If England are being more closely watched by the referees (and the fact that the Welsh were not penalized as severely as the English supports this notion) I think this is completely appropriate. The onus is then on the team to keep a good ‘reputation’ by respecting the laws.
None of this compares however to the feeling i get while watching test rugby. Since the skill level is so high, the referees generally allow many things that would be free-kicks or penalties at the amateur level. The best example is the use of hands in the ruck. It is generally now accepted that the ball carrier will twist his body (when possible) and stick the ball out of the back of the ruck. It is very rare these days to actually see other participants in the ruck actually using their feet to free-up the ball.
Despite recent set backs and on the heels of the Beijing games, the International Rugby Board (IRB) continues its push for the inclusion of sevens rugby in the Olympics with a new promotional video (see below). Stressing the common ideals of fair play and friendship, the video is the latest move by the IRB after failing in 2005 to secure a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
It seems that lately, or ever since the World Cup of 2007, teams, players, executives and fans have been less than pleased with the way certain teams choose to play rugby. This past Saturday on…
For 65 minutes on Saturday, every English fan of rugby union watched with bated breath as two young, inexperienced French half-backs poked and prodded their countrymen to within 3 points of their opponents, the aging English juggernaut.