To ruck or not to ruck?

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To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:06 am

First topic message reminder :

That is the question.

Now I'm not interested in specifically what Italy did and whether it was 'anti-rugby' or not - that's being debated to death elsewhere - I'm interested to talk about what this might mean for the future.

I can't see teams suddenly adopting the same tactic from minute zero as Italy did but it has certainly served as a reminder to coaches and players of when a ruck is not a ruck, and what you therefore can do.

In pretty much every game you get phases of play where the defence doesn't commit men to the ruck, therefore making it a tackle only. Sometimes it is because their defence is struggling to cope so they keep men in the line, and other times it is late in a game where a team is winning and they deliberately don't compete so they can fan out in defence.

Could we see players 'doing an Italy' in these situations?

How do you think this will affect the rest of the games?

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

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

Scottrf wrote:Comment I heard. No ruck means you don't have to use the ball. Defending players aren't allowed within 1 metre of the ball. We could have just stood still and won 5-3.

That said, wouldn't have got the BP.

Andy Saull made that point on twitter too.

I actually think it's an interesting way to counter it. It would frustrate the opposition no end.

England could get tackled and wait as long as they like for an Italy player to eventually contest for the ball, at which point Care pops it up to a forward and makes several Italians offside. If the Italians haven't come offside then the forward he just popped it to will get tackled and the process is repeated until such time that Italy start contesting rucks again and normal service can be resumed or Italy concede a penalty.

What's more likely to happen is after a bit of doing this the ref will pull both captains together and tell them to stop playing silly buggers (as I've seen happen when teams consistently back away from the maul at a lineout)

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by cascough on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:48 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
ebop wrote:
cascough wrote:I just wish they hadn't bothered trying to negate Italy's tactics and just turned straight to plan B.
They didn't have a plan B until their coach spelled it out for them at half time. They didn't have enough on-field nous or leadership to figure it out for themselves. That's alarming.

Exept thats not true, they atrted doing the things through the half.

Where they struggled a bit was with the interpretation about pulling players into the tackle area to create a ruck, Poite was adamant that it was only if players initiated contact that they counted. Once they got that undertanding you saw changes come in including the try from rolling maul. This happened before half time.

The score and play wasnt bad just because of this, there were a number of appalingly bad plays as well. Bad penalties given away, awful kicking from hand and from the tee, dropped passes, bad lineout throw...maybe it was an effect of the confussiona nd frustationat not being able to play the game they wanted but it certainly wasnt just down to a failure to rerorganise and abandon the game plan theyd been devleoping for weeks and had drilled into them.  

Agree with every word, Gooseberry.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:20 pm

cascough wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I just find it funny listening to England fans talking about "anti-rugby", "killing the game" and being denied the opportunity to play a wide game.

I'm old enough to remember the 1990s, and watching Dean Richards, socked rolled down, walking the ball up the field with 7 players trundling in front of him until they (a) the won a penalty for Rob Andrew to kick, or (b) they got close enough for Dewi Morris to throw the ball to Rob Andrew for the drop goal.

Very effective. Entirely legal. Tough spectacle and one for the purists. There's a faint whiff of double standards going on here.

It was a clever and unusual tactic from Italy, but England were far too slow to figure out what to do. Once Eddie Jones had explained it to them, the second half was completely different. It isn't a lack of leadership, it's a lack of brains. There appear to be no thinkers in this England team.

I also don't think the rules need to change. A smart team would have quickly figured out where the space was through the middle and once the attacking team has momentum, it's very hard to stick with a tactic like that and not try to compete for the ball.
I am not sure what your point is. There was nothing unconventional about that England team. Mauling is a basic part of the game. Whether the tactics of Italy were anti-Rugby is debatable. Mauling definitely is not.

My worry from an Italian point of view is that yesterday's tactics were really an admission that they cannot compete at this level. Having tried this tactic and still handing a bonus point win to England it seems to me that Georgia's time has come.

So teams are now only allowed to play by "conventional" tactics? What about Japan at the World Cup and Fiji, with their tap and go style of play and desire to avoid set piece confrontation, keeping the ball in play as long as possible. Is that ok because neutrals find it exciting? What about Australia under Eddie Jones, who effectively cheated at each and every scrum in order to avoid facing up to the fact that they couldn't compete without trying to trick the referee??

My point re: England in the 1990s is a simple one. They were boring. Highly effective and "conventional", but boring. Endless rolling mauls, keeping the ball tight, kicking the leather off it and avoiding open play. All within the laws of the game of course, and all those championship wins (and WC Final) demonstrate that it was a perfectly valid tactic, but also akin to watching paint dry. Now we see England accusing Italy of ruining the spectacle, despite them deploying a perfectly valid tactic to stifle England's flow. I'm sorry, but it's double standards.

