Rugby World Cup Pool Matches Review - Why It All Went Wrong for the Northern Hemisphere

The World's leading scientists, the United Nations and Al Gore have warned us that this was coming and that the consequences would be unpredictable. But it is evidently apparent that there has been a global shift the magnitude of which is only just being realised.

Climate change is the only plausible explanation for the demise of Northern Hemisphere Rugby, while the fortunes of the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Unions have risen in parallel with the rise in global temperatures and sea levels.

It is unfathomable that bad coaching of Northern Hemisphere teams can explain why they have played so badly in this World Cup. It is equally unlikely that the players are simply not good enough, despite the fact that the Northern Hemisphere Unions have more players to choose from than those Rugby super powers south of the equator.

Mired in their ancient playing structures and parochialism, the Northern Hemisphere has failed to realise that Rugby grounds the world over are dryer and harder, facilitating quick recycling of the ball and fleet footed backs. Plodding lumbering forwards of the type favoured by England especially should go the way of the dinosaurs. Evolve or perish is the name of this game and the Northern Hemisphere nations are perishing.

Australia and South Africa, with their vast expanses of dry grassless Rugby fields have quickly adjusted to the Rugby of the new climate paradigm. And New Zealand, through regular exposure to the parched Rugby fields of Australia and South Africa at Super 14 and Tri-Nations level, have been so successful at adjusting they are now favourites for the World Cup.

It is no coincidence that the Pacific Island nations are among those most threatened by climate change and those with the most sudden improvement in Rugby standards. These nations, for so long respected but ultimately harmless are most at risk from rising sea levels which are already regularly flooding their Rugby fields rendering them unusable for long periods and especially at high tide.

The current Pacific Islander Rugby player represents just the first wave of climate refugees as they seek playing opportunities in other countries. The resultant improvement in playing standards is the result, and it is the olde worlde Rugby nations which are paying the price for their ancient polluting ways.

Contrary to the Pacific Islands, the retreating glaciers of Tierra del Fuego have revealed a plethora of Rugby fields creating opportunities for all Argentinians to play Rugby, where previously all flat green parts of the country were immediately taken over by soccer enthusiasts.

Until this World Cup, Argentina's greatest mark on international Rugby Union has been supplying the occasional outstanding prop to the Wallabies. Now a new generation of Argentinian players experienced in high altitude Patagonian Rugby are demonstrating extraordinary stamina and sublime skills as a result.

Unless the Northern Hemisphere Rugby nations address climate change their Rugby fortunes will continue to suffer. Carbon trading, mandatory emission limits and renewable energy regimes are just the start if they want to be able to compete with the Southern Hemisphere.


Ferdy said…
Excellent article. Very scientific. It all makes sense now. Thanks!