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50:22 and more to be globally trialled by WR

Old Hooker

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Personally I think anyone who says there was less controversy in the past is just wrong. There was probably plenty of controversy. Difference is the level of scrutiny and the number of cameras now.
Think how upset the Welsh would be if they couldn’t still be complaining about Andy Haden……

It’s a complicated game we follow and a lot of very fit people in a confined space. It’s probably more important that laws aren’t constantly changed and those we have are properly enforced. That said, my bugbears:

Teams getting the line out from a penalty. The 5 metre attacking maul is tediously predictable. Possession or territory but not both (except for serious foul play). I’ve said that here before. N.B mauling generally is good!

No scrum resets. Put the onus on both teams to keep it up. Make collapsing scrums as unacceptable as tackling in the air or stamping on the head. Severe sanctions for going down. It can be done if there’s the will and refs then enforce. Resets are tedious and more importantly collapsing is bloody dangerous.

Why must a maul be over when it stops going forward? Teams can regroup and go again. Not fast enough for the basketball fans?

Scrap physics and require passes to go backwards relative to the ground.

EDIT 1. Cut the number of subs.

AND ENFORCE A STRAIGHT PUT IN AT SCRUMS. For abrogating their responsibilities there refs deserve all the flak they get.

Much as I loved the game back in the day I’m in no doubt that today’s game is infinitely faster with far more tries, creativity and risk. If that’s your measure it’s now a hugely better ‘product’. I like all that but I enjoy the variety the game can bring and can get just as much out of a 15-12 arm wrestle. I also like the contrast within a game where teams have very different styles eg last weekend’s Premiership semis.

EDIT 2. What I don’t enjoy are poor execution of basic skills, lack of intensity and mismatches.
 
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Le Frére Alpha

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Goal line drop out and "don't play the 9" are by bugbears.

I've addressed the first one a page back.

Second one should just be not infringing with a player not in the ruck, making it specific to the acting scrum half confuses refs and results in bad calls. There was a terrible one in the Stormers v Ulster semi final.
 

die_mole

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Goal line drop out and "don't play the 9" are by bugbears.

I've addressed the first one a page back.

Second one should just be not infringing with a player not in the ruck, making it specific to the acting scrum half confuses refs and results in bad calls. There was a terrible one in the Stormers v Ulster semi final.
it irritates me to no end that a player standing over a ball not playing the ball cannot be contacted. That's what a ruck is; two players engaged over the ball.

The passer should only be protected as much as their team as able to provide them protection (offside line still enforced of course).
 

dullonien

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Legally collapsing mauls was trialled a number of years ago. It had the complete opposite outcome to what some here think it would. By not being able to draw defenders into a maul/risk of a maul, defenses just spread as one player waa sent in to take the legs away. It all resulted in more defenders in the line and less space to attack, and generally the trial was a complete failure.

I personally think the maul laws are juat about as good as they can be atm. By allowing players to stay on the wrong side as long as the bind isn't altered, this has depowered the maul enough to make it mostly defendable by a competent defense. Instigating a maul by holding an attacking player off the ground has also been sufficiently mitigated by refs being quick to call a ruck when the attacking player get's a knee to ground. Personally I'd just change the law to give the put-in at a resulting scrum to the attacking side which would eliminate the tactic altogether, but I'm relatively happy with how it is currently.

it irritates me to no end that a player standing over a ball not playing the ball cannot be contacted. That's what a ruck is; two players engaged over the ball.

The passer should only be protected as much as their team as able to provide them protection (offside line still enforced of course).

Problem is that if the law were scrapped, the attacking side would then likely need to send at least one more player into every ruck to secure clean ball = ournumbered in attack = less attacking rugby, less try's and less excitement. I personally don't want to see that, so whilst on the face of it the 'don't play the 9' feels wrong, there's very good reasons for it.
 