Who has decided it's boring? I like watching mauls. I often prefer a tight game where every yard is fought for over a fast loose error ridden open game.

In any case I think that's besides the point. To reuse a tweet I sent on Sunday, "if it's a spectacle you want **** off to the theatre".

I think calling it boring misses the point somewhat. When the laws were laid out it wasn't considered that teams would do what Italy did and as such isn't in the spirit of the game. Now I don't like that wording much, but it's World Rugby's, not mine.

The week before the game World Rugby tweaked things so that if teams were to do this, then they couldn't play the 9. Given that Italy were unperturbed by that I suspect we will see further tweaks.

I've no problem with what Italy did. It's legal. But I don't like it, I don't believe it was reffed very well and I don't believe it was particularly effective.  

I couldn't agree more. If it's within the laws of the game then I'm cool with it. Who wants every game to be identical anyway, and fair play to Italy for trying something different after 22 consecutive defeats.

Jones, as always, has his own agenda. Deflecting attention from what was, by any measure, an abject first 40 minutes from England could be part of that.

I just think the comments about people being entitled to their money back were a bit silly. Italy did nothing wrong.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by TJ on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 4:17 pm

The comments about " not rugby" rather remind me of I think 1990 ( could be 99) when Scotland beat England to win the 6N and Brian Moore made that comment 'cos the scotsback row closed the England midfield down all game .

Sour grapes

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 4:39 pm

TJ wrote:The comments about " not rugby" rather remind me of I think 1990 ( could be 99) when Scotland beat England to win the 6N and Brian Moore made that comment 'cos the scotsback row closed the England midfield down all game .

Sour grapes

We won with a bp didn't we?

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by R!skysports on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 4:41 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
TJ wrote:The comments about " not rugby" rather remind me of I think 1990 ( could be 99) when Scotland beat England to win the 6N and Brian Moore made that comment 'cos the scotsback row closed the England midfield down all game .

Sour grapes

We won with a bp didn't we?

Which makes the sour grapes even sourer :-)

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:08 pm

Yeah but over time the laws have changed to disarm that kind of rugby, which England themselves were accussed of playing pnelty of during the last 3 decades.

If a tactics going to turn the game away from what the laws intended it to be then its not unreasonable to question whetehr or not the laws need to be clarified and amended to negate it. The same happend with front row repalcemenst and uncontested scrums a few years back.

If theres a loophole people will exploit it, but people whouldnt afraid to call bullshine on it and ask for that misuse of a law to be changed.

And just a pointer....Jones is a Aussie, and was coach when England beat them in the world cup. He b1tched about their 8 man rugby then. He's being consistent. He likes free flowing atatcking rugby and thinks that how the game should be played.

Even a fair shoving contest is at least rugby within the spirit of the game. Refusing to contest the ball and defending by standing in the way of passes is not what the laws were written to control. If this keeps happening the laws will change or referees asked to interpret them in a way which negates it.

I cant see that as a bad thing unless you want the game to be a farce.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:14 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Yeah but over time the laws have changed to disarm that kind of rugby, which England themselves were accussed of playing pnelty of during the last 3 decades.

If a tactics going to turn the game away from what the laws intended it to be then its not unreasonable to question whetehr or not the laws need to be clarified and amended to negate it. The same happend with front row repalcemenst and uncontested scrums a few years back.

If theres a loophole people will exploit it, but people whouldnt afraid to call bullshine on it and ask for that misuse of a law to be changed.

And just a pointer....Jones is a Aussie, and was coach when England beat them in the world cup. He b1tched about their 8 man rugby then. He's being consistent. He likes free flowing atatcking rugby and thinks that how the game should be played.

Even a fair shoving contest is at least rugby within the spirit of the game. Refusing to contest the ball and defending by standing in the way of passes is not what the laws were written to control. If this keeps happening the laws will change or referees asked to interpret them in a way which negates it.

I cant see that as a bad thing unless you want the game to be a farce.

Agreed, although the Australia team coached by Jones did everything within the rules of the game, and plenty outwith the rules of the game, to prevent a "fair shoving contest". I've never seen a team systematically cheat at scrum time like Jones' Australia. Back then it was because they didn't have a single prop worthy of the title (e.g. Matt Dunning and Al Baxter), and Jones was considered canny and clever for depowering the scrum and any advantages the opposition forwards could otherwise garner, but that is apparently all fine and dandy compared to the devious Italians who have all but ruined the sport.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by tigertattie on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:20 pm

TJ wrote:Scotland know and understand this tactic having used it themselves.  If England tried it against scotland they would come undone.  similarly Ireland have played against it so would have tactics ready to counter.

