Martin Devlin: An open letter to the sport of rugby

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Apr 2020, 2:15PM

Martin Devlin: An open letter to the sport of rugby

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Apr 2020, 2:15PM

I miss you rugby. In fact I miss you so much I'm prepared to make a whole heap of promises to you, if you promise to come back for us:

1) I will never moan about reset scrums ever again.

2) Or the fact that the stupid dumb offside line is never properly policed.

3) Resulting in this so-called "rush defence" tactic which isn't rush anything other than a rush to be offside.

4) I will forgive SANZAAR for the ridiculousness of the contrived and convoluted conference competition they came up with - even though it's now canned.

5) However I won't make the same concession regards the continued colour clashes around teams away strips. I mean how hard is it to co-ordinate this thing? The Blues wear blue. So why send the away side out wearing the same colour they're wearing? And then why do it again the next week?

6) I will try and like Sir Clive Woodward.

7) And will try not to keep calling him "punch me face".

8) I won't keep harping on about "Rest and Rotation" wrecking our 2007 RWC.

9) As long as Sir Graham admits we were oh so damn lucky to win in 2011.

10) I promise to actively campaign for Craig Joubert who reffed that final to be given the NZ knighthood he deserves.

11) But I reserve the right to still think all French refs are strutting peacocks who exist only to steal victories away from our team a la Roman Poite, Lions 2017.

12) And I can never forgive Derek Bevan for taking that gold watch from Louis Luyt in 1995.

13) I will do my very best not to pillory these irrelevant touch judges who do nothing at all to enhance or improve the game as a spectacle. 

14) Or the fact they all seem to wear their shorts two sizes to small.

15) I promise to no longer care about seeing props on the wing or locks "expressing themselves" via meaningless grubber kicks.

16) I'll even start liking the fact that every game HAS to be played at night because that's how the broadcasters want it.

17) And won't keep making fun of the Blues paying Benji to play 1st-5. Remember that? Seriously? And they expected all of us to take it seriously too?

18) I'll try to no longer actively loathe those French billionaire blokes constantly waving their fat cheque books in the face of our very best players.

19) I'll even cease to (overly) mock our administrators for wanting to "take the game global" and "explore new marketing opportunities" and "create new revenue streams" by playing these trite promotional tests in Chicago and Hong Hong and (soon to be) Bahrain etc.

20) I promise to learn to love the Cake Tin's thousands of glaring yellow seats which tell us only that no-one has turned up to watch. Again.

21) I will, like all top referees, just give up on trying to pretend I know what happens at the breakdown.

22) I will be genuine when I express hope that the Wallabies become an international force again.

23) But under no circumstances will I ever force myself to like the interfering office-telltale toady-rat TMO's and if there's one thing that we can all collectively wish for when rugby does eventually resume - that they bugger off quicker than you can say coronoavirus.