Opinion: 'The Breakdown' on Sky Sport a stale bore-fest

The Breakdown screens on Tuesdays. Photo: YouTube
The Breakdown screens on Tuesdays. Photo: YouTube
In rugby terminology, a 'breakdown' is used to describe for the short period of open play immediately after a tackle and before and during the ensuing ruck. Unfortunately, SKY Sport's rugby panel show, The Breakdown, appears to have taken the more commonly known definition of a mechanical failure.

If you haven't had the pleasure of watching our premier rugby show, it consists of presenters and players of yesteryear 'breaking down' the weekend's Super Rugby action with as little quality banter as possible.

If I want to be run through what went wrong and what went right for the New Zealand teams during the latest round of Super Rugby, I can probably have it delivered in a far more engaging and entertaining fashion by any Joe Blogs down at the local dive bar.

Last week All Blacks and Chiefs flanker Sam Cane appeared on the show as the featured guest and offered up the same amount of charisma you'd expect from an All Black who looked like he knew every member of the New Zealand Rugby PR team was watching his every move.

Considering the show is uploaded to the All Blacks YouTube page the day after it's broadcast on a Tuesday, it's easy to see the fun police have a finger in the pie.

The thing that struck a chord with me during the bore-fest was when Cane was asked for his thoughts about the state of Super Rugby this season.

After heaping praise on the move to 7.05pm kick-off times, he said: "I think the other thing we can do is in the media and just in general stop talking the comp down.

"Talk about the positives... and how good it's going and feed off that rather than focusing on the couple of things that aren't quite right."

The ironic thing is that Cane's choice of medium to express this view was on a show that is a prime example of everything wrong with Super Rugby and why, outside of New Zealand derbies, it's gone stale.

What we need is a rugby equivalent of The Matty Johns Show - a weekly rugby league show that spends as much time delving into the tactical and serious side of the game as it does taking the mickey out of the sport and their guests.

It's not like we're incapable of this sort of humour as a country - we had Sports Cafe for a decade.

Most major sports around the world have some sort of equivalent show that bails up guests, has the panel in stitches and plays practical jokes, but rugby in New Zealand has nothing. And it's a shame because it would be great for those of us that love the sport and the characters.

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