It only worked at all against england as they play such a structured game and no one could think on their feet.  SH chipping or sniping.  Pick and go by the forwards.  Tackled player back to his feet and pick up are all ways to negate it

Can't do that! Once you are tackled you have to release the ball and if you touch it again then you are offside. The tackled player would need to run around and come at the ball from behind!
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:21 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Responses are kinda amusing. It’s currently a moot point because Italy, a poor side, tried it and still got a spanking. Cuz they’re a poor side. Where the poop would hit the fan on 606 (and beyond) is if England tried it against Scotland or Ireland. And won. The gnashing of teeth would be glorious.

Basically it’s all fun until it’s done against your team, and you lose. Then it’s a disgrace. Just as well Italy are rubbish whatever song and dance they perform on the field.

Australia tried it against us - I can't remember anyone crying about it to the same degree as the English fans have. Murray complained, the referee explained, he got on with the game along with everyone else.

Nice try. Wink

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:25 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:Responses are kinda amusing. It’s currently a moot point because Italy, a poor side, tried it and still got a spanking. Cuz they’re a poor side. Where the poop would hit the fan on 606 (and beyond) is if England tried it against Scotland or Ireland. And won. The gnashing of teeth would be glorious.

Basically it’s all fun until it’s done against your team, and you lose. Then it’s a disgrace. Just as well Italy are rubbish whatever song and dance they perform on the field.

Australia tried it against us - I can't remember anyone crying about it to the same degree as the English fans have. Murray complained, the referee explained, he got on with the game along with everyone else.

Nice try. Wink

Quelle surprise! Wink

Whinging poms, as Eddie Jones used to say.....

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Barney McGrew did it on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:28 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:Responses are kinda amusing. It’s currently a moot point because Italy, a poor side, tried it and still got a spanking. Cuz they’re a poor side. Where the poop would hit the fan on 606 (and beyond) is if England tried it against Scotland or Ireland. And won. The gnashing of teeth would be glorious.

Basically it’s all fun until it’s done against your team, and you lose. Then it’s a disgrace. Just as well Italy are rubbish whatever song and dance they perform on the field.

Australia tried it against us - I can't remember anyone crying about it to the same degree as the English fans have. Murray complained, the referee explained, he got on with the game along with everyone else.

Nice try. Wink

True - that's because the Irish here never complain much...
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by tazfalklands on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:32 pm

I wasn't impressed by the tactic or the English Response during and particularly after the match.
BUT I can see an iteration taking shape where the defence has 4-5 big tacklers 1-2 metres back defending the pick and go but not joining the tackler so no ruck but, and scrum half and fly half flooding the pass area.
Stop them dead with a tackle then strip the ball in the pick and go or interception on an attempted pass.

Result will be the scrum half 1 box kicks, and follow up tackles but don't commit to the ruck so no offside for them, form impenetrable wall of players so scrum half 2 box kicks, repeat as the crowd depart

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:32 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:Responses are kinda amusing. It’s currently a moot point because Italy, a poor side, tried it and still got a spanking. Cuz they’re a poor side. Where the poop would hit the fan on 606 (and beyond) is if England tried it against Scotland or Ireland. And won. The gnashing of teeth would be glorious.

Basically it’s all fun until it’s done against your team, and you lose. Then it’s a disgrace. Just as well Italy are rubbish whatever song and dance they perform on the field.

Australia tried it against us - I can't remember anyone crying about it to the same degree as the English fans have. Murray complained, the referee explained, he got on with the game along with everyone else.

Nice try. Wink

True - that's because the Irish here never complain much...

Correct. We complain most. Wink Most cheating. Most infringing. Most complaining. We're awful... but sure we can't help it, it's in our nature.


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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 6:19 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:Responses are kinda amusing. It’s currently a moot point because Italy, a poor side, tried it and still got a spanking. Cuz they’re a poor side. Where the poop would hit the fan on 606 (and beyond) is if England tried it against Scotland or Ireland. And won. The gnashing of teeth would be glorious.

Basically it’s all fun until it’s done against your team, and you lose. Then it’s a disgrace. Just as well Italy are rubbish whatever song and dance they perform on the field.

Australia tried it against us - I can't remember anyone crying about it to the same degree as the English fans have. Murray complained, the referee explained, he got on with the game along with everyone else.

Nice try. Wink

True - that's because the Irish here never complain much...

When we complain, it's for a legitimate reason.

Unfortunately for us though, we don't have the power of the RFU to alter the game to suit our needs when we aren't winning. Like the Heineken Cup, for example. If England don't win the Six Nation's this year due to the introduction of the bonus point system, it will probably be dropped next year. Along with Italy.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 6:56 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
ebop wrote:
cascough wrote:I just wish they hadn't bothered trying to negate Italy's tactics and just turned straight to plan B.
They didn't have a plan B until their coach spelled it out for them at half time. They didn't have enough on-field nous or leadership to figure it out for themselves. That's alarming.

