Analysis

The Chewsday Chew

The Chewsday Chew

Hello cobbers all – even the English ones,

Welcome to Episode 16 of the Chewsday Chew. The purpose herein is not to write something overly sagacious, complicated or mesmerising, but rather to pose a simple observation, question or proposition and let the good readers of this esteemed site share their opinions thereafter. Call it the lazy man’s attempt to fill a void by poking our collective bear of rugby knowledge to share their reflections and lift the average beyond the humdrum.

And in that vein, I hope you’re all not too bloated, bestuffed, over-indulged, tapped-out and suffering intolerable indigestive rugby coma from the absolute smashing smorgasbord of not just different rugby matches, but different levels and styles of rugby we saw over the last weekend. Seriously, I’ve been forced to wander about outside in the teeming rain to try and settle the belly and expel the voluminous expanses of post-digestive flatulence that my wife says says bounces off the hills and scares the sheep. Poor old Gary the dog is rather discombobulated – the little fat-arsed wombat wants to walk about with me but, with a tummy barely a finger-width off the ground, the poor bugger stands in real peril of being washed away in the current downpours if he does accompany me.

But in all seriousness, outside of a World Cup, I’m hard pressed to recall such a spread, such a veritable charcuterie board of meaty, spicy and pickled delicacies to wander between, picking here and there, for the personal tasting pleasures such as we saw on the weekend just past. I confess I’m feeling a bit like Mr. Creosote…

However in the midst of the over indulgence, one thing that did intrigue me was the Hill v Swain tête-à-tête fiasco. And among all the angles one may consider, and in light of the previous charcuterie metaphor, I was somewhat perplexed how one lad sampled cheese while the other got a full slice of the finest prosciutto given that each willfully and deliberately attacked the head of the other.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about…

So by my view, Englishman Mr Hill clearly breached Law 9 – foul play and specifically Law 9.12 wherein ‘A player must not physically … abuse anyone… includes but not limited to… contact with…head’ while Mr Swain then breached Law 9.21 ‘No retaliation’ immediately after. There was clear intent from both to attack the head of the other. And in fact from Mr Hill it was repeated instigating behaviour. So by my reckoning, both should have seen the same repercussion for their respective actions be it 10min of cheese or going straight to the over-priced ham.

However, on reflection, perhaps Mr Swains red card was originally a yellow to match Mr Hill’s aberration, but then on reflection the good ref Doleman sought to visit him with a full slice of ham for the complete and utter uselessness of his retaliation. I mean seriously, have some pride Swaino. If you’re going to throw the Liverpool Kiss or the Glasgow Handbag at someone, please have a little respect for the rest of us by making it actually count! While Johnny Hill did indeed attack Swaino’s head that attempt at a retaliatory headbutt by Swaino was truly pathetic and belonged more on the soccer pitch than on any self-respecting rugby field. I mean really, it wouldn’t’ve snapped a Scotch Finger biscuit let alone felled any opponent. And to that point you wouldn’t believe the amount of UTTER CRAP I have copping on my socials ever since from northern mates asking me if that is the best use of a noggin we Aussies can up with! So despite my initial indignation I reckon the over-priced slice of ham was deserved for the sheer humiliation of the limp-wristed attempt it was.

If that is indeed the case, well played Mr James Doleman for a fair application of the vino in my mind.

However, it did get me thinking about other acts akin to Mr Hill’s – other acts that go by the scientific description of “shitbaggery” – that really should have seen a more severe reaction from officialdom then they did at the time, if only in the interests of not seeing our game degenerate into something more like a hybrid between AFL and soccer (two sports wherein general acts of testicular-assaulting, shirt-punching and other such gutlessness are actually revered for some reason).

Now to be fair, Aussies aren’t more pure than driven snow in this respect. And in the interests of parity, Exhibit A must surely go to our own Preacher Izzy Folau for this effort on Springbok winger Dillyn Leyds in 2017. Let’s be honest, Izzy dragged the guy over the sideline by his hair and wasn’t even penalised at the time…

And we really should also acknowledge Micky ‘Cool Hands’ Brial for not even getting any sort of a sit-down after this effort (but at least he was penalised for throwing a dozen punches of which none landed with any effect)…

But likewise quickly springing to mind was Owen Franks’ 2016 effort in tackling Noah Lolesio head first repeatedly cleaning the contact lenses of Kane Douglas and then helping to adjust his hair. Now for those who don’t recall this didn’t even warrant a penalty at the time from the referee WHO WAS STANDING DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF IT…

And who could possibly forget Big Bad Bakkies Botha’s flying headbutt on Jimmy Cowan that also didn’t even get penalised at the time? Now fair enough, there was an offside in a better spot where a kick was taken from and BBBB did get a 9week suspension thereafter. But at the time he wasn’t even sanctioned despite being put up the big screen for a half-dozen re-runs at the time. I guess we just expected it from the BBBB…

And then there was the beauty that was Manu Tuilagi’s outstanding effort on Chris Ashton that actually succeeded in getting Ashton yellow carded as well. Now fair enough, Ashton is both English and a whinger winger. As such he has much to answer for by default. But even by my standards this was a tad lopsided in terms of outcome at the time. Let’s be clear, this was no sly hair pull or squirrel grip. Oh no. Herein Manu coat hangered Ashton, late, without the ball, a mile away from play, and then punched Ashton in the head 3x times. And the outcome was they BOTH got yellow cards!

So there we go lads and lassies, now have a wee think and then go and have at it! What were the acts of pure garbage that we can recall all these years later wherein the perpetrator got clean away, scarcely got a slap on the wrist with a veritable wet lettuce leaf at the time, or maybe a nasty letter from Hans ‘Ball-Breaker’ Blix (I can’t put THAT clip in – poor old Sully would have a heart attack)?

And as usual, extra credit for age and obscurity…

Analysis

Underfed front-rower with no speed or ball skills. Started playing footy in the 70's and still going. Can't remember the last time I passed on a ball, beer or karaoke mike. Motto - "Meat and potatoes first. Then gravy. And you don't put gravy on the plate first Boy."

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