Mike McRoberts: Our national game is just too damned dangerous

A match between Wellington Football Club and Avalon to mark the death of 19 year old Daniel Baldwin had to be called off ...
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

A match between Wellington Football Club and Avalon to mark the death of 19 year old Daniel Baldwin had to be called off after a player suffered serious head injury.

OPINION: It's the most sickening feeling seeing your son stretchered off the field and loaded into an ambulance, concussed.

It's time rugby addressed this collision culture that's not going away. If anything, the game is tougher than it has ever been.

A mate of mine who was a senior club rugby coach and involved with college rugby has walked away from coaching in disgust. He puts it like this:

Mike McRoberts says the sport of rugby has become too dangerous.
TV3

Mike McRoberts says the sport of rugby has become too dangerous.

"It's a game being governed by old white guys, being played by young brown ones."

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His point is not racist and it's important: I'd like to see some of the administrators defending the breakdown in a first XV game. The power and potency of the impact is frightening.

And it's not just at the elite level – it filters down through all the grades.

It's just too damned dangerous.

As my mate puts it, "world rugby can't keep congratulating itself on removing concussed players from the field and stopping them playing on. They have to find a way to stop concussion becoming an accepted part of the game."

Why are we so fixated on the symptom and not the cause?

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I've loved rugby as a player and a spectator for as long as I can remember. But something needs to happen, changes need to be made. The enjoyment of our game shouldn't come at any cost.

 - Sunday Star Times

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