Even by the battle-scarred standards of a
veteran rugby writer, Greg Growden’s attack this morning on rugby sevens in general and the Commonwealth Games sevens in
particular was a little harsh.

It’s understandable that three of the four
local Super 14 franchises are annoyed the stars they sent to Melbourne were
injured, but a smart ARU might have noticed the opportunity the Sevens
represented in Melbourne – it’s a simple enough game that Victorians can enjoy
it.

And enjoy it they did. The circus
atmosphere of a good sevens tournament could well be the way to sneak a little
rugby into the aerial ping pong heartland. The big opportunity for the ARU
would be to try to grab a leg of the IRB Sevens series for Melbourne. Bleak City would do
the thing well, have a great party in the process and maybe spark a little more
interest in the real game in the process.

And speaking of the real game, of course Ireland had to beat England over the weekend just after St Patrick’s Day – but what must the
Wallabies be thinking, given that the English side that thumped them late last
year has just lost consecutive tests to Ireland, France
and Scotland?

In the Super 14, former All Blacks coach
John Mitchell is saying nice things about the Waratahs’ style. The pleasing thing about the
Tahs v Force match was the way both teams were trying to keep the ball alive,
popping it from the deck, looking for the offload and trying to avoid rucks and
mauls. They must have been studying Crikey.

For Queensland, the
loss of Latham for an unknown period on top of Elton Flatley’s retirement
probably means they’ll be happy to just finish the season in front of the
Force. At least Latham’s rib injury in Melbourne meant the
doctors discovered he has been playing with broken ribs for some time – and
has still been the best Australian full back going round.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW