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Steve Hansen - Rugby's Getting Boring

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Taylorman
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Post by offload 05.03.15 15:32

For those who may not have seen this I thought I'd share a link to an interview Hansen did for Wales Online. I'm sure some of us will sympathise with his thoughts whilst others might see a little posturing before the WC? What do you think?

As a life long passionate follower of rugby, I personally struggle with the direction the game is going. I would like to see key areas of the game like the scrum and breakdown revert to a less complex environment where interpretation is minimised. I enjoyed rugby more when forwards were so busy rucking and mauling they didn't get in the way!

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/steve-hansen-qa-fears-modern-day-8767052
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Post by SecretFly 05.03.15 16:10

offload wrote:

As a life long passionate follower of rugby, I personally struggle with the direction the game is going.  I would like to see key areas of the game like the scrum and breakdown revert to a less complex environment where interpretation is minimised.  I enjoyed rugby more when forwards were so busy rucking and mauling they didn't get in the way!

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/steve-hansen-qa-fears-modern-day-8767052

Hanson doesn't coach a team who've ever really conformed to that theory though.  So..................

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Post by Scarpia 05.03.15 17:48

Professional rugby is getting boring, or at least predictable in its patterns of play. I have reverted to watching my local club playing "real, grassroots" rugby. The players are skilful, fit, enthusiastic and enjoy running and trying to score tries. They are organised and have game plans but are not so over-coached that they cannot or will not improvise. They are fit and strong but they are not gym monkeys. There is room for players of all shapes and sizes. The social aspect after the game is important but there are many players who moderate their alcohol intake as they have respect for their bodies. I watch pro rugby on tv and go to the occasional international and every game I see makes me realise I have made the correct decision for me.

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Post by Gwlad 05.03.15 17:57

I agree it is, no way through defensive lines anymore. Offload has been abandoned and we no longer see support play as a safe option. No rucking means slow ball, kicks to the wings and driving mauls. Utterly boring. When was the last time you saw a scissors or a side step? Its become an attritive 3 point game. RWC will be a dirge.

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Post by Cyril 05.03.15 18:03

I would agree that international rugby hasn't been great entertainment for a while (and the 6 Nations has its fair share of stodgy, defence-heavy games).  However, the AP has been great this year. Some really good games with skilful, attacking play (especially those involving Bath or Wasps).

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Post by SecretFly 05.03.15 18:18

Catch some of the early pool games of the World Cup and there'll be a feast of tries.

But there's the rub.

The folks at the top loved dancing feet rugby - and even big boy bully rugby, because they simply had both and could impose both on poorer sides.  And we had the lovely tries - but mostly from only one side doing the scoring in any given game.  
But when the big guys meet each other, the game has always been more attritional.  Good teams, no matter how fancy footed, cancel each other out to an extent and always have.

Along came the bottom or middle ranked guys, who finally said "we're not taking it no more.  We're not going to be stiffs in someone else's movie"
And gradually the smaller nations creep up on the big ones - by using bigger and smarter players of their own.

Now they're able to defend to an extent against both the dances and the bullying.  And we're where two top sides have always been - cancelling each other out mostly.  That's where the boredom is coming from - the gaps in ability are becoming less and less amongst the top 7 or 8 sides.  No side fully bullies another and therefore no space becomes available to side step into or dance around.

But the Kings don't like it.  The field is being clogged up with too many defensively minded sides now.  The gap is too close - it needs to be broken again by variations in rules.   'We can't get past sides no more.  There is something unfair about it that they're allowed defend so well and that the laws of the game protect their defences'

The drone seems to be: Let us win - you know it's for the best.

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Post by offload 05.03.15 18:44

Gwlad wrote:I agree it is, no way through defensive lines anymore. Offload has been abandoned and we no longer see support play as a safe option. No rucking means slow ball, kicks to the wings and driving mauls. Utterly boring. When was the last time you saw a scissors or a side step? Its become an attritive 3 point game. RWC will be a dirge.