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Kiwiwomble

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seriously go back and watch a game from the early professional era. Team kicks the ball down field, there is a mess at the ruck, ref calls a random penalty from 20m away. I don't know anyone can say that the past had less controversy. If you want to kill the maul just make mauling obstruction. Sacking the maul is dangerous as well as cynical. Not hitting the ball forward is the fundamental principal of the game, teams should not be rewarded for doing it on purpose.

I'd like to see the goal-line dropout eliminated. Any play into goal should be given the scrum/22m option. Not sure what to do about being held up.

Every sport's media talks about the refereeing before, during, and after the match. Rugby is no different.
i wonder if there might be some NH v SH in this, i go back and watch NPC/Super games from the 90's quite a bit, its when i really got into rugby and spent a lot of time down at Carisbrook, and it just doesn't feel there are as many penalties and when there are they seem to be handled quicker...yes, there is **** going on everywhere that would get called today...but it just doesn;t get called...and the players play on...guys laying around the ruck? clear them off and play the ball, scrum breaks up? ball still playable? yes...then do so
 

die_mole

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i wonder if there might be some NH v SH in this, i go back and watch NPC/Super games from the 90's quite a bit, its when i really got into rugby and spent a lot of time down at Carisbrook, and it just doesn't feel there are as many penalties and when there are they seem to be handled quicker...yes, there is **** going on everywhere that would get called today...but it just doesn;t get called...and the players play on...guys laying around the ruck? clear them off and play the ball, scrum breaks up? ball still playable? yes...then do so
So the whistle used be a lot quicker that’s for certain.

I think before the attacking side was allowed to get away with doing whatever they want and rucks were more unpredictable teams thought the best way of moving the ball up the field was to kick and hope for a penalty/turnover. I think your point about hemispheres makes sense cause I think advancing through the ground in SH makes more sense so they’d be less likely to have to resort to kicking.

Refereeing has also been professionalized since then so they are a lot more accurate/dedicated to the role.


If you look at the data we are seeing a lot more rugby per game than we did in the past. More rucks and Carries and less lineouts and scrums.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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That's a very interesting read. I'm surprised there are less offloads than before and more carries by forwards than before (the latter explaining perhaps why the game is ruck-tastic).

It doesn't cover penalties sadly for the purposes of this thread. I'm a general optimist on refereeing. Its strange that with the NFL there is a lot of similarity with a crazy level of scrutiny of calls and a lot of unpenalised activity on every single piece of action, but fans don't get on the backs of refs to anything like the same extent as rugby.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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That's a very interesting read. I'm surprised there are less offloads than before and more carries by forwards than before (the latter explaining perhaps why the game is ruck-tastic).

It doesn't cover penalties sadly for the purposes of this thread. I'm a general optimist on refereeing. Its strange that with the NFL there is a lot of similarity with a crazy level of scrutiny of calls and a lot of unpenalised activity on every single piece of action, but fans don't get on the backs of refs to anything like the same extent as rugby.
For me though you can watch a team be offside all game only for the ref to call a penalty just once or sometimes even against the opposition if they go offside once. Same with holding on vs pouching and laying on the wrong side of the ruck. Just really inconsistent.

Simplicity and consistency is what I want.
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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deliberate knock down...want to keep the ball? pass a second earlier

almost all scrum penalties...one scrum just stronger than the other?...so something the weaker scrum cant change...cards! the scrum is just a competition for the ball...and yet a dominant scrum is almost guaranteed to turn a knock on into a penalty kick, free kick, give them the ball and play on

sacking a maul?....why not?....the team with the ball want to keep mauling then get better, if the defending team want to risk having 2-3 guys stuck on the ground by trying to sack it...up to them, if they fail they'll be punished by the other team scoring
Rough around the edges but to be honest, i'd give you WR's presidency in a heartbeat.

For those disregarding #1 (del know downs) because it is cynical, well, it is cynical only because 'we' decided in the rules for it to be so, and can change it with a couple of signatures.
When arguing about rule changes saying that something is 'against the rules' is nonsensical. That's the entire bloody point.

