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Super League: what have you done to our game?


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3 hours ago, Cerulean said:

For Padge:

Oops! Can I apologise? The highlighting of the phrase was not meant to reflect back on you or your post, which was an important one, determinedly stated. It was that I felt that the phrase was unneccesarily harsh within the discussion: but that's my problem, not yours. Perhaps I'm not suited to internet forum discussion.

Again, apologies.

Your exactly what we need, someone thoughtful, genuine and polite...............   Post more..... 

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Nostalgia at best, players are bigger fitter and there is no skill in the game absolutely not true, in the last ten years we have seen all time greats with skill, pace, game awareness, non built like gym monkeys, Billy slater, j thurston, Cooper cronk, c smith. 

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3 hours ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

On top of all that we need to enable more contests for possession. Why not let opposing players strike at the PTB? It was banned but nobody has ever said why. I don't remember it being widespread, there were a few who tried it often (Schoey was one) but most players never did.

Ultimately we might even need to consider more radical solutions like reducing teams to 12 a side or something.

Anyway, above all, involve only former players and coaches in developing rule changes, with the simple edict of entertainment. The absolute worst people to be involved are current coaches. they don't care about entertainment, they care about winning.

Love these suggestions.

I think making possession more contestable would end straight up hits (the ultra safe five hits and a kick) and would encourage more lateral play. When you are pretty much guaranteed to keep the ball there’s no risk of running straight into the opposition. Changing that would force more creative play.

Having lesser numbers on the field would definitely apply to RU. XV per side was fine when players were built like regular blokes, not gym monkeys. There is next to no space anymore, resulting in a bogged down, attritional, boring spectacle. Not sure if RL is anything like RU in terms of the enormous change in player physique, but one man less would free up more space.

Coaches who prioritise winning over style: Wayne Bennett. He made England more competitive, doing so by making it an arm wrestling contest. The English version is Shaun Wane. It’s hard to blame individuals though because the game rewards this style of play. In RU Clive Woodward made England RWC winners by playing “10 man rugby”...strangling the opposition into submission and having Jonny’s boot to keep the points ticking over. Both France and Wales (two countries once known for flair/attacking play) had to change to be competitive as the like of England were beating them to a pulp. Both now play turgid rugby like all the others, but they were almost forced to do so as they’d get mauled otherwise. There’s been a series of RWC’s since the Woodward era and not had one stand out player, reason being it’s impossible for an attacking player to really excel as they spend 95% of the game in an attritional battle, the 5% of scraps they can make a couple of runs (and maybe a close run in try). There’s no platform for stars to be created, hence there ain’t any.

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25 minutes ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

Nostalgia at best, players are bigger fitter and there is no skill in the game absolutely not true, in the last ten years we have seen all time greats with skill, pace, game awareness, non built like gym monkeys, Billy slater, j thurston, Cooper cronk, c smith. 

That’s in Australia.

English RL is (was) known for its expansive play. That’s what elevated players here, and they became stars as a result. 

I mentioned RU being devoid of any stars (really since Lomu, unless you count Jonny becoming a star with a drop goal) as it’s extremely difficult for players to stand out anymore in such a physical, attritional, overly defensive game. I don’t know how far RL has gone down this same route, but there doesn’t seem to be the same onus on attacking play the English game once had. Aussie style wrestle, Shaun Wane types at the forefront of the game. The OP is hitting on something here. 

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2 hours ago, DC77 said:

That’s in Australia.

English RL is (was) known for its expansive play. That’s what elevated players here, and they became stars as a result.

And that was almost certainly due to English RL having a more conservative interpretation of players being "out of play if they fail to retire five metres or more behind their player taking part in the play-the-ball" as the rule was written after metric units came into the rule book than in Australian RL.

I forget which International I was watching not long ago, but one of the (Aussie) commentators remarked about the ref (who was English) having a "skinny" five metres in comparison to they were used to seeing in Australian domestic matches.  The defensive lines being less far back in the English game would have forced teams to be more creative and expansive on offense in order to advance the ball when in possession, especially if some stadiums (e.g. Odsal which unless I'm mistaken was shared with Speedway back then) had narrower fields of play than the full width common in Australia.

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14 hours ago, Cerulean said:

For Padge:

Oops! Can I apologise? The highlighting of the phrase was not meant to reflect back on you or your post, which was an important one, determinedly stated. It was that I felt that the phrase was unneccesarily harsh within the discussion: but that's my problem, not yours. Perhaps I'm not suited to internet forum discussion.

