Wallabies’ breakdown needs to contain Irish Beirne

Colm Roar Guru

By Colm, Colm is a Roar Guru

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    There is a subtle balance that must be reached in Australia’s gameplan during the Irish series.

    Warren Gatland implied during the Six Nations that Ireland were a significantly weaker team when the ball-in-play time was high.

    “We looked at the stats over the years when we have played Ireland and anything over 44 minutes, we have won the games, and anything 37 minutes or below, they have won the games,” the Welsh coach said after Ireland’s win over Wales – a game in which the ball-in-play time was a mere 32 minutes and 57 seconds.

    I’m inclined to agree with Gatland and this is borne out by the stats.

    Ireland’s only two losses in 2017 coincided with the two games with the highest minutes-in-play stats. This was 43.03 minutes for the Scotland game and 46.13 minutes for the Wales game. The Irish win against an unbeaten England in 2017 had the lowest minutes-in-play stat of all Ireland’s Six Nations matches.

    These stats make perfect sense when you watch Ireland. A great phase-play and set-piece team, that struggles with width both in defence and attack.

    As good as Rob Kearney is, teams have the option of kicking the ball in-field without having to worry about being severely punished by counter attacks.

    Ireland Scotland 6 Nations Rugby

    Ireland’s Rob Kearney. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    There is an argument for playing a wide, expansive game with a high minutes-in-play stat. Even more so when you consider Ireland are at the end of their season. The risks in this come in the form of two individuals: Six Nations player of the tournament Jacob Stockdale and new sensation Tadhg Beirne.

    Stockdale is continuously improving his technique in the tackle and defensive reads. The winger scored three intercept tries during the Six Nations and takes risks that not many other players in Northern Hemisphere rugby are willing to take. If you go wide against Ireland, make sure every pass is accurate.

    Beirne is at his best when teams play a wide-wide gameplan. He floats in the outside channels and can single-handedly destroy the width a team tries to play with. He might not have out-and-out power at the breakdown, but his intellect is akin to the great George Smith.

    If Beirne gets enough game time, he is my prediction for player of the series. The remarkable Kildare-born second rower won the most number of turnovers of any player in any pro 14 season since 2010. According to Opta’s stats, Beirne won 39 turnovers (including 24 jackals) and was also the top-scoring forward (seven) in the pro 14.

    To put Beirne’s turnover stats into context, he won 17 more than any other player in the competition. In a league containing Hamish Watson, Sam Warburton, Ellis Jenkins, Chris Cloete and Dan Leavy, this is no mean feat.

    On top of that, Beirne also won the most number of turnovers in Europe’s premier club competition.

    While Beirne’s stats are elite, it’s his footwork that stands out. He always takes the ball at speed and unlike many other locks, he attacks space when he carries. An example of this is the Champions Cup try of the year that he scored for Scarlets against Bath. Instead of trying to run over Anthony Watson, he read Watson’s body angle as he approached and sidestepped him.

    His size may count against him when it comes to his prospects of playing international rugby at lock, but his versatility means that he may see game time at 6 or 8. His presence in the squad may mean that Peter O’Mahony is overlooked for the captaincy, due to competition for the blindside position.

    Leavy could benefit most from Beirne’s inclusion. A guaranteed starter and a huge breakdown presence, Leavy would be my choice as captain. He has experience captaining national underage teams and Ireland need strong communication with South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen on the breakdown.

    Getting on top of Beirne and the Irish breakdown threat will be key for Australia’s hopes of playing an expansive game and keeping high ball-in-play time.

    State of Origin 2 is here, with the Blues looking to wrap the 2018 series up and the Maroons hoping to keep it alive and force a decider. Follow along with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 live scores and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (71)

    • June 6th 2018 @ 8:37am
      Fionn said | June 6th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      So is Leavy just flat out better than Sean O’Brien at this stage if both are fully fit?

      Ireland’s depth in back-rowers is scary. Although it is nice as a Wallabies fan to finally have what looks to be a proper number 8 to go along with Pocock!

