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Rugby World Cup 2015

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  • Personally I would have kicked the penalty. But once you have made the decision to go for the corner don't throw to number 2 even if it banker ball. Wales were clearly expecting and stacked out the area at least if you go to the middle or back there is less defence and it's more difficult to get pushed into touch. I also agree with Clive Woodward why does Stuart Lancaster insist in making the changes no matter what, it can just disrupt the pattern and flow of the team in a tight game unless forced into a change leave the team alone.

    This. While CW was correct that kicking 3 points and then trying to score from the re-start would have potentially secured a draw, kicking for the corner shows good intent. HOWEVER, you have to throw long and give yourself space.

    All of this glosses over that fact that England discipline was poor and we gave 7 penalties away inside the Welsh half, that were all kicked by a very good 10. That's where the game was lost.
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  • I think there's something to add to all of this. Fitness. Check that try at 70 minutes. No English player could even commit to the chase. Even Farrel was jogging. That's what Gatland does, flogs our players with a view to a full 80 minutes. Now, he forgets things like passing, how to catch etc. But I've not seen a Welsh team drop off in years. England were out on their feet with 20 minutes to go. That's where penalties start to arise.

    Australia look sharp. Just saying.
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  • I think there's something to add to all of this. Fitness. Check that try at 70 minutes. No English player could even commit to the chase. Even Farrel was jogging. That's what Gatland does, flogs our players with a view to a full 80 minutes. Now, he forgets things like passing, how to catch etc. But I've not seen a Welsh team drop off in years. England were out on their feet with 20 minutes to go. That's where penalties start to arise.

    Australia look sharp. Just saying.

    Agreed. Hopefully we'll see Ford back to control the game and if JJ is back, that would be a big plus in my book, not sure where he's at with his fitness test.

    Aus do look sharp, but they've not been tested yet, be interesting to see if they can maintain that sharpness against England. Massive game.

    Saturday will be a real test for me too. Forehead Jr is imminent and I'm 'on call' for taxi duty. Tough watching these games without cider!
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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 2,181
    I think the crucial missing link will be Ben Youngs. Wigglesworth is OK but leagues behind Youngs in terms of speed of thought and attacking nous.

    JJ is a must if we are going to stand any chance of breaking the Aus defence and if Lancaster plays JJ, I'm pretty sure he'll play Ford
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  • Youngs is a doubt. Your leaked team, currently, is:

    M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, B Barritt, J May; O Farrell, B Youngs/R Wigglesworth; J Marler, T Youngs, D Cole, J Launchbury, G Parling, T Wood, C Robshaw, B Morgan. Replacements: R Webber, M Vunipola, K Brookes, G Kruis, J Haskell, Richard Wigglesworth/D Care, G Ford, S Burgess.
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  • Sorry to post this but the look of total and abject fear on Mike Brown's face at 12:25 is priceless.....Sam is a little taller.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsTvB5ObLvY&feature=youtu.be&t=735
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  • Re. today: I'm going to be as gentlemanly as the Welsh normally are and say, I hope they get absolutely effing trounced.
  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    Well, Fiji will be desperate for a win given their performances so far. On the downside they are down two quality players. Perhaps more of a concern for Wales is getting through this without picking up yet more injuries - looks like a car crash waiting to happen to me - which then leaves them open for a stuffing from the convicts (esp if England do manage a win on Saturday)
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  • foreheadforehead Posts: 180
    Sorry to post this but the look of total and abject fear on Mike Brown's face at 12:25 is priceless.....Sam is a little taller.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsTvB5ObLvY&feature=youtu.be&t=735

    That's pretty cool. :lol:
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  • Times today has a "deconstruction" piece on how many penalties the ref got wrong (in favour of Wales). Any wrong in favour of England are ignored (there's a really good scrum piece in the press at the moment on how Marler operates). And nothing on the failed yellow card.

    I dislike whingeing. It's childish. But, what I particularly dislike is ignorance of cause and effect. There's a tendency to say 4 missed/not awarded penalties = 12 points. But it does not. It means that, had any one of them been changed, the game enters an entirely different, for want of a better word, timestream. If any one of them had been given then every other action in the game would have been entirely different.
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  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    I didn't think the ref got many that wrong did he? Most of them seemed to be stupid avoidable errors anyway. It's turning into premier league wendyball this isn't it - blame the ref or one decision any time you lose, forget the fact that you had the rest of the game to score points and suss the ref out, ergo not give away penalties, PLUS all you say above re cause & effect. Lazy journalism if you ask me.

    The Marler articles are quite interesting in one way (Kaplan's opinion is probably valid, but you can probably find others who'd disagree and yet more players around the world you could cite for similar tactics), but then again, Aussies whingeing (to the referee via the media) about "illegal" scrummaging - scrums traditionally being an area of weakness for them vs England - ahead of a big match....... no change there.
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  • I didn't think the ref got many that wrong did he? Most of them seemed to be stupid avoidable errors anyway. It's turning into premier league wendyball this isn't it - blame the ref or one decision any time you lose, forget the fact that you had the rest of the game to score points and suss the ref out, ergo not give away penalties, PLUS all you say above re cause & effect. Lazy journalism if you ask me.

    The Marler articles are quite interesting in one way (Kaplan's opinion is probably valid, but you can probably find others who'd disagree and yet more players around the world you could cite for similar tactics), but then again, Aussies whingeing (to the referee via the media) about "illegal" scrummaging - scrums traditionally being an area of weakness for them vs England - ahead of a big match....... no change there.

    I confess I haven't the faintest who wins a scrum. It's a fascinating area. But, what I do think, is that, if a scrum is simply a way to restart a game because someone has just dropped the ball then it is increasingly irritating that the dark arts can then hand a huge advantage to the other team.
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,972 Lives Here
    I dislike whingeing. It's childish. But, what I particularly dislike is ignorance of cause and effect. There's a tendency to say 4 missed/not awarded penalties = 12 points. But it does not. It means that, had any one of them been changed, the game enters an entirely different, for want of a better word, timestream. If any one of them had been given then every other action in the game would have been entirely different.
    Completely agree with this.
  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    Yeah - scrums are basically now just a way to try and win a penalty. Whilst all the time feeding the ball into the second row and getting away with it :evil:
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  • foreheadforehead Posts: 180
    Yeah - scrums are basically now just a way to try and win a penalty. Whilst all the time feeding the ball into the second row and getting away with it :evil:

    The problem is that forwards are now twice as big, heavy and strong as they were 20 years ago. The process of the scrum has to be better managed by the powers that be and the referee else people will get seriously injured. Remove the contested scrum completely and you have rugby league. we don't want that, we already have rugby league. Every year something changes in the way the scrum is managed in order for it to remain a spectacle and a critical element of the game. It's in the best place its been for a good few years.

    It's a great tactical element of the game and it must stay. I conceed that a straight put in would be a massive help.
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  • I should add, the scrums in Aus-Fiji were the best scrums I've seen in many many years.
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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    OK, being an ex practioner of the dark arts I can help here

    You ll remember from your childhood days that the bloke in the middle used to be called a "Hooker" because he used his foot to "hook" the ball back from the scrum half. Around the end of the 90s the All Blacks worked out that a very good way of winning scrum domination was to pack down very hard with the sole intention of pushing the other team back. If the 9 put the ball in quickly essentially they could secure the ball by stepping over it. This made it very hard to judge a crokked put in as it was out of the channel so quickly and so ref's stopped looking for them.

    Now, as professionalism took hold and scrums got bigger and stronger this became a technique that was very hard to stop for a weaker team. Again you'll remmebr that the way for a smaller pack to at least achieve parity at a scrum was to put the ball in quickly, hook the ball back and have the 8 or 9 get it out as fast as possible. Although your options from the scrum were limited, you did at least keep possession. - An excellent example of this was Japan v S. Africa last week where Japan had the ball out of the scrum before the Boks had even settled

    As the Hit and drive took hold though, weaker scrums were forced to develop illeagal ways to stop being massacred at their own scrums. This resulted in front rows going down slowly to stop being pushed backwards. It also resulted in the far far scarier situation where one or more props would slip on the hit - especially in the N Hemisphere with muddy pitches - and both front rows would go down out of control and very quicky. Believe me this is utterly terrifying when it happens to you as you do not have any time to disengage and so get twisted in a lot of horrible ways.

