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Rugby Tactics: Screened Passing Analysis

Several aspects of Union don't exist in League (e.g. line out, ruck, maul) so the changes and innovations in all those areas over the years in Union have nowhere in League to crossover to. The League scrum used to have a competitive element which has now been removed completely by the ball being allowed to be fed directly back through the second row. So there's not much crossover there except that in Union a crooked feed is not penalised as often as it used to be, but penalties do happen and halfbacks are aware of that. To my mind the most important area where Union has learnt from League is in defensive patterns in the backs. Fairly straightforward wraparounds and missed-man passes are no longer effective in Union as much as they used to be, the defences are more savvy.
The screen passing discussed here has increased in Union in recent years, especially closer to the line, as one of several methods of giving the defence more to think about. I watch a lot of League and tries are regularly disallowed due to crossing and obstruction after this type of play. So, as you say, the dummy runners are allowed to draw a defenders into making the wrong choice, but cannot hinder their movement towards the ball carrier. It's often a very fine line and the frequent groans from commentators and fans after TMO decisions show that general agreement on a ruling is rare.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

Rugby Tactics: Screened Passing Analysis

I more or less agree with your opening point, but then I feel you contradict yourself with your last comment, which is a comparison of the codes which doesn't hold up in my experience. I don't know what Rugby Union you watch, but I see plenty of running with the ball and "on-field magic". Admittedly I watch mainly comps like Super15, ITM, Rugby Champ. etc, but at least 3 of the recent WC Q/Fs had about as much running with the ball as most fans would want. I say "most fans" because I think most Rugby Union people also value the contest and strategies in the set pieces, there has to be a balance. In League, those aspects of the game have disappeared.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "when Union learns to run the ball again". I've been with Union for a long time, and in that time there's never been more running with the ball than there is now. And in terms of full team involvement, it's never been done better as far as I can see.

I also really enjoy watching a lot of NRL on a weekly basis, but I could never prefer it. Or to give my partner's point of view: "Watching all that Rugby's bad enough, but I really don't understand how you could possibly watch that horrible League" But that's another matter.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

Joe Marler explains to referee that early RWC exit is reason for late tackle against Wasps

Ha Ha… excellent. It's a small moment but a nice change from the sourness of the last couple of days.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision

I agree with pretty much everything. Also, the majority of refs would've made the same call as Joubert did in real time. There seems to an underlying assumption in so many of the complaints, that a different referee would've definitely made a different call. Nonsense. Only by examining the slo-mo do any of us know for sure that the ball brushed Phipps' arm. The vast majority of even the best refs would have made the same call as Joubert and been in the same position you describe.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Wallabies snatch victory from courageous Scots at the death

DrG… I'm not sure what happened, my reply ended up above your post instead of below. This might too.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Wallabies snatch victory from courageous Scots at the death

It's taken a couple of coffees, but I think I see what you're saying. Because the Scotsman grabbed the ball while offside, then maybe that constitutes deliberate foul play and can therefore be sent to the TMO. I think the law recognises the difference between instinctively grabbing at a possibly knocked-on ball (and often, who can tell?), and deliberately playing the ball while being unambiguously offside. And thank God for that. It's only on slo-mo replay that any of us knows for sure that it brushed against Phipps. My position is that the vast majority of even the very best refs would've made the same decision in real time, and players too.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Wallabies snatch victory from courageous Scots at the death

I demand the TMO. I know it's not allowed, but this is a critical moment in my day.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Wallabies snatch victory from courageous Scots at the death

I think you missed the intended humour. Do you truly believe I think I convinced everyone, or even anyone? pff!

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Argentina knock Ireland out with convincing Quarter Final win

*Argentina's had the packs…

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Argentina knock Ireland out with convincing Quarter Final win

Argentina's have had the packs and some good, even great, number tens for a long time, but their general back play has really sharpened up in the RCh. I'm sure the All Blacks already knew that but they were still caught on the hop when the Pumas came roaring out of the blocks in the first game. I thought the Irish might roll right back over the Pumas, once they got going, but the way Argentina took the pressure and then came again was impressive. I still think Aust in the SF, but nothing would surprise me.

1 Year, 3 Months ago