Exept thats not true, they atrted doing the things through the half.

Where they struggled a bit was with the interpretation about pulling players into the tackle area to create a ruck, Poite was adamant that it was only if players initiated contact that they counted. Once they got that undertanding you saw changes come in including the try from rolling maul. This happened before half time.

The score and play wasnt bad just because of this, there were a number of appalingly bad plays as well. Bad penalties given away, awful kicking from hand and from the tee, dropped passes, bad lineout throw...maybe it was an effect of the confussiona nd frustationat not being able to play the game they wanted but it certainly wasnt just down to a failure to rerorganise and abandon the game plan theyd been devleoping for weeks and had drilled into them.  

I'm not quite sure I believe that, otherwise the 2nd half wouldn't have been so drastically different. England were told how to counter this tactic at half time.

However that is derailing the thread. The OP is discussing if this tactic employed by Italy will be a paradigm shift in breakdown play. I think no, but I reckon we'll see teams trying this from time to time.

I think not. In order to keep it from being called a ruck the defense needs to step back more than a metre, you're giving easy yards to the tight five. Once a team spots this and makes the break you get easy yards, the defense is a scramble and the next breakdown if under pressure will turn into a ruck (at that stage all defensive players need to retreat behind the line or get pinged). It only stays relevant as an option if the attacking team don't identify and take the easy yards straight away.

If it became a tactic for a month, it would be a suicide the following month as teams would walk you down the field. All you do is have your tight 5 pick and go..... Does it even need to be a tight 5, if England had just sneaked Jonny May or Daly or Nowell into the tackled area amongst all the bodies and they have him bolt out the gap like a sprinter, you have a winger accelerating in between forwards who are on the back foot staying away from the breakdown.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:14 pm

tigertattie wrote:
TJ wrote:Scotland know and understand this tactic having used it themselves.  If England tried it against scotland they would come undone.  similarly Ireland have played against it so would have tactics ready to counter.

It only worked at all against england as they play such a structured game and no one could think on their feet.  SH chipping or sniping.  Pick and go by the forwards.  Tackled player back to his feet and pick up are all ways to negate it

Can't do that! Once you are tackled you have to release the ball and if you touch it again then you are offside.  The tackled player would need to run around and come at the ball from behind!




Is that true if the tackler has disengaged? If no ruck has formed and the tackler is no longer holding on, the ball is in free play, hence when they crawl forward another meter of two, you get the ref calling, "not held". As I understand it, the tackler only has to release once a ruck has formed, until a third person is involved it is still a tackle now matter how long it takes. If the tackler disengages, the ball carried can hold on, get up and drive forward.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Scottrf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:21 pm

I think you're confusing two scenarios. Once a tackle is complete you must release regardless of whether a ruck is formed. You see them holding on and getting back up or crawling along if they were released before hitting the ground.

Once the tackle is complete and if a ruck is not formed they are entitled to get back to their feet and pick up the ball.
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Heaf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:56 pm

tigertattie wrote:
TJ wrote:Scotland know and understand this tactic having used it themselves.  If England tried it against scotland they would come undone.  similarly Ireland have played against it so would have tactics ready to counter.

It only worked at all against england as they play such a structured game and no one could think on their feet.  SH chipping or sniping.  Pick and go by the forwards.  Tackled player back to his feet and pick up are all ways to negate it

Can't do that! Once you are tackled you have to release the ball and if you touch it again then you are offside.  The tackled player would need to run around and come at the ball from behind!

incorrect I'm afraid - the tackled player can release the ball get back to his feet and then pick the ball up again - in fact it happened a couple of times during the game ...

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by InjuredYetAgain on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 9:40 pm

cascough wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I just find it funny listening to England fans talking about "anti-rugby", "killing the game" and being denied the opportunity to play a wide game.

I'm old enough to remember the 1990s, and watching Dean Richards, socked rolled down, walking the ball up the field with 7 players trundling in front of him until they (a) the won a penalty for Rob Andrew to kick, or (b) they got close enough for Dewi Morris to throw the ball to Rob Andrew for the drop goal.

Very effective. Entirely legal. Tough spectacle and one for the purists. There's a faint whiff of double standards going on here.

It was a clever and unusual tactic from Italy, but England were far too slow to figure out what to do. Once Eddie Jones had explained it to them, the second half was completely different. It isn't a lack of leadership, it's a lack of brains. There appear to be no thinkers in this England team.

I also don't think the rules need to change. A smart team would have quickly figured out where the space was through the middle and once the attacking team has momentum, it's very hard to stick with a tactic like that and not try to compete for the ball.
I am not sure what your point is. There was nothing unconventional about that England team. Mauling is a basic part of the game. Whether the tactics of Italy were anti-Rugby is debatable. Mauling definitely is not.

