Grand Finals – great fun or great nightmares

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General rugby shot – not from Grand Finals

Father’s day was rugby union Grand Final day for my 12 year old son and the Greens. What a great, fun season they have had and to their credit and their great coaches they were undefeated in their stream.

The team that they were in these Grand Finals against  had been played during the season and the Greens won the match, quite comprehensively.

Word had filtered through after the semi finals, that the make up of this team they would verse was very different to when they were first played. So there were many nerves before the big day.

It has to be said that all this is within the rules, but whether it is good sportsmanship is another issue.

Anyway, the two teams lined up on the field at 10am and honestly it looked like 5 of the opposition were in the wrong age group, a full head and a half taller and bigger than our biggest player and maybe two heads taller and bigger than our smallest players.

The first question is how can a team be so different between a round 3 match and finals? I think the answer is obvious, but I don’t believe this is in the spirit of youth sport.

It was carnage for my sons team, not score wise but injury wise – many very dangerous high tackles and a host of other injuries, which I don’t believe were out of malice, but the kids were so much bigger and taller and our team were just at that dangerous height. It was so frequent the ref decided to ignore it. If those five big players were exchanged for just average sizes 12 year olds, there would have been a fair match with much fewer injuries.

My personal opinion is that it is not good sportsmanship to bring in players or stack a team just in the name of winning and is this a real case for youth rugby from 10 years and up be weighted, so these dangerous disparities with size don’t occur. It is the coaches who do it, but it is not them who are getting beaten up on the field.

I would be interested to hear what you think?  Maybe its me who has to change my views to winning is everything.

Sue

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One comment

  1. It’s a bit scary to think of kids being put in danger for the sake of what, for most, is just a game. I’m sure the coaches have a desire to win but I’ll bet they get an amount of pressure from parents too. I feel for the kids that weren’t allowed to play for the sake of winning too. I’d agree that weighting in that age group seems like a good idea.

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