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The ruck in modern RL is so different to how it was just a couple of decades ago, possibly changed again in the last 5/6 years.

Why is it so important, we try to tackle this issue, pardon the pun ūüėĀ

Do you agree with our thoughts? Do you prefer the way it was?

 

 

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I think that this is a very important point.  The assumption we make in this country is that the faster we make the game but the more entertaining it will become... and if we can advantage the attacki

I much prefer the way it was, with refs calling held when momentum had stopped, and penalising the defenders if they didn't release the player with the ball. It created far more open play and players 

For me the interminable ruck is allowed for by the authorities in order to keep the game recognisable as RL irrespective of what it says in the rulebook. If the tacklers release the ball carrier

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1 hour ago, fuzzy_merged said:

The ruck in modern RL is so different to how it was just a couple of decades ago, possibly changed again in the last 5/6 years.

Why is it so important, we try to tackle this issue, pardon the pun ūüėĀ

Do you agree with our thoughts? Do you prefer the way it was?

 

 

Maybe they could follow it up with a segment on ways that the best teams are counteracting that slowing-down of the ruck, especially by perhaps discussing, showing examples would be ideal, of the different types of off-loads that the various players use in the `ruck`. I remember that the `English ball-playing forward` had almost mythical status amongst the older generation of League followers over here. We had some pretty handy ones ourselves, Arthur Beetson being one of the more famous. I think it would be great for the game if these type players made a comeback.

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I could write reams on this (and have on other threads).

It`s vital to make the distinction between before and after the tackle is complete. The RL ruck contest should only really occur prior to completion. The rulebook is clear that once the tackle is complete, tacklers are required to instantly roll off or away.

For tacklers, there is a little latitude allowed for momentum once the ball or ball-carrying arm reach the ground. Techniques like spinning round into marker are permissible if enacted immediately. But slow peels, cumulative peels, second efforts, extra working on the ground, are all illegal.

Keiron Cunningham was mentioned. He had the confidence to take the markers on, and even if caught, trusted his ability to stand and get an offload away. This is one reason why a chunkier player is still better at No.9. When a more slightly-built converted half-back plays there, if he jumps out of dummy-half and gets caught, he`s smashed or rag-dolled, driven back, at very best it`s a dead wasted play, which potentially disrupts the whole set.

BTW, the accompanying picture isn`t the most endearing.

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6 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I could write reams on this (and have on other threads).

It`s vital to make the distinction between before and after the tackle is complete. The RL ruck contest should only really occur prior to completion. The rulebook is clear that once the tackle is complete, tacklers are required to instantly roll off or away.

For tacklers, there is a little latitude allowed for momentum once the ball or ball-carrying arm reach the ground. Techniques like spinning round into marker are permissible if enacted immediately. But slow peels, cumulative peels, second efforts, extra working on the ground, are all illegal.

Keiron Cunningham was mentioned. He had the confidence to take the markers on, and even if caught, trusted his ability to stand and get an offload away. This is one reason why a chunkier player is still better at No.9. When a more slightly-built converted half-back plays there, if he jumps out of dummy-half and gets caught, he`s smashed or rag-dolled, driven back, at very best it`s a dead wasted play, which potentially disrupts the whole set.

BTW, the accompanying picture isn`t the most endearing.

Some excellent points, I think it's more complex than it used to be and you've highlighted that here.

I agree with most points, not sure a chunkier player is automatically better. Roby, Powell, Parcel etc. Are not all chunky as such but agree they are not converted halves.

I remember Tony Smith being selected in a semi final against NZ which I believe was a big error, particularly when Rowley had played so well in the game before, think this may have been 2000

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10 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Not quite as billed but that¬†was a v good¬†‚Äėdummy‚Äôs¬†guide‚Äô to the ruck.¬†

Thanks, we aim to do a review show each Monday, then a couple of shirts on Wednesday and Fridays, so the formats will be quick short shows.

I think some subjects could have follow up using the replies and responses that have added value and depth for us to discuss and explore, also uses others opinions and thoughts.

We also have a ref coming in this weekend, so will have other 'specials' with occasional longer format.

Maybe we can revisit the ruck with the ref or another time.

Thanks again for your comments, if it's possible we would really appreciate these thoughts on the YouTube thread ūüĎćproduction team will see and change the photo although I'll also mention this, and it helps with engagement

 

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12 hours ago, fuzzy_merged said:

The ruck in modern RL is so different to how it was just a couple of decades ago, possibly changed again in the last 5/6 years.

