A little time ago say over half a century when I was to be found at times on the rugby pitch one of my things was doing the kicking. One aspect of this I did not like and that was taking a kick in the last minute or so to win or lose the game. When this happens today my natural sympathy is with the kicker.
It is a pity that the current Rugby World Cup that promised so much has now had finishes and issues in games that have led to acrid debate and among many of the fans anger, rightly or wrongly. I cannot say because I wasn't watching, modern rugby passes me by and there are other things to do.
One reason I do not watch is that the rules have become so complicated it is difficult to work out what is going on and why. When there are ongoing mauls and bump and grind I wonder how it is that all those expert committees have come up with rules that cause this and incidentally create situations where there is endless scope for dispute and misinterpretation.
My view is that it is high time to look at these rules and to try to return the game to those times in the past when it was more open, tackling cleaner and safer and mauling could be curtailed. Keep it simple and as easily understood as possible.
It is possible that the complaints around at present about the level and kind of injuries in schools rugby and the risks inherent in the game in its present form may be attributed to the same problem. In the past I do not recall the level of injuries that appear to be the case today.
As a blog that goes in for irony there is that this much trumpeted World Cup in England has finished up with semi-finals without a home country, in which England was an also-ran and has become an arena for insult and protest. The picture above is January 1954, England v All Blacks, I was there.
Kathleen Ferrier had a song for it, but then her father was born near Aintree Racecourse.