6 Nations: 7 Nations #6Nations @The_Six_Nations

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Last year’s Six Nations was won before the final round. And so it really put the case forward for adding bonus points to the series. As you know, that has since happened. Another thought struck me, though. It’s a simple proposal. Tell me what you think.

  • The winner of next year’s Rugby Europe Championship is promoted to a new “Seven Nations” tournament.
  • Teams will then play three home and three away matches in the Seven Nations tournament, thereby making it more balanced.
  • The bottom-placed team in this new Seven Nations will have to play a play-off against the European Championship winner, maybe over two legs or maybe one leg in a neutral place, e.g., Twickenham; if the 7th placer wins, they stay up, if they lose, they go down and are replaced by the European Championship winner.

What are the advantages of this?

  1. There’s even more to play for in the Seven Nations as relegation becomes a factor.
  2. There’s even more to play for in the European Championship as promotion becomes a factor.
  3. It gives the smaller nations a chance to break into the big-time and thereby develop Rugby in those countries by playing against the top European sides.
  4. Teams do not automatically go up/down, and so we don’t have yo-yoing. Particularly, relegation is often seen an effective punishment for Italy — or would be for Georgia in an expanded Seven Nations format. The play-off means that the bottom team, probably now Georgia, will have to prove they are better than the Euro champ. Furthermore, Italy are unlikely to finish seventh any time soon, and thus are unlikely to be relegated.

Honestly, I think this, along with the new Bonus Points system, would mean perfection for Europe’s/the Northern Hemisphere’s premier tournament.

© 2016-2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

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6 Nations: Bonus Points? #Rugby #6Nations

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I wrote this post on the 19th March 2016. Never got round to posting it! But glad to see I was right. I post it now for interest’s sake — and to clear the massive amount of post “drafts” I have pending!

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I reckon it’s time for the Six Nations to introduce bonus points. This year [2016] was first ever when the winner (swing low, sweet chhariot! ;-D) won before last round of fixtures. Although I’m surprised that hasn’t happened before; with only four or five nations, it’s easy to see how things can go to the last round, but the more teams then the less chance of this happening. Maybe the tournament needs freshening up.

Bear in mind that, under a Bonus Point system, it is technically possible for the team that wins a grand slam to not win the championship:

Team A: 5 wins x 4 points = 20 pts

Team B: 4 wins with bonus point = 20 pts, and Bonus Points for tries scored and losing by less than seven = 2 = 22pts!

Unlikely, but mathematically possible. Maybe they can fix that with some kind of bonus points per team beaten.

[Note, they have brought in BPs and said that anyone completing the Gram Slam will get additional Bonus Points]

© 2016-2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Introduce Sin Bins in Football #SoccerSinBin @FA @FIFAcom @UEFAcom

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In Rugby they have this great thing called the “sin bin”. If you get a yellow card, you are sent off for ten minutes. I think this must be introduced into association football. ASAP.

First, there’s too much nonsense in football nowadays. Players just gob off to the ref and act like proper plonkers on a minutely basis. The Laws of the Game give referees the power to give out yellow and/or red cards for unsporting behaviour or dissent. But refs seldom do.

LAW 12
… A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences:
* unsporting behaviour
* dissent by word or action
* persistent infringement of the Laws of the Games …
A player … is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
* using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

But second, even if refs did book every wally, like, whatevz. A yellow card does nothing. What’s that gonna discourage? Send those players off for ten or fifteen minutes, on the other hand… Might learn ’em good. Might straighten out football a bit.

FOOTBALL. SIN BIN. YES.

#SoccerSinBin

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Fairy Rugby @rugbyworldcup @rugbyworldcup #RWC2015

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Chess is a great game, perhaps impossible to improve upon. Yet chess players will sometimes decide to mix things up, just for fun, by playing to different rules. They might introduce new pieces, or new powers for current pieces, or even change the point of the game. This is called “fairy chess”.

Likewise, Rugby Union is a wonderful game, perhaps impossible to improve upon. But, just for fun, here’s a few rules that you might want to muck around with. So without further ado, I present to you the somewhat unfortunately named “Fairy Rugby Union”.

  1. All rules are the same as in Rugby Union, except where stated below.
  2. Scrums are great, but they also slow the game down. Replace with free kick for the team which would’ve had the put in.
  3. Line outs are great, but like scrums take up time. Replace them with a throw in (under-arm or two-handed overhead) which can be in any direction. Which leads me on to…
  4. Forward passes are allowed. The lack of forward passing renders Rugby unintelligible to people from largely non-Rugby-playing nations (in my humble experience). Which also leads to…
  5. No knock-ons.
  6. The offside rule, just like the forward pass rule, is unintelligble to many from largely non-Rugby-playing nations. Do away with offside altogether.
  7. Now that tries will be relatively easy to score, change the ratio of points. For example, goals are still worth three, but a try is now two and a conversion five.

And there we are. Have fun!