      Even with Pocock playing I am concerned about the breakdown battle against Ireland. It feels like the breakdown and line out are two areas that we could really struggle in the series, which may just decide the entire thing in Ireland’s favour.

      • June 6th 2018 @ 11:08am
        StuM said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Indeed. But you never know.. maybe Professor Pocock’s been giving Michael Hooper some helpful ‘how-to-play-7’ lessons at Ballymore this week?

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 12:08pm
        stillmissit said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        Fionn: Certainly the breakdown has been a weakness for a long time, even when Pocock is at his best. Other players seem to avoid sticking their heads in the ruck (Simmonds!) and too often Pocock has been left like a shag on a rock. We can do it and I have seen it on occasion but it is something we don’t seem to take seriously.

        I hope Hooper has his ears open as I suspect that if the breakdown does not go well and we lose, his ‘Pooper’ days may be numbered, regardless of what Cheika thinks of him. Reality of the breakdown failure will be too great to ignore.

      • June 6th 2018 @ 12:12pm
        nickbrisbane said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        Who is the ref and is it being shown on free to air?

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 12:23pm
          Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          First test Marius v d Westhuizen SA
          Second test Paul Williams NZ
          Third test Pascall Gaüzére FRA

        • June 6th 2018 @ 2:48pm
          cuw said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          if im not mistaken Beirne played 8 in the PRO 14 final.

          guess he went ok .

          he can be a great bench player – covering 5 / 6 / 8. that will allow the bench to have a genuine 7.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 6:19pm
          ThugbyFan said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

          Nick, FTA on Channel 10. Well in Sydney anyway so am guessing in Brissie also. 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm
        Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

        It’s close Fionn, but I’d go Leavy, at the moment. Leavy is having the more impactful breakdown and carrying contributions. Against England Leavy made 11 carries and beat two defenders. He also made 15 tackles. I actually think O’Brien’s future lies at 8, as he get’s older and there is huge competition for the 7 jersey.

        Pocock vs Leavy should be a fun battle.

        • June 7th 2018 @ 6:59am
          Fionn said | June 7th 2018 @ 6:59am | ! Report

          It would be difficult to get past Stander there, surely? Mind you, O’Brien off the bench covering 7/8 sounds pretty good.

    • June 6th 2018 @ 8:50am
      Sinclair said | June 6th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      My biggest fear is that we will have a midgety backrow (so lineout issues as you say Fionn) and will be constantly playing from deep because exits remain a weakness. That will lead to turnovers, penalties, points. The refs and how teams adapt could well be a big issue too; it looks like the NH refs have been ruling on rucks in a different way to those down south. Only my respect for the Bish stops me from feeling considerable angst about the coming series.

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm
        Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

        Genia’s fitness and exits will be key, Sinclair. It might not be a bad idea to run it from everywhere against what will be a tiring, narrow defense.
        The breakdown point is interesting. I feel like there is very little consistency between any of the referees’ interpretation of the ruck in the Northern Hemisphere. A game refereed by Romain Poite is almost a different sport to games refereed by Wayne Barnes. Poite demands a clear release, full support of body weight and tacklers to fully rollaway before competition is allowed at the breakdown. Barnes and Owens seem to give a lot of 50-50 calls to the defensive team at the breakdown.

    • June 6th 2018 @ 9:48am
      bluesfan said | June 6th 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      Outstanding Irish team – but if they do have a weakness then it is their outside backs defence.

      If I recall the Welsh and Scottish teams were at times about to breach the line by getting Ireland to defend very narrowly – something Australa with the likes of Folau should be able to take advantage of.

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 11:37am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

        Totally agree bluesfan.

        But if you and I can identify this, it is the safest bet in town that Joe Schmidt (and Andy Farrell) has identified this also, and it is probably not a far-fetched guess that it is one of their priority work-ons for this tour.

        • June 6th 2018 @ 11:50am
          robert said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          hey neutral did you see what world rugby had to say about england picking sheilds? kind of goes against everything you have been saying, guess the nzru would of won if they decided not to release him to england

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 12:16pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

            Enlighten me please,

            I assume you mean the quotes AP9 the former Argentinian scrumhalf? If you mix up his quotes as something that would confirm NZR having a case blocking Brad Shields and Pete Samu, no-one can you stop you from that.

            Enjoy your fruit salad mate.

            • June 6th 2018 @ 1:39pm
              robert said | June 6th 2018 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              thought he was the vice president soon to be president of world rugby, pretty much saying it was a joke he was picked and the parent rule should be scraped, he was also the instigator of the five year rule, so yeah I think the nzru might have had a chance of winning a case,didnt mention pete samu hes Australian, just like he didn’t, it was more of a case of Brad never even playing in England and getting picked.

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 2:00pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Well, you are still mixing apples and oranges mate. If he was backing NZR, why did he not offer any vocal support that they should have taken this to World Rugby?

                The most glaring thing you overlook is that AP9 is having his own Argentinian agenda. The tier one nation that would benefit the most by the Laws changes he advocates (or at least give some vocal support) is by some distance Los Pumas. All their players are born and bread Argies.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 2:07pm
                piru said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                The most glaring thing you overlook is that AP9 is having his own Argentinian agenda

                An Argentenda!

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 2:18pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                LOL!

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 4:42pm
          Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

          Schmidt has definitely identified this, Neutral. He said as much after the Wales’ game in the six nations “We can’t afford to keep conceding three tries a game.” http://www.the42.ie/joe-schmidt-ireland-defence-scotland-3875050-Feb2018/

      • June 6th 2018 @ 2:51pm
        Highlander said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 4:41pm
        Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

        Agree, bluesfan.
        Ireland have had a real problem with width in defense for a long time. It’s probably easier said than done, but even from scrum time, I don’t understand why players can’t just stand 1 meter further back from each other. Fair enough if the opposition have a narrow attack, but it seems like Ireland always give up easy meters because of this lack of width. Teams just have to give one wide pass from an offensive scrum and the Irish defense is left drifting across.

    • June 6th 2018 @ 11:01am
      Puff said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      Fionn, your concerns regarding the Irish engine room are well founded. As reiterated before, Joe Schmidt is very much a product of NZ and therefore has this belief all tight contests are won upfront. Their back three are quick and disruptive reducing time and space behind the set piece. Bernard Foley will need protection, soft hands and be much more engaging otherwise he could revert to his kicking game which is not special. I also believe Suncorp is the smart option for the first test, typical OZ conditions, loyal knowledgeable crowd and a surface that probably suits the Wallaby game. It may come down to penalties being the difference in the winning teams strategy As both teams will be conservative this weekend before one takes the ascendancy.

    • Roar Guru

      June 6th 2018 @ 11:14am
      Machooka said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

      Interesting, albeit informative read Colm… so many thanks.

      For mine, this series against your mob, will be won or lost at the break-down. Likewise, also at the line-out and the set-piece. Whoever gets the ascendency in these areas will, most likely, get the W.

      Now, having said that I’m thinking this battle may also neuter itself out… and both will need to live off the scraps of turn-over ball, or even the odd bounce of the ball!?!

      Either ways… we will all be in a more informed space after the first Test has been played.

      All the best for the series… and win or lose, let’s just hope we all get some champagne rugby! 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 12:18pm
        Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        Good article Colme, I agree with Chook. The breakdown battle will determine the series winner.

        Even though the first two tests are officiated by a South African (Marius v d Westhuizen and Paul Williams) and only the third test by Pascal Gaüzére, I never felt the referees got a handle on officiating the breakdowns correctly during Super Rugby.

        Some Teams on attack throughout the competition had a “if you can’t beat them , join them” attitude when it came to breakdown play where sealing off the ball was simply part and parcel of securing ball.

        The only penalty consistently blown against the attacking team was for players completely diving off their feet, but those who arrived just “flopped” over the ball was overseen, can’t really recall referees requesting players to reload either.

