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A whole different ball game

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It has long been a annoyance to me that the analysis of the game over here doesn't make more of the tactics employed by teams. Sky have improved in the last couple of years, but nevertheless, when we discuss the game, winners, losers etc, or potential tactics, it all too often comes down to which team has a big set of forwards, who was more committed, who turned up in the day etc, with little reference to tactical nuance. I have to add to that although I welcome the addition of a tactics column to the new Rugby League World, Phil Larder does little to develop beyond these points (his analysis of the England France game for instance)

It was with some delight therefore to read the following column from Jason Taylor (ex. Souths coach) in his Sydney morning herald piece on 'The Chalkboard'.

Link?

My point is not to discuss the merits of his analysis of these teams (hence this is not in the NRL section), but rather to encourage our analysts and experts to look more deeply into our game. Such an approach would do a great deal to counter accusations that we are a fundamentally simplistic game based upon five drives and a kick.

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Paul Cullen, or more recently Jon Wells, give it a go on Boots 'N All.

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It has long been a annoyance to me that the analysis of the game over here doesn't make more of the tactics employed by teams. Sky have improved in the last couple of years, but nevertheless, when we discuss the game, winners, losers etc, or potential tactics, it all too often comes down to which team has a big set of forwards, who was more committed, who turned up in the day etc, with little reference to tactical nuance. I have to add to that although I welcome the addition of a tactics column to the new Rugby League World, Phil Larder does little to develop beyond these points (his analysis of the England France game for instance)

It was with some delight therefore to read the following column from Jason Taylor (ex. Souths coach) in his Sydney morning herald piece on 'The Chalkboard'.

Link?

My point is not to discuss the merits of his analysis of these teams (hence this is not in the NRL section), but rather to encourage our analysts and experts to look more deeply into our game. Such an approach would do a great deal to counter accusations that we are a fundamentally simplistic game based upon five drives and a kick.

Good read, alas with have very few who can put that point across or do we give them an outlet to do so, a fleeting 10 mins on boots n all is not good enough, id ideally like to see an hour long programme solely on it, giving each game 10 mins of analysis or so.

Paul Cullen and more recently Jon Wells have been excellent in this 10 minute slot then we get 50 minutes of garbage after, cant see it changing anytime soon.

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It has long been a annoyance to me that the analysis of the game over here doesn't make more of the tactics employed by teams. Sky have improved in the last couple of years, but nevertheless, when we discuss the game, winners, losers etc, or potential tactics, it all too often comes down to which team has a big set of forwards, who was more committed, who turned up in the day etc, with little reference to tactical nuance. I have to add to that although I welcome the addition of a tactics column to the new Rugby League World, Phil Larder does little to develop beyond these points (his analysis of the England France game for instance)

It was with some delight therefore to read the following column from Jason Taylor (ex. Souths coach) in his Sydney morning herald piece on 'The Chalkboard'.

Link?

My point is not to discuss the merits of his analysis of these teams (hence this is not in the NRL section), but rather to encourage our analysts and experts to look more deeply into our game. Such an approach would do a great deal to counter accusations that we are a fundamentally simplistic game based upon five drives and a kick.

i have to agree that phil larder has been a disappointment really. It reads like a two page match report at times. Less of telling us what has happened but why is needed.

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Paul Cullen, or more recently Jon Wells, give it a go on Boots 'N All.

Jon Wells has been an excellant find in this aspect, Cullen is good but he still has a somewhat overcoached media presence, he should learn to relax a bit. (no comments please about his current problems).

We are starting to get some players coming through these days who are good communicators, Wilkin springs to mind (though he usually shoots the game in the back). We need to ensure that its these guys who get stuck in front of the cameras and when they retire are given every help to get themselves involved in the media in some way.

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My point is not to discuss the merits of his analysis of these teams (hence this is not in the NRL section), but rather to encourage our analysts and experts to look more deeply into our game. Such an approach would do a great deal to counter accusations that we are a fundamentally simplistic game based upon five drives and a kick.

For a period Phil Clark explained how the players used dummy runners, delayed passes, cut out passes and all that to engineer the half gap to get over the line. The skills are subtle and fascinating when explained.

Lately the analysis I have picked up is about how certain players are tergetted to run at. They are quality players as playmakers and in attack, but the quid pro quo is their weaker defence so the opposition send their big men crashing towards these weak links.

The commentators really MUST commentate on how the game is being tactically played out, but they aren't really up to it with any consistency.