My worry from an Italian point of view is that yesterday's tactics were really an admission that they cannot compete at this level. Having tried this tactic and still handing a bonus point win to England it seems to me that Georgia's time has come.

So teams are now only allowed to play by "conventional" tactics? What about Japan at the World Cup and Fiji, with their tap and go style of play and desire to avoid set piece confrontation, keeping the ball in play as long as possible. Is that ok because neutrals find it exciting? What about Australia under Eddie Jones, who effectively cheated at each and every scrum in order to avoid facing up to the fact that they couldn't compete without trying to trick the referee??

My point re: England in the 1990s is a simple one. They were boring. Highly effective and "conventional", but boring. Endless rolling mauls, keeping the ball tight, kicking the leather off it and avoiding open play. All within the laws of the game of course, and all those championship wins (and WC Final) demonstrate that it was a perfectly valid tactic, but also akin to watching paint dry. Now we see England accusing Italy of ruining the spectacle, despite them deploying a perfectly valid tactic to stifle England's flow. I'm sorry, but it's double standards.

Who has decided it's boring? I like watching mauls. I often prefer a tight game where every yard is fought for over a fast loose error ridden open game.

In any case I think that's besides the point. To reuse a tweet I sent on Sunday, "if it's a spectacle you want **** off to the theatre".

I think calling it boring misses the point somewhat. When the laws were laid out it wasn't considered that teams would do what Italy did and as such isn't in the spirit of the game. Now I don't like that wording much, but it's World Rugby's, not mine.

The week before the game World Rugby tweaked things so that if teams were to do this, then they couldn't play the 9. Given that Italy were unperturbed by that I suspect we will see further tweaks.

I've no problem with what Italy did. It's legal. But I don't like it, I don't believe it was reffed very well and I don't believe it was particularly effective.  

So you would happily part with £70 a ticket to watch a bunch of hopeless, unambitious Italians phanny around waving their hands about? I'm sorry but I expect to be entertained when I go to any level of rugby. TBH I would rather go to the theatre than watch that dross from Italy.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 2:19 am

A couple of days on from the match, we are getting some cooler responses. Will Carling has backed down from his criticism of Italy's tactics, while Conor O'Shea says Eddie Jones was generous after the match, and wandered off with his old mucker Brendan Venter. Even some of Haskell's critics now realize what he was actually asking Poite, and concede that he was right to do so.

I had no problem with Italy's tactics, and I don't have any real issues with Poite. I do believe he made some incorrect calls, but he was put in an unenviable position, and I think he handled it as well as any referee could have in similar circumstances.

It isn't a matter of what the law says, it's a matter of how officials choose to interpret the law. I've heard contradictory views, even when everyone has had time and access to the law book to come up with an opinion.

World Rugby is right to back Poite. In some ways, they have no choice, because they haven't provided explicit guidance on how to officiate this tactic. All they did advise, is that it's illegal to stand behind the scrum-half and sack him when he touches the ball. Mind you, they didn't do that with any fanfare. Venter and O'Shea only found out about that guidance when they told Poite what they planned to do, despite the fact World Rugby told officials three weeks ago.

Sean O'Brien says Ireland would have countered it much faster. That's quite possible. but who knows? I heard Ugo Monye say it's always easier to see what's happening from the sideline. He recalled players being bewildered when they first encountered the blitz defence, and taking time to work out how to respond.

It seems to me that World Rugby doesn't need to change any laws but they do need to clarify how they want referees to interpret the scenario. It's no good having officials in Super Rugby ruling one way, and then referees deciding behind the scenes among themselves not to do that any more.

Insome ways, Poite's job was made easier by the fact Italy always tried to avoid rucks, so he knew what was coming. Imagine what it would be like if a team decide to keep switching tactics, and had the discipline to do so in ten minute bursts. It would be a nightmare to officiate, and I'm sure a referee would end up missing a lot elsewhere.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by yappysnap on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 7:28 am

Imagine what it would be like if a team decide to keep switching tactics, and had the discipline to do so in ten minute bursts. It would be a nightmare to officiate, and I'm sure a referee would end up missing a lot elsewhere.

This

This I think is the end game for this tactic, just like with holding players up in a tackle which is used intermittently now. I can see this tactic being switched on and off by the best teams when it suits them, no one would know when it's coming, but if the opposition are doing really well spreading the ball wide, if you're defence isn't set or your wingers are struggling, it's an easy way to force the attackers to have to play the ball tight suddenly or slow down the game or concede a pen.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by yappysnap on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 7:31 am

Also it'd be good to use to keep the opposition in their 22 as it stops them getting the ball wide to make ground and forces them to either try the high risk off load game in their own half, or just kick the ball away. And in that position if they do get past you then they're only breaking out of their 22.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:04 am

yappysnap wrote:Also it'd be good to use to keep the opposition in their 22 as it stops them getting the ball wide to make ground and forces them to either try the high risk off load game in their own half, or just kick the ball away. And in that position if they do get past you then they're only breaking out of their 22.

