Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rugby Part 2

More on rugby crowds and the problem with rugby.
12. Violence, feminisation and injuries: another issue for rugby generally is the injury toll and physical challenge of the game. This is a turn off to many moderns in an urban western situation. Women in particular often do not want their kids to play the game. While the game has been cleaned up it is still essentially physical and confrontational and this is a turn off for many.
13. Disappointment: the failure of recent AB rugby teams at world cups has not helped the image of rugby. Loyal fans will die for the game but the fringers find it tougher and tougher to support a team that blows it.
14. Disillusionment with professionalism as it is playing out in NZ rugby: I cannot see why the ABs have to be rested for tournaments, have weeks off, reconditioning bla bla bla. We need to get into the real world of professional sport and realise that being a professional athlete will involve a long season of earning one's money. It is a job. What other profession takes the approach rugby it taking? European soccer, rugby, the NRL, the AFL, the American sporting scene involves people playing week in and week out. It may win us a world cup but it is devastating to the game to rest players as we are doing. It is a luxury that has to end. The World Cup and internationals are just another event in the cycle of the sporting treadmill and NZ rugby needs to harden up and face the professional reality. Anyway, I am not sure it is better preparation for world cups etc to not play and wander around a gym bulking up! We lost the last world cup after resting the AB's from the NPC and perhaps this is the problem. We beat SA brilliantly in the quarters. Then faced the Aussies and we were flat, so flat it was shocking! Was it because we were not match hardened. Whereas the English who had played a huge number of games were hard and fronted magnificently for three games in a row; they were used to it! I hope France is not the same; I will not be surprised if it is. I for one have had enough of players bleating about how hard it is; how tough it is; how long the season is. I played club rugby for Pakuranga in the 80's and I would have given anything to have the opportunity these guys have. HARDEN UP, get out there and play. Oh, I have to go to work now. Need to recondition, but, oh, the boss won't let me...

No comments: