For the love of it!

Random toughts of a Sports Lover…

Sanzar putting a hold on tries?

One issue that is clearly a deciding factor in all the games, is the number of penalties.

Last year we were burried under the penalties resulting from the stricter application of the laws. We had hoped that this year would be better, but alas….

Last year, after week 2 and 14 matches, a total of 273 penalties have been awarded, which equates to 19.5 penalties per match, or a penalty every 4.1 minutes. This year we’ve already seen 301 penalties awarded, which equates to roughly a penalty every 3.7 minutes.

Interestingly, the biggest culprits so far was the Bulls at 14 penalties per match (17 this weekend) followed by the Sharks on 13 (14 penalties this weekend). Last year this time, the biggest culprits were the Hurricanes on 13, followed by the Lions and the Cheetahs on 12.

The most disciplined side is the Blues, conceding 7 per match so far, followed by the Stormers on 7.5.

This past weekend, the winning sides conceded 1.24 penalties for every penalty the losing team conceded. How a winning team like this weekend, the Bulls with 51-19 conceded 17 penalties to the Cheetahs 7, and still managed to thrash the Cheetahs, is just mind boggling…Similarly, the Chiefs tally this weekend was 14, convincingly beating the Blues who only conceded 5 penalties.

Clearly, penalties are on the increase. If the powers that be want a more free flowing game, they should backoff on the penalty laws, and perhaps reduce the laws at the breakdowns to increase the flow of play.

The graph below indicates it clearly. The increase in penalties over the years is clearly pushing down the number of tries. Especially since 2011. It would be interesting to see how this trend would look for the Varsity Cup, with the new points system. It’s been clear from my viewing so far that teams are less prone to go for posts and rather opt for lineouts or scrums in order to score 8 points vs 2.


But whatever these Sanzar referee’s think they’re doing to increase the viewership and entertainment value of Rugby Union in the southern hemisphere, it’s not working! Clearly it has the opposite effect!


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