Never has there been so much controversy over so little that was so important.

Charging down a conversion attempt has long been a part of rugby union’s laws but I am glad that since France lost to South Africa by the odd point in 57 in the World Cup quarter-final in Paris on Sunday that people are now questioning if that rugby law is an ass – it is, and I am calling for the law to be scrapped and replaced with conversions from anywhere the kicker wants with no attempts to interfere by the opposition.

Let’s examine the facts of what happened. He is a superstar of world rugby and he proved it with his overall performance against France but Cheslin Kolbe is not unique in charging down a conversion. Yes, it is very rare for such an eventuality to happen in elite level rugby but you see it quite a lot in the junior level. Since the weekend there has been a growing clamour for Kolbe's action to be overturned, mostly by the French fans who dug up some footage that shows that Kolbe broke from behind the goal line to confront Thomas Ramos before the French full-back had started his run up to take the kick. 

Having viewed it many times, I agree that Kolbe broke early because he would have needed to be Usain Bolt at his peak to cover the distance in such a short time. Kolbe is very fast but not that fast – his chargedown was illegal and the conversion should have been allowed to be retaken. That the illegality was not picked up was the fault of the match officials and like so much of the refereeing at this World Cup, that was down to sheer incompetence other than bias, unconscious or otherwise. 

In any case had the conversion attempt not been charged down, Ramos may well have missed the kick at goal so it is frankly ludicrous to ask for the result to be overturned.  

It was very clever play by Kolbe to make his first-ever conversion chargedown as he was familiar with Ramos’s kicking action from their time together at Toulouse. He may well have done so legally, but the footage available on social media was very damning – though did some French geek alter it with AI or something? That’s the way you have to think these days. 

Rugby’s laws are definite – once the match is over you cannot alter the result, even with so much at stake. What needs to be changed is the conversion law itself. 

Ask yourself what would you rather see – a forward rumble to score under the posts or a blistering multi-player move or piece of individual brilliance that sees a try achieved far out on the wing. Yet the score under the posts is rewarded with an easy conversion, almost an automatic seven points, while the more entertaining score only earns a kick at goal from a wide angle that is always missable.

In the true spirit of rugby, tries should be rewarded equally no matter where they are scored. After all, why is a try called a try? As any rugby buff would tell you, it’s because when the laws were made back when Queen Victoria was on the the throne, the aim of the game was to touch the ball down over your opponent’s goal line to earn the right to ‘try’ a kick at goal. 

Personally I have always thought it was completely bonkers that players are allowed to run at conversion kickers. If you don’t stand still at a penalty attempt, the referee can order a re-take, but there’s no such protection for those trying to earn the extra two points for their team. It’s illogical, it’s nuts, and World Rugby should start with an immediate ban on the practice before moving to a new conversion law as I have suggested above.

I am not just mentioning the Kolbe incident because my personal tips for the trophy exited at the hands of the World Champions. Last week I predicted a final between Ireland and France, and while the former disappointed with the All Blacks defending magnificently and clearly outsmarting the world’s No 1 side – a ranking they have duly lost – I felt France should have won their match comfortably and they let the Springboks back into the game too easily.    

On the form they showed at the weekend, New Zealand are a shoo-in against Argentina on Friday, while the other semi-final on Saturday is a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final and I expect the same result. The Springboks have a better team than four years ago, and England have regressed. 

I remind you that the man who clinched the match for South Africa with the second try of the game was none other than Cheslin Kolbe. He didn’t have to charge down any English conversion attempts because they did not get any, and I don’t think they will this time either.