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NOLA Gold line up

The Major League Rugby contest between RUNY and NOLA Gold was aired on last Saturday’s ESPN+ television schedule. It provided a look at the broadcast and offered an example of the difference in rugby television in America from today compared with before.

Any viewer turning in rugby two decades ago, would have seen video that resembled the amateur taping of a high-school football game. The angle would have been low, offering a field length view of the match, without any high-on-the-stands professional camera work.

The RUNY-NOLA match demonstrated the significant improvement of rugby camera placement these past twenty or so years. In addition, the high position facilitated closeups of the action that assisted in the describing what was happening on the field via tight shots of scrums, mauls, and rucks.

However, the broadcasters tended to commit two oversights; (1) explaining minutia about the game by filling in every second with chatter followed by more chatter, and (2) punctuating all the action on the pitch with an exclamation point! A key finding in the television airing of minor sports in the USA, where the anchors are former players/participants, is a lack of broadcast savvy, and the tendency to spew reams of facts and figures at the viewer.

Admittedly, the neophyte who turns in rugby without a clue as to how it is played, needs some guidance as the laws. But, most of the viewers are current or past players who require no explanation of the rules.

RUNY won the game 26-24 in an enlivening contest that featured some slick ball handing, and break away runs, which were exciting to watch.

The RUNY blue and orange kit colors come from the tricolor flag of New York State. (Blue. White. Orange.) These colors can also be seen on the NY Mets MLB team, and on the NY Islanders hockey franchise.