    To combat this, a confused IRB directed referees to police the front rows and award penalties to proper that they judged were not scrummaging legally. As this did nothing to address the problem, nothing happened. Unfathomable decisions were made by refs who had no idea of what was happening in scrums which made scrums an opportunity to win penalties for stronger teams or at best a 50 50 coin toss as to what the outcome would be. This led to Brian Moore commentating in Ireland v ???, when a scrum in the last few mins was awarded to the opposition in their own 22, Ireland needed a penalty to win/draw, that Ireland should simply collpase the scrum as they had a better chance of being awarded a penalty than winning the ball befoe the opposition could clear/kick it off. He was 100% correct at the time which was utterly ridiculous

    Recently the new laws have helped things by preventing teams going for a "hit" on the engage (A very good youtube video with Adam jones shows this nicely - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auBZ-9Pba9U ). This (IMO) has massively reduced the numbers of scrums that collapse and means that there is a definite channel for the scrum half to put the ball into. What has to change now is that the referees (or the TJ, or the TMO- I really don't see why it is so hard) properly judge a straight put in and no pushing before the ball is in. When this does happen in a match with 2 even teams you get a somewhat amusing situation of the ball sitting in the middle of the channel with both hookers staring at it wondering what to do

    If you can handle 2 hours of Brian Moore, he did an excellent 5 Live sports special podcast on this with Phil Vickery but I can't find the link in the Mire of the BBC website. In it there are interviews with several IRB and referees who claim that if they are to referee straight put ins and no pushing before the ball is in it must be trialled at lower levels again as it has not been taught for years as "coaches don't want it to be". Clearly that is ridiculous but is does show that the IRB effectively allowed this to happen and are trying to fix it on the quiet so they don't have to take responsibility for nearly ruining one of the USPs of Rugby Union. Happily it seems to be a problem that affects international and, possibly, Premiership level rugby only as when you get to lower levels packs are not so insanely oversized that the hit and chase was never really an option
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    Dear Fiji

    We owe you a beer or two

    Lots of love

    England
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 11,207
    Dear Fiji

    We owe you a beer or two

    Lots of love

    England

    Not much changes though. Still need to beat Oz. 5 points from Uruguay nailed on unless the earth moves on its axis, and even a losing bonus point vs Aus isn't enough.

    And thanks for the dark arts of the modern scrum explanation above. As a 2nd row many years ago, I had no clue as to what was going on 90% of the time. Brace or push, keep it simple...
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    Yes, but it puts it back in England's hands. Now they just have to step up
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    With the regard to the scrum, I think Japan showed a way forward, in particular against South Africa, with a lighter pack and a hooker who can actually hook. The hook was fast and arrived almost instantly at the No. 8's feet and the No. 8 was immediately on his toes and into the opposition backline, speaking as someone who spent most of his rugby playing life as a No. 8 it was a joy to watch!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,386 Lives Here
    informed stuff

    To the casual viewer the scrum is the most bizarre of all the parts of rugby.

    Takes forever, and it seems most of the time it ends up not working, and in the rare occasion it does the actual ball in play action lasts all of about 3 seconds.

    I get roughly how rugby works - don't watch a lot but I know what's going on.

    Having said that, I spend so much time thinking 'what's the point' when there's a scrum.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    @Rick - you re right but it shouldnt be like that. It has been allowed to become like that by people not wanting to work out what was happening and stop it. Something which is still going on. If you stop by a local rugby club and watch a scrum you see what they are supposed to be like
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    There are a lot of "Wales on verge of 1/4 final" headlines, which are a bit premature. If England beat Australia then Wales are probably favourite to miss out given they missed out on a bonus point vs Fiji and have the Aussies in their final game.

    Clearly England need to step up to beat Aussie but at Twickenham they must be decent bet to win.
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  • It's still very interestingly poised. Don't forget, it's still not cut and dried. Even if England were to overcome Aus, Wales could still make the cut if they scored 4 against Aus and kept it within 7. Stranger things have happened.
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  • prb007prb007 Posts: 703
    Stupid questions get stupid answers....
    ... from a stupid player :D
    MB gave away the penalty that Biggar kicked to seal a glorious victory!
    Now where can I buy one of these for tomorrow? :wink:
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    If Wales was flattened out, it'd be bigger than England!
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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 2,181
    OK, being an ex practioner of the dark arts I can help here

    You ll remember from your childhood days that the bloke in the middle used to be called a "Hooker" because he used his foot to "hook" the ball back from the scrum half. Around the end of the 90s the All Blacks worked out that a very good way of winning scrum domination was to pack down very hard with the sole intention of pushing the other team back. If the 9 put the ball in quickly essentially they could secure the ball by stepping over it. This made it very hard to judge a crokked put in as it was out of the channel so quickly and so ref's stopped looking for them.