You just pick up and go, making an easy few yards each time.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by yappysnap on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:28 am

Yes but if it hasn't happened in that game, England showed you're unlikely to think that quickly, players won't be in position and if one player just picks and goes, then it's an easy turnover for the defender.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:36 am

yappysnap wrote:Yes but if it hasn't happened in that game, England showed you're unlikely to think that quickly, players won't be in position and if one player just picks and goes, then it's an easy turnover for the defender.
So one phase later you're forcing them to commit to a ruck.

Kind of weird that people want it taken away because it will force players to think.
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:05 am

This will not become as common as people think.

Firstly it wasn't this tactic that stopped England scoring tries in the first 20 minutes. It was the worst execution of basic skills I've seen from an England side in years. Dreadful.

After this England score 3 tries in 25 minutes. During a period that this tactic is supposedly being effective. That is an embarrassment and I'm not sure why any club or international side would want to copy it.

England scored 6 tries. A hammering. Twice as many as Wales scored. Aside from NZ the most tries they have conceded since the previous 6N.

Successful in conceding 6 tries isn't going to be something most teams want to replicate. No matter how many they were expected to concede.
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by rapidsnowman on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:41 am

Scottrf wrote:England scored 6 tries. A hammering. Twice as many as Wales scored. Aside from NZ the most tries they have conceded since the previous 6N.

and apart from the 9 put on them by Ireland in Rome. Cool

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:42 am

rapidsnowman wrote:
Scottrf wrote:England scored 6 tries. A hammering. Twice as many as Wales scored. Aside from NZ the most tries they have conceded since the previous 6N.

and apart from the 9 put on them by Ireland in Rome. Cool
Yes Laugh
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 3:10 pm

Bill Beaumont, World Ruby Chairman wrote:
Is it a loophole? I don't know. Italy felt they were acting within the laws of the game, which they were. I'm not criticising Conor O'Shea or Italy because what they did was legal. Everyone was taken by surprise and it proved most of us have to revise our knowledge of the laws.


Meeting with Poite today to discuss the interpretation and looking to issue  guidance ahead of the next round.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 3:20 pm

If they now outlaw something that's legal, that will be outrageous in an illegal sense.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by fa0019 on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 3:55 pm

maybe we should let the fans decide if the rule should be reviewed... like the MoM at the RWC (ENG vs. AUS pool stage was a good example).

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by SecretFly on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 4:07 pm

fa, oh Jesus - the fans decide? Which decade do you want a decision made?

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by fa0019 on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 4:10 pm

SecretFly wrote:fa, oh Jesus - the fans decide?  Which decade do you want a decision made?

It would be great, don't you remember Joe Launchbury's face when he got his medal.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Heaf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 4:12 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
Bill Beaumont, World Ruby Chairman wrote:
Is it a loophole? I don't know. Italy felt they were acting within the laws of the game, which they were. I'm not criticising Conor O'Shea or Italy because what they did was legal. Everyone was taken by surprise and it proved most of us have to revise our knowledge of the laws.


Meeting with Poite today to discuss the interpretation and looking to issue  guidance ahead of the next round.

That's the shocking bit - the amount of people who 'do this for a living' didn't know the laws?

I think a fair percentage on here knew what they were doing was legal, like it or not, and for people whose jobs revolve around the game to not know is pretty poor to put it mildly ...

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:07 pm

http://www.the42.ie/world-rugby-tackle-only-trials-2017-3263103-Feb2017/

Sigh. I was joking when I suggested that the RFU will probably attempt to immediately change the rules.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:13 pm

Coincidentally, it also helps them mask their fetching weakness at 7 and Jonesy can continue to pick big lumps there instead. There won't be any more fetchers if the rule is changed. I would probably stop watching the game at that point. One of my favourite parts of the game involves back row play.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Knackeredknees on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:39 pm

Heaf wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Bill Beaumont, World Ruby Chairman wrote:
Is it a loophole? I don't know. Italy felt they were acting within the laws of the game, which they were. I'm not criticising Conor O'Shea or Italy because what they did was legal. Everyone was taken by surprise and it proved most of us have to revise our knowledge of the laws.


Meeting with Poite today to discuss the interpretation and looking to issue  guidance ahead of the next round.

That's the shocking bit - the amount of people who 'do this for a living' didn't know the laws?

