The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

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fleabane
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The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by fleabane » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:29 pm

The Premiership is boring and needs rescuing - here is my 10-point plan to change the English game
AUSTIN HEALEY in The Daily Telegraph


After watching Japan play this daring, innovative brand of rugby, I really hoped that the World Cup would have acted as a springboard into a glorious domestic season.

Yet instead of seeing the light, the majority of Premiership teams – with Northampton Saints an honourable exception – embraced the dark side of South Africa’s relentless desire to kick the leather off the ball. The conclusion seems to be that you are better off playing rugby without the ball.

But if every team is trying to play without the ball then no rugby is played at all. If I am the boss of CVC (shouldn’t be long) who pumped £200 million into the Premiership 12 months ago, I would want to see change.

One of the ways they can maximise their return on investment is through the quality of the spectacle. That is the only way you will get bums on seats and television viewers switching over from Coronation Street. Instead the rugby this season has been massively underwhelming.

Some of that is because the season has started later so we have had worse weather. There have also been fewer England internationals playing. But more importantly it comes down to the tempo and intent of teams.

Let’s take last week’s Saracens vs Bath game. After 1min 43sec only three things had happened: the kick off, a knock-on and a scrum. After ten minutes, there had been just 20 phases when there should have been 100.

English club rugby simply cannot afford to regress at a time when it desperately needs to increase investment so here would be my 10-point plan to rescue the game. Some of these require new laws, some require enforcement of existing; most simply need a change in mindset.


1. Scrums have to be formed within a certain time period. If you can’t get a scrum formed within, say, 20 seconds then award a free kick. A lot of clubs will say that depowers our excellent scrummaging. Well tough. There’s more to rugby than just scrummaging. You hear the front-rowers over the referee mic saying ‘let’s go, let’s go’ but then going nowhere. If you are not binding within ten seconds then it is a free kick to the opposition to tap and go. That’s the only way they will learn. If they do not get their act together then they are not allowed to scrum.

2. Ban box-kicking outside the 22. Box kicking is a necessary evil, but it is only slightly less boring than collapsed scrums and marginally more interesting than Haskell on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! It slows the game down and kills ambition. Inside your 22, box kick to your heart’s content. Outside, not allowed.

3. Implement the law that states when ball is available you have five seconds to play it. If you don’t play it within five seconds then it is a free kick to the other side. The amount of time you see a ball available in the middle of the ruck but the scrum half drawing up a cosy armchair and lighting a cigar is infuriating.

4. Introduce a mid-season break. I am increasingly coming to the opinion that rugby should be a summer sport. During the winter months, not only do the conditions make the standard of rugby grim but it can’t be pleasant for a kid watching their first game when its -3C at the Rec Stadium on a Friday night. So take the first four weeks of January off. Give players and spectators a proper break.

5. And on that subject, we need to reduce the amount of matches played. The next season starts in the second week of September 2020 and finishes with the Lions third Test on 7 August, 2021 meaning an England player could theoretically play 12 months in a row. That is utter insanity.

6. Give the media more access. If you want to sell your sport in a crowded marketplace then the media are your best allies. So instead of putting up the shutters, let BT Sport follow Ben Youngs for a week in his life. Viewers want to know what the G Force of a Sam Underhill tackle or the speed of a Jonny May break is in real time.

7. Embrace the risk takers. It seems those payers are willing to gamble like Freddie Burns at Bath are being benched in favour of Steady Eddies. Everyone is playing too conservatively.

8. Promote those who don’t fit in. Rugby is producing too few personalities like Ellis Genge and Danny Cipriani. They should be celebrated rather than hidden away.

9. Automatic yellow card for wingers who sprint across the pitch to pat the forwards on the back for winning a scrum penalty. They are just doing their job. You job is to stay on the touchline and be ready for a crossfield kick.

10. Introduce an automated sin binning system so if no tries are scored after ten minutes then both sides are reduced to 14 men. If no tries are scored after 20 minutes, they go down to 13.


An interesting list!
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JP14
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by JP14 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:28 pm

Don’t agree with 1 or 10 but certainly some interesting ideas in there that should be implemented. Time-wasting celebrations should be outlawed for anything other than a try, it’s boring, annoying and not in the values of the game.
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johnthegriff
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by johnthegriff » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:34 pm

I like the scrum but agree setting it up needs to be quicker, frankly tell the refs to keep out of it, we bound on to each other, came together and got on with the game much quicker before referees made it a three or four stage procedure. Lineouts should be more speedy, there is no need for a team conference before the throw, just get on with it, any player going down in the vicinity of the line should be told to leave the pitch so play can go ahead.
Get the season back to where it belongs, rugby is not a summer game, I do not need a break from watching in mid-winter, I do want value for my season ticket the small change already made affects my summer holiday, a further change would mean I would not bother with a season ticket.
They should stop the nonsense of penalising harmless high tackles. just continue with severe punishment for dangerous tackles, clotheslines etc..
Kicking away possession rarely makes sense except in a defensive situation and when both teams are doing it, the game becomes boring, coaches need to learn they have an obligation to entertain and have the courage to tell their players to keep the ball in hand whenever they can.
Japan may have played exciting rugby but they were not in the final, and that is what counts.