Why is it so important, we try to tackle this issue, pardon the pun ūüėĀ

Do you agree with our thoughts? Do you prefer the way it was?

 

 

I much prefer the way it was, with refs calling held when momentum had stopped, and penalising the defenders if they didn't release the player with the ball. It created far more open play and players playing what was in front of them.

The game has become sterile, and pretty much degenerated in to a war of attrition, with 17 big blokes running in to each other to simply tire each other out. A lot of the guile and skill has gone out of the game.

I find it quite sad, no disrespect intended but, a team like Wigan as an example, with all of the money and resources they have, instead of playing good rugby to watch, have turned in to a 5 drives and a kick team. I could understand it for a less well funded side, like Wakefield and Salford for example, where they perhaps cannot afford to buy players capable of playing good rugby. But, to resort to spoiling and playing the simple game when they have the ability to sign the best players available, just seems wrong somehow.

They have one of the most exciting halfbacks in the world in Hastings, but the style of football they play, he will never get the chance to shine. So why sign him?

I realise, many will disagree with me on this, and will probably bring up Wigan's win ratio etc. To my mind though, in answer to Ian Lenagan's recent whinging about attendances dropping at Wigan, despite them being fairly successful in recent years. Success is great, yes, people want to watch a winning team, but this is an entertainment business. Entertain us, play a decent brand of rugby and the fans will return.

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1 hour ago, DOGFATHER said:

I much prefer the way it was, with refs calling held when momentum had stopped, and penalising the defenders if they didn't release the player with the ball. 

That hasn`t changed. What has is defenders` ability to hold the player above ground more often.

I take the polar opposite view to you. I think refs in recent years particularly in Aus have been calling "Held" too early, turning it into Touch Football with big initial contact. When officials negate good defence, it merely rewards and encourages dull attacking play. Cheap metres can be made with minimal ball movement.

There`s been a discernible change in the first few NRL rounds this year. Refs appear to be allowing more time for tackles to develop. The consequence has been more late offloads and second phase.

There`s a tendency in this country when defences are perceived to be technically effective that, rather than put the onus on players and coaches to respond with better attacking play, we instead want to change the rules or their applications, to make it harder to defend and correspondingly easier to attack. Partly explains why we`ve fallen behind the Aussies in the last 40 years.

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6 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

That hasn`t changed. What has is defenders` ability to hold the player above ground more often.

I take the polar opposite view to you. I think refs in recent years particularly in Aus have been calling "Held" too early, turning it into Touch Football with big initial contact. When officials negate good defence, it merely rewards and encourages dull attacking play. Cheap metres can be made with minimal ball movement.

There`s been a discernible change in the first few NRL rounds this year. Refs appear to be allowing more time for tackles to develop. The consequence has been more late offloads and second phase.

There`s a tendency in this country when defences are perceived to be technically effective that, rather than put the onus on players and coaches to respond with better attacking play, we instead want to change the rules or their applications, to make it harder to defend and correspondingly easier to attack. Partly explains why we`ve fallen behind the Aussies in the last 40 years.

I understand your point and overall reasoning but don't entirely agree with the way to get there.

I don't like the standing tackles, calling held early will encourage what I consider a proper tackle. But currently teams are punished for this as they have to roll off, how about allowing a few seconds holding down if it's a good tackle? 

I agree the game can be artificially fast at times, we don't want touch rugby or a slow game, a balance is needed 

 

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For me the interminable ruck is allowed for by the authorities in order to keep the game recognisable as RL irrespective of what it says in the rulebook.

If the tacklers release the ball carrier as per the rules then most of the defence will be deeply offside at the ptb. The attack will find a retreating defence as a regular occurrence most every ptb. Or a penalty for not retreating in time.

OK, the quick release could be insisted upon and then the defence can't commit across the field knowing it can't get back onside more times than not.

Either way it is a big change in the character of the game.

For me the wrestle is ugly and tedious but with a 10m offside the defence has to be allowed time to retire or else we're looking at something very different from what we are used to.

Playing the ball with the foot might help or reducing the 10m offside. Tricky. Imo ofcourse.

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2 hours ago, DOGFATHER said:

I much prefer the way it was, with refs calling held when momentum had stopped, and penalising the defenders if they didn't release the player with the ball. It created far more open play and players playing what was in front of them.

