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Time to see a more expansive style of rugby in the Six Nations

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:45 am

Interesting article in the Telegraph by Steve James, demonstrating the attacking stats from the World Cup.

"In seven matches against other Tier One nations New Zealand and Australia scored 25 tries and kicked just 18 penalties, while in 21 games the eight other Tier One nations between them managed just 26 tries and kicked 79 penalties against other Tier One opponents."

"The basics of the set-piece are still kings: 50 per cent of tries at the World Cup were scored from line-outs, and only Ireland had a better success rate than New Zealand’s 95 per cent at the line-out, while New Zealand had the most steals at 24."

"As for the scrummage, 15 per cent of tries came from that (and only 12 per cent from turnovers), and New Zealand scored most tries from scrummages, with their scrum “least likely to be reset and one of the least likely to end in a penalty or free-kick”."



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12081583/Six-Nations-sides-must-realise-it-is-time-to-change.html

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:47 am

England were moving very well in that direction so it will be interesting to see where Jones takes us now. Presumably given his background we'll see a contunation but a bit more focus on the setpiece.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:48 am

No we don't need to change.

For the most part theres not huge gaps between the SH and NH. The gap is the efficiency with which the SH take their chances.

We need to focus on that.
Im sick of pandering to the SH teams. "Oh they're gods we need to match them."

Rubbish.

Aside from NZ the NH have been doing just fine against the others. Scotland have been beating them regularly.

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Post by eirebilly Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:50 am

Just watch out for Ireland. Saint Joe Schmidt will have them playing some scintillating attacking rugby. Would have won the RWC playing with the flair he wanted but injuries cost them...


So I am informed Wink Run
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Post by munkian Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:00 am

eirebilly wrote:Just watch out for Ireland. Saint Joe Schmidt will have them playing some scintillating attacking rugby. Would have won the RWC playing with the flair he wanted but injuries cost them...


So I am informed Wink Run

Kick, chase, loop pass, turnover ?
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Post by eirebilly Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:29 am

No Munkian, proper attacking rugby the likes of which the All Blacks would dream to play. Ireland have the greatest coach in living memory with no predictability about him at all so he will get Ireland to blow all teams away. Any victory in the 6N under 40points will be deemed as a loss in Schmidt's eyes Cool

I tell you, If Ireland had not lost Payne during the RWC, Ireland would be world champions thumbsup
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Post by munkian Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:34 am

eirebilly wrote:No Munkian, proper attacking rugby the likes of which the All Blacks would dream to play. Ireland have the greatest coach in living memory with no predictability about him at all so he will get Ireland to blow all teams away. Any victory in the 6N under 40points will be deemed as a loss in Schmidt's eyes Cool

I tell you, If Ireland had not lost Payne during the RWC, Ireland would be world champions thumbsup

I don't doubt it. the Pumas were very poor

Do BOD or POC still count as 1st team players ?
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Post by eirebilly Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:37 am

Nah BOD was just a poor man's Payne and POC has left things in control of the next greatest ever Munsterman in POM.

Its all golden I tell ya.
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Post by munkian Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:40 am

eirebilly wrote:Nah BOD was just a poor man's Payne and POC has left things in control of the next greatest ever Munsterman in POM.

Its all golden I tell ya.

Is he the one that looks like Rooney's slow cousin ?
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Post by offload Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:48 pm

Expansive is not a term you'll hear from Gatland! Requires more facial muscles than he uses. Expect..............more of the same.

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Post by TJ Wed 06 Jan 2016, 3:22 pm

Scotland are trying! Scored a lot more tries in the last couple of years than they used to.

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Post by maestegmafia Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:35 am

TJ wrote:Scotland are trying!  Scored a lot more tries in the last couple of years than they used to.

Very exciting centres in the squad for the RWC. Pleasure to watch.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:47 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:No we don't need to change.For the most part theres not huge gaps between the SH and NH. The gap is the efficiency with which the SH take their chances.

We need to focus on that.
Im sick of pandering to the SH teams. "Oh they're gods we need to match them."

Rubbish.

Aside from NZ the NH have been doing just fine against the others. Scotland have been beating them regularly.


Correct why should you change? you dont play NZ or Australia in the Six nations.

But 25 tries in 7 games as opposed to 26 tries in 21 games, and 18 penalties to 79 kicked penalties, suggests there is a gap of some sorts, I also am quite happy to let things continue as they are.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 07 Jan 2016, 3:20 pm

Laurie

I appreciate there probably is still a gap, but I don't think its about mass changes of styles etc.

I really feel one of the big gaps is the efficiency and clinicalness of the SH teams, not so much the style.

For example, Scotland SHOULD have beaten Australia in the WC. What they lacked was clinical finishing and efficiency with the chances they had.

Its not the first time we've heard that about NH teams and nor will it be the last.

Time and again we hear..."they had numerous chances" etc etc

Look at NZ or Aus and in general they'll score a try or points on every chance they get.
They are clinical and efficient.

That makes a big difference.

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Post by ebop Thu 07 Jan 2016, 9:23 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I really feel one of the big gaps is the efficiency and clinicalness of the SH teams, not so much the style

Saying this makes it sound like teams like the All Blacks and Australia are robots. I reckon the main difference is first and foremost related to creativity and imagination. Some teams are far more efficient and clinical at creating penalties and collecting the points than the All Blacks.
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Post by greenandpleasantland Thu 07 Jan 2016, 9:52 pm

The reason they take chances in Australia and NZ I believe is that they play games in a style where their basic skills are always put under pressure. As a result they are able to see and execute moved correctly. How often in the NH do we watch moves killed because passes are just so poor. Compare and contrast passing by the best of the SH with the best of the NH and we're miles behind. Until we learn that we have to be able to do what the SH players do we won't win the WC again in this hemisphere.
Again look at just good region and franchise players from say NZ (not the best internationals) just guys who are uncapped and watch how they can compete favourably with our guys in matches when they start playing up here.
We need to accept that our rugby standards are too low and until we do ensure all our players can execute basic skills when fatigued and shattered we will remain second rate.

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Post by ebop Thu 07 Jan 2016, 10:07 pm

greenandpleasantland wrote:The reason they take chances in Australia and NZ I believe is that they play games in a style where their basic skills are always put under pressure.

Yup, agree with that.

But is it easy to contrive the creation of such skills without fully embracing the style of game that results in these skills becoming instinctive?

Chicken and egg stuff.
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Post by nlpnlp Thu 07 Jan 2016, 10:38 pm

Whilst the weather in New Zealand isn't always perfect, the generally poor weather we experience during our rugby season does not encourage open running rugby.  It does encourage slow, collapsing scrums with players feet slipping out from under them - how often do we see 5 minute scrums where players are constantly pulling big clumps of mud off their boots and asking the referee to move the scrum because the ground underfoot is so boggy?  The recent poor standard of the pitches in the 6Nations hasn't helped.

The poor weather also encourages forward to hold onto the ball, use small pop passes and take it into contact to try and safely recycle it, rather than chuck it out.  Backs to play the percentages and put up the high kick and chase it.

In poor weather conditions New Zealand are more than happy to kick the leather off the ball and only play more expansive rugby when it is on to do so.  As has been noted above, what they and Australia are better at doing is taking a higher percentage of those chances than NH teams do.

So I think simply going out in the 6N with the intention to play a more expansive game regardless of the circumstances and the situation would be a mistake.  That said, I think Gatland needs to make the choice between picking a team to win the 6Ns at all cost by playing Gatland ball, or picking a team and game plan which might give them the chance of winning a World Cup.  I suspect though that to most Welsh fans beating England in the 6Ns is more important than winning a World Cup.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:34 pm

greenandpleasantland wrote:The reason they take chances in Australia and NZ I believe is that they play games in a style where their basic skills are always put under pressure. As a result they are able to see and execute moved correctly. How often in the NH do we watch moves killed because passes are just so poor. Compare and contrast passing by the best of the SH with the best of the NH and we're miles behind. Until we learn that we have to be able to do what the SH players do we won't win the WC again in this hemisphere.
Again look at just good region and franchise players from say NZ (not the best internationals) just guys who are uncapped and watch how they can compete favourably with our guys in matches when they start playing up here.
We need to accept that our rugby standards are too low and until we do ensure all our players can execute basic skills when fatigued and shattered we will remain second rate.

Everyone North or South play games that put their basic skills under pressure, otherwise there would be fewer handling errors. If the SH sides played in a NH winter they would make more mistakes too, but then the RWC is always scheduled to suit the SH calendar.

Generally though the NH countries do not have as skilful athletes playing rugby. Rugby is a minority sport amongst a wide diversity of other sports (many of them professional). Further than that, those schools that do promote rugby tend to be private and grammar schools where once the kids leave school they also leave rugby for high-powered professional careers.