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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by BFG » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:43 pm

Scrums used to be done and dusted within seconds, however it does pose dangers as this requires refs to be less picky.
It is not automatically an advantage for fitter players to do it quicker and could be quite dangerous in some cases.
Those such as Healey wouldn't quite understand.
Procedures were brought in for good reasons.
The amount of collapsing and time taken is a joke though.

Mark62
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Mark62 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:01 pm

The work of the South African pack in the World Cup final has probably given us scrummage purists another couple of seasons.
I totally agree that too much time is lot on reset scrums, but feel it is down to the players and referees to sort this out before the administrators get involved and totally devalue it.

It should just be a pushing contest so let’s get pushing

Truefollower
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Truefollower » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:18 pm

For scrums how about stop the clock, let the front rows engage add the rest then the ref shouts push and the clock starts?

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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Mark62 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:36 pm

Truefollower wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:18 pm
For scrums how about stop the clock, let the front rows engage add the rest then the ref shouts push and the clock starts?
Trouble with that is the amount of time it’s going to take, we’ve all got homes to go to 😂
Imho the issue is with the number of resets, refs need to penalise earlier if he can’t decide who’s at fault put a prop from each side in the bin early doors. A couple of high profile games where this happens and the coaches and the players will soon sort it out

JP14
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by JP14 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 pm

Or how about refs actually learn how a scrum works?
"Our Greatest Glory Is Not In Never Failing, But In Rising Every Time We Fall" Confucius

OakhamTiger32
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:58 pm

JP14 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 pm
Or how about refs actually learn how a scrum works?
Absolutely! :smt023 The only consistent aspect of the refereeing of scrums these days seems to be the inconsistency between Sirs!
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Mark62
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Mark62 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:05 pm

JP14 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 pm
Or how about refs actually learn how a scrum works?
The problem is that for every scrum that goes down there is usually an argument that could be made against either side.
The easy ones are when a scrum is definitely dominant or it gets whipped round.

IMHO the only way to deal with it is to be harsher with penalties rather than continually resetting and a couple of front rowers in the bin early doors

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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Smudge » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:42 am

Scrums are pointless if the ball is fed at 45 degrees. When did you last see a strike against the head? If they continue to ignore the law on feeding we may as well restart by stepping over as they do in Rugby League.
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ads
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by ads » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:04 am

Apart from the last point, I kind of agree with him. Maybe not quite as he's putting it but stuff does need to be done.

One thing I hate at scrum time is how long some refs hold the front does before allowing them to bind. It should be a fluid motion 9f crouch, set, bind, push or whatever the ref calls these days. Sort of rhythmic so players are ready. If refs hold the front rows too long in the crouch position it's no wonder the scrum collapses.
The 'use it' call as well, start giving free kicks if the ref call use it and they dont :censored: use it!

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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by BFG » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:27 am

ads wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:04 am
Apart from the last point, I kind of agree with him. Maybe not quite as he's putting it but stuff does need to be done.

One thing I hate at scrum time is how long some refs hold the front does before allowing them to bind. It should be a fluid motion 9f crouch, set, bind, push or whatever the ref calls these days. Sort of rhythmic so players are ready. If refs hold the front rows too long in the crouch position it's no wonder the scrum collapses.
The 'use it' call as well, start giving free kicks if the ref call use it and they dont :censored: use it!
Sir is expected to have six pairs of eyes.
Scrums are setting up on their toes to beat the opposition to the engage with force and they collapse because they are off balance.
Unless you're a ballet dancer you only need get a small shove on your toes and you lose balance let alone do it with all that weight behind you.
It's become a stupidly coached practice.
Coaches and players are responsible, they take everything to the limits and try to cheat.
They also collapse on purpose if they lose the engage and are under threat of being beat.
People are also starting to forget that players have been seriously hurt in the past.

RichieB
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by RichieB » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:36 am

How about stopping the ability to call a 'mark' as this is entirely a defensive advantage?

Mark62
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Re: The Premiership is Boring, how to improve it

Post by Mark62 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:41 am

RichieB wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:36 am
How about stopping the ability to call a 'mark' as this is entirely a defensive advantage?
Don’t know about stopping it, but it has become considerably easier, you used to be have to be standing stock still both feet on the ground to make one

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