Flat beer replaces Super 14 champagne

Respected Australian rugby writer Greg Growden has not been impressed by the first four rounds of the Vodacom Super 14.

In his “Monday Maul” for the Sydney Morning Herald, Growden asks the following questions…

Why are Super 14 matches becoming as drawn out as the last 30 seconds of a basketball game?

Why is the game getting more confusing?

Why are there so many trivial laws that can sway a match?

Why does a match have to be stopped every time there is an injury?

Why does a mouthful of water cure every illness known to man?

Why does a player have to be handed a drink bottle about 50 times during a game?

Why does an 80-minute match take well over two hours to complete?

Why do referees think they have to make a decision at every breakdown?

Why do referees think they actually know what is going on in the scrum?

Why don’t they just toss a coin and yell out “heads or tails” before deciding which front row to penalise?

Why don’t they realise that hardly anyone gets turned on by watching reset scrum after reset scrum?

Why does the whistleblower have to go to the video referee virtually every time a try is scored even when it has happened under his nose?

Why does the video referee have to watch a player scoring the try at least a dozen times before making a decision, which often is bleedingly obvious the first time you look at it?

Why do touch judges believe they have to get their head on the television at least five times a match by running onto the field, pestering the referee and telling him something he already knew?

Why did they ever put a microphone in a touch judge’s flag?

Why does the referee call back the player every time a quick tap is taken, because it was taken two centimetres away from the actual spot?

Why isn’t the clock stopped whenever a penalty kick is being taken?

Why isn’t the clock stopped when the ball is kicked over the sideline, which wastes endless seconds as the ball is retrieved and then the hooker feigns deafness until he works out what the lineout call is?

Why do most hookers wear head-gear when it is obvious they all have hearing problems?

Why isn’t the clock stopped every time the referee tries to tell front-rowers how to pack down as it would save at least 10 minutes per match?

Why are two penalty goals worth more than a try?

Why is the food at football grounds getting worse?

Why do you have to pay $18 to park your car outside Aussie Stadium?

Why is there such a concerted push for imported players when we’ve had to listen to officials year in year out arguing that the introduction of a fourth Australian Super 14 team was crucial so that every young Wallabies hopeful got a chance?

Why did officials believe they did have the depth for a successful fourth Australian team?

Why did I tip the Western Force to win a match?

Why doesn’t Percy Montgomery wear white boots any more?

Why is it you cannot see a Super 14 match on free-to-air television?

Why did rugby officials allow this to happen?

Why am I still pestered every day of a Super 14 season by someone who wants to know exactly who the Hurricanes, Stormers, Cats or Bulls are?

Why do the South African television commentators make absolutely no sense at all?

Why does the Super 14 television commercial, where players walk in and out of a European laundromat, make absolutely no sense at all?

Why don’t they bring back the Pal Superdogs to enliven the half-time entertainment?

Why has a game allowed itself to become so bewildering that IRB referee chief Paddy O’Brien can say with justification: “There’s something fundamentally wrong with rugby when you and I can sit watching a game and you ask, ‘What’s that penalty for?’ And I say, ‘It’s white No.6 coming in from the side.’ Then you say, ‘What about red No.6? He’s doing exactly the same?”‘

Why has the opening month of the Super 14 been so forgettable?

You tell me.