The Rugby Groud Guide

About Me

From "Midnight Rugby", by Stephen Jones

"I love stadiums. Each of the arenas where rugby is played is emphatically different; each has its own appearance, atmosphere and facilities, its own concept of design, whether uniform, even bowl-like, or piecemeal, bunged together bit by bit as each wedge of cash has become available. Their greatness or otherwise lies in something other than the identity of the team that plays in them, lies even in something other than the atmosphere created by the crowd there."

 

Ask yourself if the following scenario sounds familiar. You take half a day off work. As you set off north (or south, east or west) it starts to sleet. There are traffic jams on the M1, M6, M5 or M40 (or, indeed, all four). By the time you've found somewhere to park, struggled to find the ground, and to get through the turnstiles, your team is already losing. And it all goes downhill from there. Your feet slowly freeze to the floor. You finally arrive back home at three in the morning, and wake your partner up with: "It was great, I had a wonderful time." And you mean it.

 

If this rings true, then this site is for you.

 

First of all, I had better make a confession. I have long considered myself a fan of the round, rather than the oval, ball game. In the past I have made an annual pilgrimage to Twickenham, usually for a club final, but my excursions to watch football have always outnumbered those to see rugby. 



Partly this was down to simple choice. There are loads more first-class football teams here in London than there are rugby. After all, of the four teams that contest the annual season opener at Twickenham only one - Harlequins - plays in the capital. The other three have their home grounds in High Wycombe, Reading and Watford, and not even the most rose-tinted estate agent would claim these were part of London. 



But in recent seasons I have been watching more rugby. Perhaps because it is cheaper to buy tickets which are easier to obtain. Perhaps I have simply grown to enjoy the more intimate atmosphere of smaller grounds. Perhaps I have just got fed up with the constant hype that constantly surrounds the football premiership, accompanied by the tittle tattle that dominates even broadsheet sports pages.

 

Rugby supporters are the lifeblood of the game, and always have been. But with the stampede into professionalism and increasingly odd, television-driven dates and times for games, life is much easier for the armchair supporter than for those who trail to distant cities for an evening kick-off during a November blizzard. Those who bother to make such a trip deserve all the support they can get, but in these increasingly commercialised times the humble  travelling supporter can often feel forgotten in the hurly-burly of corporate packaging.

 

Mike Miles, Publisher

www.scrumdown.org.uk 

 



 

The Championship Starts (Tue, 15 Oct 2019)
Greene King Championship London Scottish (13) v Newcastle Falcons (17) The Athletic Ground Saturday October 12,2019 The 2019/20 Greene King Championship season kicked off this weekend, though you would have been forgiven for not noticing. Probably something to do with a World Cup taking place on the other side of the world. Nevertheless, over a … Continue reading The Championship Starts
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Premiership Rugby Cup (Tue, 24 Sep 2019)
There is a small matter of a World Cup taking place at the moment. It kicked off last Friday (September 20) and will dominate coverage of the sport for the next six weeks. As a consequence, the English domestic season, which normally starts at the beginning of September, was put back. The Gallagher Premiership has … Continue reading Premiership Rugby Cup
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Rugby’s heavyweights ensure World Cup will garner Japan only fleeting prestige (Tue, 03 Sep 2019)
Rugby union is turning Japanese, but not for long. Once the World Cup is presented in Yokohama on 2 November and the bunting is swept up the hosts, like the other tier-two and -three nations making up the numbers, will slip back into relative obscurity for the next four years. Some will emerge briefly for … Continue reading Rugby’s heavyweights ensure World Cup will garner Japan only fleeting prestige
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Is Relegation on the way out? (Tue, 06 Aug 2019)
Rugby union coverage, what there is, is dominated by the up-coming Japan world cup. The club game ( the Premiership doesn’t start until mid-October) barely rates a mention, but on September 13, the RFU Council will meet to vote on a controversial proposal to create a 13-team Premiership; should the move be passed, it’s expected … Continue reading Is Relegation on the way out?
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For once, Football seems intent on imitating Rugby (Tue, 14 May 2019)
Saracens have just regained their European crown at the expense of holders Leinster. Anyone watching the game could not have failed to notice, be it on the corner flags or the obligatory bottles of “champagne” the Saracens players were spraying over each other after their victory, that Heineken were the sponsors. The competition is now … Continue reading For once, Football seems intent on imitating Rugby
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