Anarchy at the breakdown

Jolly Roger


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Is anyone else getting frustrated by the refereeing of the breakdown in pro rugby?

In January we were briefed on the approach to take with regards to high tackles. This was adhered to in the pro game for a couple of weeks but now we are back to where we were this time last season.

New laws in August, we were all briefed on interpretation and what to focus on. Now we see players going off their feet, diving to ground as the ball comes out, pillars standing offside often never having retired anywhere near the back foot, players being taken out before engaging in the “ruck”. So long as the team in possession retain it and manage to pass unimpeded then anything goes. Is it any wonder that 6s are now playing at 7, 4s at 6 or 8, injury rates are going up, and there is no space to play in the midfield because it is loaded with opposition forwards who don’t bother engaging in the breakdown because counter rucking will be penalised regardless of what the attacking team do.

As for insisting that the ball is put is straight at the scrum....

It seems like we are playing a different game at club level and it becomes increasingly difficult to officiate according to the laws and in line with directives when players are watching something completely different on the TV.

Someone please cheer me up and tell me that I am seeing it all wrong.

:confused::sad:
 
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Christy


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Hi jolly .
Cheer up , you are seeing it all wrong .
 

Jolly Roger


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Thanks Christy, I feel so much better already. :hap:
 

Pegleg

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Pro game and the grassroots game are not the same. Accept it because you will not change it.
 

Jolly Roger


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Actually CTPE it wasn’t not “ever thus” as the pro game has only been in existence since 1995 and has slowly been evolving ever since.

I shan’t go on an extended rant about number of replacements killing 3rd and 4th teams as well as encouraging increased size and squeezing smaller players out of the game...no sorry I won’t go on that rant...

However, I do feel that the changes evident over the past two month have been the most significant, and the most damaging, developments that I have seen in 40 years in the game.

Just interested in what others think. Perhaps the general view is ‘“accept it because it ain’t that bad” then so be it. However, the tackle / ruck laws are temporary trials so some feedback should be sought.
 

damo


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I must say that I think the pro game is as good as it has ever been. I believe the laws and the way they are interpreted is in general pretty good.

I say that partly because I have been enjoying watching rugby more than ever lately, and partly because I don't have any illusions about how the laws and interpretations operated in the past. There have always been dumb laws; good laws that are ignored; and referees that miss things they shouldn't (or view things differently to the way I would).

Cheer up and enjoy the game. It is supposed to be entertaining after all.
 

Pegleg

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But that is the trouble. By allowing the attacking side to get away with murder at the breakdown the contest is removed and the game is not entertaining.

I rarely watch a PRO game now (and I get a freebie season ticket for pro side) because it is not, for me, entertaining. I tend to put a game on a 2tab" on my browser and dip in and out. I've not watched an international "live" for a number of years (Lions excepted where it was a pint and craic with some mates).

Yes it is supposed to be entertaining. But for many it is not and I accept that others find it entertaining.
 

didds

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I shan’t go on an extended rant about number of replacements killing 3rd and 4th teams

Some very perspicacious chap recognised that twenty years ago...

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.sport.rugby.union/%22down$20amongst$20the$20dead$20men%22/rec.sport.rugby.union/Eq0rvyTd2iQ/JBz5Xe6Xa4EJ

didds
 

didds

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Yes it is supposed to be entertaining. But for many it is not and I accept that others find it entertaining.

Totally agree with pegleg.

The crux here is what defines "entertaining" ?

If it means end to wend scoring a la basketball... some would be entertained by that.

If it means the ball is in play for 70 out of the 80 minutes, some may class that as entertaining - although possibly that 70 minutes sees trench defences and the game played mainly between the 22m... but the ball is in play mostly

If it means excellent scrummaging, tactical use of mauls, great support play and immeense defence - some may see that as enterainment.

But that's just thrre versions of "entertainment" - there are probably others.

So which of those is the real "entertainment" ?

didds
 

damo


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But that is the trouble. By allowing the attacking side to get away with murder at the breakdown the contest is removed and the game is not entertaining.

I rarely watch a PRO game now (and I get a freebie season ticket for pro side) because it is not, for me, entertaining. I tend to put a game on a 2tab" on my browser and dip in and out. I've not watched an international "live" for a number of years (Lions excepted where it was a pint and craic with some mates).

Yes it is supposed to be entertaining. But for many it is not and I accept that others find it entertaining.
That doesn't correspond with my experience of watching top level rugby at all. There is plenty of room under the law for defending teams to contest the breakdown and defend effectively. It just takes discipline, hard work and skill.

When the Hurricanes won the Super championship in 2016 they did so without conceding a try in the playoffs. The All Blacks are lauded for their attack, but very often it is their defence that wins them games.

Everyone is entitled to their view, and my view is that the professional game is in excellent health so far as the way it is refereed right now.

Is the Pro game suffering in the NH in terms of fan support?
 

didds

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Is the Pro game suffering in the NH in terms of fan support?

I don;t perceive so - not in England at least. Grass roots participation is at risk however.

