Sunday, 26 April 2009

Later tomorrow afternoon I’ll trudge along to Carisbrook for a few beers and a bit of footy. The beer I’ll enjoy. As for the latter, I hope it’s third-time lucky because, for me as a fan, the Highlanders at home and Super 14 rugby are knocking on the door of the Last Chance Saloon.

I have no doubt the Highlanders will beat the Cheetahs but they can’t afford to win ugly like they did against the Crusaders or the ‘Brook will resemble a deserted tumble weed town from a B-grade Western movie, as fans vote with their feet.

Having spent the best part of half a century watching rugby, I can say, hand-on-heart, I’ve never seen a worse game. And I had free beer to dull the pain!

When some of our greats are expressing grave concerns about our national game, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Last week on the Farming Show the great Sir Colin Meads said he no longer understood or enjoyed the modern game. Gates, he said, belonged on farms and pods in vegetable gardens.

Stu Wilson, for his part, said rugby players are in the entertainment business but they are no longer entertaining him.

I don’t blame the players, they have my sympathy, for they are better-prepared athletes today than the likes of Meads or Wilson were in their heyday. The fault can be laid fairly and squarely at the doors of the rule makers and the IRB.

Until rugby reverts back to its purest and simplest form, that of the 14 players creating space for the 15th to score a try, the game is buggered.

A rugby paddock is a narrow channel on which to attack and an easy fortress to defend with 15 men spread-eagled across it. Commit seven or eight of them to a ruck in the middle and you suddenly have space and a resultant meaningful contest.

Southland bids farewell to a good man tomorrow.

Riversdale policeman Jacob Schriek moved into my old home town just after I moved out so thankfully I never got to know him in a professional capacity. But over the past 15 years I got to know him in his capacity as a sports nut.

His contribution to cycling, as an elite athlete and latterly as an administrator, has been well documented in this publication following his tragic passing on the Motatapu Icebreaker last weekend. But his interest and passion for sport went well beyond the two wheels he was so good at peddling around a track at a frightening pace.
God speed Jacob. And if He is speeding up there, I’m sure even He won’t be exempt from a ticket.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home