England vs Italy

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England vs Italy

Post by nathan on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 9:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

28 players that have been kept.

Forwards (16): Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Jamie George (Saracens), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Backs (12): Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Anthony Watson (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:08 am

England did try to adapt in the first half. Haskell specifically asked Poite if grabbing hold of an Italian player during clear-out could form a ruck (it could) because that's what he had started doing, but the referee was still calling "tackle only".

Hartley also wanted clarity on where Italian players could stand because the immediate tackle area means it ought not to have been the free-for-all it sometimes became.

Part of the problem, is that the players were having to wait for Poite to decide what he was going to call. Instead, they wanted to anticipate his call, and react faster.

It's easy to say players should have just released the ball, picked it up again and driven straight through. However, Poite was penalising England players fairly frequently in that first half, so it's not surprising they were unwilling to try something without checking how he was deciding his ruck calls.


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:26 am

Rugby Fan wrote:England did try to adapt in the first half. Haskell specifically asked Poite if grabbing hold of an Italian player during clear-out could form a ruck (it could) because that's what he had started doing, but the referee was still calling "tackle only".


They were standing so far away from the ruck though that he'd have been much better asking Poite could he use a fishing rod?

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:30 am

TJ wrote:
The general rule is that England smash Scotland.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Heaf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:07 am

SecretFly wrote:On a serious note.  Just thinking back and yes, in a way Italy helped themselves not be humiliated - grand.  Job done.  And they had a right to do everything in that regard that was within the rules of the game.  BUT, did they also harm themselves in that end game?  They were sliced through like hot butter when England turned it on.  

Now the main reason for that is that England have the ammo - boy do they have the ammo when they get into a rhythm and they did enough in that second half to do what they needed and did it with class.  But I think the Italians had invested so much time on their little trick that I'm not sure they gave any thought at all to what they'd do when the English worked it out.  
The white flag was hoisted when the game was up on their trick.  So how long in real terms did O'Shea think the trick would hold out for?  Surely he didn't plan on it getting as long as it did.  What else had he in his bag to deal with perhaps 3/4 of a game?  
So maybe O'Shea did Italy a little bit of a disservice in focusing on the trick to the detriment of the 'conventional' stuff.  Just a thought.

This is a point I was trying to make earlier - rather than using a tactic that is doomed to eventual failure and can't realistically be repeated wouldn't it have been better to try to think of something that could improve them longer term?

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:43 am

SecretFly wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:England did try to adapt in the first half. Haskell specifically asked Poite if grabbing hold of an Italian player during clear-out could form a ruck (it could) because that's what he had started doing, but the referee was still calling "tackle only".


They were standing so far away from the ruck though that he'd have been much better asking Poite could he use a fishing rod?
Speaking on Brian Moore's podcast, Nigel Owens has just said grabbing an opposition player is not sufficient to form a ruck. He would need to see more substantial contact.

When the Chiefs used the same tactic in Super Rugby, grabbing an opposition player was regarded as sufficient, and was widely recommended at the best counter (which is why Haskell was using it). I think someone in the studio, or on commentary, even criticised England for not trying it more. Obviously, somewhere along the line, officials changed their minds. I suspect the grabbing counter was originally given leeway by some referees because they didn't approve of the ruckless tactic.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Cumbrian on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 7:17 am

Like I said yesterday, had no problem with the tactic, just Poite's interpretation. Sometimes Italy were forming rucks disengaging and Poite was calling it like they had never been formed.
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Re: England vs Italy

Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 7:20 am

Sounds like what was happening made it into a situation where the referee was having to make a decision rather than the players just knowing what to do. However fast the referee reacts this just puts a delay into the play. Slowing the ball by not contesting it.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 7:27 am

Loved Slades offload and the build up in general once England hot to grips with the ruck less rucks.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by kingelderfield on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 7:49 am

Now the dust has settled I am glad that Italy played the way they did. For this England side to grow they will need to be challenged a lot more and with hindsight it was the losses and adversity that enabled 2003 to grow.
That said Scotland are now going to offer a real challenge and it could well be that this side will be learning their lessons in defeat.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 7:53 am

I doubt it. BIg scotland fan that I am but I don't think Scotland have the power to beat England

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:01 am

Just heard Haskell's post-match interview and he's confirmed that he wasn't asking what the law was (although, no doubt, that's the story which will stick). He wanted to know what Poite wanted to see to call a ruck, because he was trying to engage nearby Italians - often closer than the metre gap Poite said was needed - yet nothing was changing.

All the players I've seen interviewed say they had heard of the tactic, and Launchbury even said he played in the match when Toulouse used it. Sounds like they spent most of the first half trying counters which didn't work (Haskell & Hartley's tactic) , or acting solo (like Care's break). It took half time to get all fifteen players to try doing the same thing.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:02 am

You haven't got the power to arm wrestle most teams but I thought you were all about the tactics being better for Glasgow, Scotland etc over the more power based game? Surely the Italy game will reinforce trying to outthink England and take advantage more before they adapt?

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:06 am

I think most people have seen the tactic and I remember a thread on here dedicated to it but I've never seen it done so consistently. I don't think Poite reffed it amazingly but it's unusual for him as well. Think he was looking to penalise Italy more after that 1st half elsewhere.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Munchkin on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:07 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Just heard Haskell's post-match interview and he's confirmed that he wasn't asking what the law was (although, no doubt, that's the story which will stick). He wanted to know what Poite wanted to see to call a ruck, because he was trying to engage nearby Italians - often closer than the metre gap Poite said was needed - yet nothing was changing.

All the players I've seen interviewed say they had heard of the tactic, and Launchbury even said he played in the match when Toulouse used it. Sounds like they spent most of the first half trying counters which didn't work (Haskell & Hartley's tactic) , or acting solo (like Care's break). It took half time to get all fifteen players to try doing the same thing.

I think one of Haskell or Hartley did ask the ref about the law. That's why the ref quoted the exact law to them both.


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:11 am

Haskell asked. Hartley also asked the rules around the tackle area. Probably because it wasn't that consistent and the uncertainty was slowing them down. As well as considering how slow England seemed to adapt before winning easily with the bonus point it would have been interesting to see how another ref did in this situation.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:16 am

7 1/2 - yes we have a chance and yes thats how we will play. Move it around, play at a speed try to out think and out play them. However I fear England pack will be able to win penalties off the scrum and will play for them and I frear england power in the maul.

If and its a big if we can get a loose and open game we might win but I expect England to play a slow power based game and deprive Scotland of the ball and I suspect England will be good enough to do this.

Things you will see from Scotland. Russell opening his bag of tricks and bamboozling the england midfield. Trick plays off lineouts. A lot of pressure on the england 10 Watson will be in his face all game. Running back deep kicks not kicking themback.


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by kingelderfield on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:18 am

An a side to the controversy, I thought Haskell looked really up for it and in pretty decent fettle if maybe a little larger?

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:18 am

watching the game now.  Second time the Italians tried the no offside tactic they got pinged as a ruck had formed!

Ref was also calling "tackle only" when Italy had the ball


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by cascough on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:21 am

Rugby Fan wrote:England did try to adapt in the first half. Haskell specifically asked Poite if grabbing hold of an Italian player during clear-out could form a ruck (it could) because that's what he had started doing, but the referee was still calling "tackle only".

Hartley also wanted clarity on where Italian players could stand because the immediate tackle area means it ought not to have been the free-for-all it sometimes became.

Part of the problem, is that the players were having to wait for Poite to decide what he was going to call. Instead, they wanted to anticipate his call, and react faster.

It's easy to say players should have just released the ball, picked it up again and driven straight through. However, Poite was penalising England players fairly frequently in that first half, so it's not surprising they were unwilling to try something without checking how he was deciding his ruck calls.


Excellent post.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Munchkin on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:21 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Haskell asked. Hartley also asked the rules around the tackle area. Probably because it wasn't that consistent and the uncertainty was slowing them down. As well as considering how slow England seemed to adapt before winning easily with the bonus point it would have been interesting to see how another ref did in this situation.

Apparently COS spoke to the ref about using the tactic, before the game, and so the ref would have been prepared. It's been used before, and refs seemed aware of the law, but they might have been consulted about the tactic before those games, as with this one.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:25 am

The ITV commentators certainly said COS was in his rights to do so. I don't think other refs would have been so inconsistent and hesitant. Some would have been more so. I think it was early communication that was missing ie player tackled everyone stops for England waiting to see what the call was...could have been a touch quicker for me.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:37 am

Nothing inconsistent or hesitant from Poite - its up to the england players to work it out not to Poite to coach them. the refs calls helped England - he was more than fair to them.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:38 am

TJ wrote:Nothing inconsistent or hesitant from Poite - its up to the england players to work it out not to Poite to coach them.  the refs calls helped England - he was more than fair to them.

