Post by Alan Luchetti Post by John Hill
If they really want a running game go back to the daft introduction of
UIOLI and repael the bloody thing, tie the forwards in and run the
ball around FFS.
As noted by Brent & me elsewhere in this thread, mauls do NOT make for
running & flowing rugby -- they make for static & punctuated rugby.
Whooaa! No disrespect to yourself and Brent but just because you say it's so
does not necessarily make it so! Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't one of
the revelations from the recent conference that (surprisingly, to me at
least), a large majority of tries scored in international rugby come
directly from first phase possession? What a well executed maul does is
create a pseudo first phase situation i.e. all the forwards are tied in
defending the maul. Admiittedly the ball is slow and the defending side has
plenty of time to re-align their backline - however as I said this seems to
be the best way for the attacking side to score!
Post by Alan Luchetti
from the IRB press release after the coaching conference ...
Among the key recommendations, which will be taken forward for further
discussion and consideration at the Annual Meeting of the IRB in April,
Research into the maul to include injury surveillance, management, defence,
binding and obstruction. "
After the IRB research, I expect we'll see a maul regime less loaded in
favour of the team with the ball, not more. Referees will become as alive
to binding and obstruction offences by the attack as they have been to
collapsing and offside offences by the defence.
Why would you expect to see that? Various things get discussed at
conferences in all walks of sport/business. People go to these meetings with
their own personal agendas first and foremost and just because someone talks
loudly and gets something recommended for further discussion does not mean
something is going to happen about it.
Having said that the IRB have a poor record for tinkering with the rules of
the game over the last 15 years (probably longer but I cannot comment on
that). Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying whether I agree/disagree with any
of the rule changes - just if it ain't broken don't fix it. I would prefer
that the game continued with the existing rules (whether or not I agree with
them) especially since popularity seems to be on the up at the moment - at
least in this neck of the woods (ok I admit I'm English!).
As for comment on the exact subject matter wrt to mauls I must say I fall
between the stools. Some of the Leicester style mauling resulting in the
inevitable Back try seemed to be stretching the laws to the limit (OK
blatantly offending). But they don't seem to be able to do this any more so
either there is obviously a way of defending against it or maybe the refs
have got smarter. Either way no rule change required.
The other side of the coin is THAT maul in the EvA game last June. What a
thing of beauty!!! (I've already admitted to being English). Only saw it
live - slow-mo replay will probably show countless offside offences by the
England pack as the maul progressed. But if the ref was happy with the maul
progress how could he be happy with the way it ended?
My guess is that he maul will follow a similar path to lineouts. Lineouts
became so difficult to police that they now basically (if still not quite in
the rules) allow carte blanche lifting. I think (unfortunatley) that the
maul has got too hard too police that they will try to find some way of
Sorry for my drunken ramblings