All I've done is post someone's interview - surely I don't deserve this.
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Post by Gwlad 05.03.15 18:49

Mea culpa offload, i should have said offload has been taken around the back of the bike sheds and gently rogered. Please accept my apologies.

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Post by SecretFly 05.03.15 18:49

You gotta admit you are rare, offload.

Well, at least with my team you're practically extinct.

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Post by captain carrantuohil 05.03.15 18:57

If some of you were around back in the 70s, you'd maybe remember imperishable classics such as Wales 6 Scotland 0 (74), or Ireland 0 England 4 (77) or England 3 France 4 (77 again). The 80s gave us England 12 Ireland 9 (84) and Scotland 6 England 9 (88), among a host of other dirges. In the 90s, I sat through the worst game of international rugby I've ever seen, Ireland 6 Scotland 6, played in a howling Lansdowne gale.

It''s just like 70s and 80s music, where everyone remembers David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Smiths and New Order and forgets the utter dreck that was around with it. Pilot, The Rubettes, Rick Astley and Glenn Medeiros anyone? For all the shimmering rugby, scissors and bought dummies that we may remember from the 70s and 80s, there were at least as many games played on mud-heaps that degenerated into attritional bores where the kick, either for touch in an era where you could welly it straight out without penalty from anywhere on the pitch, or the Garryowen, was King.

This year may not have been a barrel of laughs on the flowing three-quarter move front, but it has rarely been less than extremely interesting and flagrantly appalling games have been non-existent, I'd say. Scotland-Italy wasn't easy watching at times, but that's only because Clancy couldn't impose his authority on the scrum and gave up trying to do so eventually.

You wait, 2015 will be seen as a vintage year when we swing into 2031.

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Post by offload 05.03.15 19:31

I think you make a good point Captain - there has always been variable quality rugby.  I actually enjoyed many a game played in awful conditions which were real low scoring arm wrestles.  I don't necessarily think you need open fast running rugby all the time.  This is a game for all seasons.

What disappoints is the way that defence now dominates and that set pieces are often played with the penalty in mind.  The breakdown has a real heath robinson about it so that what should be a simple competition for the ball has become a farce.  It adds to the defensive mind set and the general lack of space.

Watch any game from the 70's and it's almost unrecognisable as modern rugby union.  I'm not by nature nostalgic and many of the changes in the game are for the better.  I don't think I'm alone in thinking that the reintroduction of rucking and a simpler, faster scumaging process would be better.  These two changes alone would make a huge positive diference.
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Post by bedfordwelsh 05.03.15 20:37

captain carrantuohil wrote:If some of you were around back in the 70s, you'd maybe remember imperishable classics such as Wales 6 Scotland 0 (74), or Ireland 0 England 4 (77) or England 3 France 4 (77 again). The 80s gave us England 12 Ireland 9 (84) and Scotland 6 England 9 (88), among a host of other dirges. In the 90s, I sat through the worst game of international rugby I've ever seen, Ireland 6 Scotland 6, played in a howling Lansdowne gale.

It''s just like 70s and 80s music, where everyone remembers David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Smiths and New Order and forgets the utter dreck that was around with it. Pilot, The Rubettes, Rick Astley and Glenn Medeiros anyone? For all the shimmering rugby, scissors and bought dummies that we may remember from the 70s and 80s, there were at least as many games played on mud-heaps that degenerated into attritional bores where the kick, either for touch in an era where you could welly it straight out without penalty from anywhere on the pitch, or the Garryowen, was King.

This year may not have been a barrel of laughs on the flowing three-quarter move front, but it has rarely been less than extremely interesting and flagrantly appalling games have been non-existent, I'd say. Scotland-Italy wasn't easy watching at times, but that's only because Clancy couldn't impose his authority on the scrum and gave up trying to do so eventually.

You wait, 2015 will be seen as a vintage year when we swing into 2031.