Better quality players will more often than not beat lesser quality players even if they are playing exactly the same styles.

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Post by Gwlad Fri 08 Jan 2016, 2:00 am

Impossible with the NH game developing as it is.

And why worry about 'expansive' when you have an 'effective' style.

Pro sport is about winning, not a lot else.

England, i expect, will revert to type at least in the short term and definitely v Scotland. Jones is the way forward but he has to bring them back up from a dark place and i think Scotland may feel now is there chance. I don't see huge talent available in the backs and the pack was seriously diminished in the RWC.

Could be their undoing.

Ireland will be forced to think outside the box now one of the sacred cows has gone in POC. Always do well in the 6 Nations but RWC must have taken a lot out of them, as it did to Wales.

Wales will do more of the same with a little bit of magic dust thrown in when required. Or come 4th

Italy….?

France, well we all know that we dont know what we'll get.

Scots…my 6 Nations surprise package. I think its their time assuming beating Aussie hasn't done their confidence, they may be on the brink; either of something special ( i expect an historic win in their opener) or more spoon.

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Post by Icu Fri 08 Jan 2016, 3:35 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:No we don't need to change.

For the most part theres not huge gaps between the SH and NH. The gap is the efficiency with which the SH take their chances.

We need to focus on that.
Im sick of pandering to the SH teams. "Oh they're gods we need to match them."

Rubbish.

Aside from NZ the NH have been doing just fine against the others. Scotland have been beating them regularly.

7 SH world cup victories v 1 NH world cup victory, an overall losing record for all of the 5N against NZ, SA and Australia, the extreme rarity of the 5N to beat NZ, SA or Aust in their own backyards suggests otherwise - (England have only ever beaten Australia 3 times in Australia, Scotland x 2, Ireland x 3, Wales x 1, France x 4). No doubt the record would even worse for them against NZ and SA.  
Australia has won more games against Ireland, Wales and Scotland on their own home grounds while the score at Twickenham is 13 wins for England and 11 wins for Australia. Only France have a significantly good record at home against Australia. This indicates a healthy gap in my opinion, especially considering Australia has traditionally always been the weaker of the trio.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Jan 2016, 8:17 am

Yes,....but its not about style etc. Its about how many points go on the board.

Regardless of styles...the Kiwis and Aussies and South Africans take their chances.

The England team circa 1999 - 2003 was brutally efficient at taking chances, racking up points, hence why they were successful ie they won!

The style of rugby is just fine up here (not always but mostly), its the chance taking that is the problem.

And once we can conquer that problem...then things will change.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 08 Jan 2016, 8:30 am

When we talk about playing a more expansive style just like the SH teams - I cannot stop my brain thinking back to matches like the 2015 NZ/SA semi final, or the 2011 final. Fantastic expansive matches both of them were.

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Post by ebop Fri 08 Jan 2016, 8:53 am

As Laurie says above, it's great that the style of rugby in the NH is A-ok. No bother.

Any thoughts on the Saracens?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jan/02/saracens-leicester-premiership-match-report
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Jan 2016, 8:56 am

Ebop

As ive been saying on here....Sarries aren't an all singing all dancing side. Its not about the style of rugby you play.....Its about brutal efficiency....

TAKING YOUR CHANCES.

You don't leave the opposition 22 without either 7 or 3 points.

The SH teams are exceptional at it....the NH teams....are not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 08 Jan 2016, 8:57 am

There is something to be said of the coaches matching the best style to the players available. If you have a pack which can dominate other teams and so so backs you wouldn't want to play wide would you?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Jan 2016, 9:03 am

Absolutely correct 7.5

I just don't buy into this ....you MUST play expansive 7's style rugby because the SH teams do.

No they don't ....they play whats in front of them. They can play it wide or they can play route 1 up the guts rugby.

I actually belive the NH teams are capable of that aswell...to varying degrees, and they are getting better.

But it all harps back to.....converting chances.

In fact i'd love to see some stats on chance conversion rates. I bet theres quite a difference between the two hemispheres....

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Post by ebop Fri 08 Jan 2016, 9:22 am

Or chance 'creation' stats.

