Club rugby not just about the players’ wants

College Old Boys’ James Tofa looks for a gap against Te Kawau on April 30, before club rugby took at unnecessary week off. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Our stroppy black cat would turn up her nose when fed anything but the cheapest jellimeat.

So there was no need to change her cuisine.

Then why did the Manawatū rugby union change 135 years of habit by giving senior teams an unprecedented Saturday off last weekend?

It led to widespread displeasure among club rugby followers that teams were deemed to need a refresher in mid-season.

Judging by calls that came my way, the intermission was barely publicised and ignored the fact senior rugby is for the club faithful as well as the players.

The season might have started a week later instead of being the first in the country to kick off.

When the competition had nine teams, everyone would grizzle about the bye. When Linton Army hit the skids and baled out in 2019, most were glad to see the back of the bye.

There had been much angst when Linton began defaulting that season and opposition teams dipped out on games.

That would have happened this year had Linton stayed in senior rugby because the army camp seems deserted at times with so many soldiers away on Covid quarantine duties.

This duck-shooting lark is another unnecessary interruption. Many players consider popping away at the mallards to be more important than their rugby. Sacrilege.

There was also a time when it was bad form to even get married during the footie season.

Te Kawau had a recent game unnecessarily brought forward to a Thursday so they could let loose from their maimais on the Saturday.

Surely they could have deployed their shotguns on Saturday morning and gone again later in the evening rather than disrupt the draw.


More Stories