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HiKa

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Joined October 2014

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"Don't tell me what you believe. Show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe."

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Here’s an idea: If you win a scrum penalty on your own feed, you can’t take another scrum. You can take a penalty goal, kick for touch, or tap and go. No repeat scrums for penalties. So, if your scrum is dominant and is sure to win a penalty driving forward, you must get the ball out and use the advantage of the scrum going forward on the first occasion, or take one of the other options.
Maybe even take the same approach with lineout/driving mauls. You can do it once, then if you win a penalty, you have to take a different option. If you have a lineout then a scrum (or scrum then lineout) then you either kick a penalty goal or take a tap.
At the same time, you’d have to be binning players who deliberately infringe on defence to thwart a fair scrum, lineout or maul – which makes more space for attacking teams to tap, run and score.
This would also tend to make for time with the ball in play.

The straight story: How scrum trumped lineout in the Super Rugby AU final

Nic, how many infringements are players not being across the laws versus players choosing to infringe to get an advantage? Even if you simplify the laws, professional players will still infringe up to the point of referees repeatedly pinging them, so long as on balance, over the season, they win their team an advantage. The classic example of this is interfering with kick chasers; but at the same time plenty of kick chasers are happy to run into someone to try to milk a penalty if refs are being strict on interference.
Professional players play the refs. And let’s be clear, the coaches do too, as players wouldn’t infringe the way they do without the coaches wanting them to get away with whatever they can. As much as you may want to focus on reducing penalties to make the game a better spectacle, it can’t happen unless there is a fundamental adjustment in sanctions to make infringing less profitable for professionally motivated players and coaches.
What do I mean by that? Well, how about as a for instance, making penalty tries worth 10 points. That’s the full value of the try and conversion that could have been scored, plus the penalty as well. So, when defending players are deciding just what they are prepared to do, they know that the opposition scoring a try costs them 5 points, 7 if converted, but the most costly thing would be to deliberately infringe and concede a 10 point penalty try. (The current system of the automatic YC being the extra penalty doesn’t seem to have really been effective as a deterrent. Sometimes a YC yields points, but sometimes it doesn’t. How about making the extra penalty something that automatically counts on the scoreboard? And maybe you can then do away with the automatic YC for penalty tries.)
Another for instance to change the balance of professional decision making: Every penalty (plus any infringements on advantage) inside your own 22, you lose a player to the sideline until your opponent scores. So, if you infringe 3 times in a sequence of play defending your line, you will be left defending your line with 12. Maybe you only allow tap kicks while this is going on. They all come back on for the restart once the opponent scores any points. This would change the calculus for teams infringing to defend their line, but it would also change the calculus about when to kick a penalty goal, too, as you have an increased chance of getting a try and a decreased chance of a try being thwarted by repeated infringements.

The straight story: How scrum trumped lineout in the Super Rugby AU final

Also consider the strength of the Force locks. I don’t know it, but wouldn’t be surprised if Sitaleki Timani is the strongest lock in Australia.

The straight story: How scrum trumped lineout in the Super Rugby AU final

Just having a laugh, Ken.
But I had an exchange with Brett the other day where he questioned why so many see Valetini and Wilson as inferior at lineout time when they are in fact fairly good. I think all our current backrow options suffer in comparison to Fardy when we consider their lineout abilities. The AB’s are also now facing a bit of a drop in backrow lineout performance after Kieran Read’s retirement from test footy. At the same time, there are teams out there like the Boks with PSDT and France with Ollivon, who have 6’7″ flankers to make life difficult for opposition lineouts.

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

A bit tricky to manage OS returns with two weeks quarantine required for inbound trip. I can understand them preferring to make do with the local contingent until we get past Covid-world. That may take a while yet.

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

The moderators are very sensitive to discussion of half-backs as The Roar seems committed to being a half-back friendly zone … for some unfathomable reason. 😛

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

“(H)ow do you resolve the backrow inbalance of having a primary jumping no 6(?)”
Scott Fardy is no longer under contract at Leinster! 😛 😛 😂

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

Yep. Rodda is the glaring omission from the discussion above.

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

I didn’t see all the earlier NZ matches, but have thought Paul Williams was the best of the NZ refs this year. (Shockingly, Paul Williams was once a half-back. What is it about half-backs wanting to decide what’s what in rugby matches?)

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

“Maybe its the inconsistencies and frustrations of a complex game that keep us interested?”
Yep.

Coach’s Corner Issue 11: Is it time to bring the Europeans back home?

He does, Harry. And I even saw him jump to win a lineout. It was uncontested so Leinster might have just thought him a too unlikely target. But, Nobes is right about La Rochelle’s pack being a bit ponderous – very powerful, but not nimble. I haven’t watched any of Toulouse’s matches so don’t have an opinion on the final. Might watch the Toulouse v Bordeaux semi later today. (It’s compulsory to have a bottle while watching two French teams play, isn’t it?)