Commentaries can be very lazy and boring, and it's sad that they get away with it.

Stevo is a legend, but he is too obsessed with disagreeing with the referee.

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Stevo is a legend, but he is too obsessed with disagreeing with the referee.

just like many supporters he has a go at the ref because he doesn't understand what's going on.

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They have a weekly show on Fox in Australia called NRL Tactics which discusses the tactics of all the games at the weekend. It's usually Brett Kimmorley and a couple of other guys.it's really good and gives a great insight. Shame super league can't do something similar on Sky

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They have a weekly show on Fox in Australia called NRL Tactics which discusses the tactics of all the games at the weekend. It's usually Brett Kimmorley and a couple of other guys.it's really good and gives a great insight. Shame super league can't do something similar on Sky

http://www.foxsports.com.au/shows/nrltactics

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Tony Rea used to do a good analysis on Boots'n'all before he went back to Oz. I've always thought they should get Brian Carney and Phil Clarke to do something along the lines of NRL Tactics. Both of them seem to know what there talking about (putting Phil's Wigan bias aside), and both seem to get quite frustrated by how things get trivialised by Eddie, Stevo and the likes.

This week's B'n'A was a good example with the feature about visualisation techniques. Bill Arthur made a throw away comment about putting players in a trance, to which Carney replied, 'I think you're doing Phil's report a disservice there.' It's odd, considering the level of tactical analysis afforded other sports on Sky.

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The analysis of sport in general in this country is utter garbage.

Below this level is Phil Larder's section in RLW.

:(

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The analysis of sport in general in this country is utter garbage.

Below this level is Phil Larder's section in RLW.

:(

I thought of you Ben when I read this topic, because you have posted on these lines for years, and the lack of match analysis posts on here too.

Maybe John could ask Phil to look here, and at the Aus show and reporting, and they could do a piece on the subject next month. Once highlighted, maybe we could all add our voices to ask Sky to move in this direction. It's not like it's not been asked for before, and as has been mentioned, some of the Sky team are trying, but perhaps we need to show in numbers how much of a demand for it there is.

Edited by amh

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This topic crops up regularly and no-one does anything about it.

NRL tactics is very good.

SKY are pretty ######. Rea was ok, Clarke could be but isn't. Stevo's famous "Pure skill factor" 'analysis' of every try is just woeful.

Phil Larder in RLW is desperately disappointing and a waste of space. Why get a Union guy to do this? His insight is absolutely zero.

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This topic crops up regularly and no-one does anything about it.

Agreed Mark, and that is why I refer to 'we' doing something about it, presuming previous efforts have been from individuals?

Even a facebook page for people to join and show the number of us who care? It seems to be the modern method instead of a written petition

Perhaps Phil is the wrong person, I was just trying to avoid insulting him - he does his best after all. I want John as editor to pick this topic up and run with it.

Edited by amh

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In an ideal world, RLW would get a different coach each month to explain one of their preferred attacking/defensive techniques and explain how it is executed and the tought process of it's origins.

The only barrier to this is the potential coyness of letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak.

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The only barrier to this is the potential coyness of letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak.

Any coach worth his salt will have the opposition sussed anyway, and coach accordingly, so the only people let in on the act will be us the fans, and we're not asking for everything to be revealed, just an insight

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I want John as editor to pick this topic up and run with it.

Thanks for your PM, Maggie. Comments noted. Feedback appreciated, as always.

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For a period Phil Clark explained how the players used dummy runners, delayed passes, cut out passes and all that to engineer the half gap to get over the line. The skills are subtle and fascinating when explained.

Lately the analysis I have picked up is about how certain players are tergetted to run at. They are quality players as playmakers and in attack, but the quid pro quo is their weaker defence so the opposition send their big men crashing towards these weak links.

The commentators really MUST commentate on how the game is being tactically played out, but they aren't really up to it with any consistency.

Commentaries can be very lazy and boring, and it's sad that they get away with it.

Stevo is a legend, but he is too obsessed with disagreeing with the referee.

Its not just to target a weak defender,thats a bit insulting to some players,this tactic is used to tire a player(from working hard in defence)which makes their attacking effectivness less than it would otherwise be.

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The analysis of sport in general in this country is utter garbage.

Below this level is Phil Larder's section in RLW.

:(

I actually think that Phil Larder's column is far better written and more interesting than most articles on tactics/analysis. Certainly for a more general audience, ie. people without an incredibly deep knowledge of the game ,they are pretty good.

