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The Roar

Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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That’s already a law, Lano, in that a player in front of the kicker must not advance forward at all, until he is put onside by the kicker or someone running from behind the kicker.

But you’re right, you make a good point, in the sense that once the ball is kicked out of play, we do see players rush forward, knowing that they can’t be pinged for offside, because the ball is out. But of course these days, we see a lot more sides willing to take a quick throw-in, which means that for all intents and purposes the ball is actually still in play, even if it is out (if that makes any sense?). The result being that those players do impede the next play, ie the quick throw in, by getting an advantage from being in front of the kicker.

It would be an easy fix. Amend the law to prevent players who are in an offside position from a kick BOTH 1. moving forward until they are put onside, AND 2. preventing them from being involved in any play from a quick line-out, until such time that they are put onside by the kicker or an onside teammate.

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

I see where you’re heading with this josh…

Just add,

4. players can belt each other in the head without worrying about getting sent off or suspended
5. put Peter V’Landy’s in charge of everything

And the job’s done!

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

I was a big fan of the 9-point try, Perthstayer.

Teams can still elect to exit their 22 in a conventional way, but if they choose to chance their arm, or sniff an opportunity on the counter attack, then they are potentially well rewarded for it.

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

😂

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

Great to have you on board, Dave.

Thinking more about kicking from 9, I believe the issue for most people isn’t so much the kick, or the tactic (it would hardly be an improvement to see it replaced by more of the the front rowers hitting it up in close for example), but the amount of time taken, and also the amount of protection afforded the halfback (which is at odds with the ethos that rugby is a contest for possession).

I actually don’t think a 5 second rule helps a lot. There’s still not much value in seeing the halfback fluff around roll it back, and the five seconds starting from there.

There is an anomaly whereby the defensive side isn’t allowed to come around and disrupt, because the ball is ‘still in the ruck’, yet the halfback is allowed to play around with the ball, or rest his hands on it until he feels he is properly balanced and his chasers are in position. Which raises the question, ‘whatever happened to hands in the ruck?’ That’s clearly no longer a thing, the refs now focus more on players being on or off their feet.

I don’t think we could ban the ‘caterpillar’ as such, but I think the solution is to prevent the halfback rolling it back to the last man with his hand or foot. The players bound in the ruck could still heel it back, but that would carry some risk of them fouling it up and the ball squeezing out.

We would still allow the halfback time to extricate the ball from a ruck if it is tightly held in. But rolling it back at leisure is not the same thing, and the difference in these situations is obvious and should be easy for refs to identify. As soon as the halfback plays the ball without the intention of clearing it, but instead to position it better, or rest on it, the ref should call play on.

If we throw in better policing of blockers who are deliberately positioned to the side of a ruck, with a token binding, these two things should both speed play up and lead to more unpredictable outcomes. A player cannot run with the ball behind a teammate to prevent being tackled, I don’t see why he should be allowed to kick a ball behind a teammate, particularly when that teammate has been expressly positioned there solely to provide a screen.

One thing we do know, is that even if there is a variation to improve things, coaches will start to work immediately on finding a way to work around it! 😛

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

A bit unkind to halfbacks, Harry, who already have a lot of responsibility on game day (showing the props which boot goes on which foot, making sure the ref knows the laws etc…).

Apology accepted however. I know you originally tweeted this nine years ago and no longer believe it to be true.

Three easy changes to improve rugby right now

February 19th.

How the All Blacks found their wings in Newcastle

Great stuff, Harry!

Let’s hope Matt’s manager gets a proper handle on what things are like in France right now and decides his man is better off staying back here for a rest, then coming out as a dominant force in Super Rugby.

Matt Philip – the grinder, the minder – played a blinder

Talk about being damned with faint praise…!! 😂 😂 😂

How the All Blacks found their wings in Newcastle

Confirmation today Nick that Bridge will miss half of Super Rugby and Ennor pretty much all of it, as they recover from injury.

How the All Blacks found their wings in Newcastle

That would be an interesting stat, Bobby. Who is responsible for most scrums, backs or forwards?

I wouldn’t get too cocky about backs dropping the ball being the main cause – crooked line out throws are right up there.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

When I read about his death it prompted me to have another look at your book.
I bet there’s been a few stories told about the grotto over the last few days!

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

I wouldn’t trust his lineout throwing Jacko – he’d likely spray them all over the place.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Hi Noodles

I like that the ref has the TMO to assist him on matters that he hasn’t picked up, or to overturn an obvious mistake (with respect to scoring and foul play). But too often these days, it seems that as a result of the ‘team of four’ approach that is taken, they’re more looking to the TMO for affirmation.

And, as you say, it makes it look sometimes like the referee has lost confidence in his own ability to make decisions.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Good work logging all of that Dave.

We need to protect the big men and keep the balance in the game with respect to body types and strength v speed v aerobic, but yeah, that’s simply too much time being taken out of the game.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Hard to argue against your priorities, Nabley.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

I’ve never seen a shot clock implemented here, CUW.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Yes Auckland definitely tried to slow the game right down during that 20 mins, CUW. There’s a point where that’s a common sense tactic, and a point where it becomes deliberate time wasting. I reckon it’s easy enough to tell which is which and I’d like to see refs be far more alert to it.

That said, the decision I really didn’t understand was Tasman, being a couple of points down, refusing to kick for penalty from close range, but then a few minutes later, electing to have a shot from 58m!! That was nuts – even M. Hooper wouldn’t have pulled that stunt.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

There’s an argument for stopping the clock in the final five minutes, Backrower, if it stamps that sort of thing out. But personally, I’d still prefer the ref to be on top of things. The first hint of a player from the leading team standing up to reset, should be an instant full-arm penalty.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Yes, that’s where the opportunity is allbark. Have a close look at that first scrum if you can. When the whistle is blow for the scrum it’s as if the players and ref automatically switch into ‘do nothing’ mode.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

We were talking about ‘third man in’ last week Tony.

In this case Codie Taylor got penalised for pushing the player who was holding the ball. Which somehow meant that the player who tipped Cane got away scot free. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me, I must say.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

“i think in the 6 nations they have a week off after 2 games”

Yes that’s the regular schedule CUW, same in the Rugby Championships.
But obviously it’s tighter than that at a World Cup and in the normal pro competitions, and on a typical end of year tour.

I don’t three or four tests in successive weeks is too onerous at all – although it’s true in this case that Argentina have had an unusual preparation and are doing it straight off the bat.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

I doubt Johnny ever had to pay for it, Chook.
In fact, he got paid for it!
Although in the end, I guess he did pay for it…

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Because of the technicalities around correct binding and positioning, and safety, I’d say things are as close to right as they’ll ever be with respect to the scrums actually engaging, Carlin.

And refs now do a good job at allowing the ball to be cleared, even if the scrum has gone down.

But it’s all the standing around beforehand, doing not much at all, except for a bit of trash talking, where I think there’s room for improvement.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

Cheers OB. I’m still around for 2-3 more Mondays yet, but if that’s you done, all the best and look forward to doing it all again in the new season.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle