Attacking England and Other Rules

2 02 2010

Encouraging article for all England fans written by Mick Cleary in the Telegraph today, in which he suggests that Martin Johnson is going to commit England fully to ‘attack’ mode. According to Cleary the England back line will read Care, Wilkinson, Monye, Flutey, Tait, Cueto and Armitage. With the possible exception of Care’s selection at scrum half, the Compulsive Hooker will be extremely pleased if this comes to pass.

Care is the faster player and this is perhaps why he is being leaned towards. In our opinion the crucial factor is speed of pass and willingness to move the ball quickly from the bottom of the ruck which is why we would rather see Hodgson given his head. Care has a habit of taking a couple of steps and then passing which means that the 10 has a crucial split second less than he might have done with a quicker pass.

The article sums up more or less exactly what we think so click here to have a look.

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SANZAR have given direction to all referees officiating in the Super 14 this year that they must sort out the tackle area and prevent defending players from slowing the ball down. In their own words they are trying to bring ‘clarity’ to an area which over the past two or three years has been anything but clear. Having looked through their guidelines there is nothing new, although they are attempting to take the advantage away from the tackler by telling the ref’s to be quick to penalise the defending player.

It strikes us as odd though that this guideline has come from the localised governing board rather than the IRB. As we enter into a 6 Nations likely to be beset with a plethora of kicks and lack of running rugby it seems that up north, we may also benefit from similar guidelines. If the IRB could take the lead on refereeing standards and guidelines worldwide it would help everyone including, and most importantly, the spectators.

These attempts to straighten out the mess created by some very wishy washy laws, particularly regarding the tackle area, are inevitably only papering over the cracks and probably won’t be too effective. The attempt is to be applauded though and shows up the IRB’s decision last year to maintain the status quo and effectively deny there is a problem.

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As nervous English supporters we are pleased to see Lee Byrne out of the Wales game at Twickenham this weekend. Byrne is a hugely dynamic and threatening player and without him Wales lose some of their cutting edge which is fantastic news for aforesaid Englishmen. We do not believe though that his actions really justify his ban as you have to wonder what the official in charge of the substitutions was doing. A fine perhaps is more suitable as to miss two 6 Nations games is a steep penalty to pay.

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