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Man of Kent

Play-the-ball clampdown

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Just now, aj1908 said:

Yeh on a first tackle teams won't risk losing the ball.

they used to though, there used to be much more open play from the base of a scrum and if we could encourage that it would be good.. its how you do that that seems to be the problem

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5 minutes ago, RP London said:

they used to though, there used to be much more open play from the base of a scrum and if we could encourage that it would be good.. its how you do that that seems to be the problem

Get rugby league coaches and push them off a cliff.  Especially the nrl ones

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5 minutes ago, aj1908 said:

Get rugby league coaches and push them off a cliff.  Especially the nrl ones

surely we could have more fun with it.. we need half time entertainment... we know jeopardy and watching people do daft things that are dangerous sells... there has to be something we can do that wipes them out but is entertaining.. 

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1 hour ago, RP London said:

more could be made of the "drive" now.. except whenever you see any pushing in the scrum, or a loss against the head the ref seems to want to just re set the scrum rather than the opposition win the ball.. the drive has to be big to win it at the moment due to where the ball is put in but if you put it in the middle you may find more teams using the tactic therefore keeping both teams honest in keeping the bigger players in (weight and strength to hold off the drive or to execute a drive) and keep bound for longer to avoid being driven off the ball. 

Agreed. In fact I mentioned something similar in an earlier post ...

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"It wouldn't be so bad if we actually did learn a bit from Rugby Union and sometimes had the ball trapped at the second row's feet and tried to push forward. At least the opposition would have to pack down properly in case that happened and they had to push equally as hard to prevent being steamrolled over. These days a loose forward just puts his hands on the backside of the second rows (who themselves don't bend their backs properly) and has his head out of the scrum to watch what the opposition are doing.

By packing down properly that also might create a longer period of open space after the scrum as it would take the forwards a bit longer to get back into their defensive line."

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2 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Agreed. In fact I mentioned something similar in an earlier post ...

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"It wouldn't be so bad if we actually did learn a bit from Rugby Union and sometimes had the ball trapped at the second row's feet and tried to push forward. At least the opposition would have to pack down properly in case that happened and they had to push equally as hard to prevent being steamrolled over. These days a loose forward just puts his hands on the backside of the second rows (who themselves don't bend their backs properly) and has his head out of the scrum to watch what the opposition are doing.

By packing down properly that also might create a longer period of open space after the scrum as it would take the forwards a bit longer to get back into their defensive line."

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sorry must have missed that.. totally agree.

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14 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

i think the problem there is you lose the visual marker of the 10 which helps players and spectators

do you? the guy on the sideline with a flag out surely is your indicator? players just need to reset where they look for their mark... both Assistants can do this potentially so giving a mark either side. 

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Just now, scotchy1 said:

Thats a big area to look at, between the area in front of the ptb and sideline, especially from a tv point of view where the assistants arent always in shot. i think expecting the assistants to be level with each other is also difficult. Player looks left he is on-side, right he is off.

its really not that difficult to solve as an issue.. if it is even an issue in the first place.. of course you trial these things first and you can find what the issue may be and how best to solve it.. (we're never going to have all the answers on this forum).. in the same way as using the VR would have issues and would also see an uneven competition as not all games have them.. this at least means it can be rolled out from super League down to League 1.

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1 hour ago, aj1908 said:

league should just bite the bullet and get rid of the scrum.  it should go the same way as the lineout and rucks and mauls.  they serve little purpose.

Fully agree with this, complete waste of everyones time now, and I cant believe anyone would want to go back the absolute mess of contested scrums. Its archaic, tedious and terrible to watch.

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3 hours ago, RP London said:

That is because it doesn't even do that anymore because it is so stale you have wingers and centres going in to allow the forwards to be the first hit up.. its also down to poor coaching that they don't see the opportunity, it is a risk but the reward can be there, at the moment coaches seem to shy away from any risk though and go for the tried and tested 2 out but still 1 drive up the middle. 

Clean up the scrum to be competitive whilst favouring the team with the feed (they have the feed) and i think you would get more going on out the back too. 

as i say its an argument that happens every few months and always is the same.. personally i want some variation rather than every offence being a tap to restart.. but the scrum at the moment i would agree needs work but i wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater but just try and pull it back to something worthwhile. 

They could put a rule in place that only forwards can pack down too, that would guarantee that the ball goes to a back from the scrum win as used to be the case before.

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22 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

They could put a rule in place that only forwards can pack down too, that would guarantee that the ball goes to a back from the scrum win as used to be the case before.

it would be unenforceable.. who is a back and who is a forward at any one time? you could have 2 hookers on the pitch.. in my day I could play Second Row, Centre or Stand off so where do i fit, during the game i could move around the pitch? who do you pick where.. a team could name all the backs in the forwards to negate this.. etc.. 

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14 minutes ago, RP London said:

it would be unenforceable.. who is a back and who is a forward at any one time? you could have 2 hookers on the pitch.. in my day I could play Second Row, Centre or Stand off so where do i fit, during the game i could move around the pitch? who do you pick where.. a team could name all the backs in the forwards to negate this.. etc.. 

