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Boring Rugby

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dyniol53 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Boring Rugby
    Posted: 18 January 2021 at 11:53pm
Since the pandemic there have been lots of rugby commentators saying the game is becoming boring - too much kicking, too many big blokes running directly into other big blokes, scrums taking too long, too many mauls, the caterpillar ruck, Exeter pick and going from 5m out even when there’s an overlap outside etc

I’m wondering what fans on this forum think is the actual problem and what changes (if any) the law-makers should amend to create a more entertaining game
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SA14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 12:13am
Games in the English premiership are more entertaining and they use the same laws. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 7:45am
Good question, rugby should always look to improve.

First thing I'd do would be to clamp down on offsides, that's all we seem to hear lately is the ref shouting at players to stand still from kicks and coaching them at breakdowns so they need to start penalising them off the back of assistant ref's input (the main ref shouldn't need to be watching it, the officials need to work much better as a team). Players will soon get used to it and that should free up a bit of space.

Downgrade blocking/crossing etc. type offences to free kicks instead of pens, teams are more likely to run or kick to space from free kicks and I don't think a poorly timed dummy line should potentially result in 3 points against a team.

Somehow reduce the opportunities for jackals, that may sound a bit odd but the fear of being turned over is too high, I think that's catered for in the current rules but refs need to be much stricter on ensuring only the first person arriving can go for a turnover, too often it's the second/third player going for the ball.

Reduce subs to 6 players, 3 frontrow and the rest up to the teams, having 8 fresh players coming on every game is too much.

Trial having 14 players starting to see how it goes, leave the teams decide whether they want to drop a flanker or centre/wing which may lead to different approaches and a more interesting/open game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 7:50am
if the ref tells a scrum half to use it he should use it instead of lining up the so obvious box kick,penalise them straight away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 8:00am
Two early posts mention the ref communication. I do like this aspect of the sport in some ways but a player and their team should know if they're offside or not. If they are, the ref should give a penalty. You can get rid of all of this coaching business by the ref and teams would get a lot more honest more quickly. It shifts responsibility for adhering to the laws onto the players themselves and not the ref for making the players, which really shouldn't be their role. 

I fully agree there are shades of grey at the breakdown and scrums that needs careful officiating (and explaining to viewers) but things like offside, nah. Players should not be listening to the ref to know they're offside or even illegally holding on at the breakdown. It just encourages players to break the rules until the ref asks them to stop, with no penalty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 8:14am
Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 8:24am
Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 8:34am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 

I don't know but I am getting bored of a scrum half waving players over to join the ruck to give him a extra yard or two for his box kick.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 8:43am
Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 

I don't know but I am getting bored of a scrum half waving players over to join the ruck to give him a extra yard or two for his box kick.

Yes that is a very annoying part of rugby at the moment as is the protection created. Something needs to be done to encourage 9's to get on with the game - once the ball is available, even if it as the feet of player in the ruck, then it should be deemed to be in play and available not only to the 9 but the opposition. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 9:10am
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 

I don't know but I am getting bored of a scrum half waving players over to join the ruck to give him a extra yard or two for his box kick.

Yes that is a very annoying part of rugby at the moment as is the protection created. Something needs to be done to encourage 9's to get on with the game - once the ball is available, even if it as the feet of player in the ruck, then it should be deemed to be in play and available not only to the 9 but the opposition. 

The caterpillar, a term I love BTW, is a really good example of whatever rules you have, teams will find a way to slow it down and be safe when needed. The issue is this is now most of the time because playing it quickly is deemed to risky unless you are in their 22. If you outlawed the caterpillar I bet they'd just find some other way to do a very similar thing. I'd love to read input from Super rugby watchers on many of these comments. I still think the offside line is where to look as rush defences have neutralised the tactical 10 and pushed much of the pressure-relieving kicking onto box kicks from 9, and so caterpillar for protection and depth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 9:17am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 

I don't know but I am getting bored of a scrum half waving players over to join the ruck to give him a extra yard or two for his box kick.

Yes that is a very annoying part of rugby at the moment as is the protection created. Something needs to be done to encourage 9's to get on with the game - once the ball is available, even if it as the feet of player in the ruck, then it should be deemed to be in play and available not only to the 9 but the opposition. 