Sorry but they were utter dreck as well, or not my taste at least Wink. Thing is everyone harks back to nostalgia in one shape form but was it really much better as CC pointed out there were some utterly awful games as well as some great ones.
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Post by Scarpia 05.03.15 21:30

It's not just the score though. It's the intention. One of the best games I ever saw was Swansea V Pontypool in the late 1970s. Full of gruelling forward work and scintillating back play. Fabulous stuff. How many tries scored? None. 9-9 was the score.

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Post by Notch 05.03.15 21:38

In that article the examples used are Wales vs France and Ireland vs England- but I really enjoyed those games. Not a lot of space out there but they were played a high-level of intensity, very few areas and both games decided by moments of outstanding skill.

There haven't been any genuinely bad games in this years Six Nations to date in my opinion. I don't mind games with a good deal of kicking so long as it's not aimlessly hammering the ball downfield. Seeing Ireland kick, chase, win a turnover and then attack off it isn't boring at all in my view.


Last edited by Notch on 05.03.15 21:41; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Cardiff Dave 05.03.15 21:40

captain carrantuohil wrote:
It''s just like 70s and 80s music, where everyone remembers David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Smiths and New Order and forgets the utter dreck that was around with it. Pilot, The Rubettes, Rick Astley and Glenn Medeiros anyone?

The Jam, ABBA, Blondie, The Police, The Knack, Costello, Joe Jackson, Slade, The Sweet, Sex Pistols, Quo, Sabbath, Dire Straits, Queen, Led Zep, Deep Purple, Eagles, etc etc etc and all writing their own stuff too. The 70s were great.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly 05.03.15 21:46

He must have been watching Ireland.......... Wink

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Post by captain carrantuohil 05.03.15 22:09

Dave, you're clearly forgetting The Glitter Band, Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, Pussycat, The Bay City Rollers and others even more painful to recall. It wasn't all good, you know!

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Post by Cardiff Dave 05.03.15 22:41

captain carrantuohil wrote:Dave, you're clearly forgetting The Glitter Band, Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, Pussycat, The Bay City Rollers and others even more painful to recall. It wasn't all good, you know!

No doubt i've forgotten a lot and yes there was a lot of rubbish around, but always gems would appear every week it seemed. Best Xmas songs written during the era too. McCartney still had it big time as did Lennon. Elton and Van Halen. Even disco came up with some really good stuff and nifty guitar riffs. Baker Street, Crosby/Stills. So Shang-your-lang and craze your horses. The 70s were great.

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Post by SecretFly 05.03.15 23:44

Sgt_Pooly wrote:He must have been watching Ireland.......... Wink

That's all he had. The other team didn't turn up. Wink

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Post by SecretFly 05.03.15 23:51

Cardiff Dave wrote:
captain carrantuohil wrote:Dave, you're clearly forgetting The Glitter Band, Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, Pussycat, The Bay City Rollers and others even more painful to recall. It wasn't all good, you know!

No doubt i've forgotten a lot and yes there was a lot of rubbish around, but always gems would appear every week it seemed. Best Xmas songs written during the era too. McCartney still had it big time as did Lennon. Elton and Van Halen. Even disco came up with some really good stuff and nifty guitar riffs. Baker Street, Crosby/Stills. So Shang-your-lang and craze your horses. The 70s were great.

It was still a very BROWN time for the world Dave.  

It didn't matter how the Glitter era ( Whistle  - we now know what was happening there ) tried to sparkle it or how many colours were in Wizzard's scarf - the pervading memory colour for me of the 70s is brown.  Brown clothes (on normal people) brown wallpaper, brown chairs, brown playing fields (shyte and muck), brown fuzzy cameras showing brown fuzzy sitcoms with brown fuzzy characters wearing brown outfits.................................

Brown.

For a decade that tried to impress with glitter I simply remember it as dull and depressing.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly 06.03.15 0:11

SecretFly wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:He must have been watching Ireland.......... Wink

That's all he had.  The other team didn't turn up. Wink

You're not wrong. If a team can't adjust to the Irish tactics that's their issue. Ireland play a pretty boring but very effective kind of rugby, it's winning rugby.