*dons flame-resistant jacket*

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Roy Keane: More Evil Than Hitler #roykeane @roy_keane_Esq @ManUtd #mufc

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The year was 2000, and I was 15 years old. I was watching a football match. Some random team against Manchester United. Roy Keane, Man United captain, decided to flip out for no reason, as usual, and get in the referee’s face. Aggressive and with split flying everywhere, screaming at the arbitrator, shoving him, and forehead marching the ref backwards. If he’d done that in the street, he would’ve been knocked on his arse. But this was football, and therefore par for the course.

It might even have been this match that caused me to snap

It might even have been this match that caused me to snap

Witnessing this, something broke inside me. I just couldn’t bear to watch these overgrown children, these arrogant spoilt petulant idiots getting in the face of refs and being twattish anymore.

That was the moment I fell out of love with football. Indeed, it turned me off all sport. It was only in 2006 that I started to get back into sport.

This turning away from sport had rather unfortunate timing, though.

I did not watch the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The only World Cup I have missed since watching my first one, South Africa 1995. The only World Cup England have won.

I did not watch the 2003-04 football season. The one where Arsenal broke history by going through a whole season unbeaten: the so-called “invincibles”, the peak moment in Arsenal FC’s history.

Yes, Roy Keane prompted my sporting crisis and made me miss the greatest moments for my club and country that will ever happen. I can never get those moments back.

And that is why I hate Roy Keane. That is why Roy Keane is more evil than Hitler.

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© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Most Offensive Advert Ever? @gareththomas14 @GuinnessGB #madeofmore #RWC2015

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I think I’ve seen the most offensive advert of all time (or, at least, of recent times).

Gareth Thomas, rugby player, stony-faced gives the voiceover, his voice breaking with emotion as emotional music plays.

Everything I went through out there [on the rugby pitch] was nothing compared to the demons inside.

In my darkest hour, I turned to my teammates.

Telling them I was gay, was the toughest thing I’ve ever done.

But when I needed them, they were there for me.

Gareth Thomas emerges from the tunnel onto the rugby pitch, head held high and chest out, walking proudly to face the masses.

Subtitles fade up:

GARETH THOMAS.

Thought he was alone.

Always part of a team.

Fade to black.

Now fade in… a pint of Guinness(!?) and the words Guinness: made of more.

Sorry, but what the f***!?

Gareth Thomas overcame sporting prejudice to say, “I am gay”. Even footballers, who play a much less manly sport, won’t come out. And when they do, it doesn’t end well: just look at Justin Fashanyu.

I’m sorry, but even by advertising’s slack standards, that is a disgusting advert. The struggle and turmoil of one man, the fight for LGBTI rights worldwide in the face of continuing violent opposition. All reduced to flogging Guiness.

What a load of offensive and cynical sh*t. It’s like nothing in this world has any worth anymore. Disgraceful.

See the YouTube version of this post here: https://youtu.be/saiUlN0hKy0

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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No Rugby World Cup 2015 Sticker Album? @rugbyworldcup @England2015 @RWC2015 #RWC2015

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I used to love collecting stickers as a kid. But despite being an avid sticker collector, we were pretty poor, so the only album I ever completed was the Rugby World Cup 1999 album. It was (kinda still is) my pride and joy.

I may now be 31 years of age, but in female years that is about eleven. So I’m pretty excited to buy the Rugby World Cup 2015 Official Sticker Collection.

One problem.

This seems to be the first RWC with no official album. What the hell!?!?!?!?

Someone tell me I’m wrong! I NEED MY STICKERS!!!

PULL YOUR FINGER OUT, MERLIN AND PANINI!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Rugby World Cup 2015 @rugbyworldcup @rugbyworldcup @England2015

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The Rugby Union World Cup 2015 kicks off this Friday. I’m really excited about it, even more excited than usual — probably because it’s being held in England.

Bit of a confession-cum-sob story to tell you, though.

I was born in ’84. My first World Cup was South Africa 1995. I have eagerly followed every World Cup since then, even completing the 1999 official sticker collection! (The only sticker collection I ever completed without having to order missing stickers)

Yet I went through a difficult period in late adolescence (of about five years) when I almost totally went off all sport. Just happened to co-incide with the 2003 World Cup.

Yeah, the one that England won(!) The only World Cup I didn’t avidly follow and watch. (The only World Cup England won, for Rugby newbs out there).

I’m hoping for a dream home win for England, a win I might actually experience this time! And I’m hyped. Especially so given our tough pool (including, as it does, Wales and Australia): but I say, Bring it on!

Another confession (of sorts) to make.

The Spring Boks, The Wallabies, the mighty All Blacks, The Frogs, Semis and Final. Meh. My favourite time of the tournament is the pool stages. That’s when we get to see plucky teams with plenty of heart that we don’t normally: the Japans, USAs, and Fijis (what’s left of their team that hasn’t been pinched by other nations, that is *cough* Tuilagi *cough*). I just can’t get enough of those minnows!

Which leads me to a novel and, though I do say it myself, genius idea.

After the pool stage, when the top two teams from each pool progress to the Quarter Finals, there should be a parallel Losers World Cup, where all the eliminated teams duke it out for the title of “Best of the Rest”™. A kind of Bronze Final for the entire competition, if you will. Or a Europa League type competition (for the association football fans in the room). You like?

All of this is to say: I’m bouncing up and down and giddy with excitement. Friday can’t come soon enough!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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