It is rare that rugby fans can all agree entirely on one thing. Tell one supporter that Marcus Smith is the best fly half in the premiership and they will come straight back with a list of reasons why Farrell, Biggar or Ford is better. However during the rugby championship game between Argentina and Australia, the whole rugby community has united over one specific topic.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this would be an on the field issue, like a refereeing decision or player performance. However, it actually had nothing to do with any action on the pitch.
The issue that had universally united viewers of Saturday night’s game was the standard of the commentating.
Regular watchers of rugby will be used to the familiar tones of Alastair Eykyn, Nick Mullins and Miles Harrison – who always seem to say the right thing, in the right emotion, at the right time. The commentary team for Australia’s victory over Argentina could not be more different.
Before delving into why the commentary was so poor, it is important to add that the team of commentators used by Sky Sports did clearly not have English as a first language and were describing the action for 80 minutes in a language that isn’t there own. Which, in any case should be applauded.
Despite this, viewers received a boring, out of time and often confusing commentary, which arguably ruined the game. Moments of real positivity such as a try would be spoken in the same tone as a description of a ruck.
His willingness to give opinion was also questioned by many.
Some of the commentary in this Australia v Argentina game is extremely irresponsible. Commentator accusing Sanchez of faking an injury despite being forced off with a HIA. Also apparently a shoulder to the head should be legal.
— Steffan Thomas (@Steffan_Thomas1) December 5, 2020
Moreover, the lead commentator seemed unsure of his own facts and words on multiple occasions which unfortunately added to the disjointed experience of watching what could have been a highly enjoyable game.
Supporters quickly took to social media to express their feelings towards the commentary – with some famous rugby players also agreeing.
Tough watching the Argentina v Australia game with the commentary. The guys are doing their best but it’s their second language. Why couldn’t we have the Aussie commentary team or @SkySportsRugby put some English speaking comms on?
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) August 6, 2022
What is the commentary on this Argentina vs Australia match? The worst I’ve ever heard #RugbyChampionship
— Gareth Owen (@Garethowen9) August 6, 2022
— Andrew Tormey (@Andytormey) August 6, 2022