Episode 7: Rugby Championship Kicks Off

While Jake's dog chews a squeak toy in the background, the brothers talk about the first round of the Rugby Championship. Among other things, the brothers talk about how rugby's refereeing sets it apart from most American sports and wade into expected returns from different decisions made from penalties. Jake is eager to turn the conversation back to America, while Ethan seems to just want good rugby.

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  1. Jono Mac says:

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the podcasts, I’m really enjoying them. Just a suggestion, besides Itunes, PlayerFM is a great website or platform to publish your podcasts on, which you might want to look into.

    Perhaps I can shed some light on the lower attendances this year that you have picked up on, both in the Rugby Championship, but more specifically in Super Rugby.

    From a South African perspective and in my opinion, there is a combination of factors:

    1. First and foremost is the constant interference from the current ANC Government into SA Rugby, with regards to racial quotas for the team, the selection of the coaching staff and its interference with the sports’ governing body SARU. This is obviously a VERY sensitive topic, but regardless of the governments’ intent (a discussion all on its own), people are voting with their feet and remotes, with TV figures are down too.

    2. Following this, the overall socio economic situation in South Africa is not great at the moment, with the country facing an ever expanding list of issues. Thus, when your country is falling apart; rugby, no matter how much you enjoy it, is solemnly put into perspective.

    3. Most people are also tired and very frustrated with the continued limited ‘style’ of play from the SA sides, which is boring, out-dated and very one dimensional. Most SA coaches just don't seem to see the light and stubbornly insist on playing "domkrag" rugby. ('domkrag' = dumb strength), the exception being the Lions.

    4. The conference system that has been implemented this year is also broken, as evidenced by the lopsided quarterfinals. Most people hate it across the board, as it simply duplicates the Currie Cup (our own domestic competition). You can also make an argument that the season is simply just way too long, with too many meaningless games being the result.

    I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m overly negative… on the plus side & weirdly, I think attendance at some Varsity & big High Schools games are better than Super Rugby.

    Anyway, thanks again and keep up the great work!


    Jono Mac

    1. Frechette says:


      Thanks for the input! I was aware of the quotas and that many fans are not entirely happy, but did not realize that would spill over into attendance. Your points about style of play and the conferences make a lot of sense to me and reinforce the general sense of things I'd gathered. You sound realistic, not negative.


    2. Frechette says:


      I think you're in business at PlayerFM. Though it seemed so easy, maybe I don't have it right. Try this: https://player.fm/series/the-carter-divide

      Thanks again,

      1. Jono says:

        Hi Ethan,

        Working perfectly, thanks!

  2. Frechette says:


    That's a much better comment than our (or at least my) podcast chatter deserves! I am extremely pleased to now know the word domkrag. We will get our crack staff looking into what we need to do to be on PlayerFM.

    Quite nice to know someone is out there listening. Thanks for the support.


  3. Nick Ricono says:

    Thanks very much you two. Very enjoyable conversation. I like the Rugby vs. US sport perspective that you guys bring. I especially liked the dog with the squeaky toy. He/she had some great input at times! Jake, in all seriousness, your stats from PRO Rugby were outstanding. They provided some very interesting and useful information coming from a referee's perspective. Regarding the scrum: yes it is difficult to referee at the top level. The main problem (especially in the northern hemisphere) is that teams do not want to get the ball out of the scrum. They would rather try to gain some semblance of dominance and win a penalty to kick for touch or kick for goal. A lot has to do with the weather up there where it is harder to handle the ball vs. dry weather in the southern hem (except for New Zealand where it rains all the time...but they are just freaks).

    When reffing the scrum, we try to break it down as far as we can to limit variables. #1 is that the binds have to be right. Tight head (TH) must bind on the back and not on the arm. Because the TH binds over the top, he can very easily use his elbow or his bind to control the arm of the LH. It is critical the TH is off the arm. The LH must bind above the midline of the body and keep their elbow out. LH pulling down and out on a TH will destabilize the scrum. #2 is the body angles at set up must be straight. Anyone setting up at an angle is trying to gain an advantage. A LH can especially affect the scrum by boring in on the TH. That is made easier when LH pulls out on the jersey. So binds and angles are what we are looking for first. Get those right and you are a long way to success in the scrum. Keep it up fellas and I'll keep listening in! Thanks!

    1. Frechette says:

      Cheers! We appreciate the insight!

      1. Frechette says:

        I have been thinking of getting my own squeak-toy, so i can provide insight at least as valuable as the dog's. Fantastic to get a referee's perspective. My usual communications from you lot have historically been limited to a pair of knowingly upraised eyebrows and an emphatically straight arm. Really great analysis from you and much appreciated.


  4. Keith york says:

    Awesome podcasts! Wish there was a new one everyday! Keppra up the great work

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