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Six Nations Rugby Championships 2019

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3 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

I am surprised to see you discuss something else other than Trump.

 

Trump's not going to be around for long. I'm dabbling in other topics while I await his impeachment. Speaking of other topics, I need to finish up my notes on a retort to one of gaberlunzi's posts, and a follow-up to a observation I made on another thread about a clairvoyant's list of predictions. Lots going on while Trump's clock is ticking down. :D

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I'm watching the Italy/England game HERE but I have no idea what this ruck problem was.  I am relatively new to the game and don't know the rules.  Does someone have the time to explain what went on?  The "I am the referee not your coach" bit is at about 34 minutes.

Thanks

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In a nutshell, rodisi, the French referee Romain Poite knew the obscure rule quite well. The Italians had been using it in the first half of the game while the English were caught dumbfounded. So when skipper Dylan Hartley asked what to do with about this "ruck thing" as he said, the referee did not want to advise him because it's really just helping the England team to come up to speed with the Italians. The Italians had the advantage and it's really up to the coaches to lay out a game strategy in order to win. I'm sure by half-time, England's coach Eddie Jones would be in the locker room telling his men, "Guys, I had know idea that the Italians would pull this old trick out of the hat, but let me quickly explain it to you..." 

 

So, the big question you're asking is: What the eff is this ruck/offside rule thing, anyway? For that answer, I think Wales Online explains it pretty well:

 

The Italians Were NOT Offside

 

Quote

What Italy were doing clearly mystified many, but it was actually very clever tactics within the laws of the game. Basically, because Italy were not committing anyone else to the tackle area, Poite could not call a ruck.

  • A ruck is formed when at least one player from either team compete at the breakdown above the ball after a tackle.  
  • The moment that happens there is an invisible offside line created right across the width of the pitch.
  • In that situation any opposition player has to come from the correct side of the ruck and through an imaginary one meter gate. Hence players being penalized for coming in from the side, or not through the gate.
  • If there is no ruck formed, the only offside line is directly around the tackle area. Imagine an England and Italian player collide and a spotlight is shining on them in a darkened stadium, for argument's sake. That is the tackle area and the only offside line is directly around them.
  • The other Italians can stand where they want, and did.
  • Once one or more players from either side come through the gate correctly from their own try-line side of the pitch, that then becomes a ruck as they compete for the ball.
  • That is when the width of the pitch offside rule comes in. In that scenario the Italians could not stand on the England side as they would be offside.

Is this a new law that Italy took advantage of?

Absolutely not. It has been around for years, but clearly the Italians came up with a masterplan that threw everyone. Including the England players, who looked bewildered and even asked Poite for an explanation. James Haskell and Dylan Hartley went up to him and asked what the law was. Poite, who had a fantastic match, by the way, came up with a hilarious response. "I'm not your coach, I'm the referee. It's not for me to work out your strategies,' he told them. Brilliant, truly brilliant. O'Shea and his players clearly knew exactly what the law permitted. Provided the Italians didn't commit to the tackle area, they could stand where they wished. Yes, they were holding out their arms and greatly disrupting England's moves. Danny Care didn't seem to know what to do, because at least one Italian was standing between himself and George Ford.

 

 

If you wish to learn more about the rules of the game, the international governing body known today as World Rugby has some good information on their site. Here's a page of theirs on the laws on rucks.

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Just adding a point to the excellent points made by @GoodBob, a new rule was introduced which although there is no offside line, you still cannot touch the scrum half. So what you got was Italian players running around all over the pitch waving their arms.  

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Thanks @GoodBob.  Went to the link for the laws.  I think it takes a long time of knowing the game before being quick enough to catch the rules.

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Italy did a similar tactic 10 years ago in the 6N - not contesting the lineout, not engaging in a maul and therefore allowing one of their players to go around in open play and tackle the opposition ball carrier..

Interesting that the co-commentator on the first clip is Conor O'Shea, the current Italian coach.

 

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This argument about whether the Italian tactics were fair or not is a bit daft. They new the rules, they played to the rules and England really should know the rules as well as if not better than the Italians. The comments made by England that the game was not a proper game of Rugby is so dumb. To me it's like the Allies complaining in 1940 that the Germans shouldn't have come through the Ardenne because it's not suitable for Tanks. If it's not written down as cannot be done then you have to assume that it can and will be done.

 

I thought the Italians played well considering they are usually so outclassed.

