Where are the tries?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 27 Feb 2012 at 09:05
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Well, that was an interesting weekend of Super Rugby action and the thing that struck most watchers was just how evenly-matched all the teams seem to be at this stage.

In fact, it was only the Stormers who managed a win by more than 5 points, with the Hurricanes doing their bit to shoot themselves in the foot by having three men carded in separate incidents, going on to lose by 13 in a game that they at one stage looked like they might win.

Not even there, though, in a 39-26 triumph, could the winning side manage a four-try bonus point. Surely this must be the only-ever opening week in Super Rugby history that saw no team manage to cross the line four times. The Stormers got 3, a handful of other sides managed a pair, but most scored at most 1 try! Hell, the Bulls and Lions even managed to pull off wins without scoring a try! Nine penalties kicked in a game (for the Lions) is just ridiculous and leaves me asking: “where are all the tries?”

Having torn my hair out during the Sharks game to see them penalised no fewer than three times, on attack and within 10 metres of the opponents’ line, I can say with certainty that in their case, they didn’t score because the ref didn’t let them. Not to say they were without sin, or anything, but surely the point of the game is to score tries and the referee should favour the attacking side, rather than the way the law currently seems to be implemented?

These breakdown laws, quite simply, are impossible for anyone to actually understand any more and it seems that the more the lawmakers tinker, the more officious the official become and, as a result, the less of a spectacle the game ends up. In a round of 7 games, only 21 tries were scored, with only a paltry 5 tries in total managed between the 5 South African sides.

Sorry, guys, but if I want to watch players kicking penalties, I’ll rather tune into the 6 Nations… it’s boring as hell but at least it’s over sooner.


  • Things can only get better 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.02.12 09:15:52 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Is it just me or was there way to many penalties in all these games this weekend? Having seen stats or anything but it just seemed that wenever a team was getting momentum there would be a penalty. I kno its the first game but still it seemed way to many

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.02.12 09:15:57 by sharkbok Reply

  • Is it just me or was there way to many penalties in all these games this weekend? Haven’t seen stats or anything but it just seemed that wenever a team was getting momentum there would be a penalty. I kno its the first game but still it seemed way to many

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.02.12 09:16:43 by sharkbok Reply

  • The breakdown is a lottery nowadays. You are never sure who the penalty is going to go to until the ref raises his arm.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.02.12 09:21:51 by lostfish Reply
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  • Clearly there has been a major shift in mentality and approach on defence, on the evidence of the weekends games and teams are gonna have to be more accurate and patient to cross the tryline.

    Also I found the referring to be very pedantic especially at the breakdown point …and once again the SH rugby sufferes while the irb come with new directives for us to adhere too whilst NH rugby is policed the same …very frustrating …I do however think as the season progresses the refs will calm the …. down.

    Its like this every season when we play geniepigs to new interpretations of the law …tough on players and coaches.

    I’m in total agrrement with your final line Robd ..

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.02.12 09:25:08 by csb Reply

  • The breakdown is extremely frustrating to watch and a complete lottery. It’s killing the game I love.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.02.12 09:35:24 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) :


    I find myself unable to watch more than two games in a row before wanting to hurl the remote at the screen..

    Frustrating to say the least

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.02.12 09:37:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Rob, Interesting article, got me thinking a bit, so I crunched some numbers. Over the years I have built a database of every super rugby game since 1996, so it’s reasonably easy.

    This is the the worst weekend ever in terms of tries scored, a total of 19 scored. Next low number is back in 1999, 20 tries on the opening weekend. Bear in mind, though that was S12, so one less game.

    It’s also only the second opening weekend where no team scored a bonus point for four tries, previously that happened in 2007. However, in that year, there were 5 teams that scored three tries, and in fact only two teams who failed to score a try.

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.02.12 09:48:43 by Greg Reply

  • I on the other hand am happy with the penalty count. 😛 Except of course that our Hooker is to thick to figure our why he is being penalised.

    The Referees are FINALLY blowing the breakdown the way it should be blown. These guys who got away with going over the tackled player and making like an arch, either on their forearms or hands with their legs straight, all of last season are now finally being penalised for not being on their feet. Finally some genius somewhere has realised there is no way those fools are supporting their own body weight.

    Richie and co. Must be shitting themselves because now they will no longer be as effective.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.02.12 09:49:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Does this not happen every year – lots of penalties in the 1st few rounds and then things settle down.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.02.12 09:50:38 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

    Interesting points KSA …which probably nulified the likes of Brussow and other fetchers..could this spell the end of that role … I still maintain the refs were way to pedantic but I concede that it will stop that negative kinda play.

    The rolling away player was very well reffed imo. Which should make it easier for quick ball.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.02.12 09:53:52 by csb Reply

  • @sharkbok (Comment 3) : is it just me or did I say the exact same thing in my article? 🙂

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.02.12 09:54:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @ 😀 Pokkel (Comment 6) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) : all i know is that the Highlanders are the biggest offenders at the breakdown and the ref that blew their game on the weekend was very lenient! they seem not to care about the last man’s feet rule and they enter the ruck from all over the show!

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.02.12 10:39:19 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) : Hey. Seeing your comment has given me an idea that will solve the lack of tries in the tournament.

    It’s bold but here it is.

    Include the Kings. That way at least one team will get a Try Bonus Point every weekend. 😈 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.02.12 11:20:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : Like 😆

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.02.12 13:28:40 by StevieS Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : or better yer, refs must ignore forward passes like kaplan did whitehead’s NFL-like feed to mcleod before your try was scored 😎 😆

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.02.12 14:38:54 by Megatron Reply


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