Has the high number of replacements skewed the game?

BikingBud


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Watching yesterday's SA v NZ game it was highlighted from the outset that the "Bomb Squad" would be drafted in early in the second half and that this would be a significant influence on the outcome, and so it was.

In days of old as many of us will recall you gained the benefits of fitness and speed of play in the latter part of the game when the lummoxes on the opposition were hanging out and you could run around and play champagne rugby as the cart horses trudged from scrum to scrum or more likely from KO to KO.

Are we at risk of driving too far from the principles of the game and should the rules for replacements be reconsidered to ensure skill, pace and fitness remain relevant?
 

Not Kurt Weaver


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Rugby has moved a long way for the game some of us grew up to love. I'd like to see fewer replacements allowed but that genie aint going back into the bottle.
True that. the game has passed me by, it is someone else's game now.

Although I played during lifting in the LO. It really, when you played the game when lifting was forbidden, is really silly and almost absurd.
 

crossref


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Rugby has moved a long way for the game some of us grew up to love. I'd like to see fewer replacements allowed but that genie aint going back into the bottle.
At grassroots level, in England , it's still only 3
 

crossref


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But I wish they would allow more. Up here many clubs only running one adult team at L7 so plenty of players have nowhere to get a game!
It's tricky though , down here some clubs have three and if you increased the number of subs in the 1s and 2s, the 3s would fold to supply subs

Below the league it's easier..m in the merit tables round here the rule is that the captains can make any agreement they like about subs (and if they can't agree, then it's 3)
 

Mipper


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It's tricky though , down here some clubs have three and if you increased the number of subs in the 1s and 2s, the 3s would fold to supply subs

Below the league it's easier..m in the merit tables round here the rule is that the captains can make any agreement they like about subs (and if they can't agree, then it's 3)
So I have officiated games where ther have been more subs allowed, simply through discussion with both teams before the game. The rules, the regulations and the laws may not permit this, but at lower levels if it enables more guys to get a get on a saturday then I am happy to go with this.
 

Mipper


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So I do think that the high amount of subs at the top level is problematic.

Its a difficult problem to solve given the specialist nature of the front rows now.

However, one way of possibly addressing this is to limit the amount of subs alowed to be used. For example, have 8 subs to cover for injuries, but you can only use a limited amount.

For example, only 4 substitutions can be made, and a maximum of 3 in the forwards. I would add into this, the ability of replaced players to come back on to the pitch too, so that injuries can be managed.
 

Ciaran Trainor


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So I have officiated games where ther have been more subs allowed, simply through discussion with both teams before the game. The rules, the regulations and the laws may not permit this, but at lower levels if it enables more guys to get a get on a saturday then I am happy to go with this.
I've done that too Mipper.
Problem is if it's a league game, names have to be put on the system (is it still GMS?) and if there is an incident where someone is sent off or badly injured in a game, it could be a major issue for the teams and the ref who have allowed this to happen against the rules!
I don't like it but that is a reality especially in formal RFU leagues. Ours only go down to L7 and I don't believe there is any formal leeway.
 

chbg


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Dorset & Wilts allow up to 5 replacements at Counties 2 (Level 8) and unlimited number at Counties 3. Number of interchanges permitted depends on number of actual substitutes. (The RFU has delegated to constituent bodies the organisation of the Counties 2 leagues and below.)
 

shebeen

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Watching yesterday's SA v NZ game it was highlighted from the outset that the "Bomb Squad" would be drafted in early in the second half and that this would be a significant influence on the outcome, and so it was.

In days of old as many of us will recall you gained the benefits of fitness and speed of play in the latter part of the game when the lummoxes on the opposition were hanging out and you could run around and play champagne rugby as the cart horses trudged from scrum to scrum or more likely from KO to KO.

Are we at risk of driving too far from the principles of the game and should the rules for replacements be reconsidered to ensure skill, pace and fitness remain relevant?
I guess this game was a huge anomaly with 7:1 fwd/backs bench split, this was high risk but only done out of injury and because it was a warmup.

6:2 is already asking for trouble, but it's only possible because you have a really strong bench. SA have probably 8 world class locks and why should they not be allowed to benefit from this depth?


B U T, as the conspiracy of WR vs SA rugby goes, it will look like real sour grapes if there is any sort of regulation about it.
 

Marc Wakeham


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But I wish they would allow more. Up here many clubs only running one adult team at L7 so plenty of players have nowhere to get a game!
I think there needs to be a recognition of the grassroots here we want as many people as possible playing for fun and health and the pro game. I think this is an area where relaxing the rules has a real value. Grassroots is about participation.
 

buff


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As long as the front row is covered, why shouldn't the composition of the replacements' bench be anyone's concern other than the coach. If he wants to risk having to play an 8 at full back why should WR care?
 

Marc Wakeham


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As long as the front row is covered, why shouldn't the composition of the replacements' bench be anyone's concern other than the coach. If he wants to risk having to play an 8 at full back why should WR care?
On one level I agree. BUT, if you want to sell the game as entertainment to a wider audience you might just struggle.
 

shebeen

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As long as the front row is covered, why shouldn't the composition of the replacements' bench be anyone's concern other than the coach. If he wants to risk having to play an 8 at full back why should WR care?
6:2 is a big risk, you need versatile backline players to go this route. Backup goalkickers, FH especially. This should be rewarded.

Here's a scientific take on it.
 

didds

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On one level I agree. BUT, if you want to sell the game as entertainment to a wider audience you might just struggle.
well therein lies the dichotmy of sport as "entertainment"... bedcause the primary objective of the players/contestants is not one of entertainment - its to win a game, or at least carry out actions to an end. Those actions/intebnt may not be what the audience considers "entertainment"..

When sport enters the "entertainment" arena it usually - and this is merely my opinion and others may naturally not agree - ends up not really delivfering a contest. barbarians comes closest in rugby terms I guess... im not convincded for myself that a 54-46 scoreline is a "good and interesting" game. but thats by my standards. Cricket matches for players' benefits etc seem to enhd up with somebody bowling pies to to be smashed for six - well woopy doo
 

crossref


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Number of subs is obviously something that we would all want to vary between pro and amateur level
Happily it is exactly like that with, as see above, a lot of freedom for competition organisers to set their own rules appropriate to level and local environment
 

Marc Wakeham


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I sympathise BUT if the players want the CASH that comes from selling it as entertainment they have to comply. "He who pays the piper calls the tune".

If players want to play for fun they can but the cash is not going to be there.

Tht is why, despite my amazing talent, I chose not to become a paid international pro loose head prop. Chosing instead the fun of the sticks.

( In reality: The last paragraph may actually be a lie. My failure to rise to the heights may have had more to do with a complete lack of talent and committment.)
 

didds

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who decides its entertainment? The players?


Or are they taking the £££ that o0thers are offering for their skills and doing what they feel works collectively for tyhem - which is demonstrably at times not "entertainment" but playing rugby - generally to win.
If Sky/BT/whoever want to0 package it as "entertainment" thats up to them. But Id be very surprised if many players at those levels see themselves as entertainers, and not sportsmen.
 

chbg


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How do the players get more cash in their short careers ... by winning matches/competitions/being selected by higher/national teams or by enticing more paying/drinking spectators?
 
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