        The window of opportunity to pilfer has realistically narrowed to the point where most teams just stand off at defensive breakdowns and only the real specialists at the breakdown could compete.

        This is good news on one hand for Australia as Pocock is still one of the best, which suggests to me the “pilferer” role is now more vital than in previous seasons whereby teams would have multiple pilferers aboe to compete.

        The question is whether the referees will encourage poor behaviour at the breakdown or not, and in my humble view in the Pro14 that was one area where the European teams were a lot smarter at how to manipulate interpretations than our teams down South.

        Ireland is very astutely coached, and has alwyas had an innate ability to exploit laws with tricks and slowing down game time.

        They have done this smartly and frustrating for me against the Boks in recent years, outwitting not only the inflexibility of South African rugby players to adapt at match time, but also getting away with antics like slowing play before every line out, breaking the rythm of opposition teams and how they manage to exploit tackle laws, stretching the release of the opposition players, belly flopping etc.

        I am not saying they are the only team doing it, but they are very good at it.

        In order for Australia to win the breakdown battle they will have to be in the referee’s ear before the match, during halftime and if necessary during the match, reminding him of the Irish transgressions. Yet subtle enough to not be a nuisance.

        Pocock will have to be on the ball, but he won’t be able to do it on his own, the Aussie players whoever are first or second arrivals will have to be very accurate and physical.

        They will need to target the breakdown with intelligence and physical dominance for 80 minutes. Otherwise they will struggle.

        • June 6th 2018 @ 12:56pm
          Ed said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

          Good points Corne.

          I expect Schmidt to have done homework on the three refs, what their idiosynrasies are and has a plan for them.
          I wonder if Cheika has gone to that detail?

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm
          Ralph said | June 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

          Good post Corne.

          Adjusting quickly will be very important. You might be able to; not support your own body weight or not release the tackled man or clean out way past the breakdown or seal the ball off.

          I have a feeling they will allow a bit of a battle at breakdown, but that might be last nights curry talking.

        • June 6th 2018 @ 2:42pm
          cuw said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          @ Corne Van Vuuren

          i think the new LAW about a “RUCK” has created a big problem for the refs.

          almost every attack now is a ruck as soon as the ball carrier gets tackled in close quarters.

          most of the time someone turns the ball over only becoz a runner got isolated.

          also the LAW about clear release and tackler having to get back to his side are “in play” at the same time as ruck law. and also the law on hands beyond the ball / not supporting body weight.

          there have been times i have wondered how come the 2nd guy on the scene got his hands on the ball , when the tackler had not released the ball carrier?

          at times the arriving guy puts his hand infront of the ball and then brings them back

          at times he is leaning on the prone players. the knees may not be on the ground but is he supporting body weight?

          and ofcourse the guy who are supposed to be n their feet are not , while one or two may just do a superman thru the ruck only for a ref to say ” he had no effect on the ruck “.

          so basically what im saying is that there are many things to look at and happening – and many are let go by refs in the name of letting the game flow.

          i think what bothers or irritates players and peeps alike – is when the ref lets go a lot and suddenly as if he woke up from a nap , penalizes for something illegal.

          he may be perfectly correct – but he may also have not penalized many incidents before of similar nature.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 2:52pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

            Agree CUW, what adds to the frustration is the inconsistencies in i terpretation of the breakdown, not only from referee to referee, but within one half to another.

            However I do believe the laws now favour the attacking team, and the manner in which the referees allow the attacking team to “secure” possession is overwhelmingly in their favour

            • Roar Guru

              June 6th 2018 @ 3:23pm
              Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

              On SA’s second to last roll of the dice they were robbed by the referee. The Welsh man got his hands (and subsequently won a penalty) on the ball only after he had been hit by a Springbok which now constitutes a ruck. Can’t find a reply but I’m sure it was in a kickable position.

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                Kane, there is so much wrong with SA rugby I can’t blame referees anymore for our losses.