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8 hours ago, French bean said:

This argument about whether the Italian tactics were fair or not is a bit daft. They new the rules, they played to the rules and England really should know the rules as well as if not better than the Italians. The comments made by England that the game was not a proper game of Rugby is so dumb. To me it's like the Allies complaining in 1940 that the Germans shouldn't have come through the Ardenne because it's not suitable for Tanks. If it's not written down as cannot be done then you have to assume that it can and will be done.

 

I thought the Italians played well considering they are usually so outclassed.

 

No one is saying that the tactics were unfair, it was just that the game was a farce. You have a tournament where there are 5 cracking teams and then there is Italy which now it seems does not actually want to compete. If Italy does not want to compete they should have Italy removed from the tournament. 

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On 2/28/2017, 8:15:58, French bean said:

This argument about whether the Italian tactics were fair or not is a bit daft. They new the rules, they played to the rules and England really should know the rules as well as if not better than the Italians. The comments made by England that the game was not a proper game of Rugby is so dumb. To me it's like the Allies complaining in 1940 that the Germans shouldn't have come through the Ardenne because it's not suitable for Tanks. If it's not written down as cannot be done then you have to assume that it can and will be done.

 

I thought the Italians played well considering they are usually so outclassed.

 

I totally agree, French Bean. For me, I would compare the silly-ass comments to Donald Trump voters saying, "We won the Electoral College but the liberals are not in agreement with what our president is saying about alleged voter fraud and so they should leave the U.S." :lol:

 

16 hours ago, RenegadeFurther said:

No one is saying that the tactics were unfair, it was just that the game was a farce. You have a tournament where there are 5 cracking teams and then there is Italy which now it seems does not actually want to compete. If Italy does not want to compete they should have Italy removed from the tournament. 

 

But Italy do want to compete, RenegadeFurther. :) And Conor O'Shea clearly mentioned that in his interview I embedded before. I applaud Italy for utilizing this tactic as a clever strategy. Hats off to them! The only farce about that game is the strong England team and their successful manager moaning and crying about Italy humiliating them on the field despite England ultimately winning the game. Why would the likes of the RBS Six Nations CEO John Feehan and the Tournament & Operations Director Jon Davis ban a member country for playing a perfectly legal law? Surely the Six Nations administrator would not ban a member country just to appease a couple of rugby fans who thought the game was "farcical" because it was not played in the "true spirit of the game" - that is to say, boring as fuck.

 

If there is any banning that needs to be done, make it the controversial pre-rucking/breakdownplay/onside-offside rule and not victimize Italy for simply using it. The controversial technique, by the way, was first used by an Englishman. It was former England Sevens Rugby coach Ben Ryan who trained his England Sevens squad in the maneuver for the game against Fiji in the Japan 2012 Sevens tournament.

 

Ryan said after the recent Italy vs. England game this: "I am flabbergasted with Eddie Jones's reaction to it. It is called coaching. I did it five years ago with England and it is another defensive strategy. It is easy enough to counter if you have some nous. I was amazed at his comments. He is being quite rude to people, fellow coaches who outmaneuvered him. There is a lack of innovation because if you are big and powerful you can keep the ball for long periods without having to do anything particularly creative. For a current international coach to bemoan a team that has tried something different is disappointing."

 

Check out the embedded clip in the New York Times article below. There's that brief period Romain Poite explained the law to Hartley and Haskell on the field. (Poite himself may have remembered it after the usual individual pregame chats with the team coaches. Unbeknownst to Jones, O'Shea said to the referee, "This is what we want to do in the game...")

 

Italy Exploits a Rugby Loophole, and England Cries Foul

 

As a friend succinctly told me yesterday, England played like a bunch of muppets. And here's a piece of advice to Eddie Jones: Find another obscure loophole in the laws and use that in your next game. Or quit whining as if a dingo stole your baby. :P

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22 hours ago, GoodBob said:

 

 

But Italy do want to compete, RenegadeFurther. :) And Conor O'Shea clearly mentioned that in his interview I embedded before. I applaud Italy for utilizing this tactic as a

 

This was an excellent post and I am glad that you like rugby or know the rules as much as I do. However I don't agree with you. What you are proposing is that in T20 cricket everyone should bowl under arm.

 

Rules can always be manipulated but at the end of the day you have to make the sport interesting. What Italy did was not sport.

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On 2/27/2017, 10:43:56, quietlaugh said:

 

You really think the 6 Nation organiser would allow a 27k seats stadium (  Mikheil Meskhi Stadium ) to host a 6 nation game?