    Now, as professionalism took hold and scrums got bigger and stronger this became a technique that was very hard to stop for a weaker team. Again you'll remmebr that the way for a smaller pack to at least achieve parity at a scrum was to put the ball in quickly, hook the ball back and have the 8 or 9 get it out as fast as possible. Although your options from the scrum were limited, you did at least keep possession. - An excellent example of this was Japan v S. Africa last week where Japan had the ball out of the scrum before the Boks had even settled

    As the Hit and drive took hold though, weaker scrums were forced to develop illeagal ways to stop being massacred at their own scrums. This resulted in front rows going down slowly to stop being pushed backwards. It also resulted in the far far scarier situation where one or more props would slip on the hit - especially in the N Hemisphere with muddy pitches - and both front rows would go down out of control and very quicky. Believe me this is utterly terrifying when it happens to you as you do not have any time to disengage and so get twisted in a lot of horrible ways.

    To combat this, a confused IRB directed referees to police the front rows and award penalties to proper that they judged were not scrummaging legally. As this did nothing to address the problem, nothing happened. Unfathomable decisions were made by refs who had no idea of what was happening in scrums which made scrums an opportunity to win penalties for stronger teams or at best a 50 50 coin toss as to what the outcome would be. This led to Brian Moore commentating in Ireland v ???, when a scrum in the last few mins was awarded to the opposition in their own 22, Ireland needed a penalty to win/draw, that Ireland should simply collpase the scrum as they had a better chance of being awarded a penalty than winning the ball befoe the opposition could clear/kick it off. He was 100% correct at the time which was utterly ridiculous

    Recently the new laws have helped things by preventing teams going for a "hit" on the engage (A very good youtube video with Adam jones shows this nicely - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auBZ-9Pba9U ). This (IMO) has massively reduced the numbers of scrums that collapse and means that there is a definite channel for the scrum half to put the ball into. What has to change now is that the referees (or the TJ, or the TMO- I really don't see why it is so hard) properly judge a straight put in and no pushing before the ball is in. When this does happen in a match with 2 even teams you get a somewhat amusing situation of the ball sitting in the middle of the channel with both hookers staring at it wondering what to do

    If you can handle 2 hours of Brian Moore, he did an excellent 5 Live sports special podcast on this with Phil Vickery but I can't find the link in the Mire of the BBC website. In it there are interviews with several IRB and referees who claim that if they are to referee straight put ins and no pushing before the ball is in it must be trialled at lower levels again as it has not been taught for years as "coaches don't want it to be". Clearly that is ridiculous but is does show that the IRB effectively allowed this to happen and are trying to fix it on the quiet so they don't have to take responsibility for nearly ruining one of the USPs of Rugby Union. Happily it seems to be a problem that affects international and, possibly, Premiership level rugby only as when you get to lower levels packs are not so insanely oversized that the hit and chase was never really an option

    I'm in my 39th season (barring serious injury) of playing hooker. I'm far from a good rugby player but the one aspect of the game that I believe I am better at than most is taking balls "against the head" (not the chin). This is made much easier with a straight feed.

    If the ball is fed in straight, front rows have to work out how to either completely screw up the oppositions chance of getting a foot to the ball, which is much harder given the current engagement sequence and refereeing of the front rows, or to provide a suitable position and platform from which the hooker can do his thing. In doing this, the problem of collapse etc is largely negated.

    Of all the complex and nuanced situations involved in refereeing a game of rugby, surely judging how straight a ball is from a "standing start" has got to be just about the easiest.

    It is incredible that a scrum will be set, re-set, re-set again because of perceived positional or binding issues only for the scrum half to feed the ball into the second row - the most obvious offence of them all at scrum time.

    Although I love international Rugby, I'm not a fan of top flight professional Rugby in general - it is becoming a narcissistic bore fest. Application of the EXISTING laws that say "ball in straight" and "no pushing before the ball is in" would go a long way to sorting this mess out.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • prb007prb007 Posts: 703

    Clearly England need to step up to beat Aussie but at Twickenham they must be decent bet to win.

    ????
    You choked against us, and now you're going to beat Australia, ooooooh-kaaaaaay...
    RC champions, just beaten the AB three times in a row,
    love beating the English almost as much as we do.
    I'll take that bet :wink:
    If Wales was flattened out, it'd be bigger than England!
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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    Yeah, it's the English that are arrogant...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,190
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
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