He was exactly that, both hesitant and inconsistent.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:40 am

Sheer nonsense.  Watch it again and see. Poite calls it every tackle and explains the situation to england over and over again


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:41 am

The hesitancy or just that little delay was telling. Like I said good tactics England slow but it would have been interesting to see how refs would differ in calling it.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:42 am

I've not just come to conclusion based on nothing TJ like you admitted yesterday, multiple times a ruck had been formed with the Italians then disengaging, Poite kept incorrectly calling tackle only. That is what actually happened, try watching the whole game instead of the highlights.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:45 am

Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball. Poite called "ruck" a couple of times when Italy tried it. England should not wait for the ref they should play what they see. I have never seen a ref make so many calls helpful to the team in Englands position and spend so much time explaining the laws to them


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:48 am

TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by beshocked on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:49 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:As for the half-head who say we didn’t adapt.

Not sure many have said that England failed to adapt but rather the players failed to adapt without the half-time instruction. Once it was clear that Poite was not going to be persuaded that some of the tackles were developing into rucks the on field leaders really did need to come up with a solution of their own.

While Hartley should get some credit fro being able to talk to Poite in such a way as to not upset him and in general keep him onside, that pails into insignificance really when he was powerless to come up with a solution or to prevent Care and Farrell panicking.

Of the starting XV, for me only the locks and Daly improved their reputation. Itoje was decent but if he was a back rower shoudl share some of the responsibility along with Haskell and Hughes for failing to find a solution in the first 40.

Good
Launchbury, Lawes, Daly, most of the bench.

OK
Marler, Itoje

Meh
Haskell, Ford, Care, Te'o, May, Brown

Poor
Hartley, Cole, Farrell

really Poor
Hughes

To be fair I agree with most of that but....

Not sure how you can say Itoje was only okay when he made 2 lineout steals, didn't lose a lineout himself, at least 3 turnovers, made some good carries, did his work in defence, pushing at least one Italian out of touch, showed some nice handling too. I thought Itoje was a real handful for the Italians and whilst others faltered like Farrell (absolute shocker from him). Sure he gave away a couple of penalties but he's one of the few English players who took the fight to the Italians in the first 40.

Itoje was my MOTM. Personally think Launchbury got the award for his one noticeably big carry.


As for Hartley, he yet again disappointed and he's been clueless in leadership for the 3rd game in a row. It's all good for some fans I know but I actually want England to win their next 2 games.


When Mako and George came on - the scrum improved so much. Had the Italians backpeddling.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:51 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

Check the laws, check the post showing it exactly in picture form.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:54 am

Anyway. Excellent 2nd half. Even when rope a doped England ate finding ways to win. Great offloads and clever plays in the 2nd half. Felt a bit for Te'o as he would have expected a fair but more ball to show what he could do.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:56 am

TJ wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

Check the laws, check the post showing it exactly in picture form.

I know the laws and the picture shows a tackle only, what you're ignoring is the Italians forming a ruck many times then disengaging, you're seeing what you want to.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 9:09 am

TJ wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

Check the laws, check the post showing it exactly in picture form.

Agree with TJ Poite's calls were good. He did very well under the circumstances. Think he deserves a lot of credit.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by robbo277 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 9:38 am

Awful tactic. Completely within the rules, fine. But it made it an awful match to watch.

What's worse is every league team will be trying this next week and our referees won't handle it nearly as well as Poite, who himself was far from perfect.

5 match points, played well in the second half, some real neat touches. But as a spectacle the game was dire, nothing else to say.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:35 pm

wolfball wrote:Missed the match, but after reading about it on here, watched the first half, and Italy were really damn good, even besides the ruck law tactic (which wasn't used for the first 15mins anyways as they had all the posession). If they converted a few of their missed kicks they would have been in amazing shape going into the second half. The idea that their tactic wasn't rugby, or means they shouldn't be in the 6 nations is silly. That first half is exactly why they are well worth their place in this tournament. Eddie's saltiness after not getting his predicted cricket score shows why you need to back up big claims with actual performances...