Super Rugby tipping panel week 12: Double-final extravaganza week

Yes. Skelton is certainly better than when he was in Australia, and his powerful ball carrying is really very good, but he still has the mobility of a prop when moving side to side. I think he would still provide significant opportunities to opponents in test rugby. And especially so on a fast, dry Southern Hemisphere field.

Super Rugby tipping panel week 12: Double-final extravaganza week

The Reds can’t afford to concede the kicking contest, so I think the back three must have Petaia, Campbell and Hegarty. That puts Daugunu on the bench for impact in second half.
Also of interest is what Thorn decides to do with Liam Wright, ASY and Uru. I’m hoping Thorn picks two locks to start (LSL + Smith/Blythe). Given the rest of the season, I’d prefer ASY to start with Uru on the bench for impact. Maybe Uru could be reserve lock with LW reserve backrower, but I don’t want to see LW starting with ASY at lock. That didn’t work against the Force, and while the Brumbies have their own disruptions in the forwards, I don’t think playing a final with one lock and two blindside flankers is a winning formula.

Are the Brumbies about to lose their mantle as Australia’s No.1 team? Part 1

That’s a good read and instructive. Thanks, Leahry.

Are the Brumbies about to lose their mantle as Australia’s No.1 team? Part 1

Top article, Nic. Thoroughly enjoyed reading that and learning a bit more about what’s going on in the matches I watch.

Why a moral victory was not enough at GIO Stadium

Sounds about as legit as ball carriers taking an extra roll on the ground to cadge a metre before placing the ball. Which means a lot of refs will probably let it go until WR gives a formal notice to crack down on it.

Get your questions in for Issue 11 of Coach's Corner

So when Swinton got his run for the dead rubber in Brisbane, guess who started in the second row with Matt Philip? That’s right – Rob Simmons. Salakaia-Loto was out injured. It’s arguable that without LSL being out, Simmons would have stayed on the bench and Hanigan would have started and Swinton would not have got his go at test footy. BTW, when Simmons started at lock, guess who was on the bench to cover lineout calling when Simmons went off? Hanigan, as reserve lock, because we didn’t have any other test standard lineout callers last year (in the absence of Rodda).

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

Imagine how important lineout calling is at test level if Rennie and the other selectors all agreed that it was worth having Hanigan in the team because they needed a good lineout caller.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

“pushed out of 6 at super level” Nope. See above. The Tahs issue wasn’t at 6, but at lock. They had a bunch of guys who played 6/4 or 8/4 and Hanigan was the best of them at covering 4.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

No. The Tahs had no better *lock* options, so they put Ned at 4 and Swinton at 6. If they had a good lock to pair with Simmons (you’ve noticed the Tahs were short on locks?) they would have had Hanigan at 6 with Swinton on the bench. (Yes, the Tahs could have put Swinton ahead of Hanigan but that’s because they had Simmons there to call the lineout.)

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

I guess underlying the perception is the desire to have a third lineout jumper as good as Scott Fardy and they suffer in comparison to that standard. When the WBs pitch up against a team with an Itoje or PSDT or Ollivon or Tadhg Beirne as their 3rd jumper, Wilson and/or Valetini won’t match them, which will put pressure back on the locks and the throwing. When our hookers’ throwing is top notch and we have someone like Rodda back in the side, it won’t matter so much… though it would still be nice to have a third jumper as good as Fardy.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

Hanigan was in fact a No.6 who happened to play lock for the Tahs because they had no better options, so your analogy doesn’t really work. Now, remember what happens at test level if your lineout doesn’t work? So you would have needed Simmons starting. But at his age he wasn’t going to last 80min in a test, so then who would have called the lineouts after he went off? Hanigan as reserve lock? He can manage lock at SR but not test level, which is why Rennie stuck him at 6. These WB lineout conundrums all arose from the Reds not allowing Rodda to go elsewhere in Australia (Brumbies, I think). If Rodda had been in the squad, he would have started and called the lineouts, with Simmons as cover on the bench. Anyhow, he’s on his way home. Well, on his way to his new home in Perth, so he will be in the picture next season.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

The tricky piece of this puzzle is how to make sure the WB lineout operates at Tier-1 test standard if both 6.Valetini and 8.Wilson are picked. Neither is a great lineout target (not bad but not particularly good at test level) which puts more pressure on the locks and the throwing of the hooker. Liam Wight at 7 could square that circle, but I don’t think anyone wants to put him at 7 ahead of McReight (and while some would put him ahead of Hooper, I don’t think that’s realistic either). It will be interesting to see what Rennie decides to do.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

Also ignoring the issue of having a test-standard lineout caller when the starting locks (LSL and Philip) were not calling for their SR clubs. That’s the issue Hanigan fixed. The alternative was having Simmons start rather than come from the bench.

2021 has been the making of Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini

Unless the match is played in 6 inches of mud so nobody can run fast, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto isn’t speedy enough for No.6. He’s heavier and stronger than the locks who make good flankers, and that makes him slower. But he’s pretty good at No.5. And there’s a reason the Reds moved Liam Wright out of 7 for McReight. Wright is OK at 7, but McReight is better.

Coach’s Corner Issue 10: How loose can you be?