

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 6:16pm
          Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

          So many men wanting to kiss their sisters!

          Or is it sistas?

      • September 13th 2017 @ 10:51am
        ozinsa said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        I was sitting next to two Americans whilst watching the match on replay in a bar in NY. The woman was having a lot of the rules explained during the game (although she had an autograph and a photo of Eben Etzebeth from a recent holiday in Cape Town). She asked “What was that? Where is the OT?” at the whistle. I explained that a draw is a legitimate result and the two team earned it. We debated the need of Americans for gratification by always having a result and we of any sort of Anglo descent’s willingness to acknowledge the reality of a draw/tie as a result. I remain convinced I was right. And I have no sisters to convince me otherwise.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 12:16pm
          Leonard said | September 13th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          A tie is possible in an NFL regular season match (to use their language for their game), but it is only after efforts to get a winning score in overtime. I could look up the details, but I reckon my brain might hurt – bit like bothering to read soccer’s offside rules.)

          One interesting lingo tid-bit: in our rugbies the ball has to be physically ‘touched down’, but it’s called a ‘try’; in their NFL, the ball does NOT have to be ‘touched down’, but it is actually called a ‘touchdown’.

          Still, nothing beats our really weird cricket lingo!

    • September 11th 2017 @ 10:08am
      Casho said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      I don’t know…..Game of Thrones is pretty exciting and there’s plenty of sister kissing in that

    • Roar Guru

      September 11th 2017 @ 10:08am
      Ralph said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      “..a weak cocktail”


    • Roar Guru

      September 11th 2017 @ 10:09am
      PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      I would never have a kickoff, goal kicks have too much impact as it is , so do not want to add any more value to them.

      I would have extra time 10 mins aside. This brings back fitness into the game which has been eroded by the size of benches and allowed as subs.

      I would not have a golden point though, that is too random.

      10 mins extra aside and even after that time then it is a draw.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 10:42am
        taylorman said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        Anything designed to avoid a draw that can still end up a draw is ridiculous. Both sides had their chance to take the win on even footing.

        Anything is to some extent ‘Random’ after that. Its sole purpose is to break that deadlock in a timely manner, not to give both sides ‘another’ reasonable chance at winning, particularly if that outcome can still result in a draw. That’s absurd.

        If the decision is no draws, then the solution should fix that.

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 10:49am
          PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          only absurd in your opinion

          • September 11th 2017 @ 12:24pm
            taylorman said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            Well… not ONLY absurd…ridiculous, silly, redundant..there are probably others…:-)

            • Roar Guru

              September 11th 2017 @ 12:35pm
              PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

              a good way to describe yourself actually, nice projection

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm
                Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

                I declare the match between T-Man and PeterK a draw

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 9:05pm
                Kia Kaha said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

                Let them kiss and make up! 😉

      • Roar Guru

        September 11th 2017 @ 10:50am
        pformagg said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        I think 50m pentaly kicks. Best out of 5 would be great.

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm
          Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

          Cool idea

        • September 11th 2017 @ 8:23pm
          cuw said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

          40m from the middle.

          5 different players from each team taking alternative kicks ( like in footy).

          also as there is no goalie to thwart the kick in footy , have like 10 from opposition run at kicker 🙂

          if ties , then continue with those who have not kicked untill one team missed 😛

          • Roar Guru

            September 12th 2017 @ 12:52am
            Harry Jones said | September 12th 2017 @ 12:52am | ! Report

            Loved watching those “lifted locks” trying to block kicks in the 90s

            • September 13th 2017 @ 1:01am
              DavSA said | September 13th 2017 @ 1:01am | ! Report

              I actually saw it happen . Once … Saw countless failed attempts though.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm
        ethan said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        I agree extra time each way is better than a draw. However if for some reason broadcasters wouldn’t accept it, then I think golden point is better than a draw as well.

        I do not have sisters, but agree wholeheartedly with Harry that a win/loss result is far better than a draw. Draws just feel empty.

        I am against a shoot out however. That feels more empty than a draw. The difference between a soccer shootout and a rugby one is that all soccer players are expected to be able to kick a ball, which is not true of rugby players. So if it is still tied at the end of extra time, then I’m happy with a draw.

        • September 11th 2017 @ 6:27pm
          Markie362 said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

          Maybe extra time would be better if you had to score a try.

          • Roar Guru

            September 11th 2017 @ 7:03pm
            Harry Jones said | September 11th 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

            I’d be ok w that except I love drop goals

            • September 11th 2017 @ 7:35pm
              Canetragic said | September 11th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

              Drop goals but only front rowers are allowed to take them

              • September 11th 2017 @ 11:45pm
                OJP said | September 11th 2017 @ 11:45pm | ! Report

                Matt Dunning = ahead of his time

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