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Post by Gwlad 06.03.15 0:22

Personally would love to see Ireland take on NZ next weekend, think they have the makings of a great side and if anyone can get at Hansen at the moment i think it is the irish. From 1-15 they are a superb side with a truly World Class 10 and a new hotshot in Henshaw….BOD who?

If they can contain the injuries and win this 6 Nations then they are real contenders for RWC glory

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Post by ebop 06.03.15 2:40

Rob Howley has an opinion on this...

http://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/67036427/Welsh-assistant-coach-backs-up-Steve-Hansens-fears-of-rugby-becoming-boring
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Post by TheRugbyMaster 06.03.15 9:44

He's totally right. The game is becoming a shambles. 32 minutes of scrum resets interspersed between arbitrary ruck penalties as players are allowed to seal off, play at the ball off their feet, dive into rucks from all angles and disrupt the ball while offside and not bound. When the ball does come back, the outside defense is up off side and there are forwards standing as pillars offside in the ruck in defense.

I'm sorry but this is a northern hemisphere problem because this just does not happen in super rugby or the rugby championship. The same referees are blowing the game differently.

What are we to read into two of the worlds best southern hemispheresn whistlers strangely being "unavailable" for the premier six nations clash of wales v Ireland? Replaced by two notoriously fickle substitutes?

Smacks of interventionism to conform the already dull six nations to its dire standard.

Buck up "world rugby" it's a turn off.

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Post by No 7&1/2 06.03.15 10:04

NZ fan by any chance RugbyMaster?

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Post by GunsGerms 06.03.15 10:42

TheRugbyMaster wrote:He's totally right. The game is becoming a shambles. 32 minutes of scrum resets interspersed between arbitrary ruck penalties as players are allowed to seal off, play at the ball off their feet, dive into rucks from all angles and disrupt the ball while offside and not bound. When the ball does come back, the outside defense is up off side and there are forwards standing as pillars offside in the ruck in defense.

I'm sorry but this is a northern hemisphere problem because this just does not happen in super rugby or the rugby championship. The same referees are blowing the game differently.

What are we to read into two of the worlds best southern hemispheres whistlers strangely being "unavailable" for the premier six nations clash of wales v Ireland? Replaced by two notoriously fickle substitutes?

Smacks of interventionism to conform the already dull six nations to its dire standard.

Buck up "world rugby" it's a turn off.

20 years ago for example in many ways the game was better, in some ways it was definitely worse. There were so many more mistakes before it seemed and teams were much less organised. However, with professionalism some fairly unsavoury or worrying attributes have evolved. Sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth however, the claims that there are less tries these days is not really true though.

If you look at the 1985 5 nations championship which interestingly Ireland won and were unbeaten in there was an average of 1.8 tries per game. So far this year there is an average of 2.6 tries. If you remove Italy the ratio drops to 1.5 which isnt much less given how much defenses have improved. The average is also down a bit from last year when not including Italy there were 3 tries per game.

I only realised last night that Hanson was actually at a few the 6 nations games over the weekend and that's why he made those comments. However, it should be noted that when on their really long unbeaten streak last year NZ were one of the teams in the world that kicked the ball the most out of all teams.

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Post by GunsGerms 06.03.15 11:35

"Ireland arent going to play much rugby" - a bit like NZ in the WC final Hanson?

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Post by beshocked 06.03.15 11:37

Notch wrote:In that article the examples used are Wales vs France and Ireland vs England- but I really enjoyed those games. Not a lot of space out there but they were played a high-level of intensity, very few areas and both games decided by moments of outstanding skill.

There haven't been any genuinely bad games in this years Six Nations to date in my opinion. I don't mind games with a good deal of kicking so long as it's not aimlessly hammering the ball downfield. Seeing Ireland kick, chase, win a turnover and then attack off it isn't boring at all in my view.