The beauty of RL is it is quite simple.  The Rules are not massive.  The PTB is one of those rules which separates us from a melee on the ground.  It’s an organised re-start which in turn creates a very fast game.

Sure, great for debate, but we need to forget about changing things too much.  Stick to the heritage and improve within the rule structure we have.

On scrums.  One method that is rarely used but often comes up trumps when used is the push at the scrum.  

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2 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

The beauty of RL is it is quite simple.  The Rules are not massive.  The PTB is one of those rules which separates us from a melee on the ground.  It’s an organised re-start which in turn creates a very fast game.

Sure, great for debate, but we need to forget about changing things too much.  Stick to the heritage and improve within the rule structure we have.

On scrums.  One method that is rarely used but often comes up trumps when used is the push at the scrum.  

totally agree.. though whenever they do seem to use this in super league the ref blows up and just resets (from memory of the few times i have seen it used) which is infuriating.

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Just now, RP London said:

totally agree.. though whenever they do seem to use this in super league the ref blows up and just resets (from memory of the few times i have seen it used) which is infuriating.

It’s a good ploy for a couple of reasons.  

First, if the attacking side has the put in and even if the Ref blows up at the push, the opposition are more likely to stay in the scrum, especially in the last third of the pitch.  If they do stay in, you have all the 1 on ones you need in open field.

Defending push gives you a shot at winning the ball.  That few players expecting a push in the scrum, you could have a go with 5 players and let the SH and LF cover.

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1 hour ago, RP London said:

it would be unenforceable.. who is a back and who is a forward at any one time? you could have 2 hookers on the pitch.. in my day I could play Second Row, Centre or Stand off so where do i fit, during the game i could move around the pitch? who do you pick where.. a team could name all the backs in the forwards to negate this.. etc.. 

It wouldn't be if squad numbers were made positional, with one range of numbers for backs and another for forwards.  The traditional numbering system had a flaw in that the subs' numbers (whether 14, 15, 16 or 17 or the 29, 39, 40 etc. often seen in old ARL matches) never related to any position within a team.

The solution is have a range of squad numbers for each part of a team, such as 1-4 for fullbacks, 5-19 for threequarters, 20-29 for halfbacks, 30-39 for second row and loose forwards and 40-49 for hookers and props for example.  Then it would be straightforward to pick out a back packing down in violation of the rules and award a differential penalty to the other team, especially with two on-field officials to monitor things.  It would even be possible to tweak the substitution rules if desired, such as providing that the four subs must be two forwards and two backs and that a forward can only be replaced by another forward and a back by another back.

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

Couldnt i just list my FB as a loose and play him at fullback.

Not if the rule was written to preclude that.

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27 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

It wouldn't be if squad numbers were made positional, with one range of numbers for backs and another for forwards.  The traditional numbering system had a flaw in that the subs' numbers (whether 14, 15, 16 or 17 or the 29, 39, 40 etc. often seen in old ARL matches) never related to any position within a team.

The solution is have a range of squad numbers for each part of a team, such as 1-4 for fullbacks, 5-19 for threequarters, 20-29 for halfbacks, 30-39 for second row and loose forwards and 40-49 for hookers and props for example.  Then it would be straightforward to pick out a back packing down in violation of the rules and award a differential penalty to the other team, especially with two on-field officials to monitor things.  It would even be possible to tweak the substitution rules if desired, such as providing that the four subs must be two forwards and two backs and that a forward can only be replaced by another forward and a back by another back.

i'm not a rarity as a player.. what about all the centers or second rows that are able to fill in in the others position? what about Kevin Sinfield who could play forward and backs.. what if Wigan lose a couple of stand offs so O'Loughlin steps in .. 

Ben Currie played stand off in the challenge cup final.. what then?? 

it just isnt as simple as "your position is".

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28 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

how would it preclude that?

What about a player like Ablett who played centre and second row? or Sinfield who played as many games at half as 13?

What would happen if a club was struck with injuries and played players out of position? Or threw in a new tactic like Leeds did in the CC final against HKR lining up with Cuthbertson ostensibly at 9 but he never played acting half.

My initial thinking only applied to scrums, but if desired it could be taken further by such things as (for example) providing that teams would lose one allowed change for every player found lined up in the wrong place for his position, and/or fined for such infractions.

Acting half isn't a position as such, and the nature of the game means that the same player can't always be the acting half.  Unless I'm mistaken there was never a time when only hookers had that role.

Squads of 25-30 players should give clubs plenty of options to cover all the necessary positions for injuries as they occur.

Edited by Big Picture

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On 05/01/2020 at 23:10, Oliver Clothesoff said:

Pathetic. Of all the possible things that referee’s could be clamping down on and clubs could be shying away from in pre-season in anticipation for the new season, a foot on the ball at the play-the-ball was nowhere near top of the list. 

I haven't bothered to wade through 5 pages of comments, but you've pretty much summed up my thoughts on it there. 

Who cares whether or not someone touches the ball with their foot? It's totally immaterial to the game and the spectacle. The reason this rule has been allowed to slide for so long is that it really doesn't matter. There are loads of things that they could be focusing on which would do a lot more to improve the game. 

