Two days have passed since the All Blacks again displayed why they are the number one side in world rugby.
There has been a lot of discussion about the ‘controversial call’ surrounding Speights no-try, but very little has been constructive.
The only coherent, unbiased analysis of the incident has come from Nick Pfitzner in his article TMO – Time to Move On?. He discusses the laws behind the TMO’s decision and the ambiguity and inconsistency behind them. He also attempts to offer a constructive solution, which I have dubbed the TMO Challenge System (TCS).
In the words of the Katie Perry “Super Rugby changes structures, like a girl changes clothes” and very few fans would disagree that the current system is in a shambles.
There is no doubt that the most recent venture into expansion and the inclusion of the Argentinian Jaguares and the Japanese Sunwolves, was intended to broaden the marketing base, hopefully providing a gravy train for the host nations. Yet,the most recent evolution of the competition to a two conference, four group structure, in which many teams will face off only once every second year has proven confusing at best, and disastrous at worst.
How many fresh faces will we see wearing Wallabies gold in June 2016?
Over the last five non Rugby World Cup (RWC) or Lions Series years, roughly five players have made their Wallabies debuts each June Test series. After seven rounds of Super Rugby, the collective health of Australia’s rugby stars has remained relatively intact. Yet, with the likes of Wallabies incumbent Kane Douglas’ unlikely to recover from a knee reconstruction in time and a number of Super Rugby rounds to come, there will be the opportunity for new blood.
A little while back we looked at the hypothetical Fijian side, which was overflowing with barnstorming backs who were accompanied by some great forward talent.
There was a 9-6 split of Fijians and ‘foreigners’ in the starting XV, with a further 4-4 split on the bench.
This weeks Samoan side is heavily laden with Samoan talent who have pledged allegiance to other nations. Similarly to the Fijian side, a lot of top tier nations sport Samoan talent among their ranks, however the Wallabies and All Blacks dominate this squad with 5 and 4 respectively.
Round 1 of the Rugby Championships (RC) has already kicked off, with the classy All Blacks toppling the spirited Pumas (39-18), while the Wallabies are set to take on the Springboks tonight at 8:05 in Brisbane.
A number of Australia’s illustrious rugby players are based overseas, heading overseas post-Rugby World Cup (RWC) or undecided on their futures. Do the Wallabies really have the depth to continue to resist selecting overseas-based players? Who would wear Wallabies gold if selection policies were to change today?
The ongoing debate on whether rugby laws should be altered in order to promote a more exciting product is fast becoming a hot topic. Experimental laws are being trialled at a number of domestic competitions around the world including the inaugural season of Australia’s National Rugby Championships’ and South Africa’s Varsity Cup. To date, the NRC is producing some of the most crowd thrilling games of rugby that can be watched around the planet, mainly due to law variations. On the other hand, international rugby laws are too complicated, reducing the speed and entertainment of the game. It is time the the IRB takes notice of what it’s fans want: exciting, fast paced rugby.