Rules are rules but do they give the fairest outcome?

University captain Jack McHugh (left) and Harbour skipper Charles Elton get to touch  the prize...
University captain Jack McHugh (left) and Harbour skipper Charles Elton. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Harbour coach Ryan Nicholas is happy to share the premier title.

University captain Jack McHugh was not complaining about the rules either.

But on balance, University ought to be crowned champion, surely?

The teams battled to a 30-30 stalemate in a thrilling final at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday. No-one deserved to lose that contest but University ought to take the shield back to its clubrooms.

The rules for the final state if the score is still even after 10 minutes of extra time each way and both sides have scored the same number of tries in the game, then the title will be shared.

The rules are clear but are they fair?

Perhaps another tiebreaker should be included where the top qualifying team claims the prize.

University beat Harbour in both round-robin games during the season and was the top qualifier for the playoffs.

Nicholas was not persuaded by that argument, nor was McHugh.

"The rules are the rules and it will go down in history as a banner for Harbour," Nicolas said.

"The whole point of having finals rugby is to weed out the other teams and then go toe to toe to see who is the best team.

"I’d like to see what they do in the old Heineken Cup and maybe have a goal kick-off," he joked.

"That would have been interesting."

McHugh agreed — about the rules at least.

"You can look at it a hundred different ways and separate it here and there but I think it was fair," McHugh said.

"We played the final and we couldn’t be separated.

"It is Harbour’s first banner and you’ve got to celebrate even if you do draw."

As for who got to take the shield back to their clubrooms first, McHugh suggested rock, scissors, paper.

Let’s hope it does not come to that next year.

Add a Comment