The Roar
The Roar

Peter

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Joined May 2020

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Extra time is a rule change for the sake of making a rule change. To appear to be doing something. There’s a lot of that sort of thing going on these days but no more so than in Rugby.
It is tinkering around the edges of Rugby’s problems and frankly doesn’t make a jot of difference. It doesn’t make the game any more or less watchable or any more enjoyable or safer to play. Given the limited number of draws it is virtually an irrelevance.
I can take it or leave it but If I had the choice for the reason’s Busted Fullback has given above I too would prefer to leave it.
The Elephant or should that be Elephant’s in the room are scrums and the constant
repacking of them, penalty kicks for goal and space to attack. I would like to add to that recodifying the game so that it is simpler for the general public to understand.
That is where the focus for any rule changes should be directed. Extra time is literally and figuratively speaking a waste of everyone’s time.

Rugby Australia confirms law changes for Super Rugby AU

BeastieBoy,

I agree that rule changes are not only essential they are critical if the game is to thrive domestically. The time waisted with penalty goals and scrum resets is bordering on absurd and a reflection of the inertia with which the game has been run for so many years however I do not agree with you on point 4.

I understand why you entertain the idea but to have no Marks allowed at all would be to throw the baby out with the bath water. To eradicate the Mark would only incentivise kicking the ball away aimlessly and not to play it. Kicking duels are about as dull as dishwater and reflect not skill or courage or enterprise but too often a lack thereof.

Wally Lewis, the Ella Brother’s and David Campese are remembered fondly by the Rugby community not because of their kicking game though they each had one but for having the courage and skill to run and pass the ball and we love and remember them for it.

Denying the defending team recourse to a mark will have unintended consequences however. There are very few professional rugby player’s prepared to risk their next pay check by recklessly running as Campese so often did from his own 22. They must be encouraged to do so but in removing the Mark we only incentivise aimless kicking and the heavy collisions that with limited success administrators have sort to stamp out in recent years. In doing so they have penalised just about anything that moves. Leaving spectator’s short changed, commentator’s bemused and a plethora of player’s cooling their heels on the sideline.

Looked at from this perspective a mark discouraging such tactics is a regulator of play. A mark takes little time out of a game, certainly much less than the time waisted in attending to the injury’s sustained in a collision or the time it takes for referee’s to review and penalise players. Commentator’s used to talk in terms of a player “diffusing the bomb.” but with the Mark we have the opportunity to do just that without anyone getting hurt or sanctioned. Rugby needs to be more free flowing. I am the first to acknowledge that but to do so by eliminating the mark is in my opinion counter intuitive and will only result in a kick fest. The number of Scrums and Penalty Goals need to be substantially reduced perhaps by as much as half. Free kicks and tap restarts encouraged but in eliminating the Mark rest assured you will not encourage ball in hand Rugby but more kicking and there is already another game for that.

Penney eager to see Super laws in action

In 1974 the average weight of a New Zealand back was 84 kg it is now 98 kg. The average height was 1.74 metres it is now 1.88 metres. England’s 1991 world cup team had an average weight of 94.3 kg. At last year’s world cup the average weight of the English Rugby Team was a whopping 105.8 kg.

Legendary All Black hooker Sean Fitzpatrick played the bulk of his career in the pre-professional era. During his playing days he had a weight of 93 kg. His successor’s Dane Coles and Codie Taylor both weigh closer to 110kg each.

When World Rugby declared the game professional in 1995 they inadvertently changed the way the game would be played at the elite level. No longer would it be a game for all body shapes. No longer would light weight flyer’s like Terry Wright or Russell Fairfax find a place on the Rugby field and more concerning for Rugby’s future, parents no longer saw the game as a relatively safe alternative for their son’s and daughter’s to play. It became within a decade of going professional a game dominated almost exclusively by power. David Campese unsurprisingly many years ago flagged this and has made the point on several occasions since.

Incumbent England Coach Eddie Jones only last week said much the same thing. The excess of power now in the game and the stoppages particularly at scrum time that surround it are detrimental to Rugby becoming an entertaining free flowing product and a safer more enjoyable sport to play and yet having made the most dramatic of changes World Rugby plodded down the blind side and refused to reflect the seismic shift that had taken place. Professional Rugby and a Victorian era rule book are not happy bedfellows.