Easily forgotten, that. Italy did start very well.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:39 pm

I think Poite should be dropped from the reffing panel. I think it was a disgrace how he tried to interfere with Nigel Owens' Trademark rights to Smartass Responses. This can't be tolerated. Nigel worked hard on that image and Poite now wants to profit from it without paying Nigel royalties.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:40 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

Check the laws, check the post showing it exactly in picture form.

I know the laws and the picture shows a tackle only, what you're ignoring is the Italians forming a ruck many times then disengaging, you're seeing what you want to.

'A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has ended.

Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play'


So if the Italians tackle and no one else goes in it is a tackle not a ruck.

One player from both sides must be on their feet for a ruck to be formed - Italy didn't do that hence the refereeing decision


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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:43 pm

I assume you mean on their feet, that is what happened SOME of the time but not ALL the time.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:44 pm

I do - corrected - from what I saw Poite was right in virtually ever occasion.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by nathan on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:47 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
TJ wrote:Other times I have seen it refs didn't call " only a tackle" to help the side in Englands position

Hammersmith - I am watching it now.  Watched all the first half.  Not seen an incorrect call from Poite.  For it to be a ruck the italians must be on their feet contesting the ball.

That's not what a ruck is.

Check the laws, check the post showing it exactly in picture form.

I know the laws and the picture shows a tackle only, what you're ignoring is the Italians forming a ruck many times then disengaging, you're seeing what you want to.

'A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has ended.

Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play'


So if the Italians tackle and no one else goes in it is a tackle not a ruck.

One player from both sides must be on their feet for a ruck to be formed - Italy didn't do that hence the refereeing decision

I think what HH is saying is that on occasion an Italian player did enter on their feet forming a ruck but then disengaged. Once there's a ruck, the offside line stays.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:49 pm

Players staying on their feet at ruck time - now that really would be innovative.....

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:50 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:I do - corrected - from what I saw Poite was right in virtually ever occasion.

I agree that on most occasions Poite was right, but pretty sure there were a couple where a second Italian engaged then left.

I think what has confused many is that for so long refs have in general deemed something to be a ruck and created an offside line when what was happening bore no relation to the law book definition, and thus it "appeared" that Poite had chosen to unilaterally implement the law.

What is surely beyond doubt is that England took too long to react and adjust to what was happening in front of them.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Poorfour on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:51 pm

The decision in general was correct, and the basics of how Poite refereed it were also correct - he called it clearly when it happened and gave an explanation of what was going on. I think England's gripe with it was that they didn't feel he was consistent with when he was calling "ruck" versus "tackle".

I wasn't close enough to the action to comment on whether Italy were engaging in rucks and going offside or not, but equally I am disappointed that England didn't just get on with it. They needed to start picking and going, whether with the scrum half or a big carrier and once they stopped worrying about the interpretation and just got on with playing it all started to work for them.

I think it was probably reflective as much of not having the regular back row as anything else - Itoje and Hughes lack experience and Haskell has never been a great example of a player who can adapt to complex circumstances in real time.

What does it mean for the Scotland game? Not very much. Different team, different game, different gameplan.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Scottrf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:51 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I think what has confused many is that for so long refs have in general deemed something to be a ruck and created an offside line when what was happening bore no relation to the law book definition, and thus it "appeared" that Poite had chosen to unilaterally implement the law.
Because he was influenced by COS before the game, no doubt.
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Re: England vs Italy

Post by robbo277 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:52 pm

The issue with some, not all, of the calls is players forming a ruck then disengaging.

16.1 (b) Forming a Ruck
How can a ruck form. Players are on their feet. At least one player must be in physical contact with an opponent. The ball must be on the ground. If the ball is off the ground for any reason, the ruck is not formed.

16.6 Successful end to a ruck
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.

If a ruck is formed (which sometimes it looked very much like it had) the offside line is set, and the ruck is not ended by the Italian player disengaging from the ruck.

Note, a ruck is formed by a player coming into physical contact with an opponent. So Haskell grabbing an Italian player constitutes physical contact and then a ruck. When the ruck is set, the Italian player freeing himself doesn't make it a tackle again. It doesn't say anywhere that the player on the team without possession has to be looking to contest.

That was my only complaint with regard to the refereeing, sometimes he called tackle when it should have been a ruck. Also worth noting that Haskell knows the law better than he has been given credit for.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:54 pm

Poorfour wrote:Haskell has never been a great example of a player who can adapt to complex circumstances in real time.
Very nicely put.

