‘Feed the backs, end the slugfest’

August 5, 2013
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Veteran Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone says it was ”poetic justice” the Chiefs became Super Rugby champions with an attacking style, urging officials to tinker with laws to ensure the sport avoids becoming boring.

Chris Dutton, RugbyHeaven

The former Wallaby is adamant the Brumbies can use their devastating 27-22 loss to the Chiefs to spur them to the title next year. But Rathbone hopes the game’s governing body changes rules to promote try-scoring rugby instead of forcing teams to ”strangle” their way to the top.

There were three tries in the final, the Brumbies scoring an intercept before the Chiefs stormed to the lead late when crossing twice. ”We’ve [the Brumbies] got some outstanding attacking players but I don’t think we got the most out of them in big games,” Rathbone said.

”We played a Test-match style to strangle teams into making errors and trying to feed off those.

Advertisement ”It was almost poetic justice the Chiefs won – they played the most football in the last 15 minutes. There’s almost something wrong with rugby if you can win a final and not play much football.

”To win the championships you have to play football. You can choke teams out of games to the point where you can potentially win the championship … but I don’t think that’s healthy for the game.” Rathbone – a 2004 championship winner who came out of retirement this year – only got limited chances in the finals series.

He went close to scoring a potential match-winner in the grand final when he chased and regathered a Christian Lealiifano grubber, before being pulled down just short.

At times this year the Brumbies set the competition alight with scintillating play and they scored 46 tries – the most of an Australian team. But Rathbone says they need to use their attacking flair at all times to win a title.

Rathbone wasn’t criticising the Brumbies’ game plan. Instead, he said officials and the laws were not encouraging teams to attack.

”We’re in the entertainment industry, we’ve got to score tries. [Jake White] is coaching in a way that gets you wins and smart coaches do that,” Rathbone said.

”The rules allow teams to play that way, we need to force teams to have to play more.

”As a winger, I probably got one touch in attack … It’s a war of attrition, you’re pinning teams with field position and one percenters.

”To the purists that’s OK. But we need to do more than that, we need to thrill crowds. In 2004 when we won the championship it was off the back of our attacking game. This year our efforts were off the back of our defence.’

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/please-feed-the-back-line-rathbone-calls-end-to-slugfest-20130804-2r7he.html#ixzz2b6CnaN93

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6 Comments

  1. avatar Brendon says:
    August 5th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Rugby is part of the entertainment business – hell I did now know Clyde has been reading my musings all these years on Ruggaworld!

    He is of course spot on.

    Just let the damn team with the ball get a proper chance to place it – as it was reffed at the start of last year! Screw daylight – let the guy first place the ball before defending team can contest.

  2. avatar biltongbek says:
    August 5th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    We’re in the entertainment industry, we’ve got to score tries.

    ……….

    A try takes but a few seconds to score, so the try in itself is not the entertainment unless you like to see a swann dive and want to award points for it, it is the play that happens before the try is scored that brings the entertainment.

    The attitude with which teams play rugby, some inventive play and variation in attack, that is what makes for entertaining rugby.

    But having said that, if you give me a Youtube video of the 100 biggest hits of the season, I will enjoy that as much as I will enjoy the 100 best tries of the season.

  3. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 5th, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Rattles needed Tomane’s extra speed and he’d have scored…

  4. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Forget the rest South Africa needs to trust its backline again.
    We need running rugby it has always been a bok strong point until the Naas came along. I hate Naas I do.

    We have the talent we just dpont have the belief, its so easy to defend against one dimensional crash ball kick and chase donkies.

    Fuck give me the ball I will show you how its done.

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 7th, 2013 at 3:50 am

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    No point in worrying about a backline until the entire teams cannot dominate the breakdown as a unit, at pace/power… for quick ball…

  6. avatar biltongbek says:
    August 7th, 2013 at 8:12 am

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa: I believe we can keep much of what we do the same, focus on those strengths, but we need to be more innovative in attack, especially when in the opposition half, this crashball dummy shit is making me nuts.

    Pass to channel one, bash, ruck, pass to channel one , bash, ruck, pass to channel one, bash, ruck………

    Kinda predictable isn’t it?

    We also have to smarten up, we saw how the Brumbies learnt from the Lions at the scrum, we saw how Scotland outwitted us at the breakdown.

    Damn embarressing if you ask me.

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