I have doubts regarding #3 as i am not sure whether such a remedy would be better or worse than the disease. I'd be willing to try it out tho. This is a bit of a recurring thing with me: i can pin point something i dont like about the game but i am not always sure what change i would introduce to correct it.

Regarding the 50;22 thingie, i have mixed feelings. I like the idea (and the stats!) but i see too much weight on fixed formations already and this favours that even more. I'd like scrums and line outs to be to be a way to restart the game, maybe give the team throwing in the ball a slight advantage. But as the game stands today that advantage is massive.
You have two teams A & B. A has the better scrum. A drops the ball, B throws in, A gets a penalty, for 30 minutes. No matter who gets to drop the ball, where or why, A gets a penalty and after a while, YCs start flowing till you go uncontested. I understand the rationale and all, i get it, but i still dont like it.
If you are about to say 'well then B needs to work on getting a better scrum' please don't. That's my entire point. I'd like the rules to reduce the amount of advantage a team with a better scrum has. You could do a not-so-different argumentation with line outs.
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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Every sport's media talks about the refereeing before, during, and after the match. Rugby is no different.

I think it is. The reason for which people talk about refereeing in rugby appears to be very different and that is quite relevant.
One example: i watch a footie (asoc) game in a pub. People with no skin in the game (to eliminate bias) watch a play and overwhelmingly agree on what the call should be and when they don't it is 99% of the times because they see different things.

Now for the counterpoint: I go to the pub to watch a rugby game. People from the teams playing and impartials watching. Most have played and have been watching rugby for at least 20 years. A play happens and ref makes a call. A newcomer to the sports asks us what was the call about. We all cant answer the question.
This happens to me every 2/3 games.

I know, this aint any scientifically gathered data and merely my experience. Anecdotal evidence if you will. But that does not happen to me in any other sport. Not in football, tennis, mma, basket, ice hockey, etc.
Maybe in F1? I wouldnt know, but i can see how adding machines that can reach over 350 kph complicates things.
Shouldnt happen in rugby. No need for it.

I can tell you one thing: it appears to be a tremendous turn off for people who are beginning to follow the sport.

Just another piece of anecdotal evidence: WR has on their official youtube channel Nigel Owens videos explaining particular calls in, lets call it important games. Do you see FIFA, ATP, NBA doing something similar? A professional ref (just retired) breaking down plays and explaining why the actual ref got it right or not?
And dont get me wrong, i understand WHY they do it.
When the complexity of the rules is deemed to be too much, you can tackle it one of two ways: educating players/staff/audience and/or making the rules simpler. WR's approach appears to focus on the former, heavily. Not sure that is the right way to address this.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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It would absolutely happen if you watch the NFL, and its incredibly popular. NBA too to some extent with some massive grey areas around a 'contactless' sport. I wonder if its because the refs in the NFL, for each call, stop play and announce to the camera what penalty was called and against what player. Rugby union is trying to be clearer in making refs do a pantomime action of what infringement they are penalising but I don't think people would welcome them taking extra time to identify what number the offending player had. I also don't think having extra refs on the pitch (like the NFL) is the answer as it'd cause so much obstruction.

There probably is room for improvement in having the ref use their mic to address the viewer briefly to explain the call rather the current state of the ref getting caught up in a conversation with a captain (i.e. they are not primarily addressing the viewer). I don't care what a players opinion of a call is. It's irrelevant, so the refs shouldn't be making that their priority. Again, with the NFL (and NBA?) you will never see a ref feel the need to explain their call to a player and if a player has a problem with that and voices dissent then they'll probably be getting in trouble and hurting their teams chances.