It's a little easier to enjoy a game when your team is on the winning side. I thought the Ireland-England game was dire, firstly from an English perspective and from a competitive game. Ireland emphatically won the game - it wasn't close.

I found Scotland-Italy and Scotland-Wales much more enthralling matches for example even though both teams weren't at the top of their game.

Ireland have scored 3 tries in 3 games - I wouldn't say Ireland have been easy on the eye.

They have been playing an effective brand of rugby but it's based on defence and forcing the opposition into errors. If you support the winning team you can forgive the tactics more. This is what Irish fans are doing at the moment.

I would say that Ireland have been dreary in attack and should aspire for more.


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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 11:41

So who'll not be watching any of the games next week because they're 'a turn off'?


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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 11:50

beshocked wrote:

Ireland have scored 3 tries in 3 games - I wouldn't say Ireland have been easy on the eye.

They have been playing an effective brand of rugby but it's based on defence and forcing the opposition into errors. If you support the winning team you can forgive the tactics more. This is what Irish fans are doing at the moment.

I would say that Ireland have been dreary in attack and should aspire for more.


This is a World Cup year.  Rugby is still business.  We keep hearing it's a business.  That business idea doesn't end when rugby exits club and goes International.

Ireland are currently winning - could end next week, well prepared for it, good luck to Wales if they do it (that's covering my ass against any snorts that Ireland 'winning' is an arrogant comment)

It's not arrogant.  It's merely referencing what's happening so far.  In actual fact, Ireland under Kidney were often way more expansive and creative in attack than Schmidt's side usually are.  But they were still losing.  

So why should Ireland show any more than they need to?  Show more, expose yourself and be put to the sword?  No.  No need to do that.  No obligation to do that.  
When a side forces Ireland to play catch up (might happen next week) then we'll see if they have anything in the tank to work past tight defences in a more pleasing-to-the-eye way.

Until then - pragmatism.  It's a World Cup year.  Lots of rugby still to play - Against some of the sides we now play in 6N.  Why show all you have or might have when to date they haven't needed to.  The team that forces a Plan B or C on Ireland will find out if there is a Plan B or C.

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Post by beshocked 06.03.15 12:13

SecretFly wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Ireland have scored 3 tries in 3 games - I wouldn't say Ireland have been easy on the eye.

They have been playing an effective brand of rugby but it's based on defence and forcing the opposition into errors. If you support the winning team you can forgive the tactics more. This is what Irish fans are doing at the moment.

I would say that Ireland have been dreary in attack and should aspire for more.


This is a World Cup year.  Rugby is still business.  We keep hearing it's a business.  That business idea doesn't end when rugby exits club and goes International.

Ireland are currently winning - could end next week, well prepared for it, good luck to Wales if they do it (that's covering my ass against any snorts that Ireland 'winning' is an arrogant comment)

It's not arrogant.  It's merely referencing what's happening so far.  In actual fact, Ireland under Kidney were often way more expansive and creative in attack than Schmidt's side usually are.  But they were still losing.  

So why should Ireland show any more than they need to?  Show more, expose yourself and be put to the sword?  No.  No need to do that.  No obligation to do that.  
When a side forces Ireland to play catch up (might happen next week) then we'll see if they have anything in the tank to work past tight defences in a more pleasing-to-the-eye way.

Until then - pragmatism.  It's a World Cup year.  Lots of rugby still to play - Against some of the sides we now play in 6N.  Why show all you have or might have when to date they haven't needed to.  The team that forces a Plan B or C on Ireland will find out if there is a Plan B or C.

Secretfly I agree with most of that. You want to win - I can understand that.

I am just pointing out that Hansen is well within his rights to call certain games and sides "boring" but as you are rightly say - Ireland won't be bothered by that as they have 10 wins in a row. Your tactics are working.

England were called boring when they won the 2003 RWC. I doubt the world cup winning squad will be bothered by that.

