Sunday, 8 March 2015


Steve Hansen's comment that rugby is becoming “very boring” and a lack of tries is “turning fans away” is a point well made.

Don't get me wrong. I'm an advocate of winning rugby, however it is achieved and I am as big a fan as the next man of a victory eked out by attritional forward play.

The issue is not about styles of play. Traditionally what I love about rugby is that there are a plethora of styles of play, any one of which might be effective against another.

No, what appears to have changed recently is that, at the elite level, the laws of the game and, more importantly, how they are applied by officials, means that increasingly only one style of rugby is effective.

Kicking the leather off the ball, competing in the air and suffocating defence is the way that international rugby matches are won these days. Pioneered by Warren Gatland and turned into an art form by Joe Schmidt, another advocate is - if you watch the All Blacks play - Steve Hansen.

The answer? Police the offside line vigorously and give the attacking side the benefit of doubt at the breakdown. I'd also go as far as to consider allowing a mark to be called anywhere on the field of play to deter the over-use of the Garryowen.

1 comment:

Chris McCracken said...

You've hit the nail on the head. Great point