The game has become sterile, and pretty much degenerated in to a war of attrition, with 17 big blokes running in to each other to simply tire each other out. A lot of the guile and skill has gone out of the game.

I find it quite sad, no disrespect intended but, a team like Wigan as an example, with all of the money and resources they have, instead of playing good rugby to watch, have turned in to a 5 drives and a kick team. I could understand it for a less well funded side, like Wakefield and Salford for example, where they perhaps cannot afford to buy players capable of playing good rugby. But, to resort to spoiling and playing the simple game when they have the ability to sign the best players available, just seems wrong somehow.

They have one of the most exciting halfbacks in the world in Hastings, but the style of football they play, he will never get the chance to shine. So why sign him?

I realise, many will disagree with me on this, and will probably bring up Wigan's win ratio etc. To my mind though, in answer to Ian Lenagan's recent whinging about attendances dropping at Wigan, despite them being fairly successful in recent years. Success is great, yes, people want to watch a winning team, but this is an entertainment business. Entertain us, play a decent brand of rugby and the fans will return.

Excellently stated.

And, in my opinion, a very important point. But it doesn't matter what I think: what matters is that the game constantly re-assesses its success as a provider of entertainment. Referees are allowed, it seems, a spectrum of interpretation when it comes to the laws - significant changes to the spectacle should be straightforward to engineer.

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27 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

That hasn`t changed. What has is defenders` ability to hold the player above ground more often.

I take the polar opposite view to you. I think refs in recent years particularly in Aus have been calling "Held" too early, turning it into Touch Football with big initial contact. When officials negate good defence, it merely rewards and encourages dull attacking play. Cheap metres can be made with minimal ball movement.

There`s been a discernible change in the first few NRL rounds this year. Refs appear to be allowing more time for tackles to develop. The consequence has been more late offloads and second phase.

There`s a tendency in this country when defences are perceived to be technically effective that, rather than put the onus on players and coaches to respond with better attacking play, we instead want to change the rules or their applications, to make it harder to defend and correspondingly easier to attack. Partly explains why we`ve fallen behind the Aussies in the last 40 years.

I guess we'll have to disagree on this one ūüėČ

Prior to the change in interpretation, the onus was on the tacklers to put the ball carrier on the ground. This prevented the offload/second phase, and it slowed the PTB down by making the attacker stand up before he could carry on. It allowed the defence to get set, rewarding both the athletic ability of the defence to get back on side, and the tacklers with a good technique, that were able tackle a guy on his back giving his team more time to number up.

The onus on the attacker, was to remain on his feet to allow him to either ptb faster, as he didn't need to regain his feet from the tackle. Alternatively, he could offload, but he had to be moving, if he stopped moving, the ref shouted held.

Defences could not really afford to put 3 and 4 men in to every tackle as they do now, as they wouldn't have as long to get back onside. That would leave huge holes in the defensive line away from the ruck, rewarding teams that were able to throw the ball about.

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14 minutes ago, DOGFATHER said:

I guess we'll have to disagree on this one ūüėČ

Prior to the change in interpretation, the onus was on the tacklers to put the ball carrier on the ground. This prevented the offload/second phase, and it slowed the PTB down by making the attacker stand up before he could carry on. It allowed the defence to get set, rewarding both the athletic ability of the defence to get back on side, and the tacklers with a good technique, that were able tackle a guy on his back giving his team more time to number up.

The onus on the attacker, was to remain on his feet to allow him to either ptb faster, as he didn't need to regain his feet from the tackle. Alternatively, he could offload, but he had to be moving, if he stopped moving, the ref shouted held.

Defences could not really afford to put 3 and 4 men in to every tackle as they do now, as they wouldn't have as long to get back onside. That would leave huge holes in the defensive line away from the ruck, rewarding teams that were able to throw the ball about.

Agreed, issue is teams are effectively punished for taking the ball carrier to ground, if this could be rewarded and holding up not rewarded then the ruck would be better IMO

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42 minutes ago, fuzzy_merged said:

 how about allowing a few seconds holding down if it's a good tackle? 

That already happens when the tackle is deemed "dominant". The other end of the spectrum is where the ball-carrier wins the contact and quickly finds his front. That`s when tacklers ought to immediately roll off or away. The ball-carrier has earned the right to play the ball quickly.

