Saturday, November 22nd, 2008...8:10 am

All Blacks(29) vs Wales(9): It was a FM!

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Q: One painting is by the famous artist Jackson Pollock, the other is by an elephant, one is claimed as a master piece, the other is not. Which is the master peice? 

A: Here.

The divergence of spin with the view points of these painting is amazing, ranging from the fantastic art performance of Pollock to absolute ridicule for the elephant. To me they both represent what I got sent home for in disgrace as a 6 year old by my art teacher, a FM (Note: FM is defined as f**king mess!). This to me mirrors the same viewpoints of how well rugby union is representing itself as a physical contest game. Cheerleaders out there, mainly TV paid idiots say how great the game is, while those fans that have been watching the game for over 20 years see a deterioration of what was once a great contest of tactics and strategy to a dumbed down ‘run up and bash’ slash ‘force back’ style of oval ball game.

[ Just in case you missed my point: The art world (ie TV paid commentators) look at a Jackson Pollock (ie rugby union) with praise, yet those that know better (ie 20 plus years rugby fan) just see it or what it is, a FM! ]

As a game, I am just not a fan of league, but I could not leave the TV screen as the Kiwis fought to win the world crown (or 3 nations crown). Then some 8 hours latter I watched the ABs vs Wales game, and there are some striking similarities:

  • -For a large minute count of the 80 minute game both teams line up againts each other in two horizontal lines.
  • -Neither game has real lineouts: a quick pass in by league from one player to another; in union a quick pass in by one player to a small group of players. Both are pretty much the same as a contest, or no contest.
  • -Both teams run and bash hoping for the other team to miss a tackle, that usually results in points being scored.
  • -Scrums are having less and less importance: either as to there failure of execution or they are less frequent.

However league showed it has a few advantages over union in game structure:

  1. The league attacking team seam to form up better for attack, the forwards group together, and the backs spread out wide. In union the backs become forwards at the first ruck, and forwards become backs. Nearly always in union the attacking backline has several tight five member standing in the mix. In defense there is no recognise split between forwards and backs, it just a field wide trench defence.
  2. League has less foolish kicking. Union is plagued with the force back game of up and unders to break the field wide trench defense. Or should I say kick and hope.
  3. League mainly due to (1) above, have more occurrence of formatted attacking backline moves (loops, dummy runners, overlaps, etc). Remember the great days of back play by the of the Aussie Brumbies, this style of play no longer exists at such frequency in union as backs and forwards are mixed in attack far too often.
  4. The backs in league tend to attack from depth with pace (ak Brumbies play), in union as the forwards and backs are mixed, and the slow prop forward just cant make this skill grade.
  5. Less wasted time in scrummaging.

This blog is about what rugby used to be like, rugby’s best years from 1985 to 2003 seam to be forgotten, the advent of these ELVs have seen the game morphed into school yard bull rush slash force back style of rugby union. YOU MUST read my foundation posts to understand my argument.

Dont believe me, then ask your self this question: How often do you see pure back vs back contest. Answer: Very infrequently. Classical back play seen in the most recent 20 years has been removed from the game by pure stupid rugby rule setting.

Well done ABs, well done Kiwis. However the best form of the oval ball game was won by league this weekend. Rugby union continues down it’s ‘Jackson Pollock’ phase, a FM !

They may say the game was an ‘tight contest’, and hence the lack of rugby beauty, well bullsh*t comes in many forms, all ABs games this year can be grouped in the above comments.

Dam IRB rule making idiots.

UPDATE1: Having the quick lineout is acceptable, but having short lineouts is getting to be ridiculous, why, it just allows the tight forwards to stand in the back line as possible first receiver for a run and bash. Calling a short lineout hard on attack in the opposition 22 is a great for the defence not the attack as it allows defenders to spread out wide. How does a short lineout make more space out wide, or allow an even one on one contest with the backs (thats center vs center and wing vs wing just in case your have forgotten the good old days), this is a place where the AB backs have consistently beaten there opposite over the years. I don’t think the game would miss short lineouts if we went back to full lineouts only, but if IRB want them, then I insist that the forwards stand within the 15 meters from the touchline and 15 meters from the touchline restart. Otherwise how else can the backs find more space at set piece.

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