In my rugby thoughts this week I’m brain dumping on 6 Nations kicking table again, concussion again, analysis again, LV=Cup again and the NRC for the first time!
6 Nations kicking and tackling table
Similar to last time we looked at the kicking table is a good predictor to actual positions in the 6 nations with just one team not playing game. Scotland are looking better but need to learn to close out games.
Tackles is all over the place and not good for predicting the table this year.
The IRFU have produced some good videos on concussion. I watched the family member one as my playing days are well behind me, well except touch rugby. If I even get my hair ruffled I’ll be off the pitch for the rest of the game.
Anyway one of the points that is covered is the return to play protocols. Over the last few weeks a couple of Welsh players and Brown have gone through the return to play protocols. On the assumption that it’s the same for professionals as the rest of us it’s left me confused. In the video by the IRFU the return to play protocols includes 14 day rest for adults then 7 days of graduated tests (it’s longer for juniors). So according to this none of the players should have even been training never mind playing. Makes a joke of all the journalists on twitter saying how England were doing the right thing by Brown.
BTW This isn’t a european issue as Messam is going through this now in NZ, after getting concussed last weekend.
Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge said. "It's going to be close. We would certainly never risk him."
Well in my opinion, if it’s going to be close you are risking him.
Analytics and stats have been in the news this season especially whenever the kicking game is discussed or Saracens. StatsJobs has written a good piece on the maturity of stats in rugby. What we are mainly presented with are metrics as the context of those numbers is rarely provided. Have a read but basically there is a long way to go in presenting the numbers to us.
I have talked about the LV=Cup before, but I don’t think I have mentioned how I think it should be scheduled next season. Currently the LV=Cup is cancelled next season due to the Rugby World Cup. In case you’ve not heard the Aviva Premiership is starting late as it’s only being allowed to start once the group stages of the RWC are over. This means there aren’t weekends available to schedule the LV=Cup.
However I think the LV=Cup should be used as a pre-season tournament and as rugby isn’t allowed in England it could be held in Wales. Of the 8 games Scarlets, Ospreys and Dragons could each host 1 game a weekend. As Cardiff have a 4G pitch there could be one game on Friday night, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Alternatively one of the Cardiff games could be held in Eirias Stadium where they have held international games before.
Anyway that’s my suggestion for keeping the LV=Cup alive next season.
NRC in Australia is safe
The Nationals Rugby Championship (another new competition with a boring name) is apparently safe for the next 6 years. This is amazing news as a national competition at this level has been tried before and failed financially. There area still a lot of details that aren’t clear including future format and how much money there is available for this tournament. So there is still plenty of news to come off the field.
Last Tuesday we had a good #RugbyChat and not only discussed #SuperRugby but also #6Nations and how French and Irish rugby are getting on. Join us this coming Tuesday for another #RugbyChat at the below times:
South Africa 9am