With Super Rugby proposing to go retro by reducing the competition team numbers, Andrew Alderson pines for five extra sporting throwbacks.

1. The odd rugby match played in mud and slush

Superb drainage systems are the enemy here, unless teams play at McLean Park after light showers.

Yes, rugby is best to watch at pace with flair and sure footing. Yet every so often comes a hankering for a leveller in the wet, where players recalibrate their skills to different conditions. That doesn't mean craving "the waterpolo test" of 1975 between the All Blacks and Scotland at Lake Eden, or what rugby touring encyclopaedia The Visitors describes as a "morass of mud" when the British Lions met the New Zealand Juniors at Athletic Park in 1977. Sliding through puddles and getting caked in clay can be an almost primal urge growing up at school in New Zealand. Let's usher it in occasionally for nostalgia's sake.


2. Cricketers batting in caps

Brendon McCullum did it on occasion towards the end of his career, and Jeet Raval picked up the sartorial elegance baton in his black baggy this summer. Obviously, after some short-pitched bowling catastrophes in recent years, this should only be condoned against spinners. Despite its fascination value, footage of Michael Holding bruising Brian Close at Old Trafford in 1976 needs to stay where it belongs - in the archive.



Still, a cap leaves the impression of a batsman playing with freedom rather than dehydrating inside some carbon fibre cocoon. Just ask Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards...


3. Golfers digging into their bag of tricks at majors

One of the most recent pieces of ingenuity came from Bubba Watson on the second play-off hole at the 2012 Masters when his drive landed in the pine straw rough on the right, 163 yards from the pin. He hooked a 52-degree wedge past a Carolina cherry tree, a magnolia tree and a television tower to land on the green. The American two-putted to earn a green jacket against South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Another memorable moment came with Seve Ballesteros on the way to his maiden Open title at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1979. His shot landed under a parked car to the right of the 16th. The Spaniard was granted relief, and struck the repositioned ball onto the green, leaving his British audience with mouths agape.


4. Memorable post-match interviews

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, of "flush the dunny and move on" fame in 2009, is probably New Zealand's best incumbent exponent due to his capacity for drollery, but apprentices are always welcome to inject these chats with colour. The next Peter Jones "absolutely buggered" moment or football manager Brian Clough espousing that "I might not be the best manager in the business, but I'm in the top one" can never come soon enough.


5. Global sporting underdogs

Leicester City probably topped a strong list of contenders for this status last year when they won English football's premier league. This year will no doubt start unveiling contenders soon.

Others underdogs, like British ski-jumper Michael 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards, the Jamaican bobsled team and Equatorial Guinean swimmer Eric 'The Eel' Moussambani, are defined more for the goodwill they brought to their respective disciplines than ability.

Edwards finished 73rd and last in his event at the Calgary Winter Olympics; at the same Games the sliders Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Freddy Powell, and late replacement Chris Stokes crashed out but Hollywood was prompted to make a movie about their feat; and Moussambani won his Sydney Olympics 100m freestyle heat in extraordinary circumstances when the two other competitors false started - he had never swum in a 50m pool before arriving in Australia, but the crowd cheered him home.