The caterpillar, a term I love BTW, is a really good example of whatever rules you have, teams will find a way to slow it down and be safe when needed. The issue is this is now most of the time because playing it quickly is deemed to risky unless you are in their 22. If you outlawed the caterpillar I bet they'd just find some other way to do a very similar thing. I'd love to read input from Super rugby watchers on many of these comments. I still think the offside line is where to look as rush defences have neutralised the tactical 10 and pushed much of the pressure-relieving kicking onto box kicks from 9, and so caterpillar for protection and depth.

Yes Dr M - the offside line, with the rush defensive system stifles much attacking intent. The way to beat it of course is to give yourself further depth but when you attack you must do so with pace. Why not add another 5 metres to the offside line and get ARs to police it rigorously - that would open up more time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 9:19am
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Make it that once a ruck is secure no more players can join the ruck thus reducing the caterpillar of protection that the scrum half gets.

How would you define "secure" though? Again, too much on the ref to decide for me. Limit numbers of players in ruck to two or three each side? 

Many of our suggestions are looking league esque I notice. 

I don't know but I am getting bored of a scrum half waving players over to join the ruck to give him a extra yard or two for his box kick.

Yes that is a very annoying part of rugby at the moment as is the protection created. Something needs to be done to encourage 9's to get on with the game - once the ball is available, even if it as the feet of player in the ruck, then it should be deemed to be in play and available not only to the 9 but the opposition. 

The caterpillar, a term I love BTW, is a really good example of whatever rules you have, teams will find a way to slow it down and be safe when needed. The issue is this is now most of the time because playing it quickly is deemed to risky unless you are in their 22. If you outlawed the caterpillar I bet they'd just find some other way to do a very similar thing. I'd love to read input from Super rugby watchers on many of these comments. I still think the offside line is where to look as rush defences have neutralised the tactical 10 and pushed much of the pressure-relieving kicking onto box kicks from 9, and so caterpillar for protection and depth.

Yes Dr M - the offside line, with the rush defensive system stifles much attacking intent. The way to beat it of course is to give yourself further depth but when you attack you must do so with pace. Why not add another 5 metres to the offside line and get ARs to police it rigorously - that would open up more time.

I think that would mean teams would just dead ruck everything, i.e. not put any players in there & have 14 (15 if the tackler gets up quickly) players back in the defensive line.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jones2004 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 9:41am
There’s a few laws that I’d like to see changed. Firstly with the rucks, when the ref says ‘use it’ the scrum half should have two seconds to use rather than the current five. Trying to set up a caterpillar ruck in two seconds would be hard for any scrum half. I’d also like to see the scrum option from free kicks removed - perhaps it would encourage the refs to use it more, especially with crooked feeds. 
Another thing I’d change is to get rid of the penalty if a scrum is out-powered. The reward for the stronger team should be a front foot ball / turnover of possession and not to milk a penalty out of it. I’d also strictly penalise the rule that says players should bind onto another when joining the rucks, reducing the risk to jacklers. 
Lastly I’d put a limit of three subs per game (excluding HIA). Teams would be allowed 6 or 7 players on their bench to reduce chances of uncontested scrums but only three of them could come on. This should force players (especially tight 5 forwards) to lose a bit of size, therefore reducing the size of hits and number of subsequent injuries. It should also allow more space to develop in the last twenty minutes, making the games more exciting. 


Edited by Jones2004 - 19 January 2021 at 9:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 11:14am
Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

Firstly with the rucks, when the ref says ‘use it’ the scrum half should have two seconds to use rather than the current five. Trying to set up a caterpillar ruck in two seconds would be hard for any scrum half. 

I agree as others above - Caterpillar should be sped up. I agree timing could be shortened to 3 seconds OR I’ve felt refs could start the count to 5 earlier - I.e. as soon as the 9 touches the ball with his feet to start rolling it back. Not waiting to call “use it!” when it’s already at the back of the ruck.

Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

I’d also like to see the scrum option from free kicks removed - perhaps it would encourage the refs to use it more, especially with crooked feeds.
 

