20 comments on “Clever, clever, Italy

  1. I hope they don’t tinker with the rules. I could see this being done a little more judiciously at certain points in a match/ of the field. The trouble is once they twigged that it’s free gain line yardage,, just take what’s offered and use the possession even more quickly. Also could bring back the fast moving maul.

  2. Agreed, don’t change the rules, make people adapt to it. We sometimes see the same at the line out. Don’t compete for the ball at all. Step back – means the rolling maul cannot get set. Very disconcerting but then that’s tactics.

  3. The disappointment was how long it took England to figure out that they just needed to go route 1.

    But well don Italy, they didn’t win but they did avoid a cricket score. (Talking of which, well don Australia, he said through gritted teeth).

  4. Totally, totally off topic, but may I be permitted somewhere to say an RIP to the late, great Bill Paxton, of the film Aliens fame.

  5. “Uncontested breakdowns? And RU creeps another yard closer to RL…”

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner. Its why I don’t like Rugby any more, its just like League now, big men mountains bashing into each other repeatedly. No finesse, no movement, no speed.

  6. Nothing new.

    We played a team who had very big forwards who habitually set rolling/driving mauls from kick-offs. I realised that if we didn’t join there wouldn’t be a maul and so our scrum half darted round the back, took the ball from a surprised forward’s hands and headed off downfield.

    Sadly it didn’t turn out well as their scrumhalf punched him, to the ground and one of their forwards stamped repeatedly on his back, both convinced he was off-side.

    At least we got a penalty out of it (although neither opposition player got more than a ‘still talking to’).

    1990.

  7. @BiND
    My thoughts too. It made me wonder if they ought to be looking for a new captain. A few words with the ref to check on the legalities, followed by a bit of thinking time, then a charge down the middle because Italy weakened their defensive line.

    Surely that’s the point of a captain. Deal with the unexpected things that the coach can’t deal with. If a captain can’t do that, then what use is he?

  8. Its why I don’t like Rugby any more, its just like League now, big men mountains bashing into each other repeatedly. No finesse, no movement, no speed.

    Yeah, my Dad said this – and he’s not watched a game of league in his life. He says he can see a time coming when the SJWs will outlaw contested scrums (first in the schools, then clubs, then everywhere) and it will become a game of 30 chiselled athletes running around. Rugby league, in other words (which I like a lot, BTW), only with 4 extra players.

  9. My thoughts too. It made me wonder if they ought to be looking for a new captain.

    England are lacking anyone with a “rugby brain”. Wales are simply lacking anyone with a brain. Who captains the Lions will be an interesting debate.

  10. No need at all to change the rules; it is something that can be easily countered. It’s rather depressing that none of the 15 England players on the pitch could think their way round – or rather through – it.

    There are things that need sorting out but the ‘union is shit these days’ argument involves a lot of rose-tinted thinking about the past. When I started watching in the 80s there was an awful lot of aimless kicking and fat blokes rolling in mud.

  11. When I started watching in the 80s there was an awful lot of aimless kicking and fat blokes rolling in mud.

    League wasn’t much better. Nor was cricket, or any sport for that matter. Any modern team would wipe the floor with the “unbeatable” legends of yesteryear. Even the England RU side that won the world cup looks a bit pedestrian on the archive footage.

  12. Firstly, it’s the Laws they shouldn’t change.

    Secondly, it was only England’s players’ lack of nous that caused them problems; the correct response to the opposition not contesting at the tackle is to pick the ball up and take the free yards. After a while most defending teams will remember that it isn’t league and the attacking side can keep doing that all the way to the try line if they don’t start to contest, at who stage all the spoiling players find themselves offside. Not contesting occasionally to throw the opposition off balance is one thing; doing it continually is a gift to attackers with any cop on.

  13. Miserable lot.
    There was a genuine risk of an embarrassing mismatch, but what we actually got was a pretty fine game. Italy were a decent kicker away from putting England under very serious pressure.

    And no endless scrum resets. Praise the Lord!

  14. Once upon a time, limited overs cricket was going to destroy the mainstream game. Until the more positive took, over and focused on the benefits. Test cricket is better than ever.

    In the same way, Union can benefit from League. Or can benefit further; we’re seeing some pretty splendid tries these days.

  15. “League wasn’t much better. Nor was cricket, or any sport for that matter. Any modern team would wipe the floor with the “unbeatable” legends of yesteryear.”

    Watching old one day cricket games (now available in considerable number on youtube) reminds you how the game has changed. Teams grinding along at 3-4 runs an over being considered ‘doing well’. A good score being 200 plus off 50 overs. I can still remember watching one day cricket in the early 90s and seeing teams scoring 180 and winning by 50 runs. Mind numbingly tedious by modern standards.

  16. Jim,
    It’s all relative though. Roger Bannister, the plodding old donkey, was exciting at the time, and Viv Richards certainly was in 80’s cricket.

    Btw, Internationals and the main knock-out cup were both 60 overs I think? Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

  17. “Internationals and the main knock-out cup were both 60 overs I think?”

    It varied. B&H cup used to be 55 overs, Gillette/Natwest was 60, ODIs were both 55 and 60 at various times, but never 50 for some reason. Sunday league managed to try 40,45 and 50 overs in various guises. I’m pretty sure at the point the rest of the world decided on 50 overs as the one day standard match length England had hardly ever had any one day cricket of that duration.

  18. Jim,

    I remember Sir Ian commenting that once the run rate got above 6 you’d basically lost the game.

    I think the difference now is attitude, some of the great cricketers of yore would be great cricketers now if they’d been brought up with modern thinking.

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