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Contest the ball.


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#1 Roughyhead true

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:41 PM

After watching the 2nd lions test. Which by the way was tense and dramatic but totally void of skill and real entertainment. I realised that union strength is: also it's weakness. When the ball us taken into contact any contact including set piece there is always a genuine contest for the ball and it meant there was uncertainty and risk to every play. This though leads to stop start games with lots of failed scrums and needles penalties. At the moment our game seems to be about a set number of plays and then a kick in the corner for the winger. To such an extent wingers are being picked not just for how fast they are but how high can you jump.

Would u change anything if so what so the game is less predictable.

#2 Gav Wilson

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

Giant Crows.


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#3 Roughyhead true

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:17 PM

Of the Russell variety?

#4 jannerboyuk

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:57 PM

The skill of contesting the ball in the air should be replaced with er contesting the ball elsewhere? Don't agree and find it ironic that this skill was the one the union commentators were praising folau for and marking it up to his time in league!
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#5 keighley

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:14 AM

After watching the 2nd lions test. Which by the way was tense and dramatic but totally void of skill and real entertainment. I realised that union strength is: also it's weakness. When the ball us taken into contact any contact including set piece there is always a genuine contest for the ball and it meant there was uncertainty and risk to every play. This though leads to stop start games with lots of failed scrums and needles penalties. At the moment our game seems to be about a set number of plays and then a kick in the corner for the winger. To such an extent wingers are being picked not just for how fast they are but how high can you jump.

Would u change anything if so what so the game is less predictable.


I agree with you that the contest for the ball is their calling card but it produces more negative play and meaningless penalties. There is not uncertainty on every play though, that,s how come we get 15 to 20 one yard plunges because they know the chances of being turned over are minimal.

This negative aspect of the collision is why RL, NFL and CFL have abandoned it completely and gone with the 6 tackles, four tackles and 3 tackle variations to ensure turnovers and not have the one yard plunge syndrome.

I do agree with you though that four of the 6 tackles in RL are mindless and boring. The ball is not moved wide or any other variation until the fifth tackle and then the kick or power play on the sixth. I would love to see more enterprise and skill on the 1st to 4th tackles except when the teams are clearing their lines inside their own 25.

When I first started watching the game, the scoot from acting half was not a big part of the game because if you got tsckled in possession from acting half a scrum was ordered. At least that way we got one pass per tackle. Maybe that could be revisited to encourage more creativity and enterprise although I suspect it could just mean 4 one pass forward orientated rushes before the 5th and 6th tackle action.

I think it calls for a change in coaching philosophy to encourage more creative play but unless this produces championships or if lesser talented squads by win without creativity it will not happen.

#6 koli

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:52 AM

Tendency in professional sports is for defense to get on top of attack and negativity/cynicism to trump creativity.The 1950s were a golden age for attacking RL,Tommy Vol scoring 60+ tries etc but by the mid 60s the first wave of truly pro coaches (Jack Gibson going to study Lombardi and so on) had let to "head up/###### down" negativity not too disimlar to top level NH RU today.In what became our general m/o we reacted by a radical shift to 4 n then 6  tackles and on the uncontested scrums n pbs,10m n so forth.

RU has gone much more incrementally.

Which is better? I don't know but it's a n interesting counterfactual to think how things might be today if we'd taken a more gradualist approach.



#7 ehbandit

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

just because there isn't a contest for the ball does not mean thre is no contest. in each tackle players are trying to win the collision. defence are tryin to slow down the attack,while the attack is trying to speed play up usually. various tactics are used for these situations. however, I did like when striking was allowed at the ptb

#8 Blind side johnny

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:59 AM

Contested scrums, P&R and uncovered wickets, obviously.

 

 

.

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#9 Just Browny

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:28 AM

We do have a 'genuine contest' for the ball, whether people want to see that or not. If I ran into a tackle with the ball against a Super League team, I'd have the ball taken off me like candy from a baby within seconds (unless they were being particularly cruel, in which case they'd smash me first).

 

More often than not, contesting the ball in union leads to a penalty for some minor infringement.


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#10 gingerjon

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:38 AM

 If I ran into a tackle with the ball against a Super League team, 

 

This has to happen.  For charity.


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#11 MikeFletchersBarmyArmy

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:14 PM

In league is it still actually possible for the opposition to get the ball from the scrum.
I last saw this over 10 years ago.

Is it possible for the scrum half & forwards to now mess it up without the reff having a re scrum?

Plus now you are seeing more & more scrums with the backs in the scrum & the forwards out which makes it a complete farce!

#12 bobbruce

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:57 PM

In league is it still actually possible for the opposition to get the ball from the scrum.
I last saw this over 10 years ago.

Is it possible for the scrum half & forwards to now mess it up without the reff having a re scrum?

