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Watch: Chris Sutton Calls For An End To Scrums In Lively ‘Rugby Vs. Football’ Debate

Sutton Football v Rugby

BT Sport broadcast a live ‘football vs. rugby’ debate on Saturday, and with Chris Sutton and Robbie Savage involved, things were always going to get feisty.

The two outspoken pundits are normally on differing sides of any given topic, but on this occasion they were on the same side, teaming up with Steve McManaman to take on Craig Doyle, Lawrence Dallaglio and Pundit Arena’s own Andy Goode.

Both sides had plenty to argue and defend their sport with, while criticising aspects of the other. Referees, fan behaviour and the speed (or lack thereof) were big arguing points, along with the preconceived idea of a class divide between the two sports (or, as Sutton put it, “we have been to Twickenham, and everybody’s having a pork pie out of the back of a Range Rover.”)

Among the topics discussed were video-assisted refereeing, which of course is a new concept in football but one that is commonplace in rugby. The football side were sceptical of the introduction of VAR particularly if it meant that matches were stopped for a significant period while the referee had to go upstairs for a decision on a particular incident.

Another topic of discussion was players’ verbal abuse of referees. Incidents of players shouting obscenities at the referee is a common sight in football, whereas in rugby only the captain is allowed to discuss matters with the match official.

Sutton’s time to shine, however, came when he was asked if football could learn anything from rugby. Not only did he say “no”, he then instructed his debating opponents on how rugby could be improved:

“I would like to see rugby…the scrummaging situation sorted out. That’s what I would like. It’s a game within a game, there are little side issues all the time, and it wastes too much time.”

The results of the debate, as voted on by the BT Sport viewers, were pretty conclusive (though the fact that the pool was tweeted out by the football account may have had something to do with the one-sidedness of the result):

The full debate, should you wish to judge for yourself, can be found below.


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Author: The PA Team

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