Most tackles fall somewhere between those two examples. The ref has to judge where, and align the speed of the PTB accordingly.

1 hour ago, fuzzy_merged said:

I don't like the standing tackles

How likely a ball-carrier is to be held up is determined by the quality of pre-contact attacking play. An ill-judged run out of dummy-half or pedestrian one-out hit-up is more likely to result in an upright tackle. A slick intricate play around the ruck is more likely to result in the ball-carrier being able to offload or quickly find his front.

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5 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Agreed, issue is teams are effectively punished for taking the ball carrier to ground, if this could be rewarded and holding up not rewarded then the ruck would be better IMO

A big forward can only be held up by defences committing multiple players to the tackle. Which opens up space elsewhere. The ball-stealing rules encourage him to look for an offload. If he doesn`t, that`s his choice. Calling "Held" prematurely rewards poor play and lack of ambition.

The rulebook says the ref should call "Held" when the ball-carrier "can make no further progress and cannot part with the ball". -  I`m perfectly happy with that and, so far as I can see, that is what currently happens.

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1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

There`s a tendency in this country when defences are perceived to be technically effective that, rather than put the onus on players and coaches to respond with better attacking play, we instead want to change the rules or their applications, to make it harder to defend and correspondingly easier to attack. Partly explains why we`ve fallen behind the Aussies in the last 40 years.

I think that this is a very important point.  The assumption we make in this country is that the faster we make the game but the more entertaining it will become... and if we can advantage the attacking team then the attack will be better.

But this is counterintuitive.  Attack only needs to become better when defences become more difficult to unlock.  If you can roll downfield with momentum from scoots or drives then you don't need to look beyond this for advantage.

I would argue that the slower the tackle, the more set the defensive line is then the more inventive the attack has to become to find a breakthrough.  Allow advantage from constantly speeding the game up and you become more one dimensional - the very thing that people on this thread seem to bemoan.

Australian defences are typically tighter than British ones.  And yet it is Australia that has produced the Andrew Johns, the Darren Lockyers and the Jonathan Thurstons to unlock these defences while our half backs over the last 20 or 30 years have not come close.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the quality of the attack and the quality of the defence and if you try and engineer advantage for the attack the game will actually suffer as a result.

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10 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I think that this is a very important point.  The assumption we make in this country is that the faster we make the game but the more entertaining it will become... and if we can advantage the attacking team then the attack will be better.

But this is counterintuitive.  Attack only needs to become better when defences become more difficult to unlock.  If you can roll downfield with momentum from scoots or drives then you don't need to look beyond this for advantage.

I would argue that the slower the tackle, the more set the defensive line is then the more inventive the attack has to become to find a breakthrough.  Allow advantage from constantly speeding the game up and you become more one dimensional - the very thing that people on this thread seem to bemoan.

Australian defences are typically tighter than British ones.  And yet it is Australia that has produced the Andrew Johns, the Darren Lockyers and the Jonathan Thurstons to unlock these defences while our half backs over the last 20 or 30 years have not come close.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the quality of the attack and the quality of the defence and if you try and engineer advantage for the attack the game will actually suffer as a result.

I remember a mate saying how the new incoming 10m offside will offer more space for the attack. Mmmmm. Unintended consequences and all that. 

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1 minute ago, corvusxiii said:

I remember a mate saying how the new incoming 10m offside will offer more space for the attack. Mmmmm. Unintended consequences and all that. 

It's interesting how the game has evolved.  The 10m offered more space between the attacking and defending teams and yet for a while the game was infested with dummy half scoots and drives with quick play the balls as that 10 metres was just so easy to find and teams simply rolled downfield.

The wrestling at the tackle was introduced by coaches to counter these metres so that defences could set and a fast line could squeeze the attack.  The modern ruck is a consequence of coaches needing to slow the play the ball down which is consequence of the easy metres available from the 10m law.

Another byproduct is the quality of the play the ball.  As the ruck slowed down with wrestling, the ref's have started to be more lenient with the execution of the play the ball - perhaps to try and even up the contest.  We are left with a bit of a mess.

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47 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

That already happens when the tackle is deemed "dominant". The other end of the spectrum is where the ball-carrier wins the contact and quickly finds his front. That`s when tacklers ought to immediately roll off or away. The ball-carrier has earned the right to play the ball quickly.

Most tackles fall somewhere between those two examples. The ref has to judge where, and align the speed of the PTB accordingly.