Try scoring chances I mean, and not penalty tries.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 08 Jan 2016, 9:29 am

For England at least I think you can see with the amount of tries scored, emphasis on backs in recent years that Lancaster thought that the players available suited a wider expansive game plan and I think that's fair enough. We've left points on the field more to inexperience than style of play or skill levels. We've generally at least equaled or outscored all opponents try wise in the last couple of years. I also think our pack has been the weakness, again experience and age wise it's a pretty young pack.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Fri 08 Jan 2016, 9:32 am

When 1 team (or zone) keep winning stuff, the answer is always easy – they’re simply better than the rest. In the case of NZ they are better at the basics – both handling and game-plan. All their sides can pass and catch under pressure to a higher standard, when someone makes a break there’s always a player(s) on the shoulder as support, they consistently have at least parity at the set-piece and tackle area, and they’re happy to play percentage rugby when required. Simples. It does help if they’re not routinely playing in a quagmire though.

And I’m not so sure I count Aus as their peers tbh. Sport fans are notoriously fickle – it wasn’t so long before the RWC that Aus were struggling. Now they’re suddenly supposed to be part of the wide SH/NH gap - meh, let's see how consistent they are. England’s record against them is pretty good, so I’m not panicking yet.
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Post by Shifty Fri 08 Jan 2016, 9:42 am

It will be freezing cold, I don't think expansive rugby is the way to go in the Six Nations, I'd rather Wales stick with Gatland ball to be honest it works. I wish we didn't have the hardest game away first up though!

We mostly lose the first game regardless of it being home or away though. I've noticed we haven't had France first up for many years, and nearly always seem to have Ireland or England. I think we played France first in 1995 as I remember the game it was peeing down all through the game, though we might of had them in 2000, but since then I can't remember us having them first up.

Shouldn't it be rotated? Headscratch

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Post by Notch Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:53 am

Has everyone forgotten what the last day of the last Six Nations was like already?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:09 am

Shifty wrote:It will be freezing cold, I don't think expansive rugby is the way to go in the Six Nations, I'd rather Wales stick with Gatland ball to be honest it works.  I wish we didn't have the hardest game away first up though!

We mostly lose the first game regardless of it being home or away though.  I've noticed we haven't had France first up for many years, and nearly always seem to have Ireland or England.  I think we played France first in 1995 as I remember the game it was peeing down all through the game, though we might of had them in 2000, but since then I can't remember us having them first up.  

Shouldn't it be rotated?  Headscratch


The fixtures should be drawn at random, but I imagine TV calls the tune these days.

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Post by Cyril Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:53 am

Notch wrote:Has everyone forgotten what the last day of the last Six Nations was like already?
Scotland and Italy basically gave up. France at least gave it a bit of a go, but essentially it was three one-sided games where defence was optional.

Not sure it was a particularly good advertisement for 6 Nations rugby, apart from the fact that the point difference swings meant it was very close between the 3 sides at the top.

6 Nations has never really been about the quality. They're normally edgy, muddy encounters followed by the ref being blamed for a single incident that 'swung' the game one way or another Laugh

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Post by Exiledinborders Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:58 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Shifty wrote:It will be freezing cold, I don't think expansive rugby is the way to go in the Six Nations, I'd rather Wales stick with Gatland ball to be honest it works.  I wish we didn't have the hardest game away first up though!

We mostly lose the first game regardless of it being home or away though.  I've noticed we haven't had France first up for many years, and nearly always seem to have Ireland or England.  I think we played France first in 1995 as I remember the game it was peeing down all through the game, though we might of had them in 2000, but since then I can't remember us having them first up.  

Shouldn't it be rotated?  Headscratch


The fixtures should be drawn at random, but I imagine TV calls the tune these days.
An interesting article on this subject in The Rugby Paper.
http://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/features/columnists/nick-cain/21016/nick-cain-england-grand-slam-hopes-hit-by-tv-rota/
To summarise Scotland and Italy have been by far the weakest teams since Italy were included. Starting with an nice warm up against an 'easy' team must be an advantage.
Since 2000 this is the number of times the stronger teams have started against a weaker team.
France 11
Ireland 9
England 6
Wales 4

Having a tournament with six teams and therefore an uneven number of home and away games is not ideal. Compounding this with a biased fixtures system is bonkers.

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Post by maestegmafia Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:09 pm

Notch wrote:Has everyone forgotten what the last day of the last Six Nations was like already?

Not at all, that's as my reason for posting this piece. The finale showed exactly how exciting the six nations is in a variety of ways. There have been some great dirty low scoring matches in bad weather where the passion and determination have been enthralling. Others a try fest to see who can score the most, or sometimes a sublime performance against a team touted as champions having their title taken away by the pure class of a relentless opposition.

The Auld rivalries have many facets.

