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The Catch 22 of Intl Rugby

Much has been made of the standard of the intl rugby over the Autumn, England have led the way, but are far from alone, with a strategy of not wanting to play with the ball.

The reasons given are that the changes to the referee’s interpretation of the breakdown are making it a ‘ticking time bomb’ when you are in possession. From what we have seen I’d say that is a fair assessment. There have been so many penalties for holding onto the ball it is bordering on ridiculous.

The catch 22 is leniency on attacking team sees defences spread and refuse to compete, cutting down space, the flipside being what we have now.

The issue now stems from the referees leniency of the jackal player being able to support his bodyweight, being on the ball and not placing his hands passed the ruck. This has been compounded by the stricter officiating of the actions of the clearing players staying on their feet.

For me, this is taking it too far, it is no longer a fair contest as it is almost impossible to clear someone, who is not legal, in a legal fashion.

I agree the multi phase, side to side nature of the game with the defences spread could provide some stale matches, but they were far better than we are seeing now. It feels like they’ve used a sledge hammer to bang in a tack!

Rather than tweak the directives back a little so to encourage teams to compete more, they’ve made it almost impossible to play with any phases as the risk of being turned over is so great. Why emphasise both jackal and clearers in favour of the defensive team, one or the other (clearer would be my preference) would be enough.

We have gone full circle back to RWC07. That may seem a long time ago, but those making these decisions were all around then.

England have fallen foul to these interpretations in the past as we have not had players adept over the ball, now we are taking advantage because we do, alternatively side Wales used to take advantage of these interpretations but now are not able to as well. Argentina flourished in RWC07 largely down to this problem and their recent resurgence is no coincidence.

Stephen Jones (spit, turn around and jump) is a moron, science fact and typically has the answer but doesn’t know it. He said all the talk of the referees is nonsense, you’ve only got to look at the GP to see attacking rugby can be played. Correct, but that is because the GP referees are not refereeing the game in the same way. Wayne Barnes and Nigel Owens have been the best referees out there for one simple reason in my opinion, they get the balance between allowing a fair competition but slightly favouring the attacking team. Allowing players to be cleared off the ball, making sure the jackal is legal, but rewarding them when they are and the attacker holds on. Why on earth is Rollande, or whomever is leading these directive changes, not just showing the game tape of these 2 great referees who are leaving the intl arena and saying….do that or go back to domestic to learn how to?

T&D DTRR Cup Update

Very Quick update today as I have started a new job today so actually need to do some real work. Below is the table. Will try and post something later. Topped and tailed by the Irish. I have no room to talk considering how close I am to the bottom.

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Mr Wu3.054

T&D DTRR cup update

Another full weekend of rugby. Too much? Even I lost my way a bit on Sunday and just couldn’t face any more. The lack of crowds and the kick tennis being back isn’t helping. In terms of the premiership consistency seems to be a hard thing to come by. Chiefs and Newcastle at one end Saints and Bath at the other. I don’t think it’s how the table will play out but somethings are showing. Saints do need something occasionally play well then implode their confidence must be shot. Glaws are as gloriously inconsistent as ever. Wasps squad is paper thin it won’t be long before Monty, slam and I are turning out for them. Tigers back to last season? Didn’t see that game but London Irish is surely one you target for a win. Quins can play some lovely stuff but need a set piece.

t least we don’t have a kiwi on top this week.

4Bigger Picture1.073
18Mr Wu1.664

ANC Squad News

Squad News for the final round of the ANC.

BacksJoe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)Elliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)Owen Farrell (Saracens, 87 caps)George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps)Forwards Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)Joe Marler (Harlequins, 71 caps)Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)

T&D DTRR cup returns

Well after a saturated weekend of rugby the T&D DTRR cup returns. Didn’t get to see all the games or even all the highlights yet but some interesting results. Didn’t see tigers winning quite that well. If Bris are that good with that many players missing they are going to be there or thereabouts. Falcons are not going to be the pushovers that many expected in fact smoothest plays of the weekend came from them. Chiefs as expected after a slow start Quins get your lineout sorted. Didn’t see the others.

As a neutral been fun watching the internationals and how everyone sees the stuff the ref misses for their own side but not the other way round. Don’t think any refs did that badly and none influenced a result to me so probably all you can hope for.

Anyway table below. Bloody embarrsing we have a kiwi on top.

3Bigger Picture1.948
22Mr Wu2.347