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1 hour ago, Damien said:

I do find the changes to contest the ball more and add variation to the game funny. These are to fix problems of sterile RL, that have in themselves been caused by rule changes to remove nearly every contest for possession and variation in play. 

The issue there is that RL is not sterile and, in my experience, I have never heard anyone say or imply, "You know what this game needs - more contest for possession ..."

Most people who want to watch some wiggling on the ground as some players do things you can't see with the ball in some subtle and nuanced way are already watching the rahs do it.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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This change doesn’t make it better though & will very shortly result in more sterile RL as offloads are reduced with the ball being clamped ever more tightly by the carrier

It's just overcomplicated a rule that didn't need changing.

And this is the story of practically every rule change for the last decade. Tinkering every season for the sake of it and trying to solve non existent issues while in the process creating a raft of ne

16 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

The issue there is that RL is not sterile and, in my experience, I have never heard anyone say or imply, "You know what this game needs - more contest for possession ..."

Most people who want to watch some wiggling on the ground as some players do things you can't see with the ball in some subtle and nuanced way are already watching the rahs do it.

Plenty on this forum have said they would prefer more contests for possession and more variety in the game. The numerous scrum threads have covered this whole area quite well and there has been some good debate on it. This very rule change encourages that so obviously some people within the game agree with that too. Things like 40/20s are precisely to open up the game away and get away from 5 drives and a kick, what some think is sterile.

Up until the 90s there were far more ways to win the ball than now, none involved the rah rah scenario you describe. I actually think that is probably when the balance was about right.

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13 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Most people who want to watch some wiggling on the ground as some players do things you can't see with the ball in some subtle and nuanced way are already watching the rahs do it.

You wrote something like this on another thread. If you think one-on-one ball-stealing reduces to "wiggling on the ground", you must be seeing things that I`m not. Post some examples.

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2 minutes ago, Damien said:

Plenty on this forum have said they would prefer more contests for possession and more variety in the game. The numerous scrum threads have covered this whole area quite well and there has been some good debate on it. This very rule change encourages that so obviously some people within the game agree with that too. Things like 40/20s are precisely to open up the game away and get away from 5 drives and a kick, what some think is sterile.

Up until the 90s there were far more ways to win the ball than now, none involved the rah rah scenario you describe. I actually think that is probably when the balance was about right.

Thankfully, we seem to be moving away from scrums. Fifty years too late but hopefully they won't be coming back.

Even now, I remain ambivalent about whether 40/20 is a good rule or not. I wouldn't miss it if it were removed from the game.

What first attracted me to RL was the balance between attack and defence, and that has got cleaner as messiness has been removed from the play-the-ball area.

Just have a think to yourself about the number of times you've left a game going, "Wow, that was some contest for possession, that ..."

(Oh, and in general, and I include myself in this as well, I don't count what I read people on messageboards saying as 'normal' fans. We're the sadcore.)

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4 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

You wrote something like this on another thread. If you think one-on-one ball-stealing reduces to "wiggling on the ground", you must be seeing things that I`m not. Post some examples.

I did.

And I still think it's true.

Three blokes go into a tackle. They have a wrestle so the ref doesn't quite call held. Two roll off, the third takes the ball. The ref may or may not allow it.

Fascinating. Filled with subtleties and nuances.

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Just now, gingerjon said:

I did.

And I still think it's true.

Three blokes go into a tackle. They have a wrestle so the ref doesn't quite call held. Two roll off, the third takes the ball. The ref may or may not allow it.

Fascinating. Filled with subtleties and nuances.

It's horrible to watch now at times and is going to lead to much less ball movement as players just try and keep control of the ball rather than promote it. Then we see what you say, 3 defenders positioning an attacker so one can strip it. It's garbage.

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Thankfully, we seem to be moving away from scrums. Fifty years too late but hopefully they won't be coming back.

Even now, I remain ambivalent about whether 40/20 is a good rule or not. I wouldn't miss it if it were removed from the game.

What first attracted me to RL was the balance between attack and defence, and that has got cleaner as messiness has been removed from the play-the-ball area.

Just have a think to yourself about the number of times you've left a game going, "Wow, that was some contest for possession, that ..."

(Oh, and in general, and I include myself in this as well, I don't count what I read people on messageboards saying as 'normal' fans. We're the sadcore.)

