Thursday, 15 May 2008

Rugby - for Aliens

Imagine an alien landing on this planet and the first person he bumps into is a rugby player who decides to introduce his new extra-terrestrial friend to the sport of rugby.

"So how is the game played, what are the rules?" asks the alien (obviously via some kind of universal translator - I doubt they all speak English).

"Well, it's a little complicated," replies the rugby player. "In the northern hemisphere we're playing to normal rugby laws, those we've played under for years with the occasional tweak here and there. It seems to work pretty well and this season in particular we've seen some fantastically exciting rugby in our domestic competitions.

"However," he continues, "world rugby's governing body has decided that the sport needs to be made 'more exciting' - particularly for Australian couch potatoes - so they've introduced a whole bunch of experimental new laws, some of which are being trialled in the southern hemisphere's premier provincial competition called the Super 14.

"Despite the jury being firmly out on whether these experimental laws have been a success, the governing body has recently pushed through 13 experimental laws - some of which are different to the laws currently being trialled down under - and these will now be trialled worldwide from August this year and a decision will be taken on whether or not to adopt these laws permanently in November 2009.

"That said," (as the alien begins to wish he'd never asked the question) "the Super 14 will continue to employ the experimental laws that they are currently trialling while New Zealand domestic rugby will trial the 13 laws that are being trialled worldwide from August plus another 3 laws relating to awarding free kicks instead of penalties - laws which will only be trialled in the northern hemisphere in an as yet unspecified premier tournament.

"However, in June various northern hemisphere countries will be touring down under and the southern hemisphere players, who have been playing under the new laws in the Super 14, will have to revert to playing under the 'old' laws for the tour matches. Then, following the June tours, the Tri-Nations series kicks off between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and no one seems to know what laws will be applied."

"In other words," says the alien, "it's all a bit of a shambles," as he wanders off to play football.


BigDai said...

A most excellent analysis!!

Nursedude said...

Truth is, Indeed, stranger than fiction.

Different topic, TF, what are your semi final picks for this weekend in England and the H-Cup Final? In the latter, I just don't think Toulouse can overcome it's injuries...I pick Munster to win.

Total Flanker said...

English Prem semis are a really tough call. Gloucester should beat Leicester on form (although Leicester's record in big games is impressive). Wasps v Bath is almost impossible to call - you'd never bet against Wasps but if Bath have Mears and Stevens fit they'll be tough to stop. Against my better judgement perhaps I'm going for a Glouceter v Bath final.

As for the HC - I'm going with Toulouse, but only if they close the roof in Cardiff!

Nick said...

Completely agree, it's a mess. Dreading having to play with new laws next season... haven't checked to see which ones lower leagues will be playing with yet though.

Just spent all morning watching rugby lite, sorry super 14's, and its a mess. Cheats charter is the only way I can think of describing it. Worst of them is it is only a free kick for not rolling away in the tackle. Guarentee that backrow players will slow the ball down all day... a freekick is hardly going to penalise them, just give the defence time to realign.

Someone needs to tell teh IRB where to go