Again, apologies.

Accepted, thank you.

T'internet can be a buggre.

Edited by Padge

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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1 hour ago, Saint 1 said:

This is like saying that Lewis Dodd and Jack Welsby ran the game for Saints last night with an average age of 19.5 and an average weight of 86kg, and therefore RL is a game where size/strength don't matter. Arguably the best RL players in the last 10 years have been Jonathan Thurston who was small and skinny, and Cameron Smith, a bloke so unathletic that his nickname was "The Accountant". 

Besides, if you actually look at the data for football, players have still got both bigger and heavier over time, and this is a sport which is often particularly poor in terms of its relationship with strength and conditioning:

https://www.theversed.com/86312/are-you-tall-enough-to-be-a-premier-league-player-firmino/#.mL7qyaJio9

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19253079/

RL looked like a far more open game previously because the defence was comparatively awful. 

The first link backs up what I’m saying. The two best teams in the league (#1 and #2 during that time) were the smallest (Man City) and 4th smallest (Liverpool). The teams with the least ”size and power”, were the best. The yard dogs that are Burnley would probably win the “bigger and heavier” contest, but thankfully as a skill based sport football largely comes down to talent.

Arguably the best team in history (Barcelona of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi) were a team of midgets. Xavi was 5’7”, wasn’t quick either, but possessed a skillset that saw him outclass opponents week in week out. 

The number one physical quality needed in football is endurance, hence carrying extra bulk/muscle is a hindrance. 

The problem with the Rugby codes is the onus on bulk. On spending time in the gym, downing protein shakes, as opposed to developing skills and having fun with the ball (which football training largely consists of). Such an onus on bulk is a turn off for most, especially young teens (a crucial age group that are the next generation of players). According to Sport England, 44k people regularly play RL in England, over 2 million regularly play football. To play RL you have to carry extra bulk otherwise you will get snapped in two. Training including military style assault courses in the freezing cold of winter. In a way It’s admirable they put their bodies through hell. RU meanwhile has really gone to extremes in regard to player size. The hits are now mini car crashes. Concussions galore.  

The first link also mentions Firmino (at 5’9”). His game is all about creativity, touch and technique, and illustrates the onus on skill in football which is appealing to both watch and emulate for most. Here he features in the first assist, a video with 52 million views.

The rugby codes need more onus on skill, and far less on the gym, to garner more interest. 

And on the RL defences previously being worse (turnstile defences). Good. If it allows for the type of eye catching play that made stars of Offiah and Hanley that will only benefit the sport. The greatest RU try of all time (by all accounts) was Gareth Edwards. With such watertight defences he would never score that try today, and we’d have never heard of him.

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The great thing about the scrums of the past was the sheer number of attempts to get it right.

Scrum down, collapse, do it again. Scrum down, put ball in wrongly, do it again. Scrum down, arm out, penalty. ad nauseum. 

No thanks.

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I'm interested in that drive, that rush to judgment, that is so prevalent in our society. We all know that pleasurable rush that comes from condemning, and in the short term it's quite a satisfying thing to do, isn't it?

J. K. Rowling

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22 hours ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

"Eeey Oop.... Bring back real scrooms. Like we 'ad in t' 1970s. That way we can cling to t'past even more than we do now."

What a nonsensical suggestion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(And I like a scrum in RL more than most on here... But 'scrummaging' FFS... Give us a break.)

Erm hold on a sec, the discusion was to how to stop the wrestle.

One suggestion is the scrum and have forwards again instead of generic middles.

RL is now becoming a game for a one size player and we will loose a lot of good players to union.

Our forwards are better than what Aus system produce but it wont be much longer.

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35 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

It's also important to remember that one person's idea of what is good or attractive in a sport, isn't necessarily shared by others. 

For example, I remember Paul Deacon being injured in a GB game at Huddersfield and the injury was likened to being in a car crash. To me that was like 'wow, how tough are these guys?' but I distinctly remember other people I knew being horrified about it. 

So maybe what *we* think makes for an attractive and exciting game.... isn't shared by the majority? 

I was there, didn't see anything in the tackle so I'm calling him soft when he stayed down. Eventually he gets onto all fours and what looked like a pint of blood fell out of his head. I shut up. A fractured palate I heard later. Still feel queasy about it.

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TESTICULI AD  BREXITAM.

