Last night at Forsyth Barr Stadium we saw why Rugby Union can be so good. But it could be even better as a sport if the head knock issue was taken seriously…all the time.
That’s why it should be a strong talking point on why Ben Smith wasn’t removed from the field for an official HIA, when the back of his head thrust back and made solid contact with the ground after an aerial duel in the first half. The backlash was visible for all to see.
It’s obviously not (you would hope so), but the initial protocol leading to an actual off-field HIA in Super Rugby at the moment appears for the referee or the trainer to ask the affected player if he is alright and to take them at their word. And play on. Ridiculous.
And on things concussion, the new edict to tackle below the ‘nipple line’ is all a bit icky-sounding. What the heck is wrong with stating ‘below the chest’? Will we be going up to the interminable big screen all the time to ascertain if a tackle occurred ‘slightly up of the nipple line’, slightly below the teat, or bang on the spot? And what do we call that camera? Nipple eye? Chest cam? Will there be fluoro nipple stickers put on the jerseys to make it easier for the officials to make correct calls?
On something else, if Jack Goodhue comes in for Ryan Crotty / SBW for the Test run-on XV next Saturday, will he be able to run freely, given he has Mark Watson so far up his backside?
In any case, Jordie Barrett would eat Goodhue for breakfast in a one-on-one shoot out for the centre spot if they still held something akin to the All Black trials.