I would like to see more tries scored this year... I would like to see more risk taken and endeavour rewarded.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:15 pm

More tries doesn't necessarily mean a higher-quality match. Some of the best matches I've seen were low-scoring.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 08 Jan 2016, 5:30 pm

ebop wrote:Any thoughts on the Saracens?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jan/02/saracens-leicester-premiership-match-report

Are you saying that if NZ were playing in Dunedin, with a gale blowing even short passes off target, with torrential rain and a complete dominance up front that they would throw the ball around?

Those were the conditions for that game you link to.

Saracens will however play in games like this too when conditions are appropriate:



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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 08 Jan 2016, 6:38 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Absolutely correct 7.5

I just don't buy into this ....you MUST play expansive 7's style rugby because the SH teams do.

No they don't ....they play whats in front of them. They can play it wide or they can play route 1 up the guts rugby.

I actually belive the NH teams are capable of that aswell...to varying degrees, and they are getting better.

But it all harps back to.....converting chances.

In fact i'd love to see some stats on chance conversion rates. I bet theres quite a difference between the two hemispheres....


Geordie, After a couple of days ive come back to this thread as Im am most interested in the point you are making. yes "style" can be misleading in that it can be put up as the silver bullet to improve any team, and obviously that isnt so.

Style is some thing that has evolved after a period of time in trying to achieve a series of outcomes during play and up to the whistle at the 80 minute mark. perhaps if we look at what a team is trying to achieve, first of all get possession of the ball, then create opportunities from which point scoring occur with that possession, then score the points, dominate the scoreboard, then win the game.

What you I believe are focussing on is that point between gaining possession and scoring points. we are taught as kids how important it is to move the ball wide  the instant you achieve possession  (we used to call it hot potato), not only because that is probably where a gap or overlap lies but also to put the oppposition backline under the obligation of having to defend and stretch them. this applies to all levels of the game not just international.

Style is only a word for the passage of play, but when you get down and look at the details of the play which you are doing, then yes forget the word style. because you are right. the movement of the ball has to be explosive at the point of turn over and that is taught /achieved by repetition to the point that it becomes an over learnt skill and then a reaction that occurs subconciously. I love this stuff.

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Post by The Great Aukster Sat 09 Jan 2016, 11:09 am

In the cricket world it would be madness to select spinners for green wickets or seamers for turning tracks. Playing an expansive game in heavy conditions would just be stupid.

The beauty of the Six Nations is that it starts in Winter and finishes in Spring so every aspect of the game is showcased. The style of play on the final day las t year would have been inappropriate in February, and that's what made it all the more special.

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Post by Fanster Sat 09 Jan 2016, 1:28 pm

This conversation has been interesting to read, and there has been some great points made, of which it's hard to disagree with.

I would like to add a few points myself to try to steer the discussion a bit:

1) The SH teams don't play wider, they don't play riskier, and they don't play more stylish. They do the basicis better than most, the set peice, and the grit at the breakdown, and their chance creation and exploitation stats are better. The key difference in my opinion is that up north we are playing far more structured, as in, we try to create chances for our backs to exploit, whereas the SH teams exploit chances with all 15 men.

NH forwards individualise their training too early, and tailor their strengths to 2/3 key attributes, which they play too, SH forwards can match these attributes but have a far more rounded game, and confidence in their ability to add more around the park. Look at the SH converts who now play international rugby up north, Maitland, Hardie, Payne, Nel, Hartley etc, they all excel at 'their job' but then add a little that the local boys can't do.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 09 Jan 2016, 6:23 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:In the cricket world it would be madness to select spinners for green wickets or seamers for turning tracks. Playing an expansive game in heavy conditions would just be stupid. The beauty of the Six Nations is that it starts in Winter and finishes in Spring so every aspect of the game is showcased. The style of play on the final day las t year would have been inappropriate in February, and that's what made it all the more special.


In heavy conditions always take the pointe when they are on offer, dont give away penalties in your own 22. but never assume that the opposition wont spin the ball wide. because its a good way to keep the opposition backs and loosies honest.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 09 Jan 2016, 6:56 pm

Laurie

Yes that's exactly it. I'm just trying to say its not about the " style" of rugby played.

I personally think the NH sides are actually good at creating the opertunities...but we are poor at taking them if we compare it to NZ and a lesser extent Australia and South Africa.

The real question from a NH perspective is what is missing in training that makes us leave points on the pitch.
Is it as basic as you say...repetition, reptetion repetition...

