Before launching onto the SRC Rd2, I thought to highlight a trend I’ve been watching and it was in full flower over the weekend. I’m interested in folks thoughts…
In the past 12-18 months, consistent with a ruling from World Rugby, we have seen more penalties against the breakdown Jackler for ‘hands on ground before ball’. It has certainly made pilfering harder to do legally as was intended.
But like all things in life, humans and coaches adapt and things change.
So now we are seeing Jacklers adapt by instead of ‘Hands on ground’, we are seeing smart Jackals move to ‘Elbows on Tackled’ to momentarily steady/balance themselves before then going for the ball. This is a-judged by Referees as ‘legal’ in terms of the WR decree as the hands of the Jackler did not go to ground prior to attacking the ball.
However my issue with this is that the Jackler still is not supporting their own bodyweight at the breakdown. Leaving aside the continued issue that the Jackler is ‘knees on’ the Tackled player anyway (so not supporting their own bodyweight to begin with), the newer innovation of bracing on the Tackled player via elbows/forearms instead of bracing on the ground with hands, before then attacking the ball, still contains the fundamental issue of using the arms for bracing/balancing via contact with the ground. By definition, this is still not being on your feet and supporting your own bodyweight. Whether the Jackal used the ground itself or used the lump of inert meat connected to the ground, stability was taken through the arms from the ground. And without that stability so provided by a 3rd and 4th point of connection, the Jackler would not have executed the pilfer. This is contrary to the core concept in our sport that participation is only permitted if you are on your feet.
This permitted illegality of ‘Elbows on Tackler’ means the Jackler can also still get into the unnatural body-shape of head-down & arse-up over the Tackled player, likely with an arm through the Tackled legs or similar (for the extra weight/stability/anchor when hit), and so wait for the penalty from a position whereby they effectively cannot be moved. And certainly the Jackler cannot be moved without attacking their head (something we are supposed to be avoiding yeh?).
So where to next? Thoughts welcomed.
Rugby Championship Round Two:
New Zealand (35) def South Africa (20) – Another lightening fast and intense start from the Nearlies saw them effectively end the match as a real contest before half time. After posting their first try before the 5min mark and going into oranges at 20-3 up, the AB’s were simply a clear cut above the Saffas for the opening 40min, with the Saffa’s seemingly in shock and awe for the first half by comparison.
With stellar, domineering performances being turned in by Shannon Frizell and Brodie Retallick in-particular, the likes of Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett had way too much time, space and possession to weave their magic.
Best for the Yarpies were Karl Marx, Kwagga Smith and Willie le Roux while Cheslin Kolbe also scored a Marketers dream-try as the Bokke mounted a 2nd half comeback. And Jasper Weise also had a monster game as the Bokke ‘won’ the 2nd half by 17pts to 15. But the damage was done early, and the ask was too much, and the Bokke didn’t recover.
Argentina (34) def Wobblies (31) – The small pack of Argentine faithful, who at times made Parramatta stadium seem more their own than the home side, were well rewarded for their faith and singing as their Puma’s pinched a last-minute try and thus victory over “their own worst enemy” Wobblies.
For the 2nd week running the Wobbs got off to a cracking start, this time with Sticky Ikitau scoring a great try in the corner in the 5th minute. However while Sticky made three more tackles before succumbing, the grounding did cost him a fractured scapula and that brought Carter Gordan into the fray early. That said, things were looking good for the Wobbs with the set-piece re-finding its grind and the cogs starting to turn out some positive rugby. But again, it was discipline that proved the difference.
I could wax lyrical and question the last try and bemoan the blatant diving etcetera, but it would be sour grapes and hypocrisy to do so. In the end, 14 penalties meant the Wobbs had barely 40% of possession, 33% of territory and needed to make around 110 more tackles. That reality kept the Puma’s in a match they should have been shut out of. And despite ripper games from Marky Mark and Carter Gordon off the back of a hugely improved forwards effort, the Wobbs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory via dumb-arsed decision making. It was as simple as that.
Nutta’s Team of the Tourney (wk2)
The rule is simple. It’s jersey versus jersey. Who played better in the (say) No4 jersey? And points awarded are likewise simple:
- 3pts if selected because you clearly ‘owned it’
- 2pts if you marginally ‘owned it’ against strong competition
- 1pt if no one else was good enough
- 1pt extra if your were my Man of the Round
Teams for Wk2:
Nutta’s Selection for Wk2:
The AB’s opening was awesome and that was set up by a ruthless pack performance led by an epic game from Frizell who got the +1. So while Lavanini deserved his spot, it was hard to deny Barrett.
Smith and Mo’unga were made to look even better by the space and time provided, but it was the courage and guile of the Argentine Centres that earned their jerseys for mine.
For the Wobbs, it was great to see Bell with a rampaging return and Marky Mark just keeps getting better while Carter Gordon is clearly ready for more and may even be challenging Quade for the 10 jersey outright. We shall see.
So there it is Cobbers. Tell me I’m right. Tell me I’m wrong. But either way, give an opinion in the comments below.