Meanwhile... attendances at Basketball matches in the States is high I believe. proof that there is a demographic that will pay to watch anything.

didds
 

damo


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I don;t perceive so - not in England at least. Grass roots participation is at risk however.

Meanwhile... attendances at Basketball matches in the States is high I believe. proof that there is a demographic that will pay to watch anything.
didds
That is uncalled for.

I don't particularly care for basketball, but that is because I don't appreciate the game, not because there it anything wrong with the game itself. You may not care for it either, but running it down because you don't understand it smacks of arrogance and narcissism.

Besides, I doubt that grass roots rugby is in trouble because of interpretations at the pro level that people on a referees forum find distasteful. That seems like the ultimate non-sequitur.
 

Phil E


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Is the Pro game suffering in the NH in terms of fan support?

No, quite the opposite, attendances are up year on year.

That is uncalled for.
I don't particularly care for basketball, but that is because I don't appreciate the game, not because there it anything wrong with the game itself. You may not care for it either, but running it down because you don't understand it smacks of arrogance and narcissism.

Easy Tiger, people are allowed to not like something!
 

damo


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Easy Tiger, people are allowed to not like something!
It's fine for someone to not like a sport. It isn't helpful to try and say that there is something wrong with others because they do like that sport.

How else would you interpret the comment "there is a demographic that will pay to watch anything" except as peak arrogance?
 

Phil E


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It's fine for someone to not like a sport. It isn't helpful to try and say that there is something wrong with others because they do like that sport.

How else would you interpret the comment "there is a demographic that will pay to watch anything" except as peak arrogance?

I just think you overreacted. Lets leave it there shall we?
 

CrouchTPEngage


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For what its worth, I've found , this season, it has become more difficult for defenders to contest and turnover the ball at breakdown.
I havent done a scientific statistical analysis but, anecdotally, it feels like often, in a prem match, I see the 'amazing' 20+ phases of retention by the attacking team but I'm sure this used to be pretty rare 5 years ago.
Dont get me wrong : Whilst I do have sympathy for defenders, I am increasingly ( via Match Observer feedback ) advised to police the breakdown in away which makes me tend to penalise defenders more than attackers. The most frequent offence which screws-up attackers seems to be players diving over the ball (OFF FEET) or "bridging" ( I was taught to judge if > 50% of weight supported by feet , not hands ).
So we tend to see teams target repossession, not at the breakdown, but by pressure and line-speed; forcing erros.

Entertainment value is very subjective. Some people prefer quick and clean rucks where there is little contest, so there is quick-ball and passing. Others may prefer the jeopardy of a ruck where the outcome is not a foregone conclusion 99% of the time.

I don't have any answers - but I'd be interested if other share the same view ? If so, any idea what could be improved ?
 
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Pegleg

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That doesn't correspond with my experience of watching top level rugby at all. There is plenty of room under the law for defending teams to contest the breakdown and defend effectively. It just takes discipline, hard work and skill.

When the Hurricanes won the Super championship in 2016 they did so without conceding a try in the playoffs. The All Blacks are lauded for their attack, but very often it is their defence that wins them games.

Everyone is entitled to their view, and my view is that the professional game is in excellent health so far as the way it is refereed right now.

Is the Pro game suffering in the NH in terms of fan support?

Here in Wales? Yes. Mind you things are "PEACHY" in Autralia so not to worry.
 

RedCapRef

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That doesn't correspond with my experience of watching top level rugby at all. There is plenty of room under the law for defending teams to contest the breakdown and defend effectively. It just takes discipline, hard work and skill.

When the Hurricanes won the Super championship in 2016 they did so without conceding a try in the playoffs. The All Blacks are lauded for their attack, but very often it is their defence that wins them games.


Everyone is entitled to their view, and my view is that the professional game is in excellent health so far as the way it is refereed right now.

Is the Pro game suffering in the NH in terms of fan support?

I am lucky enough to be able to watch in both hemispheres and I think a lot of the comments on this thread are relating to the new laws in the NH this year and the way that they are affecting the game. By the time they are adopted next season for SH they might have settled down and be consistently refereed at all levels with clarity and empathy at the forefront.


All pigs fuelled and ready to fly...
 
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Camquin

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Well AP attendance numbers are officially good - and clubs are extending their grounds.
Leicester get 20,000+
There are more games played at Cabbage Patch, Wembley and London Stadium - which are highly promoted but crowds outside London and Leicester are not so good. Sale struggle to get more than 5,000.

The second tier is mainly forgotten,only Bristol get a crowd over 3,000 - Ealing's season total could be lower than Bristol's highest single gate, and they are in second place in the table.

Coventry are getting good numbers and they have possibly increased with Wasps moving to town - as that increased the sports exposure.
Having gone bust, London Welsh still get over 500 for games in Herts Mddx 1 (level 9), where some sides are lucky to get a man and a dog.
That is half of what they got in the Championship - but still may be in the top 30 in England.

In Scotland and Wales, the introduction of regions did nothing for crowds.
 
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