It is completely unfeasible for rugby union to be as simplistic as football (and for refereeing decisions to therefore be more clearcut). For those that crave that simplicity I'd suggest rugby league. No rucks, so no contesting for the ball or real offside. Meaningless scrums and no lineout. Personally, I can barely keep my eyes open watching such a tactically limited sport as rugby league (and I've really tried) but it is pretty damn popular in the places where it has a foothold, so must have something going for it.

So in summary:
i) refs stop addressing players (except on issuing guidance at scrums)
ii) penalise teams that chat to the ref about calls (e.g. advance ball ten yards)
iii) use refs mic to take 5 seconds to explain a call to the viewing public

Off the top of my head but I kind of talked myself into it.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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I think it is. The reason for which people talk about refereeing in rugby appears to be very different and that is quite relevant.
One example: i watch a footie (asoc) game in a pub. People with no skin in the game (to eliminate bias) watch a play and overwhelmingly agree on what the call should be and when they don't it is 99% of the times because they see different things.

Now for the counterpoint: I go to the pub to watch a rugby game. People from the teams playing and impartials watching. Most have played and have been watching rugby for at least 20 years. A play happens and ref makes a call. A newcomer to the sports asks us what was the call about. We all cant answer the question.
This happens to me every 2/3 games.

I know, this aint any scientifically gathered data and merely my experience. Anecdotal evidence if you will. But that does not happen to me in any other sport. Not in football, tennis, mma, basket, ice hockey, etc.
Maybe in F1? I wouldnt know, but i can see how adding machines that can reach over 350 kph complicates things.
Shouldnt happen in rugby. No need for it.

I can tell you one thing: it appears to be a tremendous turn off for people who are beginning to follow the sport.

Just another piece of anecdotal evidence: WR has on their official youtube channel Nigel Owens videos explaining particular calls in, lets call it important games. Do you see FIFA, ATP, NBA doing something similar? A professional ref (just retired) breaking down plays and explaining why the actual ref got it right or not?
And dont get me wrong, i understand WHY they do it.
When the complexity of the rules is deemed to be too much, you can tackle it one of two ways: educating players/staff/audience and/or making the rules simpler. WR's approach appears to focus on the former, heavily. Not sure that is the right way to address this.
I think k a lot of that old be fixed through having better and more consistently coached referees. The English ref different to the French, who ref different to the South Africans, who ref different to the Kiwis and Aussies. The pro 14 nations let randos off the street ref from what I can tell.

Consistent, high level refereeing should be the primary focus. At that point we can see which rules are inadequate.
 

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it irritates me to no end that a player standing over a ball not playing the ball cannot be contacted. That's what a ruck is; two players engaged over the ball.

The passer should only be protected as much as their team as able to provide them protection (offside line still enforced of course).
But refs In general are very quick on use it call.
Think this is consistent world wide.
If you play the reciever if allowed in law,all that will happen is another reciever steps up who probably can't be reached under off side laws.
So we get rid of the offside line so next reciever can be played as well and as no offside line anymore we have no space to play the game.
As offside line horizontal over the whole pitch.
While looking annoying this actually creates what we want to see space to play the game.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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But refs In general are very quick on use it call.
Think this is consistent world wide.
If you play the reciever if allowed in law,all that will happen is another reciever steps up who probably can't be reached under off side laws.
So we get rid of the offside line so next reciever can be played as well and as no offside line anymore we have no space to play the game.
As offside line horizontal over the whole pitch.
While looking annoying this actually creates what we want to see space to play the game.
But they often say use it and leave the sh to stand around for another minute without giving a sanction.
 

Old Hooker

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I think k a lot of that old be fixed through having better and more consistently coached referees. The English ref different to the French, who ref different to the South Africans, who ref different to the Kiwis and Aussies. The pro 14 nations let randos off the street ref from what I can tell.

Consistent, high level refereeing should be the primary focus. At that point we can see which rules are inadequate.
It’s ridiculous the way some laws are anally policed with a billion replays and others totally ignored.

