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Breaking A Long Standing Union

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on August 26, 2012 in Other


I have always been a follower of rugby union. From my prep schools days at Tudor House, through senior school at Cranbrook, onto my Sydney University years and beyond, my passion for the game they play in heaven has been one of the few constants in my life. Lately, however, I have been feeling a bit disengaged with the great game.

I haven’t been able to put my finger on what it is that is actually giving me the irrits so I can only assume that it’s a build up of things. Many things.

Firstly, even after all these years, I am still completely baffled by the rules of the game, and I get the feeling that many of the players share my predicament. The interpretations by referees from different countries (and particularly different hemispheres) can completely alter the outcome of a match. I’m so confused by some of the decisions these days I find it hard to actually enjoy the contest.

I’m also noticing a complete lack of personality among the rugby players. Has this always been the case? It seems as though rugby union players have been media trained to within an inch of their lives and quite frankly they’ve become pretty boring. Rugby league may be played by a bunch of uneducated boofheads who occasionally crap in hotel corridors or drive under the influence, but at least they have a bit of charisma. Quade Cooper could put a bullfrog to sleep.

Compounding my current disregard for the game, the Waratahs have been woeful again this year. Should I be surprised? Probably not, but it still hurts. They’re streets behind the Brumbies and Reds and are pretty much on par with the lowly Force and Rebels on the Super Rugby ladder. To make matters worse, they’ve accumulated 11 bonus points from their 15 outings, with 8 of their 11 losses by less than a converted try. Basically, they’ve been close enough to excite but poor enough to consistently disappoint. The fact that they’ve only scored four tries in a match on three occasions out of 15 thus far is also a sore point for Rupert here. What happened to entertaining running rugby?

Further to my frustrations, who the hell had the idea to run an international test series against Wales smack bang in the middle of the mid Super Rugby season? Have the powers that be lost their collective minds? Seriously people, save the tests for later. The Brumbies and Reds were battling it out for top spot in the Aussie Super Rugby conference and all of a sudden half of their stars have to shove off and suit up in green and gold to play a handful of meaningless matches against the bleeding Welsh. Some of them copped injuries that will undoubtedly harm their respective franchise’s Super Rugby hopes. Am I the only one that thinks this is completely ludicrous?

After the scintillating State of Origin series that my mungo mates put on recently I am seriously considering doing the Sonny Bill and switching codes. I’ll happily trade places with him in the Clovelly Hotel toilets too!