I have to admit I’ve always been frustrated with the flow of rugby. Not the offshoot of “rugby league” is any better — come on, folks, just put on pads and play gridiron football if you’re going to run things that way — but traditional rugby union just stops and starts far too often.
It’s not just me. The Economist sees the gamesmanship in scrums in particular as a thorny problem with no easy solution.
In the infamously limp match between Scotland and Wales, only three of the 13 scrums awarded were properly contested. Whole minutes at a time ticked by with no action. Craig Joubert, the South African referee, grew frustrated. So did the players. So did television viewers. And so did the 67,000 who had paid to watch.