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Post by GunsGerms 06.03.15 12:25

SecretFly wrote:So who'll not be watching any of the games next week because they're  'a turn off'?


Scotland fans possibly.

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Post by captain carrantuohil 06.03.15 12:30

The try count these days is not massively different from what it was in the 80s and I suspect that it's way up on the 70s, when scoring four tries brought with it permission to turn somersaults and wear funny hats for months afterwards.

My impression is that there was a period in the late 90s and early 2000s when there was a glut of tries and the outside backs were having a field day. This coincided with a period when there was one outstanding side, another couple of good strong ones (France and initially Scotland, who were quickly replaced by Ireland), but three much weaker teams. There were some enormously skewed scorelines in consequence, but even when the weaker teams played each other, a comparative lack of defensive nous meant that there were some unbelievably high points tallies.

With the sides levelling up in a lot of respects, that's gone. Tries are more typically scored through the kick, the rolling maul or as the consequence of endless phases. It's different, but it has its own merit as well. I wouldn't call it boring and it makes the more occasional flashes of individual inspiration all the more laudable and precious.

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Post by GunsGerms 06.03.15 12:39

I agree.

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Post by beshocked 06.03.15 12:56

captain carrantouhil defences have generally been king in the last few years. People forget that Wales' GS wins have been built on having one of the meanest defences in the 6 nations.

Ireland's current good form is built on their mean defence.

I do think the balance has swayed too far towards defence being king.

I feel like Ireland have been limited in their gameplan - they haven't had to come up with a plan B or C as you say Secretfly. It's a shame to be honest.

I want England to evolve into an all round team with the aspiration to become as good as the all blacks - the ABs simply have very good basics and skill levels.

It starts at the grassroots - we need to focus on skill levels more, we have become too mechanical, too predictable.


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Post by GunsGerms 06.03.15 13:00

Referees are also ignoring way too many defenses that are not behind the hindmost foot and are pressing up before the ball has been released. This is a big part of the problem. Both England and Ireland got away with this a lot on Sunday. How are you meant to score tries when the defense are given such an advantage?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly 06.03.15 13:05

I must admit I won't be going out of my to an Ireland game any time soon. They are certainly playing a brand of rugby that's not easy on the eye and only a mother could love.

There's a very fine line between winning and entertaining imo.

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Post by captain carrantuohil 06.03.15 13:05

I hear you, beshocked, but the fact is that international rugby has become a totally different world from the next rung down, let alone the grass roots of the game.

At the lowest levels, scoring tries is the be-all and end-all and very enjoyable it is too. As high up the game as the Super 12 or 15 or whatever it is, the European leagues and the Heineken Cup, there is that extra bit of space that allows even the meanest defence to come unstitched occasionally.

The level of preparation and defensive readiness at an international level has stifled the creative instincts that are still present among modern players. I really don't believe that the modern mind-set is any different; it's just a case of the spirit being willing but overpowered by the speed, size and fluidity of defences as they are constructed today. The onus is on attacking coaches to find new tactics either to pierce these defences or bludgeon them into submission; eventually, something will come, as it always has, and it will be the turn of defences to seek new strategies to combat it.


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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 13:06

GunsGerms wrote:Referees are also ignoring way too many defenses that are not behind the hindmost foot and are pressing up before the ball has been released. This is a big part of the problem. Both England and Ireland got away with this a lot on Sunday. How are you meant to score tries when the defense are given such an advantage?

I think all that goes under the theory of 'letting the game flow' Guns.

Clancy is mighty pernickety and stop games flowing but that's because he observes rules like a country garda trapping late night car-tax dodgers.
Yet, the call is for more rule observation by refs, not letting players get away with the infringements that can turn a game.

Then you have the people, often the same people, who complain about officiousness and stuffy pedantry, and refs that don't have the instincts to let the game 'flow'.

What they really mean is that they'd like refs to interpret infringements more casually in some areas and more stringently in others.....

Poor refs. Stuck in the middle and always wrong.