In my bugbears I missed advantage. It gets called and then 28 phases later we come back for a penalty. Should be either immediate or obvious, but either way short.

I might also put a limit on the amount of time that can be put on TMO replays.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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It’s ridiculous the way some laws are anally policed with a billion replays and others totally ignored.

In my bugbears I missed advantage. It gets called and then 28 phases later we come back for a penalty. Should be either immediate or obvious, but either way short.

I might also put a limit on the amount of time that can be put on TMO replays.
Yeah I think that could do with a look.

This isn't meant to sound like sour grapes because the ref got it right but in Leinsters semi final last week the Bulls had advantage and got over Leinster's line unopposed. The attacker dropped it but surely that should be advantage over, if you're over the try line with no defenders around you you've used your example. Niche enough example there but I think stricter application could be improve the game, it just needs to be balanced against teams choosing to go for the penalty.
 

Crash Hamster

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For knock-ons, I think a call of "possession is advantage" would suffice. The player with the ball gets maybe 5 seconds to knock it on in turn to take the scrum otherwise it's play on. For penalties, maybe a phase or two.

All kicks at goal to be drop goals, to be taken in 30 seconds or so, a bit like sevens. No-one apart from kicking wonks wants to watch a floppy haired prima donna touching the ball delicately for 90 seconds before landing 4.5/5 kicks. It speeds the game up, eliminates the loss of two minutes of everyone's lives after a scrum penalty on the 10 metre line and makes a try under the posts more valuable than a score in the corner.

Basically, sides are going to have to attack more ats the 'easy 3 points' option is only available when they're much closer to the posts.
 

die_mole

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the thing with advantage is that if you start calling advantage over quicker teams will just refuse to play it and that kind of defeats the whole point. Penalty advantage should really just be the territory you would gain from being able to kick a lineup. Scrum advantage should be secure possession.

All kicks being drop kicks is something I have thought about before and is as close to the roots to the game as someone kicking off a piece of plastic 1-4" off the ground. They would need to address my next point for it not to have a negative affect on the game.

What really grinds my gears is that the game has gotten really lenient on professional fouls. Teams commit multiple penalties within 10m of their goal line and 33% of line breaks result in a defensive penalty yet it seems no one ever goes to the bin. Lot's of people say they want to see 15 on 15 but is it really fun to watch people play negative rugby for 80 minutes? Committing a penalty shouldn't be the smart tactical play. Is this what we want to teach the children?
 

Kiwiwomble

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the thing with advantage is that if you start calling advantage over quicker teams will just refuse to play it and that kind of defeats the whole point. Penalty advantage should really just be the territory you would gain from being able to kick a lineup. Scrum advantage should be secure possession.

All kicks being drop kicks is something I have thought about before and is as close to the roots to the game as someone kicking off a piece of plastic 1-4" off the ground. They would need to address my next point for it not to have a negative affect on the game.

What really grinds my gears is that the game has gotten really lenient on professional fouls. Teams commit multiple penalties within 10m of their goal line and 33% of line breaks result in a defensive penalty yet it seems no one ever goes to the bin. Lot's of people say they want to see 15 on 15 but is it really fun to watch people play negative rugby for 80 minutes? Committing a penalty shouldn't be the smart tactical play. Is this what we want to teach the children?
quite legitimately think the emphasis should be on a team to overcome the other team infringing rather than have people in the bin, especially when these "professional fouls" you talk about are often being half a meter (often less) in front of the line, or losing their balance and dropping to theyre hands whilst going for the ball
when i was coming through "professional foul" was reserved for taking someones head off or at worst a tackle (early/late) off the ball....people talk about giving cards for things are are often just straight up mistakes/accidents

can you imagine if football started giving cards for offside?...give the team that was wronged the ball and play on

"Committing a penalty shouldn't be the smart tactical play. Is this what we want to teach the children?" no its not...but currently we're teaching them to milk penalties and cards to skew a game and i dont think thats much better
 

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