I am getting so sick and tired of rugby experts bitching about the laws of the game in the mainstream press.
If it is not victim number 1, Graham Henry then it is his NZ counterpart columnist Mark Hinton or just about every single team who has lost against a team who employs a more conservative approach.
Here is the thing, the Springboks beat New Zealand this year with their conservative, or ‘booooring’ kick-chase approach under the current laws – but then New Zealand absolutely smacked France under EXACTLY the same laws!!!
And please let’s not forget that the boooring Boks were the only team to actually score a 4-try bonus win during the competition – so much for that fallacy…
How is it then that the problem according to some is with the laws?
From where I sit, the problem is actually with the coaches and teams who fail in executing whatever approach they want to adopt.
This was proven to some extent at the end of the year tours where South Africa could not buy a win on their 5-match tour (only beating a lowly Italy) with the same approach that saw them win 5 out of 6 matches against the top 2 teams in world rugby in the Tri-Nations.
The reasons for the losses of course range from poor selections to fatigue to someone’s dog who ate the actual game-plan but the fact remains, South Africa simply failed in executing their game-plan on the day and to my mind, got beaten at their own game most of the time (a conservative territorial based approach with a strong physical defense).
Just the same as New Zealand and Australia failed in executing their preferred approach against the very same team – forget the losses of player personnel, lack of depth or whatever excuse these guys come up with – at the end of the day you simply did not execute what you planned to do and the other team did.
Now we have calls for radical changes to laws from all corners? Why?
It is not up to the laws or referees to make the game more entertaining (if that is what you want), that is up to highly paid professional players and coaches. And just for the record, I never find winning boring and fully packed stadiums in South Africa seems to prove my view.
If it is entertainment you want, adopt your approach and execution to provide that, or go and watch league, but wanting to change the laws to make the game more ‘exciting’ is simply daft.