Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

Peter Bills: North should look south on breakdown rule

The strict interpretation by referees in this season’s southern hemisphere Super 14 of the breakdown, has transformed the game.

It’s been years since I’ve seen so much attacking rugby, so much rapidly recycled second phase possession, which is the oxygen of attacking play.

No law change is involved. All referees are doing is refereeing the exact letter of the law which says that the tackler must release the tackled player, thereby allowing him to place the ball for his back-up support.

It has made a world of difference. We’ve seen quicker, faster, more attack minded teams and the ball skills have been so much superior.

The critics may moan about defence and say the pendulum has now swung back too far in favour of the attacking side.

But I disagree. If the defending side gets more bodies to the breakdown before their opponents, they can counter-ruck and go over the top of the ball (while staying on their feet) which means they can create a turnover.

It has produced a far more dynamic, attacking rugby and the sooner that the northern hemisphere follows suit, hopefully from the start of next season, the better.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife galleries


Latest Sport News

Stats Centre