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Post by captain carrantuohil 06.03.15 13:10

Guns, you are spot on. We don't need revised or extra laws but stricter application of existing ones. At kick-offs/re-starts, such a vital part of the modern game, how often do you see players rushing up ahead of the kicker before he has put boot to ball. The same, as you say, is true of the hindmost foot offside law. Properly policed, you get that exta half yard of space that makes all the difference. Referees have a tough enough job but there has to be a better balance between the laissez-faire, 'let's not be too strict on infractions' attitude and the fussy, whistle-happy approach that is arguably even worse.

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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 13:15

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I must admit I won't be going out of my to an Ireland game any time soon. They are certainly playing a brand of rugby that's not easy on the eye and only a mother could love.

There's a very fine line between winning and entertaining imo.

But again.  The nub is that Ireland's boring game.... kept England's game even more plodding than Ireland's version on the day.

IF, the game the English play now - and the All Blacks play (when they're in the mood not to coast!) - if that's the ideal - then why can't it impose itself over and above the sludge that a team like Ireland are accused of playing? 
One is a superior version of rugby but it got bogged down and couldn't function.  It had no answers within the superior and entertaining bag of tricks to knock the stuffing out of Ireland's 'basic' model.  

Ireland rattled the pre-planned, and well rehearsed, and repeatedly drilled 'entertainment' game that England expected to bring.  But is a pre-planned 'off-the-cuff' game (and Conor O'Shea showed how it repeats and repeats and repeats) is that any more virtuous than a pre-planned kick, chase and breakdown explosion game?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly 06.03.15 13:25

A game involving a few passes and runs is generally more entertaining that a kick fest.

I enjoy watching Ireland but the brand of rugby played under Schmidt had made me turn off and that's as a rugby fan.

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Post by beshocked 06.03.15 13:32

The problem is the more you penalise, the more stoppages there are which slows down play to a pedestrian pace. My least favourite ref was Alain Rolland who was guilty of this. It's a relief that he's retired.

captain c true but the problem is that the so called preparation and readiness makes a team predictable. I thought both Ireland and England were predictable but one was far more effective than the other.

Ireland executed their simple gameplan to brutal effect. England needed to adapt to ever changing circumstances but did not.

That game vs Ireland should be a lesson for England - basic skills were ignored like a good kick chase, good ball retention, winning lineouts, not being predictable.

There is a big difference between getting taught a lesson and learning from it.

England were schooled by Ireland - will England learn?


Look at the French - they've lost their attacking elan and replaced it with the bludgeoning predictability and power which has become the vogue in the top 14.

They badly need a change in top class personnel - if I was them I would gamble a bit -try and poach an English coach or two like Alex King who used to be a coach at Clermont.

Equally I think England need to freshen up their coaching set up - give Catt and Farrell Sr the boot.

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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 13:37

Sgt_Pooly wrote:A game involving a few passes and runs is generally more entertaining that a kick fest.

I enjoy watching Ireland but the brand of rugby played under Schmidt had made me turn off and that's as a rugby fan.

Oh I appreciate it's not appreciated, Pooly. I acknowledge that. Even we Irish would like a bit more backs orientated spark. But where do you get that against a team as good as England?

Our opportunities to play a loose running game (had it ever been on the agenda) would have been as limited against England as England's turned out to be against us.
Entertaining creativity was cancelled out by two ruthlessly good defensive sides.

But there is a degree of 'growl' in Hansen's comments that comes from an uneasy place in his mind. So we'll smile for now and hope Ireland add some spark when the time is right.

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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 13:46

The point is that the SH sides will always try to 'goad' the pride of NH sides and hit them with this theory that their game is muck and that they should come out and be loose to make the game entertaining.

How many times have the All Blacks showed up to play the Welsh and in the pre-week publicity were all praise for the Welsh open-game mentality, how the Welsh were the ABs of Europe, etc etc.  It's a draw-out courtship designed to create a game that they can punishingly exploit.

