NWR 6N 2021.

Well done France. A spirited game of rugby and it epitomised what the game is all about.

I thought we were going to get swamped at the start of the second half, but luck and tenacity just about kept us in the game. Then as the game went on a French side who maybe had a bit of self doubt, couldn't quite kill off the game and allowing us back into the game.

Dupont showed his world class and looked to win the game for France in the last 20 minutes. I was astounded how he ended up with the ball in that rundown the left hand side.

A couple of technical points, the last French penalty, the push, foul play and a yellow card?, just like the trip in the first.

Secondly, allowing Henderson and Healy back on after the clash of heads the "gushed" blood? I never thought they'd be allowed back on.
 
I really thought the French would have done a serious number on us today however it was closer than expected. Some poor decisions by some of the Leinster players today (Park and Lowe) didn’t help.

To salvage our season we need to win against Italy, an in form Scottish team and an English team with a point to prove. I would drop Lowe and Burns for a start and give Park a last chance.
 
I think it was a deliberately steady performance from the French, preferring not to play too much high risk rugby. I found it a pretty dull game although I seem to be saying that a lot lately.

The red card in the Wales Scotland game was a red card all day long - not sure how there is any debate in this matter any more. Flying in from distance, arm tucked and little effort to bind, contact with the head - what more do we need to know? It was blatantly reckless. Outside of that, a very compelling contest and by far the game of the weekend. LRZ is absolute class.
 
On that basis, we’re heading towards any entry to a ruck or maul being only on the basis of a bind and engage approach as with scrummaging ie no “hitting” the rucks or mauls. Perhaps we should also penalise lowering of the head by attacking players too as you get to the point that it’s almost impossible for a tackler to make contact with anything other than the head.
 
On that basis, we’re heading towards any entry to a ruck or maul being only on the basis of a bind and engage approach as with scrummaging ie no “hitting” the rucks or mauls.
It may have to come to that. In a way, it's partly up to the players. If they stop the 'hippopotamus charges', a law change would probably not be necessary. Like you Dan, I played rugby for a long time and I hate to see some of these changes, but the data on concussions are overwhelming and the effect on some players quality of life is shocking/
 
Location
UK
I'm not sure I follow this argument. Players are getting sent off - correctly - because they're flying in and make contact with the head. If they're getting sent off (which is odds on to lose their side the game) then the problem should be short-lived as players will think twice unless they can control their impact into the breakdown. What rules need to be changed?
 
Agreed - the main issue here is the head contact, the other components mean there were no mitigating factors. That's the process that refs are supposed to go through. Don't hit the head, don't go off your feet, and then you're fine.
 
I'm not sure I follow this argument. Players are getting sent off - correctly - because they're flying in and make contact with the head. If they're getting sent off (which is odds on to lose their side the game) then the problem should be short-lived as players will think twice unless they can control their impact into the breakdown. What rules need to be changed?
A fair point Tim, but players are still getting injured. My feeling is that monster, shoulder-first clear-outs are still being coached, otherwise why would pros like O'Mahony do it? It was not an instinctive action - it was a bull charge into an established ruck. If the red cards work to stamp it out all well and good. If not, a rule change may still be required to ensure player safety.
 
A final thought - red cards ruin the game, so we want as few of them as possible. Coaches really need to be strict about four areas in particular - tackling the player in the air, leading with the arm, the off-the-feet/shoulder first entry into the ruck, and high tackles. There's nothing worse than a player being sent off after say 15 minutes which leads to the inevitable defeat of his side and the loss of a spectacle/competition. In those four areas, there are still too many mistakes being made across most teams. Coaches need to step up to the plate.
 
Coaches will soon teach players to lower their head whenever bound on at a ruck or maul to make sure they present nothing but their head to any defender entering the ruck/maul...
 
Is there a rugger equivalent of all-in wrestling?
scrum, ruck and maul (in previous incarnations) were essentially multi-participant sumo, rewarding the translation of combined and focused strength into forward motion. While possibly not as attractive as a handling move through the backs, it did result in a less congested field of play, as opposed the rugby league defence with players fanned across the field of play, so more opportunity to create a passing move.
 
Finally, with 12 positive cases in the French team, the match against Scotland is being postponed... clearly the 12th positive team member did train yesterday with the already depleted team... so we can expect many more cases in team A, B and C... to be soon found positive...
 
Finally, with 12 positive cases in the French team, the match against Scotland is being postponed... clearly the 12th positive team member did train yesterday with the already depleted team... so we can expect many more cases in team A, B and C... to be soon found positive...
The irony will be that it will presumably be replayed outside the international window and consequently the majority of players are unlikely to be released by their clubs.
 
Interesting expansion on the current laws around head contact going into a ruck from Exeter's Rob Baxter referring to Yeandle's 26min red card tonight:

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

"Is it (the red card) malicious? Of course it's not. Is he a dirty player? Well everyone knows he's not, he doesn't have any discipline issues.

"But they are the rules and if he's tucked an arm in you are deemed to be always illegal and you've got to get on with it.

Clearly the tucked arm is a substantial technical factor that is being heavily policed right now. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the current interpretation is pursuing, and I think I would argue it's an easy thing to train out of practice and I believe we'll be over this "slump" of red cards pretty soon. Most of the reds that have come up lately have displayed this behaviour.

I hope we don't see any reds this weekend for technical [and dangerous] offences like this, but I thought it was interesting to highlight what a top coach understands of the situation.
 
Clearly the tucked arm is a substantial technical factor that is being heavily policed right now. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the current interpretation is pursuing, and I think I would argue it's an easy thing to train out of practice and I believe we'll be over this "slump" of red cards pretty soon. Most of the reds that have come up lately have displayed this behaviour.

I hope we don't see any reds this weekend for technical [and dangerous] offences like this, but I thought it was interesting to highlight what a top coach understands of the situation.
The refs are right to penalize the tucked arm charge. Its just too dangerous. I think you're right that it will be coached out of the game over the next year or so. As I've said before we want to see as few red cards as possible because 14 man teams lead to one outcome and the sending off extinguishes the contest. I wonder whether there could be three cards; a yellow (10 mins), an orange (20 mins), and a red. The red could then be used only for malicious head contact and other forms of violence. The orange could be used for head contact with no intent, and where there is no bad injury.
 
Top