I think a fair percentage on here knew what they were doing was legal, like it or not, and for people whose jobs revolve around the game to not know is pretty poor to put it mildly ...

I think it's a good idea, on Saturday poite refused to accept Haskell grabbing a shirt as forming a ruck, other refs have. Hence confusion and asking for clarification.
Also there were times Italy engaged in a ruck for a second then disengaged but it took poite to long on occasions to call what was going on = more confusion.

If they can get an agreed law on what can be done to counter legally and ensure all refs applying it consistently then everyone is reading the same page in the same way, no different interpretation per ref

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:07 pm

https://grabyo.com/g/v/rMVAk8qJDPU

Well...launchbury not engaging and Hughes intercepting.
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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Munchkin on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:13 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:http://www.the42.ie/world-rugby-tackle-only-trials-2017-3263103-Feb2017/

Sigh. I was joking when I suggested that the RFU will probably attempt to immediately change the rules.

It's pathetic really, but Jones crying his eyes out because he was made to look stupid, has caught the attention of another English man at World Rugby Rolling Eyes

Surprised Chunky and Phil aren't all over this, screaming "it's an English conspiracy" o0










"It's not rugby. Waaahhhh! Waaahhh! Waaahhh!!!


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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Heaf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:19 pm

Knackeredknees wrote:
Heaf wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Bill Beaumont, World Ruby Chairman wrote:
Is it a loophole? I don't know. Italy felt they were acting within the laws of the game, which they were. I'm not criticising Conor O'Shea or Italy because what they did was legal. Everyone was taken by surprise and it proved most of us have to revise our knowledge of the laws.


Meeting with Poite today to discuss the interpretation and looking to issue  guidance ahead of the next round.

That's the shocking bit - the amount of people who 'do this for a living' didn't know the laws?

I think a fair percentage on here knew what they were doing was legal, like it or not, and for people whose jobs revolve around the game to not know is pretty poor to put it mildly ...

I think it's a good idea, on Saturday poite refused to accept Haskell grabbing a shirt as forming a ruck, other refs have. Hence confusion and asking for clarification.
Also there were times Italy engaged in a ruck for a second then disengaged but it took poite to long on occasions to call what was going on = more confusion.

If they can get an agreed law on what can be done to counter legally and ensure all refs applying it consistently then everyone is reading the same page in the same way, no different interpretation per ref  

Agreed - what I meant was I was surprised at the amount of people who didn't seem to know that what Italy were doing was legal ... and wasn't anything new

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:21 pm

Heaf wrote: Agreed - what I meant was I was surprised at the amount of people who didn't seem to know that what Italy were doing was legal ... and wasn't anything new

I don't think anyone was in any doubt that what they were was legal in theory but rather there has been debate over how much contact constitutes a ruck and the inconsistency of the referees calls.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Heaf on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:23 pm

Ah could be I guess ...

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 9:27 pm

I think this is all kind of funny. Italy tried something which has been done before and was within the laws. It worked for a while, but ultimately England adapted and Italy lost.

The reality is the only thing this pointed out was a flaw in the English team which Doctor Jones will have to correct.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU9A_oN6NV8

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:22 am

fa0019 wrote:
SecretFly wrote:fa, oh Jesus - the fans decide?  Which decade do you want a decision made?

It would be great, don't you remember Joe Launchbury's face when he got his medal.

Or he could just continue buying them like he has been this year.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by rapidsnowman on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:31 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think this is all kind of funny. Italy tried something which has been done before and was within the laws. It worked for a while, but ultimately England adapted and Italy lost.

The reality is the only thing this pointed out was a flaw in the English team which Doctor Jones will have to correct.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU9A_oN6NV8

That's about the height of it, except Dr Jones, rather than treat the English team is trying to change the diagnosis!

See how I'm running with the medical thing there?

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 3:56 pm

rapidsnowman wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think this is all kind of funny. Italy tried something which has been done before and was within the laws. It worked for a while, but ultimately England adapted and Italy lost.

The reality is the only thing this pointed out was a flaw in the English team which Doctor Jones will have to correct.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU9A_oN6NV8

That's about the height of it, except Dr Jones, rather than treat the English team is trying to change the diagnosis!

See how I'm running with the medical thing there?
Brilliant.  Obviously you can see the gist of things and go with the flow.

Dependent Personality Disorder.  Yes, this is a real condition according to my mental health associates.  The definition from the Cleveland Clinic, a highly regarded US medical organization, is as follows:  
What is dependent personality disorder?

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is one of a group of conditions called anxious personality disorders, which are marked by feelings of nervousness and fear. DPD also is marked by helplessness, submissiveness, a need to be taken care of and for constant reassurance, and an inability to make decisions.