Rugby Union is the pre-eminent of the two world Rugby codes. Rugby League can only dream of the footprint Rugby enjoys across the globe and yet there are those in the Rugby community so fearful of being compared that they would have us change the shape of the ball itself. Let’s ignore the doomsayer’s and embrace changes that facilitate a more enjoyable, more entertaining and safer game.

Having said this eradicating the mark in the 22 would in my opinion be counter productive. Only a few years ago the game was blighted by a spait of bombings or up and under’s as they were once called and only penalised out of the game when a challenge for the ball that endangered the other player limited it’s counter attacking viability. With limited space on the field and with a 110 kg hooker running at you a kick to the air would be for most of us that value self preservation prudent. I get that but that it should be deemed in many cases the only option is a worry and itself a commentary on just how limited the ability to attack is in the modern professional era.
I want to promote a game where the David Campese’s of this world are again prepared to chance their arm and have a go. Let’s not incentivise kicking the ball away. With this in mind I would in fact extend the ability to take a mark right up to the half way line. The game is always best played with ball in hand. Come on Rugby, let’s not drop the ball or kick it away !!

Penney eager to see Super laws in action

Farmer, I acknowledge your point but that in point of fact only makes their inattentive
coverage more lamentable because the A.B.C to the best of my knowledge did
have a broadcasting arrangement in place to broadcast Super Rugby games on radio.

The fact that the A.B.C no longer covers the Shute Shield in New South Wales has
also been lamented by many particularly in rural area’s but it must be said that it’s
replacement network, Seven has done a commendable job.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

You are probably right, the B.B.C may well have just the one banner for the rest of the world. If so, let me confirm, it does not include Rugby League, at least not in Australia.

What does that say for Rugby League’s international future I ask, when the national broadcaster in the sports own country of birth does not feel confident enough to prioritise the sport in the eyes of the rest of the world ? The Website much like the B.B.C itself is of course a governmental exercise in soft power diplomacy. That it give’s the code a tab domestically but see’s no reason to give Rugby League it’s own tab internationally speaks volumes for the codes international appeal.

League supporter’s shouldn’t feel too down hearted, it doesn’t include Swimming or Curling or International Bocce either and they tend to be of passing interest at least once every four years for some people.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

I hate to dispel the myth mate but we do not operate under a purely capitalist based socio-economic model either. I thought that would have been obvious in recent months. It is a country where capitalist or free market forces function in combination with state funded public services. That is why our children have access to public schools and our sick have access to public hospitals, that is why a Department of Roads can help build and maintain the infrastructure for free enterprise to thrive. That is also why we are able to fund a public broadcaster like the A.B.C. To inform and educate those that are not privileged enough to have access to pay tv or subscription services.

I am not suggesting that Rugby is entitled to anything. What I am suggesting is that the Rugby Union remain cognicent of a deteriorating appetite for the game in the media and to bring to play whatever limited resources they can to lobby the national broadcaster for a more equitable deal.

The A.B.C Charter requires that it reflect Australia’s Cultural diversity and yet the other codes received 10 times the coverage last week. You might think that this was reasonable but I don’t and said as much in my article.

People talk of a sense of entitlement but it is not Rugby that boasts the million dollar war chest or the billion dollar commercial contract and the saturation media coverage that goes hand in hand with signing such deals. Under these circumstances I believe it is prudent if not incumbent on the Rugby Union in lobbying the national broadcaster to draw this distinction. Surely a better example of entitlement would have been Peter V’landy’s request for a handout from the government at the beginning of the Coranavirus outbreak and yet as indecent and as ill-timed as his request was as an administrator we cannot help but admire the chutzpah in putting his code first. He was not too proud to beg.

I am not implying that the Rugby Union go cap in hand to the A.B.C at the exclusion of all other marketing and promotional initiatives. Of course not but rugby players and spectators and administrators or the few that still remain must too pay their taxes and I see no reason why in seeking a better deal for Rugby they should not be entitled to do so.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

Yes, I agree Soapit and Brian. I mentioned last week much the same thing.
Whilst the Rugby Union are busy picking low hanging fruit why don’t they
make it like the America’s Cup, a best of nine series. perhaps even go as
far as extending it to a best of 12 series with additional fixtures in Jakarta,
Kuala Lumpur and Bali. I think I might even go to the Bali fixture.