I agree that feeding is now the norm, which I think means Hookers do less hooking, which means teams with powerful scrums have less incentive to get the ball OUT because they try to get the shove on instead (which is the point you make below) 

Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

Another thing I’d change is to get rid of the penalty if a scrum is out-powered. The reward for the stronger team should be a front foot ball / turnover of possession and not to milk a penalty out of it. 

Agree with this somewhat - but the Scrum is so integral to getting a platform i don’t think you can reduce the stakes of the contest without devaluing the roles of the props etc 

Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

I’d also strictly penalise the rule that says players should bind onto another when joining the rucks, reducing the risk to jacklers.
 

It’s interesting how rules like this have been forgotten

Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

Lastly I’d put a limit of three subs per game (excluding HIA). Teams would be allowed 6 or 7 players on their bench to reduce chances of uncontested scrums but only three of them could come on. This should force players (especially tight 5 forwards) to lose a bit of size, therefore reducing the size of hits and number of subsequent injuries. It should also allow more space to develop in the last twenty minutes, making the games more exciting. 

I agree reducing the number of subs would be a good thing but the issue is how not to incentivise another “blood gate” where a team could confer a massive advantage in big games from faking injuries. 

I think they should try and reduce the subs to 3 - we should expect props to be able to play Tight head and loose head.
We already see some modern hookers are able to play 8, 2nd rows on the flank, 9s at 10, 10 at 12 etc etc. 

I think the game would benefit from a little less specialisation and thus more fatigue in the final 20 minutes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 11:27am
Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:

Good question, rugby should always look to improve.

First thing I'd do would be to clamp down on offsides, that's all we seem to hear lately is the ref shouting at players to stand still from kicks and coaching them at breakdowns so they need to start penalising them off the back of assistant ref's input (the main ref shouldn't need to be watching it, the officials need to work much better as a team). Players will soon get used to it and that should free up a bit of space.

Interesting, I hadn’t thought Offsides / Rush defences might be at the root cause of all this. You do see great 10s like Ntmack using chip kicks in attack quite well because of it. 

But yes, start by penalising the offsides - perhaps even bringing the TMO in to call infringements of this to ensure sides know they’ll be caught if they’re not onside. 

A more radical rule might be that each defensive player must be stood behind the back foot of their inside player in the defensive line. In essence the offside like is not parallel but angles backwards- meaning there is more time/space out wide.

Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:

Downgrade blocking/crossing etc. type offences to free kicks instead of pens, teams are more likely to run or kick to space from free kicks and I don't think a poorly timed dummy line should potentially result in 3 points against a team.


Interesting, would like to see how this changed incentives - blocking of chasing runners irritates me a lot!

Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:


Somehow reduce the opportunities for jackals, that may sound a bit odd but the fear of being turned over is too high, I think that's catered for in the current rules but refs need to be much stricter on ensuring only the first person arriving can go for a turnover, too often it's the second/third player going for the ball.

Agree, the price of turnover is very high which means teams don’t risk players making half breaks and also don’t release the ball when they are being turned over.

Agree the rules about 2nd/3rd player. 

Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:

Reduce subs to 6 players, 3 frontrow and the rest up to the teams, having 8 fresh players coming on every game is too much.


As I’ve said above - ideally reduce subs down so that more players become utility players. 

Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:

Trial having 14 players starting to see how it goes, leave the teams decide whether they want to drop a flanker or centre/wing which may lead to different approaches and a more interesting/open game.

Again, would be interesting - but I don’t like the idea of fiddling with core concepts like that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2021 at 11:50am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

I'd love to read input from Super rugby watchers on many of these comments. I still think the offside line is where to look as rush defences have neutralised the tactical 10 and pushed much of the pressure-relieving kicking onto box kicks from 9, and so caterpillar for protection and depth.

Yes, it would be interesting to hear if SH fans are having the same dreary arguments. 

Some have argued for Rugby to turn into a Summer Sport - or perhaps create more indoor arenas like Millennium, Dunedin or La Defance in Paris.

But i’m not sure I’d be able to say Wales home games are more exciting than anyone else’s.. Racing are exciting but not just because they play indoors. Then I don’t watch the Highlanders much so couldn’t say.
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