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On 27/08/2021 at 19:16, Saint 1 said:

2 - get rid of the six-again set restart. Disproportionately punishes the worst teams and disproportionately rewards the best teams which has resulted in wider margins, is too easy to game (virtually impossible to get a quick PTB on tackle 1/2 now), sees more one-out carries, fewer offloads and so on. 

The cynicism is at its most palpable on a zero tackle. Last Friday it couldn`t have been more obvious that Souths were holding down for however long it took the ref to call 6-again. Completely extinguished any opportunity for the Roosters to play against a team in rushed transition following an error.

Having said that, refs nowadays are so alarmed by the sight of the ball on the ground and "little bobbles" that zero tackle advantage is seldom used anyway. It was a conspicuous feature of the two UK livestreamed women`s games on Sunday. Most of the times a player lost the ball and an opponent regathered, the ref would blow the whistle and trot off to the middle to arrange a slow-motion handover. - knock-on, double knock-on, triple knock-on, these bobbles have ceased to have any connection with a rule designed to prevent players propelling the ball in a forward direction.

On 27/08/2021 at 19:16, Saint 1 said:

3 - remove the 7-tackle set for kicks inside the 20. Currently defending teams are more happy to risk grubbers, meaning the fullback defends in the line and winger stays in the line more. If the 7-tackle set goes inside the 20, grubbers become less risky, defending teams have to worry about them more and there's more opportunity for tries through handling as a result. 

Don`t agree with this one. Never liked short-range grubbers. Nudging the ball a couple of yards forward into the in-goal is hardly the most skilful spectacle to behold. We`ve had periods in RL when far too many tries were scored from insipid grubber kicks.

And I don`t think teams would defend any differently. My impression is that they don`t regard giving away a scrappy try off a grubber as the same blot on their defensive honour as conceding a handling try. Hence, fullback and wingers defend up in the line more, and they take their chances with kicks.

My only quarrel with the "7-tackle set" is the name. Should be called Zero tackle.

On 27/08/2021 at 19:16, Saint 1 said:

One final idea, and I think this would need testing in a lower league first, is a slight change to the rules on PTB speed. If you wanted to incentivise ball movement, I'd be curious to see the impact of 1) quicker rucks than current for a 1 v 1 tackle 2) slower rucks than current for a dominant tackle. This may shift the needle towards encouraging ball movement, especially in yardage, because teams would see a greater reward (and a greater punishment in the form of slow PTBs for one-out carries). Not a big change, but that might mean it actually works vs some more drastic modifications. 

Refs already demand release when the ball-carrier quickly finds his front in a one-on-one tackle, and they allow delay after calling a dominant tackle. So, I assume you just want them to go further.

The "RL is a simple game" doctrine and the consequent habit of judging each element in isolation, inhibits much understanding of the purpose of thus distinguishing between tackles.

RL media and crowds are apt to view a one-defender legs tackle favourably. Whereas the multi-defender dominant tackles are the ones that prompt all the tosh about "wrestling".

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7 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

6 again should not apply on 0 or 1st tackles, its pointless there. Should be a penalty.

Don't disagree that teams deliberately try to slow down play 1, but the offence being a penalty if it is on tackle 1 or 2 just adds further complexity to the game for casual fans. I'd remove the 6 again rule altogether, if an offence has been committed it should be a penalty.

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1 minute ago, Alffi 7 said:

Don't disagree that teams deliberately try to slow down play 1, but the offence being a penalty if it is on tackle 1 or 2 just adds further complexity to the game for casual fans. I'd remove the 6 again rule altogether, if an offence has been committed it should be a penalty.

Yeah I was concerned with that, but I think its a bit of a niche concern as in reality it would just be seen as a penalty for holding on. 

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So here's a thing, we generally agree that RL is the greatest game yet constantly comment on how short it falls of its potential. 

For me the ugly wrestle, repetitive one out plays, random officiating kills the spectacle. 

Away atm and didn't see last nights game but how can we 'encourage' a great spectacle? 

Ok I'm on dodgy ground here but is it worth asking the question, Why was 60 mins of Warrington v Saints Fab and how do we make that 80 mins?

Or should we?

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TESTICULI AD  BREXITAM.

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On 26/08/2021 at 18:06, Big Picture said:

I'm sure that 7 metres would improve things, I'd go further and allow tacklers more time to release the tackled player as used to be the case.

