Once upon a time in Rugbyland…
This is the tale of how Goldirugby persists in coming up with crappy, new-initiative branded porridge that no-one else ever much likes.
In 2006, Goldirugby fussed and fossicked and made the ‘ELV’ (Experimental Law Variation) oat mix, wrote it on the menu around 2008/09 and in the process turned Rugby Union into a bastardised version of Australian Rules football. ‘Yum,’ said Goldirugby, proudly. ‘Yuk’ countered the general rugby fraternity.
Included in this no doubt costly re-writing of the Rugby recipe was one ingredient that needed putting in or the whole of the sport could be digested no more- that touch judges had to now be known as Assistant Referees. Just in case we ever doubted their legitimacy of course.
And even worse: ‘not a single ELV was intended to limit the exposure to or impact of concussion.’ (Steve Deane, Sportsroom, Feb 2018).
Ok, so concussion wasn’t the issue of the time that it has become nowadays. However it’s almost certain that Goldirugby would never have possessed the foresight to have somehow made a little note about it at the bottom of the safety shopping list.
Fast forward to 2015 and Goldirugby, bored with being unnoticed for so long, came up with a new and weirder porridge. ‘Double yum’ exclaimed Goldirugby. ‘Are you off your head?’ opined almost everyone else:
This season World Rugby trialled a new system in the Welsh Premier League. The experiment saw six points being awarded for a try and the points for drop goals and penalties being reduced to two.
Llandovery, who finished runners up in the league behind Pontypridd, scored a total of 83 tries in 22 games, giving them 3.78 tries per game. Compare this to Leinster, who have scored 43 tries in their 20 games thus far in the season, giving them a scoring rate of 2.15.
Based off this statistic, the adjustment in the points system has paid dividend. The tries that World Rugby are so desperate to see were delivered in Wales.
Yet the reality has not been so positive. Llandovery coach Euros Evans told the BBC this week that the altered scoring system “hasn’t had the effect they [World Rugby] were hoping for”. The change in the system did encourage teams to kick to the corner more regularly than they would otherwise yet this presented its own set of challenges. Evans went on:
There’s been many more driving line-outs and penalties from driving line-outs which has slowed the games down. That wasn’t really the intended outcome of the trial.
Evans was equally critical of the reduced drop goal reward. The change has meant that in a tight game where the margin is two points or less, a drop goal would not be sufficient to win it. Evans also felt that just two points for a drop goal did not adequately reward the skill. ‘The drop goal is a very difficult skill in any case. So that needs to be looked at.’ (From Pundit Arena website, 2016, UK)
Quite how on earth Goldirugby thought adding more points to the mix was suddenly going to lead to a better quality of product is anyone’s guess.
And now in 2019, Goldirugby dreamed and decided in the dead of night to foist a new recipe for world domination upon the masses, without so much as consulting the people whose job it is to deliver it- the players. And, what’s this? Nothing included from the Pacific Islands in the mix? ‘Aha, still delicious’ said Goldirugby. ‘Throw it in the wastemaster and try again, please’ said NZ Rugby.
The moral of the story? Changing a tried and true recipe for change’s sake almost always ends in a complete mess being served up at the breakfast table (or something like that). And that as head chef, Goldirugby just cannot be trusted to be left alone in the kitchen making porridge.
Paul M (firstname.lastname@example.org)