If I am not mistaken most international rugby stadium must have more than 50k seats.

 

Furthermore they already have enough of a hard time selling out for the home games in Rome (warm sunny Rome) without opening a venue in Tbilissi

Italy usually play at the Stadio Flaminio which had a capacity of 30k.  It is currently being refurbished to bring it up to 42k.

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4 hours ago, RenegadeFurther said:

This was an excellent post and I am glad that you like rugby or know the rules as much as I do. However I don't agree with you. What you are proposing is that in T20 cricket everyone should bowl under arm.

 

Rules can always be manipulated but at the end of the day you have to make the sport interesting. What Italy did was not sport.

 

Or better yet, have teams like England study the rule book more thoroughly. Wasn't it Jonny Wilkinson who said during the half-time break in the TV studio that if England weren't so stupefied in that game, they could've taken advantage of the yawning chasm Italy opened up with the unorthodox play directly in front of England's tackle and charge straight ahead? By doing that, Italy would've had to try another clever ploy. 

 

Otherwise, another proposal in future rugby games is to leave the rules as they are and allow players to bowl the rugby ball underarm towards the unguarded soccer goal. (What the fudge? :blink:

 

No, but seriously, say Scotland unleashes a brilliant game plan that is perfectly legal but almost long forgotten. I'd applaud them for it, too, as would a lot of their fans. If their opponents happened to be Italy who then cries foul, the situation would be more ridiculous if they demanded Scotland's expulsion from the Six Nations because of such a masterly move (a move that involves a Scottish player hiding in the scrums and playing loud bagpipes to deafen the opposition - perfectly legal if the referee, line umpires and TMO don't see it). Seriously. :D

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On 3/2/2017, 8:50:42, sluzup said:

Italy usually play at the Stadio Flaminio which had a capacity of 30k.  It is currently being refurbished to bring it up to 42k.

 

For the 6 nations Italy plays at Stadio Olympico. I'll be there saturday :) ~73k.

 

In Tbilissi the biggest stadium has about 52k seats. Even Murrayfield has more than 65k. 

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5 minutes ago, quietlaugh said:

 

For the 6 nations Italy plays at Stadio Olympico. I'll be there saturday :) ~73k.

 

In Tbilissi the biggest stadium has about 52k seats. Even Murrayfield has more than 65k. 

 

Enjoy the match.

 

Italy v France is always difficult to predict because you don`t know which France will turn up. Also you don`t know which anti-rugby idea Italy will throw up. Maybe they will find something in the rule book which will allow rugby to be played as American Football.

 

England v Scotland looks like the match of the weekend though, the possible Grand Slam decider as I have a small feeling that Wales will beat Ireland on Friday.

 

 

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Ah, I'm quite sure that Italy will win against France. France has not been doing well for quite a long time now.

But a few days in Rome should be nice anyway!

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34 minutes ago, quietlaugh said:

 

For the 6 nations Italy plays at Stadio Olympico. I'll be there saturday :) ~73k.

 

In Tbilissi the biggest stadium has about 52k seats. Even Murrayfield has more than 65k. 

And I've seen England v Italy twice at the Stadio Flaminio.  I understand they'll be back there when the renovations are finished.  Now that my children are getting older I hope to be back there, maybe next year?

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3 hours ago, quietlaugh said:

Ah, I'm quite sure that Italy will win against France. France has not been doing well for quite a long time now.

But a few days in Rome should be nice anyway!

 

Have you seen how bad Italy are. Their only hope of a victory is messing around with the rule book.

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41 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

 

Have you seen how bad Italy are. Their only hope of a victory is messing around with the rule book.

 

We are quite used to lose in Rome. Have you seen France, we don't seem to be able to pass the ball at all :(

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4 hours ago, sluzup said:

And I've seen England v Italy twice at the Stadio Flaminio.  I understand they'll be back there when the renovations are finished.  Now that my children are getting older I hope to be back there, maybe next year?

 

Ok I really thought I had read that a minimum stadium size was necessary. My son is 22 month old, let's call this trial by fire. At least I don't need a ticket for him. 

Was the atmosphere at the game a normal rugby kind or more... agitated?

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13 minutes ago, quietlaugh said:

 

We are quite used to lose in Rome. Have you seen France, we don't seem to be able to pass the ball at all :(

 

I expect France to get the 4 try bonus point. Italy are shocking and an embarrassment to the 6 nations.

 

 

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