I think you are twisting things somewhat. No one is talking about contests for possession in the RU sense.

In recent weeks I watched scores of games from the 90s and scrums were far better than what we have now. They weren't a mess, there weren't loads of penalties and they genuinely held up 12 players and opened up the field. There was also some element of a contest and scrums were won against the head. Far more variety and infinitely better. Similarly things like striking for the ball at the play the ball, again not a mess but more variety and something that could change the game.

Being like RU is the last thing I want. However guaranteed possession does encourage a certain degree of sameness. Whilst this may be fine with some its not what everyone wants either.

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I’ve seen some great tries from scrums lately , some really good attacking play . It can be a prime attacking opportunity with the fullback making an extra man for example . It looks great done fluently . Endless restarts are just monotonously samey 

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12 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Three blokes go into a tackle. They have a wrestle so the ref doesn't quite call held. Two roll off, the third takes the ball. The ref may or may not allow it.

If this is upright it hardly fits the description of "wiggling on the ground".

If it`s on the ground, it will be after the tackle is naturally complete, or the ref should have called it complete. Either way it`s illegal and a long way from the typical one-on-one ball-steal attempt that I see.

19 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Fascinating. Filled with subtleties and nuances.

"Subtleties and nuances" - God forbid!

It`s a simple game. Run hard, tackle hard.

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8 minutes ago, Damien said:

I think you are twisting things somewhat. No one is talking about contests for possession in the RU sense.

In recent weeks I watched scores of games from the 90s and scrums were far better than what we have now. They weren't a mess, there weren't loads of penalties and they genuinely held up 12 players and opened up the field. There was also some element of a contest and scrums were won against the head. Far more variety and infinitely better. Similarly things like striking for the ball at the play the ball, again not a mess but more variety and something that could change the game.

Being like RU is the last thing I want. However guaranteed possession does encourage a certain degree of sameness. Whilst this may be fine with some its not what everyone wants either.

The reason scrums became rarely contested was down to coaches deciding not to contest them. It has nothing to do with law changes.

As for contested PTBs they resulted in an absolute shambles.

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1 minute ago, Padge said:

The reason scrums became rarely contested was down to coaches deciding not to contest them. It has nothing to do with law changes.

As for contested PTBs they resulted in an absolute shambles.

It amazes me that some people seem to remember scrums as anything other than the massive mess they became. Watchingba load of old games during lockdown reminded me how bad it was, loads of collapses, resets and penalties. 

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Just now, dkw said:

It amazes me that some people seem to remember scrums as anything other than the massive mess they became. Watchingba load of old games during lockdown reminded me how bad it was, loads of collapses, resets and penalties. 

Yes as a kid they were stupid too. Only way would be a crouch, bind and set approach like in Union......which would be even worse.... Ditch them for good or make them optional for the attacking side so they can pick when they can be an advantage 

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8 minutes ago, Padge said:

The reason scrums became rarely contested was down to coaches deciding not to contest them. It has nothing to do with law changes.

As for contested PTBs they resulted in an absolute shambles.

Incorrect. It was due to blatantly ignoring the rules that made it pretty pointless trying to contest them. Force binding and feeding into the middle and things change rapidly. Let scrum half's feed directly to the 2nd row/loose forward and let teams barely bind and we end up where we are now.

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4 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

If you mean the replacement of a scrum by a handover after the ball goes into touch, this is the dreadful change. Quite what slow-motion handovers add to the game is anyone`s guess.

A hand over is easier to make quick than a scrum.... Just needs reffing properly 

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51 minutes ago, Damien said:

I think you are twisting things somewhat. No one is talking about contests for possession in the RU sense.

In recent weeks I watched scores of games from the 90s and scrums were far better than what we have now. They weren't a mess, there weren't loads of penalties and they genuinely held up 12 players and opened up the field. There was also some element of a contest and scrums were won against the head. Far more variety and infinitely better. Similarly things like striking for the ball at the play the ball, again not a mess but more variety and something that could change the game.

Being like RU is the last thing I want. However guaranteed possession does encourage a certain degree of sameness. Whilst this may be fine with some its not what everyone wants either.

Scrums by the 90s were laughable. They were already on the way to being dead as a contest when I started watching in the mid 80s. The reason there weren’t loads of penalties is simply because the refs weren’t calling them because, and this is the important point, they’d ceased to be of interest.