The next time I want to insult someone I am going to use that phrase.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:01 pm

robbo277 wrote:Note, a ruck is formed by a player coming into physical contact with an opponent. So Haskell grabbing an Italian player constitutes physical contact and then a ruck. When the ruck is set, the Italian player freeing himself doesn't make it a tackle again. It doesn't say anywhere that the player on the team without possession has to be looking to contest.
Quite right. Romain Poite seemed to think that it was only a ruck if both teams wanted it to be a ruck. If Haskell engaged with an Italian that made it a ruck. When Haskell pointed that out Poite said it did not. He is clearly wrong.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by cascough on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:09 pm

robbo277 wrote:The issue with some, not all, of the calls is players forming a ruck then disengaging.

16.1 (b) Forming a Ruck
How can a ruck form. Players are on their feet. At least one player must be in physical contact with an opponent. The ball must be on the ground. If the ball is off the ground for any reason, the ruck is not formed.

16.6 Successful end to a ruck
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.

If a ruck is formed (which sometimes it looked very much like it had) the offside line is set, and the ruck is not ended by the Italian player disengaging from the ruck.

Note, a ruck is formed by a player coming into physical contact with an opponent. So Haskell grabbing an Italian player constitutes physical contact and then a ruck. When the ruck is set, the Italian player freeing himself doesn't make it a tackle again. It doesn't say anywhere that the player on the team without possession has to be looking to contest.

That was my only complaint with regard to the refereeing, sometimes he called tackle when it should have been a ruck. Also worth noting that Haskell knows the law better than he has been given credit for.

Great post. There were also a few refs on twitter saying Poite got it wrong on that. As funny as it is to laugh at England and Haskell in particular(let's face it, he sets himself up for it), I thought they were far from clueless. In fact I was pleased to see players other than Hartley trying to get a handle on it. Both Launchbury and Haskell were engaging the ref (you could argue they shouldn't) and also Itoje and Ford and I think even brown at one point were pulling the guys together to talk it through.

One disappointment for me was Farrell's temperament (which has been exemplary under Eddie Jones). After emerging as an outside bet for the Lions captaincy and in a week in which AWJ yet again showed failings a captain he seem to be affected by Englands overall frustration and the Italian player diving.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:12 pm

robbo277 wrote:...Note, a ruck is formed by a player coming into physical contact with an opponent. So Haskell grabbing an Italian player constitutes physical contact and then a ruck. When the ruck is set, the Italian player freeing himself doesn't make it a tackle again...
Nigel Owens told Brian Moore yesterday that grabbing an opposition player is not enough to make it a ruck.

I think that was a major source of confusion.

The "grab a player, make it a ruck" strategy was one which some Super Rugby refs allowed. They weren't sympathetic to the ruckless tactic, so leaned towards giving the other team wide options to counter it. That's why Haskell was trying it, and why someone on commentary also suggested it.

Owens says referees have had discussions about the ruckless tactic, and it sounds like they concluded grab-a-player was too wide a definition. He says he would need more substantive contact than touching to call a ruck.

So, what we got was Haskell trying a tactic which other referees had approved, only to find Poite didn't.

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Re: England vs Italy

Post by Scottrf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:19 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
robbo277 wrote:...Note, a ruck is formed by a player coming into physical contact with an opponent. So Haskell grabbing an Italian player constitutes physical contact and then a ruck. When the ruck is set, the Italian player freeing himself doesn't make it a tackle again...
Nigel Owens told Brian Moore yesterday that grabbing an opposition player is not enough to make it a ruck.

I think that was a major source of confusion.

The "grab a player, make it a ruck" strategy was one which some Super Rugby refs allowed. They weren't sympathetic to the ruckless tactic, so leaned towards giving the other team wide options to counter it. That's why Haskell was trying it, and why  someone on commentary also suggested it.

Owens says referees have had discussions about the ruckless tactic, and it sounds like they concluded grab-a-player was too wide a definition. He says he would need more substantive contact than touching to call a ruck.

So, what we got was Haskell trying a tactic which other referees had approved, only to find Poite didn't.
And this is why refereeing can be frustrating, because they have their own interpretation which has no basis in the laws.

The laws require physical contact, and nothing else, whatever Owens wants to see.
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Re: England vs Italy

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