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SPACE: RUGBY’s FINAL FRONTIER
Discussion started by Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged), 06 August, 2019 13:08
Comeonmylovers.co.uk
Comeonmylovers.co.uk
06 August, 2019 13:08
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/08/2019 07:08 by CoochieCoo.

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
06 August, 2019 15:08
The space on the pitch topic is one I was discussing recently with friends. For me it is spoiling the game for the reasons given.

How about making it a 13 man game with a 7 man scrum? (sorry number 8s). A huge change to the game but simple.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
06 August, 2019 15:58
We are still seeing matches where 80+ points are scored. 13 players is a step too far IMO. Although they have less space there are more skills and fitness on show in both attack and defence. I think that Opti’s point is a good one and reflects on many aspects that are problems in the current game (including injuries as well as excitement).



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
06 August, 2019 17:18
But scaling the pitch to the player would mean more of a focus on covering the ground quicker rather than winning the collision with lots of muscle and resulting injuries.

Players don't look for space as much these days.

Sevens players show the way?

P G Tips
P G Tips
06 August, 2019 17:20
Thanks Opti for this excellent post.

I agree refs should expect players to know the laws and there is no need to "coach" them during play.
I would still keep the "use it" warning though- it is the ref's decision when, in his opinion, the ball has become playable, so to avoid accusations of inconsistency, the ref should still be required to state that it is time to play. Otherwise, totally agree.


PG

Bath Supporter Jack
Bath Supporter Jack
06 August, 2019 17:42
Very good article

If you think about the "campaigns" against high tackles and jumping competitively for high balls the yellow/red cards have now completely changed behaviour.

Why can't referees, touch judges (or whatever they are now called) and the powers that be in the Think Tank in Twickenham see the problem caused by non implementation of the laws on encroaching offside.

Is it because high tackles and jumping into catching a ball are a health and safety issue designed to protect the player buy they have let the game suffer by not rigorously implementing the laws as they already stand.

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
06 August, 2019 18:57
It will be interesting to see how the matches are reffed at the RWC, you want your showpiece event to look good in the shop window.

P G Tips
P G Tips
07 August, 2019 07:40
Quote:
B4thB4ck
How about making it a 13 man game with a 7 man scrum? (sorry number 8s). A huge change to the game but simple.

Which other position would you remove to make it 13?

PG

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
07 August, 2019 08:25
Quote:
P G Tips
Quote:
B4thB4ck
How about making it a 13 man game with a 7 man scrum? (sorry number 8s). A huge change to the game but simple.

Which other position would you remove to make it 13?

PG

Well, as with some of the politics going around at the moment, I hadn't figured out the whole plan!! The article above starts exactly as I was hoping to write one when I watched the women's football world cup. Those games were free flowing and enjoyable partly because the women don't have the speed of the men covering the same sized pitch, players had more time to control the ball and more space to pass into. Hence, thanks for the article.

I would like to say that women's rugby shows the same traits but from what I have seen I am not sure. Maybe it is because they try to play like the men, looking for structure and contact.

Back to the question. I suppose you could work it out by deciding what would definitely be retained:-

Scrum half, fly half, full back are all essentials. You might not need that structure at certain phases of defending or attacking but overall you would. That leaves what we have multiples of - centres and wingers. Maybe we would see a morph between them, players behaving like 13s instead of a Roberts 12 or Wade 11. In that respect I don't like my plan if it meant the sport was no longer a game for all sizes, it is a cliche but I like it.

Of course, it is the same for both teams so whilst there might be a size mismatch, the extra space would allow your little winger to run around the big defender even easier. Sevens still has a mix of sizes.

I guess it would find its own level. One advantage is it would be very easy to trial with no other changes to the laws other than crowd control to stop your club 8 throwing rotten veg from the sidelines in protest.

In summary, it will never happen, but I watch old videos of centres and wingers running freely and think how else can we reverse the trend of muscle, contact and injuries.

P G Tips
P G Tips
07 August, 2019 08:38
Interesting ideas B4B but I instantly shudder at the suggestion of "13 a side".

Why? Because Union & League are different games but IMHO many of the current ills of Union are derived from trying to make the game look like league.