So too now in advance of the WC.  Hanson is trying to goad Schmidt out of his box.  "Come on Joe - be a man - play it the real way, the entertaining way - if you can - show us how good a coach you are"

Joe for now seems to be good enough not to listen to the taunts and insinuations and challenges and dares. Wink

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Post by beshocked 06.03.15 13:49

secretfly with 23 turnovers and 13 penalties plus the numerous English knockons and errors I expected more from the Irish attack to be honest.

You don't need to play loose - you just need to play intelligently - don't waste good attacking turnover ball for example.

If that was NZ for example they would have probably torn England to shreds on the counterattack.

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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 14:05

beshocked wrote:secretfly with 23 turnovers and 13 penalties plus the numerous English knockons and errors I expected more from the Irish attack to be honest.

You don't need to play loose - you just need to play intelligently - don't waste good attacking turnover ball for example.

If that was NZ for example they would have probably torn England to shreds on the counterattack.

Nothing is wasted.  It's a plan.  And it worked.  Again.  There is no wastage.  Whatever opportunities created and not taken are in the bank - they are trial runs for more incisive attack work potentially down the line when Irish players start offloading again.  Fully believe these players have a gear they don't show.  For now, it's strict adherence to defensive shape more than attacking risk.

I don't see too much wastage at all in the gameplan that's set out.  It's incremental solidifying.  Then on to the next step.  Was it two or three times we were at or over your tryline?  That's sloppy from us - great defending from you.  But they were there.  And that will be taken away and looked at and banked.  It's all learning.  We have young rookies in our side too.  They ain't all Sextons and O'Connells.  There is a bit of teaching and learning to be done too.

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Post by rumpelstiltskindoh 06.03.15 18:30

Scarpia wrote:Professional rugby is getting boring, or at least predictable in its patterns of play. I have reverted to watching my local club playing "real, grassroots" rugby. The players are skilful, fit, enthusiastic and enjoy running and trying to score tries. They are organised and have game plans but are not so over-coached that they cannot or will not improvise. They are fit and strong but they are not gym monkeys. There is room for players of all shapes and sizes. The social aspect after the game is important but there are many players who moderate their alcohol intake as they have respect for their bodies. I watch pro rugby on tv and go to the occasional international and every game I see makes me realise I have made the correct decision for me.

This.

The international game is now all about "small margins" and machine-like drills. Likewise, with the reffing - when there is a hint of a forward pass, knock-on or "illegal bind", there's intense scrutiny of what happened and people wind themselves up into a fury about "one-eyed refs" and suchlike.

Look at any recording of a game from the 70s and you will see MASSIVE forward passes, knock-ons, offsides etc, going unwhistled. But it was a much more enjoyable game to watch (and, I suspect, to play).

I blame money.

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Post by SecretFly 06.03.15 18:43

rumpelstiltskindoh wrote:

Look at any recording of a game from the 70s and you will see MASSIVE forward passes, knock-ons, offsides etc, going unwhistled. But it was a much more enjoyable game to watch (and, I suspect, to play).

 

True. The nostalgia protectors don't like hearing those things though, and believe all the greatness in older players came from their natural wonderful skills that were never assisted by some often dodgy, dodgy, dodgy reffing in most departments - plus no close up camera-work for the critics to look over ceaselessly after the game is over - plus no exacting TMO.

Everyone demands that the rules protect their team from losing. But the same people hope that the lack of fussy rule observance might see their team win.

Progress can't be halted - either in technology used to prove infringements or in the increasing skillset and fitness of all players on the field - defence as much as attack.


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Post by Lowlandbrit 06.03.15 19:51

rumpelstiltskindoh wrote:Look at any recording of a game from the 70s and you will see MASSIVE forward passes, knock-ons, offsides etc, going unwhistled. But it was a much more enjoyable game to watch (and, I suspect, to play).
Those classic games BBC have been showing are certainly eye-opening for me in that regard. Most of them are frankly rubbish from a skills perspective.

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