I know the inaugural new and improved Super 15 conference platform thingy has had only 3 weeks to try and warm the cockles of my heart but something aint quite right. Don’t get me wrong I love watching rugby and I have really enjoyed a number of the games so far, been frustrated at others and had my normal guilty pleasure of bitching and moaning about referees at the rest. Here in Aus we have a new side that in its short life has managed to both delight and frustrate me.
There has been something gnawing away in the dark and shallow recesses of my mind that until today I have not been able articulate. It’s the conference format where basically you mainly play the sides in your conference and not between the conferences. I know this enables me to spit fire, venom and insults to those who support the inferior sides in my conference but there is something missing, perspective.
There are three main things here. The first is a bit of a side issue where old possum head has basically managed to create a national comp within an international comp at great cost savings to the ARU. He always has been a cheap bastard, kill off my national comp and I’ll hold a grudge for life. This is great for Aus but all it does for the Tri-Nations partners is provided a distilled version of the NPC and Currie Cup.
Secondly when you play with yourself, you go blind. The media here, and Deans mind you until last week, have been salivating about the great leap forwards in the scrumming performances in Aus. Now just as the great leap forward was built on crap steel the advancements in scrumming were badly found out yet again. If you only compare your product domestically you have no idea how shoddy it is until you see the international competitors. On the weekend both the Tahs and Force were taught a scrumming lesson. It doesn’t look good for QLD who have been going backwards against those sides.
Yes I’m enjoying the new rugby season but shit, part of me thinks that a new period of self delusion can easily set in. As your side doesn’t actually have to play all sides in the comp (Reds don’t play Sharks or Highlanders) until perhaps the finals series your team might get its head shoved up its arse come scrum time. If you don’t meet in the finals then it denies supporters a vital third item which I used for years. Hell we might have played like shit all year but we beat you.
I’m positive that sooner of later the format is going to be altered again with either a fourth conference (Japan, Argentina and the pacific Islands) coming in (where you will play less sides in the other comps) or another 2 rounds will included to overcome this oversight.
I’ll still enjoy the Super XX but part of me is still going to miss that old format.