Dear Editor, British rugby is based more on brute force and with very little skill, with weight and aggression taking centre stage in the game. Running and open rugby with the Bennett skills and jinks, seems now very much out of the coaching of the game and an entertainment of the past.
Some of the reports of the Lions v Springboks and the obvious whingeing because we lost, is very embarrassing. If the Springboks had taken their kicking opportunities, the last penalty kick to win the game would have been irrelevant.
British and particularly English rugby over the years seems to rely on intimidation and aggression and ‘tight’ play. I am not surprised that serious injuries occur. One must look at the Exocet missile ‘tackles’ that are thrown into the rucks, to see that injuries are unavoidable; many of these tackles achieve nothing except a stoppage and an injury and UK rugby is guilty as much of it, it should be said!
I have watched the incident on video of the Burger v Fitzgerald incident on several occasion and as I saw it Burger was pushed or fell backwards and his right hand was over Fitzgerald face; the position he was in I don’t think he knew where he was; Fitzgerald’s hand also found itself over Burger’s face.
There was much more going on in this match than this incident and the Lions in fairness had their share; Butter wouldn’t melt in any of their mouths; Lions went into the match from the outset with the aggression to win and when a moveable force meets an immovable object, sparks fly and injuries are unavoidable.
The ball needs to come out of the rucks quicker, this would be more entertaining; make for more open play and would be less attritional. Balls needs to be thrown straight into the scrums again and the farce of the line-outs changed back. It’s not winning that counts, it’s how you play the game!
Douglas J Wathen
Rushford, Salford Priors, Nr. Evesham