Of course you need a solid defence to keep the opposition out...but I'm focusing on the points scoring...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 09 Jan 2016, 7:07 pm

OR

Does it go back deeper than that...to school boys simply not learning the skills well enough...meaning come the seniors when NZ's don't even think about skills....we are still learning them...thus coming back to what we are discussing...NZ will take 1v1, 2v1, 3v1's like its a walk in the park...yet we quite often fail to score them.

BUt I maintain...its not about the "style" on the pitch

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 09 Jan 2016, 7:55 pm

Geordie, its the second option

I played rugby from the age of seven through to 29, with a couple of years in my mid 20s playing league.

Throughout those informative years as a school kid I was always coached by ex players who had always played at a competitive senior level Rugby, by the time I went to secondary school and played Auckland first 15 level we sometimes used to have ex All Blacks or former Auckland representative players, mostly were old boys of our school (at the invitation of our coach)who would take us for one off sessions for our positions, or for just the forwards or backs.

The sheer volume of technical knowledge that we were taught was not only immense but remains with me today. In developing our individual skills and team patterns it was always rammed down our throats that they had to be repated and repeated in training sessions until we could do them on instinct (sub conciously) the moment those golden opportunities occured.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 11 Jan 2016, 1:33 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:OR

Does it go back deeper than that...to school boys simply not learning the skills well enough...meaning come the seniors when NZ's don't even think about skills....we are still learning them...thus coming back to what we are discussing...NZ will take 1v1, 2v1, 3v1's like its a walk in the park...yet we quite often fail to score them.

BUt I maintain...its not about the "style" on the pitch

Why should a schoolboy in the SH learn the skills that a NH schoolboy won't?

For me the answer is that the SH have a rugby culture that attracts and keeps their most talented youngsters. The raw material playing rugby in the NH is lower quality to start with because the lure of other sports is higher leaving the playing population for rugby in a minority. Let's say David is a big guy with two left feet so he won't play football but rather migrate to rugby because of his size rather than ability. He might have ten thumbs too and it doesn't matter how long and how dedicated he is to practising the skills, his handling will never be great.

In the SH David will never get near a professional rugby contract because there are plenty of similarly sized players ahead of him with better overall skills. In the NH the numbers are less and the skill differential not as wide so he stands a chance of a pro contract. It doesn't matter what style of play David's team adopt, he will still knock-on and not be able to pass very well.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:11 pm

Why should a schoolboy in the SH learn the skills that a NH schoolboy won't?

Maybe the teaching methods are different? The focus. I understand there are weight categories. In the UK there isn't. The big lads generally come first whilst the small skilled lads struggle.

However...I do think that is changing now.

For me the answer is that the SH have a rugby culture that attracts and keeps their most talented youngsters. The raw material playing rugby in the NH is lower quality to start with because the lure of other sports is higher leaving the playing population for rugby in a minority.
I think you certainly have a point about the lure of other sports, but at the same time, we still have some skilled guys here in the NH. I don't want to make excuses for why we cant bridge the gap.

It doesn't matter what style of play David's team adopt, he will still knock-on and not be able to pass very well.
This is the point ive been making its not about style its about skills.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 12 Jan 2016, 7:10 am

I tend to agree with GF here that's its the execution or lack of it that shows up the gap. The SH sides will pretty much take the chances they get, even if they only get 1 or 2 then they will take them.

Look at the Wales v Australia game in the WC when they were down to 13 men, in all honesty we still didn't look like scoring but if the circumstances had been reversed you can pretty much guarantee that the Aussies would have scored.
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Post by DirtyRucker7 Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:24 pm

I think it's all down to who refs a game, seen a good positive ref who keeps his whistle down lets a competition for the ball ignores collapsed scrums if the ball has come back ready to play, comes down harsh on negative cynical play whilst defending in their own 22 you will see afast high scoring game.
But if say you have some one like George Clancy ,Roman Poite or Joubert you will get a dull frustrating display from so much pedantic whistle blowing and poor communication with the players then you will get Northern Hemisphere Rugby! players terrified of doing anything thing because the ref will ping them for something obscure.

In the North we have some fantastic players in all the nations just poor standard refs who pretty much neuter any skill out of such players.

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Post by wrfc1980 Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:43 pm

England are the team that consistantly tops the try scoring charts in the 6 nations. Its a funny one as Wales play a very one dimensional brand of rugby and don't score many tires yet England are always tarnnished with the 'boring' tag. Its down to the likes of Irleand and Wales to stop kicking away possesion and actually try to play some rugby.

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