How likely a ball-carrier is to be held up is determined by the quality of pre-contact attacking play. An ill-judged run out of dummy-half or pedestrian one-out hit-up is more likely to result in an upright tackle. A slick intricate play around the ruck is more likely to result in the ball-carrier being able to offload or quickly find his front.

Dominant is rarely called though and as you say it normally falls between the two, therefore rarely affecting play.

The ball carrier shouldn't be trying to find the floor quickly though, the aim to to remain standing and moving if possible, the tacklers should be attempting to tackle to the floor, what your describing as I read it is the opposite and therefore agree with your intended outcome but not the way you aim to get there

 

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30 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

A big forward can only be held up by defences committing multiple players to the tackle. Which opens up space elsewhere. The ball-stealing rules encourage him to look for an offload. If he doesn`t, that`s his choice. Calling "Held" prematurely rewards poor play and lack of ambition.

The rulebook says the ref should call "Held" when the ball-carrier "can make no further progress and cannot part with the ball". -  I`m perfectly happy with that and, so far as I can see, that is what currently happens.

I don't believe it happens quickly enough, if it did then there would be no advantage to a defender holding up the ball carrier, which is what they all attempt to do

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23 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I think that this is a very important point.  The assumption we make in this country is that the faster we make the game but the more entertaining it will become... and if we can advantage the attacking team then the attack will be better.

But this is counterintuitive.  Attack only needs to become better when defences become more difficult to unlock.  If you can roll downfield with momentum from scoots or drives then you don't need to look beyond this for advantage.

I would argue that the slower the tackle, the more set the defensive line is then the more inventive the attack has to become to find a breakthrough.  Allow advantage from constantly speeding the game up and you become more one dimensional - the very thing that people on this thread seem to bemoan.

Australian defences are typically tighter than British ones.  And yet it is Australia that has produced the Andrew Johns, the Darren Lockyers and the Jonathan Thurstons to unlock these defences while our half backs over the last 20 or 30 years have not come close.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the quality of the attack and the quality of the defence and if you try and engineer advantage for the attack the game will actually suffer as a result.

Which is why I don't like the artificial fast game, the bump and drop of the ball carrier rather than trying to stay on their feet, it's now the wrong way round.

And yes I agree, play the ball with the foot

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41 minutes ago, DOGFATHER said:

I guess we'll have to disagree on this one ūüėČ

Prior to the change in interpretation, the onus was on the tacklers to put the ball carrier on the ground. This prevented the offload/second phase, and it slowed the PTB down by making the attacker stand up before he could carry on. It allowed the defence to get set, rewarding both the athletic ability of the defence to get back on side, and the tacklers with a good technique, that were able tackle a guy on his back giving his team more time to number up.

The onus on the attacker, was to remain on his feet to allow him to either ptb faster, as he didn't need to regain his feet from the tackle. Alternatively, he could offload, but he had to be moving, if he stopped moving, the ref shouted held.

Defences could not really afford to put 3 and 4 men in to every tackle as they do now, as they wouldn't have as long to get back onside. That would leave huge holes in the defensive line away from the ruck, rewarding teams that were able to throw the ball about.

I don`t disagree with anything you`ve written here.  Although I`m not sure what "change in interpretation" refers to.

The vast majority of tackles still take the form you describe in your first paragraph. The fact that tacklers initially attempt to hold the ball-carrier up more often than previously is not a major change. If every tackle were a "proper tackle", i.e. quickly completed, there would be less variety in the tackle and ruck, and it wouldn`t necessarily lead to more open play away from the ruck.

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9 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

I don't believe it happens quickly enough, if it did then there would be no advantage to a defender holding up the ball carrier, which is what they all attempt to do

 

7 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Which is why I don't like the artificial fast game, the bump and drop of the ball carrier rather than trying to stay on their feet, it's now the wrong way round.

Even with the caveat that it`s all about striking the right balance, I`m not finding it easy to reconcile these two statements.

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18 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

The ball carrier shouldn't be trying to find the floor quickly though, the aim to to remain standing and moving if possible, 

By "find the floor", I don`t mean behind the gain-line where the ball-carrier has lost the contact.

I`m referring to plays where the ball-carrier has pushed through the tackle and got his upper body beyond the gain-line. Then he does need to get to ground quickly to maximise the advantage with a quick PTB.

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