Rugby - The Game They Play in Heaven and in Boardrooms

Can you imagine if Rugby was only played on the field?

Can you imagine how dull it would be if the ARU wasn’t constantly bickering about who’s doing what and which state they’re from? If the CEO, directors and chairman had regular civilised and open discussions that left the media and the Rugby community in perfect understanding as to the direction of Australian Rugby? If everyone acted with Rugby’s best interests in mind when nominating office bearers and had no interest in power or waving their genitals in the air and there were no factions based upon personality or state?

And what if their negotiations with Fox and the free-to-air channels led to a mutual understanding and guaranteeing of the rights of the general public to watch some Super 14 on free-to-air while ensuring significant content for Fox. And the commercial channels agreed to do their bit to promote the game by talking about Rugby rather than pretending it doesn’t exist until just before the internationals kick-off.

What if the NSWRU was a settled and content organisation running in perfect harmony, talking openly to its Queensland and ACT colleagues and happily beavering away leaving the running of the Waratahs to team management while ensuring club and junior rugby was fully funded.

And how boring would it be if the clubs accepted their lot in life and just got on with the job of playing rugby for fun and supporting the third tier, the non-controversial and well-thought out Australian Rugby Championship that highlights the best that the club system has to offer?

And if everyone acknowledged that buying the occasional League player was fine as long as they were dedicated to and interested in playing Rugby and that it was all about having the best players available irrespective of their background. And if League players stopped using Rugby as a time-wasting bargaining chip to talk up their price and just stuck to being mercenaries in their own code.

What if the rules of Rugby were easy to understand, scrums, rucks and mauls moved like finely tuned powerful machines, there was no inconsistency between refereeing interpretations, the advantage rule was declared king, and everyone accepted that referees are only human.

And can you imagine if not losing wasn’t more important than winning and teams played with freedom to throw the ball around and players played for fun and not money?

I can’t. Alas. Sob. I can imagine though that if Rugby is the game they play in heaven then God and St Peter probably are arguing over the ruck and maul laws.


Monday's Experts said…
Part of the problem seems to be that the old adage "what happens on the field, stays on the field" doesn't really apply. There seem to be old rugby rivalries and grudges from the schoolboy days, through the club level & all the way to state & Australian rep levels. They just can't let it go and so the Game They Play In Heaven continues to look worse & worse.