Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tracey Nelson: Rugby's answer to Robert Fisk

There are many sports journalists I regularly read and whose expertise I admire. Tracey Nelson, of the haka website, is near the top of the pack because unlike most others, her commentary is grounded on a thorough and complete empirical analysis of the game. Her latest online analysis, of the last Bledisloe, is here and I hope she's going to post an analysis of the more recent game against the Boks (Tracey if you stumble across this humble blog, please include the stats on the kicks in game)

Note the penalty count for the game, Australia incurred 16 (5 of which resulted in advantage to the All Blacks including one advantage that lead to a try) compared with 4 incurred by the All Blacks. I guess that reinforces Helen Clark's view from the stand?

Nelson's view, which you'll struggle to argue with based on her analysis, is that although the Wallabies were playing outside the laws of the game, all three match referees have to take the blame for not control of the game in the first place.


Cheezy said...

This is very interesting from my point of view.. please bear in mind that I moved to the UK around 3 years ago and have thusly seen next-to-no rugby since then... But the opinion I formed from a few years of watching rugby before then was that the Wallabies are masters of standing slightly offside without the officials actually nailing them for being offside... I reckon that's a big reason why they won the 2003 WC semi-final... No sour grapes, I just think they pushed the law to it's utter limit and got away with it... As for the spear tackles, both Umaga and Tuqiri are equally guilty of pretty frightful, deliberate violations here... but these have always been a part of the game, and are the game's responsibility to deal with.

backin15 said...

Australia certainly defended right on the advantage line for a long time, a tactic made possible by their forward pack. Now that they've no longer got forwards who dominate the break down, and need to commit more players to the ball, they're struggling (they're struggling even more in set pieces). Cheating is a relative issue though, a matter determined on the day by the particular officials.