Sports Letters: Make penalty fit the crime

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Sir: I would maintain that for years the All Blacks have exploited the rules of the game in order to master their opponents. And although the referees have their part to play the rules need adjustment too.

There needs to be a penalty in front of the posts on the 22 line for the more outrageous crimes, which could easily be defined and should include the tackle after the opponent has kicked the ball, stamping and deliberate fouls on players at the bottom of scrums.

But there should also be a much more free use of the penalty try, which suffers from the need for certainty if the infringement hadn't taken place. A penalty try should be awarded against any side that commits a foul in order to prevent a try (which technically only 'might' have been scored).

Unless the rules can sort out the cynical fouls, as displayed by the All Blacks and, to be fair, other teams (but less obviously) the whole flow of the game will be affected.

Yours sincerely,


Ashford, Kent

6 December