Saturday, 19 September 2015
When Scrobs was an enthusiastic rugby player, one of his jobs was doing the kicking.
Back in the dirty old nineteen sixties and seventies, rugby balls were best described my that marvellous commentator and writer, Michael Green, where he mentioned a rugby ball used in Coarse Rugby would be nearly round, underinflated and soggy in the extreme!
Scrobs was expected to kick goals and conversions with this bit of kit, and sometimes they did in fact scrape over the crossbar... But back then, there was a king among kickers, and he was Bob Hiller, of Harlequins and England.
Hiller kicked properly, by using the toecap of his boot, and sighting up directly in line with the centre of the posts, and belting the ball through on numerous occasions. He was also a good drop-goal kicker too, but that was another action.
So this method became de-rigeur for Scrobs, and some success was achieved, even with the dreadful ball Michael Green described. But then there was a sort of earth-movement, and kickers started to kick with their insteps, and even worse, round the corner!
Disgraceful behaviour! Some players even placed the ball on a mound of dirt, in a torpedo fashion, and kicked the end!
I've never understood how accuracy could be maintained by this method, and even watching the best kicker ever, Johnny Wilkinson, I could never see how he could line up with the sort of accuracy that one can maintain when one kicks in line with the posts!
Now the glorious World Cup is upon us, I hope to see at least one player kicking properly, using the best piece of footwear he can buy - with a proper, solid toe-cap!