The result is the closing of space that Opti highlights, the death of dynamic breakdowns, 13 man defensive lines that crowd the pitch and the resultant "human dodgems" where players seek contact instead of space.


PG

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
07 August, 2019 09:51
In U13s the 13-a-side means no flankers but an 8.

The top 4 averaged over 27 points scored per game last season. I'm not sure that there is a fundamental problem, just some fine tuning and as such think that Opti's suggestion sounds sensible.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
07 August, 2019 10:03
Yes, I entirely agree with the focus on applying the laws, I was also thinking about the over bulked, collision focussed, injury prone game the pros play now.

If anything the game is heading towards league as it is now when you look at the backs. I am trying to get away from that, reverse the trend. 7s players still look different, they actually run differently.

It is not about points scored but the way the game is played.

Since giving up my Bath season ticket I have noticed a more free flowing game watching at amateur level where the players have not evolved into the gym species we see on TV.

It is not a lost cause but how will it all look in 10 years time?

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
07 August, 2019 10:58
Agree with that B4thB4ck, its an enjoyable watch at the lower levels (local clubs, age grade game etc). Probably the same for a lot of sports I guess - perfection of play is certainly awe inspiring, but doesn't always make for a great game - see the snoozefest football champs league final as an example of the peak of the european club game.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

P G Tips
P G Tips
07 August, 2019 11:08
To be fair Matt, finals are often like that- due to the tension and need to win.
In that particular case, the 2 semi finals were offerings of real excitement and no mean skill.

My issue is that so much of international and club rugby is less attractive to watch than it might be.

Policing of offside would do a lot to help, as would Opti's point about refs just pinging offences instead of colluding with them by constantly telling players how they are doing. I also believe that World Rugby needs to find a way in managing/changing the laws to restore the space the game has lost.

PG

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
07 August, 2019 11:15
Quote:
Optimist
More significant though is the increase in player fitness and mobility. This is most apparent when, following a turnover, you see props covering 40-50 metres in a few seconds to rejoin and reform a defensive line. Twenty years ago, if the ball was turned over in your 22 and a three-quarter got their hands on the ball reasonably quickly, none of the 6 front-rowers present would expect to be involved in the game until the next scrum.
.

I clearly don't watch enough live rugby! 3 seconds for props to cover 40-50m is faster than Bolt, but I'm being pedantic.

The point is that not only has fitness changed but the Laws as well, back in the olden days those props would have to fight their way off the floor first.

Rucking may or may not be the answer but having forwards waiting on their feet to go to the next breakdown simply reduces space. Get rid of the hand on the shoulder binding and make the forwards in that position actively defend that space so they are committed to that breakdown and not free to rumble of to the next.



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
07 August, 2019 12:00
Just a bit of light entertainment, these guys clearly needed more time in the gym ;-)

[www.bbc.co.uk]

Rich.
Rich.
07 August, 2019 19:43
Quote:
P G Tips
Interesting ideas B4B but I instantly shudder at the suggestion of "13 a side".
Why? Because Union & League are different games but IMHO many of the current ills of Union are derived from trying to make the game look like league.

The result is the closing of space that Opti highlights, the death of dynamic breakdowns, 13 man defensive lines that crowd the pitch and the resultant "human dodgems" where players seek contact instead of space.


PG

But making it 13 a side doesn't make it more like league at all. In fact it will make it less like league by nature of creating more space so we don't have more and more forward drives in the hope some space &/or quick-enough ball is created, or a feeling that the only option left is to go for a hopeful kick.

JFPC
JFPC
07 August, 2019 23:16
Make it 13 a side and remove the two marquee players and most premiership clubs would be in the black!

MESSAGES->author
joethefanatic
08 August, 2019 00:09
If we're going there, I'd vote for removing both flankers and keeping the 8. It would certainly free up space around the scrum. But then you'd probably just get lighter, faster 8s clogging up the breakdown instead.

More interesting might be to remove the open side flanker and inside centre or both wingers...

But the positions we are talking about are the product of 150 years of evolution. I'm sure that clever coaches could invent hybrid playing positions or formations to plug the gaps in no time at all.

