- 20 Oct 07, 08:13 AM
Honesty is the best thing I think. You see, the editor of the blog wants us all to pick our team of the tournament.
But I don’t want to. I want to talk about how rugby needs to get its act together. From a rugby point of view, this has been the worst ever world cup.
I was sitting in the Stade de France, salivating at the prospect of the final and hoping for an open game of flowing rugby. Tries, as my co-commentator Bill Johnstone always says, are the coinage of the game.
And although Mark Cueto, for England, came close it is all too apparent that this world cup has been dominated by what the French call the coup de pied.
It all started with the Argentineans. They had been training with the Miami Dolphins, but they booted the ball up in the air in that first game of the world cup, and when they beat France they charted a “coup de pied” course for the rest of the tournament. Everyone copied what they had done and a kicking game was seen as the way to bread down defences.
So I am sad. The world cup was superb in its intrigue, Portugal and England provided the upsets, but our great game needs freed up to include more action.
I don’t like rugby when it is dominated by tactical keeping. Or as we used to call it up and unders.
So, what to do? Take the wing forwards off the pitch and reduce teams to thirteen a side? Move defences back by five yards.
Well, I actually believe that with rugby pitches staying the same size for a hundred years while players are bigger and fitter and faster there is an obvious answer.
Sorry, but there are too many players on the pitch nowadays.
John Beattie is a former Scotland international who hosts radio and TV programmes for BBC Scotland.