                It is frustrating yes, but if we played good rugby we should win matches more often

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 3:33pm
                Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

                I still think you’ll win the series against England.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 3:25pm
            Hoy said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

            The only thing now that I see as strange with the ruck laws, is say a bloke gets tackled, and pops the ball up… not sure you saw it or not the Reds V Tahs, the Reds halfback Sorovi made a half break, got tackled low, popped the ball back to support, only it went straight to Hooper… now by all rights these days, it was a ruck, Hooper was offside and shouldn’t have been able to catch the pass, as he was on the QLD side, and not through the gate, but it was let go. I mean that is the traditional way, and I have no problem with it, but does anyone know if I have my understanding of the new rules wrong in this case?

            The minute there is a tackle, there is a line drawn across the field, and two sides: offside/onside are there.

            • Roar Guru

              June 6th 2018 @ 3:34pm
              Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

              It’s not a ruck until the first man arrives on his feet (either team, doesn’t matter).

              I didn’t see it but it sounds that Hooper was within his rights. The old rules were that you needed one from each team on their feet over the ball to form a ruck. Now it is just one.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 11:24am
                Hoy said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                Thanks Kane… makes sense… in my mind, I think I thought the line was drawn immediately, because the tackled player has to go through the gate, regardless of whether there is another player there or not… but as you say, that is obviously just for that individual, and until a ruck, Hooper is free and easy wherever he floats… fair enough. Play on.

            • Roar Guru

              June 6th 2018 @ 3:34pm
              Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

              I might be wrong, not sure this part of the law has changed. There must be a second player at the ruck from the attacking team, thus creating a ruck and offside line.

              But it is also ambiguous because the tackler has to release the tackled player and come through the gate which suggests there is already an offside line created before the arrival of supporting players?

              • June 6th 2018 @ 5:50pm
                cuw said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                i have seen some refs penalize based on the tackler having to come thru the gate LAW.

                think i saw it in one BLUES game when the flanker who tackled was straddling the tacklee.

                the ref said he has to have both feet on his side – so i guess the idea is the offside line is basically the tacklee on the ground.

                i really have no idea when it is a tackle and when it is a ruck – simply becoz now many guys run in twos to a waiting defender or two.

                how often do u see one on one tackles in XVs ? very few , coz most of the action is close-quarters .

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:49pm
                Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                The tackler must retire and re enter the gate if having a crack at the ball, so yes correctly penalised.

            • Roar Guru

              June 6th 2018 @ 3:37pm
              Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

              I don’t think it specifies attacking or defending it’s just one person. (could be wrong)

              There is an offside line at the tackle once the tackles completed, cast your mind back to England v Italy last year where the English had no answer to the Italians no ruck tactic.

              They weren’t allowed to enter the tackle from the side but they were allowed to stand in the backline. No offside apart from tackle

              • June 6th 2018 @ 5:58pm
                cuw said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                i think ur talking about MAUL DEFENCE.

                the way i understood it was that unless the defending team engaged the attacking team no maul is created

                therefore the defender can attack the ball carrier.

                at the same time this has been made clear in recent super matches – i think in one Blues match?

                the ref said if at the lineout the jumper comes down and does not transfer the ball back then it is not a maul .

                but if the jumper successfully thru the hands manages to transfer the ball back then it becomes a maul.

                TBH i could not understand any of it – when the commentary stepped in and tried to explain the whole thing saying that the defending team had to first see if the ball is transfered back or still with the catcher and then tackle.

                i cant remember which match but the players were also confused with all those interpretations and explanations of ref – so it was nothing for me 😀

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:53pm
                Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                No I’m definitely talking about ruck/tackle.

                In the English Italian game last year the Italians would make a tackle but not send anyone in to make a ruck (needed to have one from each team over the ball to create a ruck).

                The referee would not allow them to come round and attack the ball as you would a maul if no defenders had engage, calling it offside at the tackle. But the referee would allow them to stand in the oppositions backline to prevent the halfback passing.