In the end, I'm in the "stop coaching and enforce the Laws we've got" camp. For instance, I'd be perfectly happy for the TMO to adjudicate on offside if the linesmen cant/won't do it. It won't take long for the teams to cotton on, especially if the refs start handing out team yellows for repeat offences. People respond to incentives...



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

P G Tips
P G Tips
08 August, 2019 07:03
Quote:
Rich.
But making it 13 a side doesn't make it more like league at all. In fact it will make it less like league by nature of creating more space .

It might seem that way Rich, but tinkering with numbers will be cosmetic unless the shift is radical (say 30%+).

The problems are in 2 areas:

The current Laws - especially breakdown, limit space.

Referees not applying laws as Opti's point shows. Especially offside which is currently pandemic in the game.

Defences will always find a way to squeeze out space in the game, unless the nature of the game forces concentration of players- see Shipwreck's and Joe The Fanatic's points.


PG



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2019 07:30 by P G Tips.

Omba
Omba
08 August, 2019 13:49
Offside. Offside. Offside. Cricket is looking at all front foot no balls to be policed by the 3rd umpire. So as above if refs and touchies (I know I know) are unable or unwilling to manage it have the TMO simply tell them based on his/her overall view of proceedings.

I also wonder about 14 a side. Just lose a back row, which one up to the team on the day.

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
08 August, 2019 14:58
Seriously guys what on earth will taking away a player or even two players do? Its the laws that either need to be adhered to or changed.
Take a man out of the scrum now then one more in 5 years time, in 20 years time there will be no scrum left!
The dropped players will become subs and at half time the whole team will be substituted.

Union is 15 a side. (Sm95)



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

P G Tips
P G Tips
08 August, 2019 15:12
Well said Shipwrecked.

I note that most people advocating reduction in numbers would get rid of back row players. These are the players spearheading (and frequently effecting) the contest for the ball (outside the set piece) - which is the key differentiator between Union and League.

Without that, you might as well just "takes turns" - as they do in League and American football.


PG



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2019 15:30 by P G Tips.

Baffy Buck at Home
Mr Frivolous
08 August, 2019 21:06
How about turning the pitch round 90 degrees? All that width...

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
08 August, 2019 21:48
Quote:
Mr Frivolous
How about turning the pitch round 90 degrees? All that width...

Risk of diving into the Avon whilst scoring, big Joe would make a hell of a splash!



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

opti
Optimist
09 August, 2019 07:56
Was kind of hoping the discussion would be about the wisdom or otherwise of discouraging refs from 'coaching' and whether that might have any benefit in terms of making players adhere to existing laws! Classic COML.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
09 August, 2019 08:02
Speaking of finding space, this little guy could always find it and this ability seems to have transferred pretty well across the pond.

[www.buffalobills.com]



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
09 August, 2019 08:34
Quote:
BathMatt53
Speaking of finding space, this little guy could always find it and this ability seems to have transferred pretty well across the pond.
[www.buffalobills.com]

Yes, spotted that Matt, he made it look so easy as well!



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

P G Tips
P G Tips
09 August, 2019 10:45
Quote:
Optimist
Was kind of hoping the discussion would be about the wisdom or otherwise of discouraging refs from 'coaching' and whether that might have any benefit in terms of making players adhere to existing laws! Classic COML.

I suspect it would Opti.
But it might require continuing "dialogue" between ref & player.

"Ah, what's that for ref?"
"You're a professional player. Respect the laws."

"What the....?"
"Better still- learn them!"

PG

Bath Supporter Jack
Bath Supporter Jack
09 August, 2019 17:13
Or we get to the point where a bemused Haskell playing for England v Italy asks Roman Poite (sp?) what do they do to cope with Italy's unconventional approach and he tells him he is not his coach.

Personally I would insist that every ball went into the scrum straight......or it is a penalty, any shirt pulling or obstruction is a yellow card, any offsides immediate penalty and same player three times immediate yellow card.

I would do something (I don't know what) to stop the dreadful caterpillar at the back of a ruck to protect the scrumhalf.


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