Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby News | Tags: Barefoot rugby, Lions, safe tackling Lynn Evans
In South Africa, many schoolchildren play rugby barefoot. It is not a financial issue. It is because the grounds are so hard boots would be uncomfortable.
It also removes one of the fears of contact: a foot in the face is far less scary than a bunch of studs.
I was interviewing Lynn Evans yesterday who has just returned from coaching for the IRB in South Africa. He witnessed some very interesting training and games, alongside the test matches and provincial games for the Lions. I think he was most amazed by an Under 9s game where the players were barefoot, played 15-a-side on a big pitch, with full scrums and lifting in the lineout. “Apart from the lifting and scrums, the game was like any normal Under 9s game”, he told me, “with the players congregating around the ball.”
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Refereeing, Rugby Team Management | Tags: Gethin Jenkins, Lions, Paul Wallace, rugby referees, scrum, selection, South Africa, winning the breakdown
There are two issues in world rugby that most vex coaches at the top level: the breakdown and the scrum.
Each referee interprets the breakdown differently. Many commentators say that referees “guess” the infringements at the scrum engagement.
Therefore you need to pick a team that will win the game given what the referee will do, and not necessarily what the opposition will do.
The Lions have picked a front row that will scrummage, but not destroy the South Africans. What is the point of destroying a scrum if the referee ignores this and resets the scrum every time.
They have picked a pack that will get to the breakdown quickly, so there is less chance of the ball being stolen.
So though the likes of Gethin Jenkins (loosehead) and Wallace (openside) have been on great form, their selection meets those criteria perfectly.