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8 minutes ago, MZH said:

The reason this rule has been allowed to slide for so long is that it really doesn't matter. There are loads of things that they could be focusing on which would do a lot more to improve the game

Out of interest, what are the areas that you think should take priority?

Personally, I am delighted about this news and I hope it sticks. The play the ball is a definitive part of our sport and it has become so shambolic I was beginning to find the sport infuriating to watch over here... so much so that this year I was going to watch much more the NRL than Super League this season.

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20 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Out of interest, what are the areas that you think should take priority?

Personally, I am delighted about this news and I hope it sticks. The play the ball is a definitive part of our sport and it has become so shambolic I was beginning to find the sport infuriating to watch over here... so much so that this year I was going to watch much more the NRL than Super League this season.

Well for one I think that players moving off the mark is a much bigger issue than not using the foot.

Secondly they need to properly clarify the rules around players in the ruck, and what constitutes interference/offside. We had players throwing the ball at prone defenders which got clamped down on. But that means the advantage is back with the defending team as they can just lay there off to one side and impede the acting half so long as they aren't actually in the ruck. 

Thirdly, players feigning injury is something that is creeping more and more into the game and I want to see that addressed. Perhaps we could adopt something similar to football, where they have to leave the pitch if the physio comes on. I would suggest that any player who needs attention from the physio but are OK to continue have to stand on the side line for the remainder of the set. Which should mean we only see the game stopped for players who are genuinely hurt. 

I'm not against this clamp down per se. I just don't think it will make any noticeable difference except for more penalties. And is that really what we want? 

Edited by MZH
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29 minutes ago, MZH said:

Well for one I think that players moving off the mark is a much bigger issue than not using the foot.

Secondly they need to properly clarify the rules around players in the ruck, and what constitutes interference/offside. We had players throwing the ball at prone defenders which got clamped down on. But that means the advantage is back with the defending team as they can just lay there off to one side and impede the acting half so long as they aren't actually in the ruck. 

I would probably put the players moving off the mark and interference and the playing the ball with the foot in the same 'tidying up the play he ball' bucket.  The whole thing is a mess at the moment and it can be done better.  And it may even slow the play the ball down but I am ok with that as it means teams will have to be more inventive and ambitious in their attacking play rather than simply 'getting a roll on'.

29 minutes ago, MZH said:

Thirdly, players feigning injury is something that is creeping more and more into the game and I want to see that addressed. Perhaps we could adopt something similar to football, where they have to leave the pitch if the physio comes on. I would suggest that any player who needs attention from the physio but are OK to continue have to stand on the side line for the remainder of the set. Which should mean we only see the game stopped for players who are genuinely hurt. 

I like this idea. Even if the treated players don't sit out the whole set, they could be brought back after a full play has happened and so the next play the ball.  Teams defending with 12 will certainly stop those tactical injury stoppages we see at the moment.

29 minutes ago, MZH said:

I'm not against this clamp down per se. I just don't think it will make any noticeable difference except for more penalties. And is that really what we want? 

I would be happy to tolerate a few more penalties in the short term to sort out the mess in the long term.  The worst case scenario is penalising teams for half a dozen rounds and then forgetting about it and going back to where we are now.

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15 hours ago, Big Picture said:

My initial thinking only applied to scrums, but if desired it could be taken further by such things as (for example) providing that teams would lose one allowed change for every player found lined up in the wrong place for his position, and/or fined for such infractions.

Acting half isn't a position as such, and the nature of the game means that the same player can't always be the acting half.  Unless I'm mistaken there was never a time when only hookers had that role.

Squads of 25-30 players should give clubs plenty of options to cover all the necessary positions for injuries as they occur.

you can "cover" but your 3rd best centre may also be your 3rd best second row and at any one time they could play either position so how does "defining their position at the beginning of the season" actually help this. What you may do is limit his ability to play the game (he is listed as a 2nd row but now all the centres are injured but he isnt allowed to play there).

I get what you are trying to do but the utility player is vital to a squad and often fill one of the bench spots because of this versatility. You cannot take that away and we shouldnt be looking to do so.

The only way, at the moment, i can see "naming forwards" being used is that you have a named scrum at the start and when you sub off you must say how that affects the scrum to the 4th official (ie Luther Burrell is coming on for Jack Hughes so he is in the second row, or Luther Burrell is coming on for Jack Hughes but will go to centre, Ben Currie started at centre he is now going into second row) a bit like the eligible receiver rule in NFL (i have no real idea how that works but random people seem to be able to stick their hand up to be one every so often to cause confusion but you only are allowed a certain amount each play, the others cant catch a forward pass AFAIK)... however, this is open to huge abuse of naming a bunch of backs in the scrum so that it is like now and "forwards" can still stand in the back line at scrum time but play their normal role during the rest of the match so not actually solving the issue we are wanting to, also probably a logistical nightmare to be honest of getting it right on the field.

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Eligible receiver in NFL depends on where you are set for the down, either end of the offensive line of scrimmage or one yard back. The confusion often comes when an offensive lineman is used as a tight end and is set a yard back from the line of scrimmage abd the defence haven't noticed


cru....Cru.....CRUSADERS!!!!!!

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