DPD is one of the most frequently diagnosed personality disorders. It appears to occur equally in men and women, and usually appears in early to middle adulthood.
Hmmmm.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by cascough on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 5:38 pm

InjuredYetAgain wrote:
cascough wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I just find it funny listening to England fans talking about "anti-rugby", "killing the game" and being denied the opportunity to play a wide game.

I'm old enough to remember the 1990s, and watching Dean Richards, socked rolled down, walking the ball up the field with 7 players trundling in front of him until they (a) the won a penalty for Rob Andrew to kick, or (b) they got close enough for Dewi Morris to throw the ball to Rob Andrew for the drop goal.

Very effective. Entirely legal. Tough spectacle and one for the purists. There's a faint whiff of double standards going on here.

It was a clever and unusual tactic from Italy, but England were far too slow to figure out what to do. Once Eddie Jones had explained it to them, the second half was completely different. It isn't a lack of leadership, it's a lack of brains. There appear to be no thinkers in this England team.

I also don't think the rules need to change. A smart team would have quickly figured out where the space was through the middle and once the attacking team has momentum, it's very hard to stick with a tactic like that and not try to compete for the ball.
I am not sure what your point is. There was nothing unconventional about that England team. Mauling is a basic part of the game. Whether the tactics of Italy were anti-Rugby is debatable. Mauling definitely is not.

My worry from an Italian point of view is that yesterday's tactics were really an admission that they cannot compete at this level. Having tried this tactic and still handing a bonus point win to England it seems to me that Georgia's time has come.

So teams are now only allowed to play by "conventional" tactics? What about Japan at the World Cup and Fiji, with their tap and go style of play and desire to avoid set piece confrontation, keeping the ball in play as long as possible. Is that ok because neutrals find it exciting? What about Australia under Eddie Jones, who effectively cheated at each and every scrum in order to avoid facing up to the fact that they couldn't compete without trying to trick the referee??

My point re: England in the 1990s is a simple one. They were boring. Highly effective and "conventional", but boring. Endless rolling mauls, keeping the ball tight, kicking the leather off it and avoiding open play. All within the laws of the game of course, and all those championship wins (and WC Final) demonstrate that it was a perfectly valid tactic, but also akin to watching paint dry. Now we see England accusing Italy of ruining the spectacle, despite them deploying a perfectly valid tactic to stifle England's flow. I'm sorry, but it's double standards.

Who has decided it's boring? I like watching mauls. I often prefer a tight game where every yard is fought for over a fast loose error ridden open game.

In any case I think that's besides the point. To reuse a tweet I sent on Sunday, "if it's a spectacle you want **** off to the theatre".

I think calling it boring misses the point somewhat. When the laws were laid out it wasn't considered that teams would do what Italy did and as such isn't in the spirit of the game. Now I don't like that wording much, but it's World Rugby's, not mine.

The week before the game World Rugby tweaked things so that if teams were to do this, then they couldn't play the 9. Given that Italy were unperturbed by that I suspect we will see further tweaks.

I've no problem with what Italy did. It's legal. But I don't like it, I don't believe it was reffed very well and I don't believe it was particularly effective.  

So you would happily part with £70 a ticket to watch a bunch of hopeless, unambitious Italians phanny around waving their hands about? I'm sorry but I expect to be entertained when I go to any level of rugby. TBH I would rather go to the theatre than watch that dross from Italy.

I watch for the sporting contest. My entertainment is derived from that. I generally don't pay to watch sport unless it's very cheap. When you start talking about 70 quid, the only way I'd pay that is if a team that I am heavily invested in is involved.

Some people see sport as being a situation where you pay your money and then expect the little men on the big field to dance around for you and entertain you. Like your money gives you some sort of say in how it should go/be performed. I see sport as being a situation where you pay your money and enable them to go do their thing. It's a thing I enjoy watching, that's why I'm there enabling it with my money.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 3:22 am

Just listened to the Pundit Arena Oval Office podcast released on Wednesday.

The speakers there are still taking England to task for not countering the ruckless tactic by dragging in defenders to form a ruck. I thought everyone knew by now that's is what England tried to do but Poite didn't allow it.

Delicious irony when people mock others for not knowing the laws, only to propose something the officials have ruled illegal.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

Post by mid_gen on Fri 03 Mar 2017, 9:20 am

Watched some of the game again and more and more I agree with EJ. I think as a one-off bit of soap opera if made for an entertaining match, mostly due to England's inability to react in the first half, but it really is utter dirge to watch. The tactic fundamentally changes the game into something different, and worse.

Rucking is a major facet of the game, always has been. If a team used some loophole in the laws to remove scrums, or lineouts from the game it would be just as much of a farce.

So, kudos for the one-off...but if it becomes a common tactic I want it legislated out of the game.

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Re: To ruck or not to ruck?

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