Wednesday 8 October 2014

Zero tolerance in Rugby League

In certain chess events (Olympiads, Candidates matches etc) you will be forfeited if you are not at the board at the official starting time. The oft cited reason is that chess should be like other professional sports, and they manage to start on time. Of course this claim does not always stand up to closer scrutiny, and an incident from the 2014 National Rugby League Grand Final in Australia shows this.
South Sydney had not won (or even played) a Grand Final for 43 years, and there opponents, the Canterbury Bulldogs decided to try an exploit that. While the South Sydney team ran out on the field at the correct time, Canterbury waited for 5 minutes before emerging from the dressing rooms, hoping that the extra wait would throw South's off their game. It turned out that it did not work and South's scored an emphatic victory.
Roy Masters (who knows a thing or two about chess*) reports on the incident. The take away quote is "they can't start without us". Of course if this was a chess event, there may not have been a match played at all, and South's could have taken the trophy home a couple of hours earlier.

*He once described two star wingers as being "like bishops of opposite colours" as they never came into direct contact during a game he was reporting on.

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