I suggest that the main reason why the game is so one-dimensional now is that the combination of the 10 metre rule and the weird obsession with super fast play-the-balls has made getting back onside before the next play extremely difficult for defenders.  The result is that it's too easy for teams to advance the ball up and down the field when they have possession (even with a conservative style of play) so they can afford to play it safe nowadays.

If you watch some of the Retro games on Sky from 90s and 00s, the ptbs are a lot quicker.

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1 hour ago, Wakefield Ram said:

If you watch some of the Retro games on Sky from 90s and 00s, the ptbs are a lot quicker.

This is correct, and easily seen: but often denied.

25/30 years ago, generally the aim of the tackler was to put the man on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible. The evolution to vertical tackling and wrestling is to delay the end of the tackle: doing so brings lage advantages to the defenders, and begins an arms race of searching for an advantage, with the ball carrier also involved, looking for opportunities to dominate the wrestle, or gain a penalty.

This is a thrilling and enthalling aspect for many fans: a frustration for other, perhaps older, fans. Unintentionally, I can see the beginning of the end for upright tackling, as the worry of brain damage caused by high velocity impact and severe deceleration of the head becomes more evident.

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Just now, Cerulean said:

This is correct, and easily seen: but often denied.

25/30 years ago, generally the aim of the tackler was to put the man on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible. The evolution to vertical tackling and wrestling is to delay the end of the tackle: doing so brings lage advantages to the defenders, and begins an arms race of searching for an advantage, with the ball carrier also involved, looking for opportunities to dominate the wrestle, or gain a penalty.

This is a thrilling and enthalling aspect for many fans: a frustration for other, perhaps older, fans. Unintentionally, I can see the beginning of the end for upright tackling, as the worry of brain damage caused by high velocity impact and severe deceleration of the head becomes more evident.

I'd agree with all of the post but do many  supporters see "the wrestle" as an exciting part of the game? 

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6 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

I'd agree with all of the post but do many  supporters see "the wrestle" as an exciting part of the game? 

Pehaps many younger fans have seen nothing else, and see it as an essential feature of the game. There are certainly those on this forum who celebrate their team's dominance of "the wrestle", and tv commentators appear to enjoy all the fine details of it.

Eliminating much of it could be achieved with alteration of the interpretation of the rules. Of course, any re-interpretation of the rules will have a cascade of consequences: most of them for the better, for me; but a worry for some.

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putting up suggestions in our game with the people who run it reminds me of that sci fi film "in space no one can here you scream!" we have taken all the things i have never wanted to watch ru for and they have stolen  the things that made our game great - and we have just stood by and let them 

a closed door is no object to FLAT STANLEY 

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watched the cas v wigan game last nite  and fell asleep phil clarke etc same old same old  - watched the eels v storm game just now and hardly blinked - the presentation is miles apart for a start

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a closed door is no object to FLAT STANLEY 

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13 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

watched the cas v wigan game last nite  and fell asleep phil clarke etc same old same old  - watched the eels v storm game just now and hardly blinked - the presentation is miles apart for a start

The commentary certainly doesn't help. It almost makes you want Eddie and Stevo back, at least they had some personality.

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20 hours ago, Cerulean said:

25/30 years ago, generally the aim of the tackler was to put the man on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible. The evolution to vertical tackling and wrestling is to delay the end of the tackle: doing so brings lage advantages to the defenders, and begins an arms race of searching for an advantage, with the ball carrier also involved, looking for opportunities to dominate the wrestle, or gain a penalty.

The most effective response available to a ball-carrier who is losing the contact is to pass the ball. In more-than-one-tackler contests, the ball-stealing laws are specifically designed to favour the ball-carrier. If he makes no attempt to offload, that is his choice and responsibility. If he cannot offload, that is a win for the defence.

 

21 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

I'd agree with all of the post but do many  supporters see "the wrestle" as an exciting part of the game? 

I don`t like using the word "wrestle". We never used to describe completing the tackle as "wrestling". 

However, for the sake of argument. - I don`t think anyone sees "the wrestle" as intrinsically "exciting". But it is an interesting part of the battle to create or deny time and space.

Since the move to a 10m offside line, cheap metres can be gained through basic carries. If defenders are unable to "wrestle" i.e. reduce ruck speed with good tackle technique, dull play is automatically rewarded and there is less incentive to use the ball. The consequence is more basic carries, and a less exciting game.

People who don`t want time and space to be earned might prefer to watch RU 7s.

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