Plus now you are seeing more & more scrums with the backs in the scrum & the forwards out which makes it a complete farce!


Yes it happens a few times a year.

#13 Gav Wilson

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:16 PM

In league is it still actually possible for the opposition to get the ball from the scrum.
I last saw this over 10 years ago.

 

Happened last week at Bradford v Widnes I believe.


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#14 ehbandit

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:25 PM

After watching the 2nd lions test. Which by the way was tense and dramatic but totally void of skill and real entertainment. I realised that union strength is: also it's weakness. When the ball us taken into contact any contact including set piece there is always a genuine contest for the ball and it meant there was uncertainty and risk to every play. This though leads to stop start games with lots of failed scrums and needles penalties. At the moment our game seems to be about a set number of plays and then a kick in the corner for the winger. To such an extent wingers are being picked not just for how fast they are but how high can you jump.
Would u change anything if so what so the game is less predictable.

there is still a contest for the ball in a league tackle situation.however, there is a difference between league and union because in league the contest is a fair one, a 1 on 1 tackle, this is unlike unions unfair contest when as many players as you like can steal the ball.

#15 Doghead

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:51 PM

Interesting interview On Sky day before the second Lions Game, they were talking to an ex Aussie Union Captain, he was saying the reason Union was so low down in the pecking order in Australia, was the fact that it takes so long to change the rules of the game, with so many countries playing the game now, seems like Australia at least are looking at more rule changes.



#16 hoff

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:36 PM

I personally like the stop clock idea , instead of a set amount of tackles a team gets a fixed period of possession depending where they are on the pitch. Instead if marching a team back following a penalty kick to touch the ref could add some time onto the clock. I also heard of an idea touted in Australia whereby a team can retain possession for another set if 6 if they retain the ball following a kick from their own half into the opposition half.

Maybe they could also allow players to have a set number of powerplays where they can either request one opposition player leaves the pitch or a 14th member comes on.......crazy ideas but they could work

#17 Duff Duff

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:37 PM

Judging Union on high profile must win games like deciding Lions Tests or World Cup Finals is a bit unfair. In high pressure situations the "professional" approach is to play negatively and limit mistakes. Soccer suffers the same problems. Now many times do World Cup or Euro Championship matches get stale mated and have to go to penalty shootouts? 

 

The same happens with rugby league too were teams rely on mechanical and preplanned moves at crucial moments. I tend to think such behaviour is just the rational response of any professional sports team, regardless of the code. Rugby league is rigged in favour of the attacking to a degree but as much as a sport like basketball where the shot clock compels teams to attack.

 

How can rugby league get more variety early in the tackle count? The last rule change that encouraged variety was the 40/20 rule which encouraged kicking earlier in the tackle count. Would reintroducing striking for ball by the defending team help? Or reintroducing players playing the ball themselves? I am not too sure why they were removed from the rule book back in the mid 1990s. I assume it was a case of variety in game plan being sacrificed in favour of "fast paced product". 

 

I do think it is worth looking at. I think some people get a bit complacent about rugby league's a field "product". To some outsiders rugby league can seem repetitive and overly stylised. Would reintroducing more variety and uncertainty around the play of the ball would help?



#18 Duff Duff

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:59 PM

Interesting interview On Sky day before the second Lions Game, they were talking to an ex Aussie Union Captain, he was saying the reason Union was so low down in the pecking order in Australia, was the fact that it takes so long to change the rules of the game, with so many countries playing the game now, seems like Australia at least are looking at more rule changes.

 

There are a few reasons why Union is pretty low key in Australia. Firstly the national teams more often than not gets beaten by New Zealand. If there is anything Aussies hate it is losing to New Zealand. Secondly the major free-to-air networks in Australia have a massive vested interest in promoting rugby league and AFL. The NRL and the AFL have billion AUS dollar contracts with Channel 9 and Channel 7 respectively. They behave in the same way that Sky does with Premier League Soccer with massively hyped wall to wall coverage but with free to air channels. 



#19 Roughyhead true

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:47 PM


My point is that there should be more diversity in the
game. I watched a few NRL games past few days granted the weather wasn't great but I'd be hard pressed to get anyone not already in the game to be interested in it.

#20 Scuuba

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:26 PM

You have to be careful what you wish for regarding the contest for possession. Being guaranteed (albeit with a minor chance of the strip) to regain the ball from the tackle allows players to have a go on attack. These situations can be the most exciting in the game, which often doesn't happen in Union due to the players being scared of a turnover.

 

So for both games the attitude to contested possession is both a strength and weakness. The chance for repetition is balanced by the chance for against the odds attack. This is against the unpredictability of Union balanced against the conservative attacking tactics.

 

Any big game, like the Lions matches, will be dramatic regardless of the unpredictability. I think it comes down to hype and the crowd excitement as much as anything else...