Friday 1st October, 1999
As you can imagine I want to keep this to the point. We had the
audacity to continue the myth that Wellington run hot and cold, and therefore they would
be easy meat. Well what the hell has Canterbury been doing for the last four matches?
It's not on mate! Crying into your beer makes it taste salty!
Now as to Mr. Deaker, he did make a reasonable showing on Friday. I'm afraid that I have done a fairly good job of wiping the game from my memory, so I can't say too much about his good qualities. I only wrote down three notes on his performance, and I can't remember what one means (these late nights are getting to me already!).
So point (1), Mr. Deaker plays long advantages, which is something that Glenn Wahlstrom did last weekend. Both men seemed to be stretching the advantage a bit thin at times. One of Mr. Deaker's advantages ran for about 15 seconds, was almost whistled, but then allowed to run another 5 seconds or so, before coming back to the initial offence. Modern Rugby can cover a lot of ground in 20 seconds, and you have to wonder whether having such a long memory is of real benefit to the game.
Point (2), Mr. Deaker was using the traditional scrummaging call of "engage!". Now it wasn't until last weeks game that I actually understood why Refs were using the "crouch, engage!" call. It appears that despite the literal meaning of the words, they are actually saying "steady, go!". This is of course a very fine way of setting the scrum, especially now that there is so much concern about neck injuries.
The old engage call, simply encouraged a full-steam-ahead
impact. You either anticipated the call and got an advantage from the first push, or you
came in so hard as to nullify that advantage. How many times in the last few years did we
wince at the impact of a scrum, especially the ones that immediately folded up or down in
the middle. We haven't seen as many this year, and for one I am quite happy about that!
And if you ask them on a week when they have been able to pay the mortgage, physios and
chiropractors probably are as well.
So both of these recommendations (as they call them at Toastmasters) are about things that lead to confusion and bewilderment for the players. Neither are a real problem, but don't add to the game in any meaningful way.
So there you go Mr. Deaker, just polish those two things up, and you to could be off to the next World Cup. Four years should be enough time!