Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
17 July 2014
I liked this story which was told to me by a local New Zealand referee who swore that this is how he tried to get his message across before every (lower grade) game he ever had the privilege to control.
He reckoned he would speak beforehand to both captains, either separately or together, and tell them thus; "Look fellas, you and your teams and I - all 31 of us - on this field today should play this game with one ambition in mind - and that is - to work up a bloody good thirst!"
He reckoned it always worked!
In't it a shame that on principle such a belief can't work at ALL levels of the game?
NZ tumbled out of the 4th Rugby World Cup at the semi-final stage; ahead 24-10 at one stage,
the AB's then leaked 33 unanswered points to lose 43-31.
Several international rugby matches (of sorts) have been played on the ice of Antarctica, so they should be recognized in an A-Z such as this.
In 1989 a group of scientists and staff started a match between USA and New Zealand. It is a fixture on the ice which has been played intermittently over the years since.
There are several unique features about rugby in Antarctica. Firstly the game is played on a snow-covered ice field and sometimes there have been no goal posts. Implanting posts into the rock-hard ice is nigh impossible. Sometimes the game has been delayed several days until the weather clears. The clothing the players wear is interesting; often it has been full kit needed for living in extremely cold temperatures. Sometimes too, the teams have been of mixed gender. And often it is not certain whether teams will be at full strength. One year a New Zealand squad gathered prospective players at 3pm, picked their best line up, and the game kicked off at 3.30!
In an international between the New Zealand Scott Base team and the USA McMurdo Base team in 2001, the New Zealanders scored three tries to one, but the score was posted in the weekly Antarctic Sun newspaper as being 9-3. Obviously the message had not made it through to the people on the ice of the increase in points values for a try! That had first happened over 30 years earlier!
Why was the kickoff for the Japan v Wales in Cardiff in 1983 delayed for 15 minutes?