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
The 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
It 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
Seeing 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
Whether 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
Whether 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.
Whilst 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
Why 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
How 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
How 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…