10 Things That I Currently Hate About Rugby

Over the last couple of years there have been a number of things that have begun bugging me about the sport I know and love. Below is me venting some frustration about a number of issues that I think are damaging the game for fans around the globe;


1. Refereeing Inconsistencies

1The number of times I am left screaming at the television or from the terraces at a penalty given away for some seemingly arbitrary reason dictated by whoever is refereeing the game. Surely it is not that difficult for there to be a standard rule for;

  • How long an advantage should run for
  • What constitutes a scrum infringement
  • At what angle does a player have to enter a ruck to be considered offside
  • What is worth of a yellow/red card

It seems that more often than not the referee quite simply raises the hand not holding the whistle and awards a penalty for whatever reason.

2. Linesmens Lackadaisical Approach to Kicks to Touch

446069711_a160641453It never fails to amaze me how often linesmen fail to mark the correct spot when the ball goes into touch. Their nonchalant efforts to keep up with a kicked ball seem to be ended when they can no longer be arsed running rather than where they perceive the ball to have gone into touch…..that or they are as blind as some fans would have you believe!

3. Scrum Resets

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????How have we got to the point where it seems we need 3 attempts at every scrum before the front rowers seem capable of holding themselves up. It’s not just that though, it’s the 30 seconds between each reset cleaning boots and complaining that means we lose vast quantities of game time watching this farce. Re-watch the 2003 World Cup final to see how a quick hit and engage results in minimal collapses and allowed the game to flow properly.

4. Constant Stoppages

robinsonSeeing the endless number of arbitrary stoppages in play has me feeling somewhat like Andy Robinson above. The game is becoming more and more like American Football with vast periods of stoppages interspersed with a few moments of actual play. Not only this but every time there is even the slightest hint of a stoppage in play the pitch is over run with water boys, physios and anyone else wearing a fluorescent vest who take an age to move back over the sidelines.

5. Kicking Games

maxresdefaultWhether it be kicking for the posts at every available opportunity or simply just kicking from hand every time they receive the ball, some teams are completely sucking the life out of the game. There needs to be more rewards for teams who takes risks running the ball and score tries. At the end of the day we pay to see tries not a kicking dual – there are 14 other blokes in a team remember!


6. Football-esque Behaviour

Richard-Cockerill-gettyWhether it be idiotic Coaches or even dumber players, there is no place in rugby for the kind of behaviour we have been seeing from some people recently. Learn to keep your gobs shut, treat the officials with respect (even if they are incompetent idiots) and let’s keep rugby an enjoyable sport to be a part of.

7. Booing

booing-1Whilst the majority of fans seem capable of keeping their mouths shut and not imitating a drunken farm animal, an increasing number of fans seem to feel the need to make some kind of guttural caveman-like noise every time an opposition kicker takes a kick. Once again – THIS IS NOT FOOTBALL! – kick it out or we’ll kick you out!

8. Stuart Barnes

barnes-3185022Why must Sky continue to persist with this bumbling idiot? He really is the Adrian Chiles or rugby! His bias, useless opinion never fails to frustrate and astound in equal measure and often results in me feeling the need to silence the commentary.

9. Crap Pitches

Muddy RugbyHow much longer can professional rugby teams be allowed to get away with hosting games on pitches that wouldn’t be fit for a dirt track? Even at international level we see pitches cutting up which adds to the issue of collapsed scrums and impedes teams hoping to play some rugby.

10. The Crooked Feed

Biarritz-and-Stade-Francais-scrum_2995292How is it the IRB are still failing to penalise referees who continue to allow scrum-halves to feed at a crooked angle. You can mess around with the engagement sequence all you like but without this rule being properly enforced we will never see the scrum working properly. It just amazes me how referees can be so blind when the scrum half is standing at an angle before he has even fed the ball.

No matter what rugby position you play I’m sure there’s something that annoys you about the game, let us know in the comments section below…




  1. I agree with all of these, but my main complaint at the moment is that for most tries the ref feels the need to send the decision upstairs. There are some situations when it is a good thing, but recently it seems that the refs are scared to make a decision without checking and, for me, its is becoming a bore and ruining what is otherwise a good game of rugby.

  2. Let’s estimate how many of these 10 gripes would be solved if you just watched Rugby League instead . . .

  3. Mate you need to get out of the northern hemisphere. All those problems sound UK or French related. Although refs and touchies are worldwide

  4. The first 3 issues I do not agree with, I understand your frustration but as an official myself it is impossible to expect perfection, consistency I agree with but each ref interprets differently and you should look for consistency from the individual not every ref. Scrum resets are time consuming but the front row are much bigger and stronger than back in 2003 and Matt Hampson is the perfect example why the quick engage had to be altered. Safety is so important. However the last 5 (6-10) I couldn’t agree with you more! The football behaviour and the booing just aren’t rugby, the pitches are horrendous, Stuart Barnes is an idiot and the feeding is still an issue although again if the scrum turns slightly the ball ma look fed, but actually it is still going in straight, however most of the time this isn’t the case.

  5. I played winger at college and my local club and when there is a scrum I know I could be there for a while before the ball gets out. I agree with all of them and the most annoying one is watching the Rugby turning into kicking all the time and Stuart Barnes commentating he is rubbish, luckily the six nations is on the bbc so we have better commentators then Stuart.

  6. It’s amazing how close to my opinion you are. Rugby tends to be infected by some deplorable behaviors. On the field of course, but in the stands also. For example, I live in Castres, French 2012-13 Champion, and proud of my team, but everytime there’s an opponent kick, I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of those constantly booing, whistling, and making everyone look like retarded peasants.
    I’m tired of this, and for Webb Ellis’ sake I wish someone could make it stop. This and everything that transforms our beautiful sport closer and closer to football and its sins.

  7. This probably applies to lower level rugby but its still annoying!!! I played a game a couple of weeks ago where the opposition where constantly giving away penalties and when we tried to go quickly they decided to start a fight every time!!! The referee seemed quite happy for this to happen every five minutes and what resulted was the worst game of rugby ever played with the opposition giving away penalties at every opportunity knowing they wouldn’t be properly punished. One or two players in the bin probably would have sorted it but as it was the ref bottled it every time.

  8. If you read the IRB laws, your four dot points at the start of the articlr would be cleared up. I advise in doing that before you post stuff like this.

  9. Gavin Stormageddon Norman

    What annoys me as a tight head prop is how the loose head gets away with boaring into me, the majority of refs have never played front row so they never look for this. In my past two years back into rugby only once has the loose head ever been penalized for this.

  10. as a front row player ( loose head , tight head or hooker), I play all 3 positions but prefer loose head ..whilst propping at loose head or anywere in the font five its best to keep the bind as tight as possible , asthis is what givethe drive forward, however to answer the question below from our tight head friend , if you were to keep your shoulders square and and drive straight , instead of trying to bore in on the opposition hooker the oppsite loose head wouldn’t be able to bore in , when I play at tight head I keep myself square or try and splitthe oppositions loosed head and hooker ie take out their drive …often allowing me to strike for the ball against the head …oh and sit on your second row and flankers shoulders absorb the hit by bending yours knees putting you into a squat position thus not dropping to ground face first with yer arse 2 feet above your shoulders and your ready to drive forward when the balls put in and not before and get a legal nudge and drive …simples ….

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