Watching the usual menu of SL plus our own games and also casting an eye over the RU World cup set me thinking.
In days of old a RL tackle was usually one on one, tackle stood up and marked the position of the tackle, the man in possession played the ball and the game continued.
In the RU game the tackled play went down upon contact with the defence line, a number of defending players dropped on and formed a ruck, eventually the ball appeared usually on the side in possession play restarted.
However Shaun Edwards ruined the RU strategy when he noticed that the defending side hardly ever won possession at the ruck and so he just reinforced his defensive line, hardly contesting the ruck at all.
In the mean time RL had allowed the multi tackler stand up ruck, now an extended ruck when all players, man in possession plus several tacklers and maybe a 'flopper', slow the game down.
Looks very much as if the whole tackle scene has swapped over!!!
The RL influence has impacted Union significantly, a lot down to Edwards as you say. Back in the day, there never used to be a tackle in Union, quite different these days. RL is a game full of backs these days, even in the second row or loose. RU is a game full of forwards, even in the centres or wings. To be honest, both have their moments and their tedium. There was a guy in the NRL last week who made 81 tackles, I doubt there's 81 tackles in a whole game of Union. But that's not a criticism, they're different disciplines.
Regarding RL the way referees now bias the rules has seriously slowed the game down and in my view increased joint injuries by prolonging the tackle with the man in possession anchored by his feet.
RU are now wrestling with the RL style tackling techniques. In the 50's we had players like Edgar Bate , Elwell etc tackling in the time honoured way around the ankles, one on one.
Looking at the wider picture we have complaints about the Asiata leg tackle set against the problems in Union with head clashes. So one side wants no contact above the shoulder and the others no contact below the hips!!!!
Just how can we sort that out?
I have no issues with the RU intention to completely wipe out the attack to the head, even if accidental. The science is there regarding the long term effects of head trauma and I would like to see RL follow suit.
The whole business of tackling and referee control of the game needs looking at to speed the game up and avoid stupid injuries.
Every game at this RU WC is a sell out. To be honest, we're killing ourselves. RU is miles better than RL, let's face it. The facts are there. Our game is going nowhere, how could you argue otherwise?
I couldn’t disagree more with any argument that RU is a better spectator sport than RL. Rightly or wrongly I just cannot see it. But if the point you are making is that the marketing of RU is superior I would totally agree.