                Didn’t see the Blues game but the maul defence what I believe they’re referring to is, you still need a defender to create a maul. But if the ball is transferred before the defender joins then it become obstruction as you have someone in front of the ball carrier, if the jumper hasn’t transferred then he’s in front of all his own players there for not obstructing, he needs to be hit before passing the ball back to create a legal maul.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 3:28pm
          Machooka said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

          Excellent comment biltongbek 😉

          And while I’m at it… good luck with your mob against those English types.

          Should be a cracker of a series!

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 4:44pm
          Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

          Thanks Corne, really good summary.
          Completely understand the annoyance around sealing off the ball. I’m just looking for any sort of consistency from refs at the breakdown, at this stage. Some referees seem to have no issue or are completely oblivious to tacklers rolling into the path of the attempted clearers or making no attempt to roll away. This inevitably leads to players sealing off and if the referee favours the defensive team unwatchable rugby, see Champions cup final.

          As a side note, good luck to your Springboks against England. The second-row battle will be interesting, as that is the one area where England will feel they have an advantage. Really hope RG Snyman can translate his super rugby form into International rugby.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 5:35pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

            Agree consistency from referees is needed, but I think World Rugby is to blame, why aren’t they ensuring everey referee sings from the same book?

            As for the English series, we’ll wait and see, after the absolute poor performance last weekend I have little fait left

            • June 6th 2018 @ 6:09pm
              cuw said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

              ur irritation am sure will take center stage – if these nipple tackle trials become serious.

              the issue is – they have looked at just one situ , where an upright or maybe slightly bent runner is being tackled by an upright or a slightly bent defender.

              BUT what about the rucks and the ruck clearance?

              many guys are flying in at the ruck – knee high – like the guy in X-Men who runs thru walls !!!

              then how do u legally clear people out at a ruck AND what about those who are flopping around?

              i just wonder about this whole ” concern for safety thingy “.

              did u see the squire tackle on savea – that escaleted into a fight , a citing and a reprieve by judging panel.

              that is a situation that can happen at most rucks. on the one hand defenders are required to hit the attackers in order to continue the contest.

              on the other hand at certain events in rugger , it is becoming very difficult to execute within the legal parameters.

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:55pm
                Kane said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

                The issue I have with the nipple line is that World Rugbys own research show that 70% of concussions occur to the tackler not the tackled player. So start penalising people for putting their head in stupid places when trying to tackle, TPN and Saia Faingaa come to mind.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 6:53am
          taylorman said | June 7th 2018 @ 6:53am | ! Report

          Pocock may be one if the best iver the ball but hes also a specialist in that area, an area which is fast becoming a skill across all 15 players so imo hes going to have to broaden his skilset to have the same ongoing impact. Centres and wingers are now taking on the pilferer role so Pococks going to find himself in competition with more players ongoing. Its no longer a specialists role, no matter how good he is at it.

          • June 7th 2018 @ 6:58am
            Fionn said | June 7th 2018 @ 6:58am | ! Report

            Comments like this, Taylorman, make me wonder if you’ve actually watched either Pocock play this year or the new ruck laws, or whether you prepared this comment back in 2016.

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 2:28pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

            That was much more evident last year tman, this year not so much.

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 4:42pm
        Colm said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

        Cheers Machooka.
        Should be a cracker of a series. Would love to be in Australia for the series, but instead I will be in Spain sipping on Champagne.
        Talking of Champagne, some champagne company needs to get in and sponsor the The Roar. It seems like every article I’ve read on the The Roar has had some reference to champagne in the comments.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 5:44pm
          Machooka said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

          Champagne in Spain… wtf!?!

          No, no, no… some chilled sparkling wine maybe, but when in Spain it’s vino tinto Rioja amigo 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      June 6th 2018 @ 12:38pm
      The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

      In order for Australia to win the breakdown battle they will have to be in the referee’s ear before the match, during halftime and if necessary during the match, reminding him of the Irish transgressions. Yet subtle enough to not be a nuisance.

      A big worry here is that Captain Hooper’s horse whispering skills with refs are not that great.

      Overall, a top comment Corne. Thanks.

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