I'm getting this out before the game, so that if I complain about it afterwards it won't just look like sour grapes.
In the last two games, and I think the WC, I've noticed the Welsh going off their feet on the opposition side of the ruck all the time.
I know all teams do this, I've just noticed it in particular when watching the Welsh. It's illegal, being on the floor in ruck area, but goes unpunished as one of those things that happens. However, it is hindering opposition players joining the ruck and therefore giving the Welsh the lovely quick ball they thrive off.
I should say I'd no particular interest in the result of the Wales/Ireland/Scotland games, so I don't think this is just a prejudice on my part.
I'm interested: is it just me? Has anyone else noticed this? Can anyone else have a look at this today and give me their opinion? As someone analysing this play, can an opposition player joining the ruck emphasise the fact that there's a guy in his way to milk the penalty?
I should add, whilst they are getting away with it, I've nothing against it as play.
I can't say I have noticed it myself but last night Cardiff Blues were able to turn Ulster over at ease and regularly throughout the game and Ulster aren't usually a team that can be turned over that easily... :/
JUst a quick examination on iPlayer - and certainly not very rigorous.
62:21 - welsh ruck - two Welsh players come over ruck and fall down. third comes round from (ref's blind) side - welsh win ball.
62:28 - welsh ruck - two players try to secure ball - one goes off feet. Gethin Jenkins comes round from side, goes off feet and pulls scottish players whilst appealing to referee. Scottish penalty for holding on.
50:17 - welsh ruck - two players fall over the top (admittedly make it look something like a trip) - welsh win ball.
50:33 - welsh ruck - one player drives through and falls to feet. Second player falls from feet.Third player basically lies on top of ball carrier and second player. Welsh win ball.
47:23 - Scottish ruck - one welsh player enters and stays on feet - Scottish win ball
47:30 - Scottish ruck - one welsh player stays on feet - scottish win ball.
So, from the very small sample size, certain trends do appear to be developing.
On defensive ball (as is common in the Gatland era) they commit as few as players as possible. There are hands in the ruck but it is generally 'legal'.
On Offense there is a definite trend for two players to drive and fall (essentially on top of their own player). Third man comes from side.
I don't know what the law book has to say about this but it certainly appears t prevent Scotland to prevent anyreliable form of counter-ruck when it is succesful. The penalty above was because Scotland were there and lower first (essentially the Weslh fell on the Scottish.
Make what you will of that - but I hope England are gameplanning for something like this.
Many teams do stuff for a while til they get caught. Wales are coached by a kiwi and a cheat so I'm not surprised. NZ, a couple of seasons ago, would charge the defensive guards at the ruck to create a channel; utterly illegal but when did the kiwis ever think the laws of rugby applied to them?
If you are not bothered about the results - why bring the subject up????? You are obviously getting the excuses in early just incase Wales do thrash you!!!! Gatland a 'cheat' - very strong words there....
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