Striking at the play the ball is something I would have liked to keep because it’s a high risk move *after* the tackle. But again, it was getting very messy and a bit of a lottery in terms of penalties being called.

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6 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Scrums by the 90s were laughable. They were already on the way to being dead as a contest when I started watching in the mid 80s. The reason there weren’t loads of penalties is simply because the refs weren’t calling them because, and this is the important point, they’d ceased to be of interest.

Striking at the play the ball is something I would have liked to keep because it’s a high risk move *after* the tackle. But again, it was getting very messy and a bit of a lottery in terms of penalties being called.

I disagree. I must have watched 6 games from the 90s in recent weeks and none were as you describe. They were far worse in the preceeding decades granted. What we have now is far more comical and worse.

I completely accept your points and if people want a sanitised game which is nothing more than 80 mins of play the balls and no contests for possession then that's fine. Its essentially going down the American Football route. Just don't expect that to appeal to everyone and don't be surprised when people moan about the sameness of RL and lack of variety. Gimmicks like 40/20s and 2 point drop goals do little to change that and the everending quest to speed the game up does not mean better.

Let's also not forget that some of these changes have happened largely because of the whims of one man and his desire to please TV, not because it makes a better game.

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Just now, Damien said:

I must have watched 6 games from the 90s in recent weeks and none were as you describe.

How many games did you watch at the time?

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Just now, gingerjon said:

How many games did you watch at the time?

Plenty and played in plenty too. Not really any point debating what people haven't seen though. Anyone has been able to watch the recent games on Sky, hence referencing them in particular.

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1 hour ago, dkw said:

It's horrible to watch now at times and is going to lead to much less ball movement as players just try and keep control of the ball rather than promote it. Then we see what you say, 3 defenders positioning an attacker so one can strip it. It's garbage.

Agree 100%, horrible rule that now has players more concerned with fighting to keep possession rather than looking to make yards after contact or looking for an offload, rubbish rule change.

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42 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

A hand over is easier to make quick than a scrum.... Just needs reffing properly 

A scrum still offers greater potential for variety at the start of a set. And the benefits can still be felt well into the set.

I agree with your point about the refereeing.

When handovers were first introduced they could be taken immediately the ball was prised from the grasp of the tackled player. Similarly, when we dispensed with a scrum after a player was held up over the goal-line, he could rush back to the 10m line and play the ball. In both cases now refs make the player wait till markers are in place and the defence is set.

Technically this is absurd, since inherently a PTB is a continuation of the game. It`s not a set-piece. There should be no more reason to wait for the ref`s permission to play the ball in those two scenarios than any other PTB.

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15 minutes ago, Damien said:

Plenty and played in plenty too. Not really any point debating what people haven't seen though. Anyone has been able to watch the recent games on Sky, hence referencing them in particular.

Fair enough. My memory of the 90s, yours clearly differs, is that if teams did try and contest then the ref would invariably either penalise or reset. Teams did have to bind properly but it was basically 12 blokes standing bent over until the ball reappeared and they could legally break. The reason for no penalties was that no one was doing anything (and when they did - see above). There were essentially two moves that led to tries off the back of it - the run from round the back or the quick pass wide. Good teams stopped it, poor teams sometimes conceded. It was not exciting or interesting as a spectator.

In the whole of the decade I think I, in the flesh across all levels, saw less than a dozen scrums go against the head without an issue.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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17 minutes ago, rhinos78 said:

Agree 100%, horrible rule that now has players more concerned with fighting to keep possession rather than looking to make yards after contact or looking for an offload, rubbish rule change.

I think this must be the worst rule change for a long time. There is no skill involved in this whatsoever. It rewards cynical spoiling tactics.

Surely the intention wasn't for teams to organise to rip the ball away? 

Terry O'Connor mentioned he didn't like it yesterday. 

 

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

Incorrect. It was due to blatantly ignoring the rules that made it pretty pointless trying to contest them. Force binding and feeding into the middle and things change rapidly. Let scrum half's feed directly to the 2nd row/loose forward and let teams barely bind and we end up where we are now.

Once one coach weighed up that if you don't contest the scrum players can break from it quicker getting your defence in place quicker to stop an attack the contested scrum was dead.

They didn't become uncontested because they were a mess and laws ignored, they became uncontested despite it.

 

 

 

Visit my photography site www.padge.smugmug.com

Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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