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I actually think that Phil Larder's column is far better written and more interesting than most articles on tactics/analysis. Certainly for a more general audience, ie. people without an incredibly deep knowledge of the game ,they are pretty good.

I'm going to go home and quote some of it in here. It's worse than garbage.

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I actually think that Phil Larder's column is far better written and more interesting than most articles on tactics/analysis. Certainly for a more general audience, ie. people without an incredibly deep knowledge of the game ,they are pretty good.

I'm going to go home and quote some of it in here. It's worse than garbage.

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i have to agree that phil larder has been a disappointment really. It reads like a two page match report at times. Less of telling us what has happened but why is needed.

I agree entirely. I sat down to read the first one in great anticipation and found what amounted to a match report. More of the how and the why would be welcome.

Great to see such a number of responses on this topic more generally. I hope that those who determine the media presentation of our game might take note. I don't think anyone can argue that it is not interesting to discuss tactics or that it isn't what the fans want to see. After all as another poster has pointed out they go to town on the tactical elements of the various sports on other sky presentations.

As far as our own specialist press is concerned, there was a thread on here about a month ago when someone was criticising League Express, and Martin Sadler said OK, lets see some ideas about what could be improved/ what you would like to see. One respondant came up with a very interesting suggestion of a sort of box on match reports which summise key tactics employed. I don't mean the extra analysis of the TV game given by Martin (why is it always the TV games that recieve the extra attention by the way? they aren't always the big games and they are the ones where we have usually had loads of analysis anyway- sorry I digress).

In an era when we've probably read the match reports to games by the time we get our copies, it might be good for the specialist press to see how they can add

to the match report format at some sort of tactical level, though granted that is difficult with tight deadlines on Sunday games).

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I agree entirely. I sat down to read the first one in great anticipation and found what amounted to a match report. More of the how and the why would be welcome.

Great to see such a number of responses on this topic more generally. I hope that those who determine the media presentation of our game might take note. I don't think anyone can argue that it is not interesting to discuss tactics or that it isn't what the fans want to see. After all as another poster has pointed out they go to town on the tactical elements of the various sports on other sky presentations.

As far as our own specialist press is concerned, there was a thread on here about a month ago when someone was criticising League Express, and Martin Sadler said OK, lets see some ideas about what could be improved/ what you would like to see. One respondant came up with a very interesting suggestion of a sort of box on match reports which summise key tactics employed. I don't mean the extra analysis of the TV game given by Martin (why is it always the TV games that recieve the extra attention by the way? they aren't always the big games and they are the ones where we have usually had loads of analysis anyway- sorry I digress).

In an era when we've probably read the match reports to games by the time we get our copies, it might be good for the specialist press to see how they can add

to the match report format at some sort of tactical level, though granted that is difficult with tight deadlines on Sunday games).

I've yet to find a decently written match report. Any sport.

I'd love RL to be the pioneer in not treating fans like idiots.

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Its not just to target a weak defender,thats a bit insulting to some players,this tactic is used to tire a player(from working hard in defence)which makes their attacking effectivness less than it would otherwise be.

A perfect example is last season's cup semi, when Wigan brought Feka on.

Wires just ran at him 5 plays on the bounce, every set.

He lost most of his impact as an attacking option as a result.

Targetting a guy once he's done 17-18 mins of a usual 20 min stint to tackle all 6 plays usually finds a way through by play 4 or 5."Assasination plays" was how Tony Rea referred to such tactics.

~20 yrs ago, when Granada showed live games on a Saturday afternoon, Phil Larder was the guy analysing tactics, and was certainly the best we had at that time.

Not read RLW so don't know if his spell at the dark side has left him stuck 20 yrs in the past....

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A perfect example is last season's cup semi, when Wigan brought Feka on.

Wires just ran at him 5 plays on the bounce, every set.

He lost most of his impact as an attacking option as a result.

Targetting a guy once he's done 17-18 mins of a usual 20 min stint to tackle all 6 plays usually finds a way through by play 4 or 5."Assasination plays" was how Tony Rea referred to such tactics.

~20 yrs ago, when Granada showed live games on a Saturday afternoon, Phil Larder was the guy analysing tactics, and was certainly the best we had at that time.

Not read RLW so don't know if his spell at the dark side has left him stuck 20 yrs in the past....

what struck me was that larder has been out of the game so long he is maybe worried of exposing his current lack of real inside knowledge of league. a more recent or current coach would be better, with all due respect to larder

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