In rugby, there is a style of game that is attractive to watch and that is where a team advances by passing the ball back and forth among teammates while running, and even when there is a breakdown due to a dropped pass or a tackle, quickly launch a second or even third phase by getting the ball out to its fast running backs. This attacking style is fun to watch.
Then there is the slower defensive game where the burly forwards dominate and ground is gained slowly with the ball frequently obscured by the masses of players converged on it and piled on top of one another, with the referee then blowing the whistle for a penalty or to start a set piece scrum. This game is definitely not as exciting to watch but is often the option chosen when playing in rain and the ground is muddy that makes the ball and ground slippery and the fast passing game difficult to pull off. Some teams choose the dour defensive game as a strategy even when the weather conditions do not require it
Robert Kitson clearly prefers the fast game and he chides England for playing ‘robotic’ rugby against Japan in the current World Cup, when they scored all of their 27 points by penalties and drop goals, all kicked by their incredibly accurate fly half George Ford. Kitson says that Portugal (who lost to Wales) and Uruguay (who lost to France) and Fiji (who also lost to Wales) are playing better rugby even as they lost to higher ranked teams.
While fans of rugby who have no strong partisan allegiances will clearly prefer the fast, open style because it is so entertaining, those who are ardent supporters of their team will undoubtedly prefer an ugly win to a pretty loss.
My high school team in Sri Lanka consistently had one of the best school rugby teams in the country. For a few years they had a coach who carried the desire for fast, attacking play to the extreme. The players were forbidden from doing the standard defensive move of kicks to touch to relieve pressure even when they were deep in their own territory or even behind their own goal line. They always had to run and pass the ball. This gave their opponents chances to win ugly because since they knew that our team would not kick the ball to touch, they could anticipate better what our team would do and move their own defensive players into attacking positions.
So while my school team was the most fun to watch, and they won a lot because the coach was very talented in teaching them how to play this type of game and motivating them to do so, they were vulnerable to opponents who executed a careful game plan that could exploit the lack of defensive plays.