I haven’t posted for a while as I focused on other things in the world. There never seems to be enough time in the day and even though time remains constant my perception of it changes. An hour today (on a Friday) takes so much longer to pass than an hour on any other day of the week especially a Saturday or Sunday.
Why can’t I help but think of this new tournament as anything other than Super? Super Rugby has changed a lot since I first started to watch it. I’ll admit I started a little late, only getting into the tournament when it was the Super 12. But since then it has expanded to 14 and now in 2011, it’ll be 15. A very muted woohoo. When it changed from the Super 12 to the Super 14 I was interested to see how everything would change. I can’t help but think the latest change is not for the better.
It used to be one big round robin where every team played every other team. Now it’s changed into three conferences where each conference (based on location) play each other twice and eight of the remaining ten teams once. I have no idea why we would have wanted to have the change to include more local derbies. New Zealand has their ITM (or NPC) and South Africa has their Currie Cup. We already have more than enough local derbies. The fact is that with the change in Super Rugby, the oldest domestic rugby tournament in the world, the Currie Cup, will die a slow death. The rugby politicos deny this will happen, but the writing is really on the wall. I wonder how the US would react if their sporting body told them that the NFL would be watered down because they were entering into an international competition with Canada and Mexico. I don’t think it would go down well at all.
The only country which will benefit from the new competition would be Australia, who have conned their SANZAR partners into gifting them a domestic competition after their inability to create one of their own.
And to say the competition is really fair is a real crock of crud. In 2011, the Lions who are probably the weakest team in the whole competition don’t have to play the Crusaders who are perennially one of the best teams in the competition. So their chances of winning the game against a team which the Bulls or Sharks don’t have to play are better because the Bulls and Sharks have to play a stronger team. But that result counts in the pool. It’s retarded.
Haka Protection and other discrimination
Before I get started on this topic, let me say that I enjoy the haka. There’s nothing more exciting than watching the All Blacks perform the haka before a game. Down the years, the opposition team have stood there and watched or gone about their business while the All Blacks perform their war dance. The IRB (International Rugby Board) came out this week saying that if a team disrespects the haka by not standing in a line and watching it they’ll be fined. If they advance on the haka, they’ll be fined.
Funny, nowhere in the rulebook does it say that the All Blacks must perform the haka and that the opposition team must respect it. It actually got under my skin when Ma’a Nonu complained that Wales hadn’t respected the haka when they performed it before the Wales/All Blacks game. Wales are allowed to do whatever they want to – they could do the Scottish thing and show the All Blacks what the Scots wear under their kilt if they wanted to.
But wait, the IRB have now decided the haka is to respected and no team may do anything other than watch it. Isn’t that just the blackest form of discrimination? But then let’s be honest, fair standards and play is not something which is followed since a certain Paddy One-Eye O’Brian became head of referees for the IRB. Bob Dwyer even came out and stated as much in the media and Paddy is now taking him to court because of it. Excuse me sir, but he’s right.
Before anyone accuses me of blaming the referees for the shocking reversal of fortune for the Springboks let me state that even if the referees had blown properly (which they didn’t really) the Springboks would have only won one out of six games in the Tri-Nations this year. Did Bakkies deserve to be banned? Yes. Did Jaque Fourie deserve to be banned? Yes. Did Drew Mitchell? Absolutely. The only problem is that the Aussies cried foul and asked for consistency when their player got banned for two weeks. Funny, if I was the judiciary officer I would have responded by saying the offence was similar to Jaque Fourie’s and increase the ban to four weeks so both players got the same ban.
I’ve done a fair bit of reading lately and have started George R R Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice recently. I’m enjoying it although I have to state that I have never read a book with so much sexual content before in my life and graphic sexual content. I also have Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon on the bookshelf waiting in line as well as the end of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. So I have some good books waiting to be read.
I’ve started a new novel which I’m calling Lords of the Apocalypse which I’ve classified as Epic Fantasy although I’m not too sure if it really fits into the category. I’m also using the new writing forum started by David Farland to see how other writers and people who read the same things as me think of the story. So far the story is good, but the writing needs a bit of work. I’m sure I’ll be able to fix the writing in later edits.