Bring back the ruck
Fifty years ago the ruck ruled the game of rugby. The All Blacks were fearless and ferocious ruckers and pretty much ruled the ruck in any test match they played.
Tacklers predominantly tackled ball carriers around the lower legs or ankles, bringing them to the ground. Arriving players would bind around teammates and attempt to ruck the ball (and sometimes the ball carrier) back to their side of the ruck and win the ball with their feet in a backwards raking action known as rucking. Such players at the tackle or subsequent ruck occasionally received a few sprig marks around their bodies but were seldom seriously injured.
The powers-that-be who ruled rugby from the Northern Hemisphere were sick of being beaten by Southern Hemisphere teams with their superior rucking skills so they changed the laws to put more emphasis on mauling and less on rucking.
Rucking as we knew it has effectively disappeared from the game.
In mauling, the ball is up off the ground so the style of tackling has changed to reflect this style of play. Nowadays, tackles are usually initiated around the upper and not the lower body.
Consequently, there are far more and far bigger collisions between ball carriers and tacklers. This has led to a significant increase in serious injuries, particularly head injuries.
The five New Zealand teams competing in Super Aotearoa Rugby have seen their squads almost decimated by serious injuries and All Black coaches must be becoming concerned at the loss of some top All Black contenders.
The fall in rugby playing numbers suggests that parents are thinking twice about letting their sons and daughters get involved with such a dangerous sport.
About 20 years ago there was a call to "Bring back Buck (Shelford)" into the All Blacks to harden the team up. Maybe it is time to take up the call "Bring back the ruck!" and make the game safer for the players.
Small businesses get helping hand from Government
There we go again, another move to sting us and bolster foreign corporations at the expense of the poor (Bags on the way out, Chronicle, July 24).
The requirement to hire wheelie bins is just that. At present, being a good citizen, I recycle. My disposable rubbish amounts to one bag every three months, costing $4.50, and rising constantly. Say 50c per bag and 42c per week as opposed to $4.60 per week for the bin which would hardly get used.
For pensioners that is already far too much. For families on benefits or minimum wage the cost of $7-$10 per week, or even more, is totally unaffordable.
So, Mr Vinsen, this may be a piddle in the pond to you with your comfortable income but for many it is an extra burden.
Guess what, public rubbish bins are going to take even more of a thrashing, come on WDC pull finger and provide a service.
No matter what the referendum said, if the poor weren't thoroughly canvassed it is not a representative figure for our city.
Remember we have 100s of 1000s living in poverty in Aotearoa, many of them live near you. Please tell me why this system could not still use stickers on the bins. Because it's just another rort of the little people.
Who's to blame?
Re letter (Chronicle, July 23) where Mr K A Benfell suggested President Trump could be blamed for the Tiwai Point smelter shutdown and the water shortage in Auckland.
This idea may gain traction after Trump's brilliant performance in his cognitive test. Who else could tell the difference between an "elephant and a duck"?