South Africa: Rassie Erasmus' Video Has Lessons for World Rugby On Exposing 'Unconscious Bias' of Officials

opinion

Part of the beauty of rugby -- alongside the extreme physical demands on players, the extraordinary range of skills required, the strategic and tactical variety and the thrill of controlled violence -- is how the game prepares one to face the real world.

The lover of rugby, whether player or spectator, is trained -- no, compelled -- to accept grey areas and to have a very high tolerance for injustice, both common features of real life. Unlike simpler games (soccer or tennis, for example) the rules of rugby are not all crisp and clear-cut. Being a multidimensional full-contact sport, where injury or worse is a constant possibility, its rules are complex, subject to interpretation, and continuously evolving. Even more than other sports then, it is not just about winning: it is about doing your best and enjoying yourself.

It is a truism of rugby that if you want to be assured of winning, you have to utterly dominate your opponent. As between two evenly matched teams, victory and defeat will be almost arbitrary, sometimes coming down to one mistake or a flash of individual brilliance, frequently to the "bounce of the ball" or the "rub of the green" or, even...

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