Friday, September 21, 2007

Japanese rugby

Rugby has been in the news recently due to that little festival of booty doom going on in France. Our cousins in the commonwealth are consumed with envy and anger at present, since once again all the Northern Hemisphere teams have made a poor showing - all the Northern Hemisphere teams, that is, except Japan, which has conducted itself exceptionally well in its World Cup matches so far. To wit, the Japanese team (the Brave Blossoms) have lost 3 matches:
  • Australia 91-3
  • Fiji 35-31
  • Wales 72-18
These are, believe it or not, good results by Japanese standards. For example, the team which lost to Australia was really "Japan B", and yet they lost by a smaller margin than against Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup. The team which played Fiji received a standing ovation from the crowd, and apparently was cheered for several minutes. If Japan beat Canada they may leave the contest with more points than ever before. The dizzying heights of modern Japanese rugby!

So why is Japanese rugby so bad, in a country of 120 million quite sports mad people? Some people say that it is because the Japanese are so small, but I don't believe this - out of 120 million people you can find 15 men big enough to play rugby and good enough to do so internationally. I think you don't have to look any further than the picture at the top of the page for the reason. I took it in Tottori but I think it reflects the condition of rugby across Japan - gravel pitches and very old fashioned training methods. No-one who learns rugby on a gravel pitch will ever amount to anything, especially when their scrum machine could double as a railway buffer. But there is hope yet! In order to combat the urban heat island of Tokyo, every school in Tokyo is going to cover its playing fields with grass in the next 2 years. So 10 years from now maybe some players with real rugby experience will filter through to the national team...

3 Comments:

Blogger Emily said...

Um, so what does that pic say about Japanese Rugby?

9:14 PM  
Blogger Sir S said...

It's a scrummaging machine made of wood, and falling apart - people are meant to push onto the padded parts as if they are in a scrum with actual people. And it is placed on a gravel pitch, so after they finish practising scrummaging on that ancient piece of wood they have to practise tackling on the gravel...

2:52 PM  
Blogger Sgt M said...

at least if they trained on that thing as if it was padded, they would become the hardest men in the world of rugby.....

5:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home