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Backchat Kick maulers into touch.

Byline: By Wales on Sunday

In response to SG Wells' letter last week, I fully agree that today's rugby is far too boring and I agree with some of his views.

However, I have my own ideas on how to improve things. It annoys me that ex-international players are always advising kicking to the corners and trying to win penalties. Isn't rugby supposed to be all about handling and running?

The present laws are all in the favour of the obese maulers. For example, team 'A' could score four brilliant corner tries and miss the conversions (20 points), while team 'B' play nothing but a mauling game and score three push-over tries under the posts, with three simple conversions (21 points) to give them victory.

No one can convince me that they are the best team and deserved to win.

My answer is to take ALL conversions from the same spot. I suggest where the 22 meets the touchline at either side of the pitch. I would ban all kicking out of hand except from behind one's own try-line.

As for the rolling maul, why is it an offence to pull it down while rugby is all about pulling down?

If it were not an offence the rolling maul would die within a season! I would also like to see penalty kicks at goal restricted to within the 22.

To win a game from a ridiculous kick like Barry Davies scored for the Scarlets last Saturday night against Leinster just isn't on. Lastly, why do touch judges have to stand like statues at a lineout?

Why aren't they used to stand on the field at one side of the lineout with the referee on the other side? No-one can watch two sides at once.

E Price,

Bargoed

I MUST fully endorse the comments of Edward John of Pontyclun in last week's WoS. With regard to the Llanelli supporter's action against Jonah Lomu, it's all very well for Stuart Gallacher to pretend to be holier than thou but this act, in my view, was typical of Llanelli supporters.

After all, long before the Second World War, it was Llanelli supporters who spat on the visiting All Blacks side because they had given Llanelli their usual thrashing, and after 60 years in the wilderness, when Llanelli started to have some small domestic success, it was Llanelli supporters who started singing and chanting in boozy soccer fashion.

I don't suppose they can be blamed too much, after all they live in a tiny town, described by Wayne Shelford's All Blacks as 'downtown Beirut', and they must be very frustrated.

They are still the only one of the big four clubs never to have beaten the Springboks and now they never will. As for the Heineken Cup, I think they can forget it.

J Davies,

Chepstow

REGARDING the letter by the Ospreys Supporter concerning the treatment he received at Stradey Park, I am a Cardiff supporter, my father and I have been going to Stradey for many years and we have always had to take bad-natured banter.

Two weeks ago we were verbally abused by a gentleman with his grandson (A fine example he set for future Llanelli supporters).

I would also like to comment on Nicky Robinson's treatment.

When kicking for goal he was booed. At all other grounds (even the Arms Park) when this behaviour starts there is always a tannoy announcement calling for respect for all the kickers. This was not done last week.

Home supporters being partisan is part and parcel of the game, but being disrespectful is another matter.

Kelvin Hall

Aberdare

I AM writing in response to Edward John's letter published on 8th January.

I feel that it was unfair of him to single out Stradey Park in the way that he did. Firstly, the clown who squared up to Jonah Lomu was an English football hooligan (banned from many football grounds) and in no way does he represent typical behaviour of Scarlets fans. The crowd with which we stand frown upon bad language and welcome away supporters to stand among us. When we wear our Scarlets jerseys we are ambassadors for our beloved club and behave as such. Secondly, while I agree with the 'partisan' comment it is wrong to accuse us of being hostile to away supporters when a small minority of younger fans misbehave.

I believe that the growing popularity of Welsh rugby has attracted football fans, who clearly do not know how to behave at a rugby match.

I am afraid that the problem is quite widespread. My wife and I were called 'Turk scum' after a match at Neath. My wife has been verbally abused on the streets of Swansea by Ospreys fans, simply for wearing a Scarlets jersey. Maybe Mr John is not used to large, passionate rugby crowds. I wonder what he would make of the behaviour of French fans if he visited Toulouse or Perpignan.

Alwyn Roberts

Skewen

IN RESPONSE to Edward John's letter in last week's WoS, please let me quote a journalist called Peter Bills, who recently wrote the following in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper.

'Llanelli's famous Stradey Park buzzed with noise, colour and emotion. Youngsters from local schools welcomed players onto the field, kids cheered from the sidelines and at the final whistle they scampered over to their favourite players for autographs. What was so appealing about it all was the warmth of greeting for friends and strangers alike. Club officials helped out those who needed assistance and the bars were lively and vibrant... alas it is no longer so at a lot of clubs these days...'

Name and address withheld
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 15, 2006
Words:944
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