Rugby AU exploring local Rugby Championship hub for 2020 comp

I agree Beastie Boy. Rugby are hamstrung in a way that Rugby League and A.F.L are not by an international governing body too reticent and too protective of vested interest that they are unwilling to accept change. In 1995 Rugby “officially” became professional. This represented a massive paradigm shift for the game and yet the rules are not reflective of this. World Rugby still administer a set of “Victorian era” rules and regulations that are alien to many, unfathomable to most and in effect not only ungovernable they are unmarketable and to modern audiences with access to a smorgasbord of other more easily digestible bites of entertainment largely unwatchable. Indeed as Eddie Jones highlighted recently there is, for great 4 minute chunks of a game nothing at all to watch. I don’t know how many times commentator’s, supporter’s for the most part of the game must complain about how boring scrums and the endless repacking of them has become before World Rugby will act decisively. They do little more than fiddle. Nero was supposed to have done much the same thing as Rome burnt.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

I accept your point Gansher. Please forgive me but I do not have access to the BBC Domestic page and am referring to the BBC home page as displayed in Australia. The fact that Rugby League is not displayed on the main sporting banner in this country of all country’s is an interesting point of discussion but one for another time.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

Hi Max. I appreciate your point. Unfortunately my original article was heavily edited. What you read was a heavily redacted version of my original article. This has kindly been updated by the folk at the Roar and is now more reflective of the thrust of my original argument. I trust that this version will make more sense to you.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

Now I remember why I stopped reading the roar. This mangled thing that you have published in my name is only half the article submitted. Why were the pertinent facts that Rugby over the better part of a week received not one published article on the national broadcaster’s News website while Rugby League and A.F.L received 11 and 9 published articles respectively. Is the Roar a part of the same protection racket as the rest of the mass media ? My comments could only be offensive to those who have no respect for truth in publishing. To cower behind such editing is to make a farce of a website entitled “The Roar”.

Australian rugby deserves more media coverage

Less is more. We need to change the bleeding obvious first and given the tight current financial predicament put on hold rediculous pipe dreams like expanding into North America or South East Asia. Seriously Turnbull was talking about that 35 years ago. On the subject of Grandiose plans we need to recognise how unappealing the product appears when played as Super Rugby regularly is to a half empty stadium. In fact to call the ground half empty is being too kind. T.V revenue is at least for the time being still king and such things matter to broadcasters. If you can sell the stadium’s out good luck to you but there’s nothing so pathetic as getting drunk on champagne when still on a chardonnay budget.

We need a revamped Rugby Championship that mirror’s the 6 nations bringing in Japan and possibly Fiji. This shouldn’t be too difficult logistically as it would coincide with the end of the newly established Japanese League. In other words we will not compete with Japan we will compliment them and it needs to be played over one round not two. The exception to this rule would be an additional ANZAC day test. Why is Rugby handing the other codes this great marketing opportunity on a platter each year. Nothing is so emblematic of the ANZAC spirit as the Bledisloe. The media could not ignore such an event.

No one doubts the standard of New Zealand Rugby or for that matter the Curry Cup but domiciled as I am in Australia I don’t necessarily want to watch these games. The times for a start don’t always suit me. There is only so much Rugby or for that matter Television I want to watch. Each nation needs to develop it’s own domestic competition. Such a proposal would in fact create more product for pay tv not less. If you are still not satisfied of a weekend having watched a local derby or two then sure, access the additional overseas product on Pay tv but any domestic league MUST give domestic audiences access to free to air tv preferably live at least once a week if Rugby is to harbour any hope at all of remaining a mainstream sport. Should those domestic tournaments prove successful then a short 4 to 5 week Super Rugby Champions play off might in due course become feasible but if the past twenty five years has taught us anything. A fully blown Super Rugby tournament and all the disruption that comes with it is neither sustainable from a financial or player welfare point of view or particularly appealing to domestic audiences long term.

The future of SANZAAR