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Thread: Rogers pans 'frustrating union

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    Rogers pans 'frustrating union

    Rogers pans 'frustrating' union

    Saturday 23 June 2007
    By: Michael Fisher
    Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)


    Rugby union is bogged down by confusing rules and its best players are frustrated by too much coaching, Mat Rogers, the former Australia back, has claimed.

    Rogers, 31, who has switched back to rugby league in Australia with the new NRL team, Gold Coast Titans, said that he still did not understand some of union's vagaries, despite playing 45 Tests for the Wallabies.

    "I'm not surprised people struggle to follow it because I played it for five years and I still struggle to understand the rules," Rogers said.

    "The whole technical aspect of rugby is just too much. There's the line-outs, the scrummaging and the breakdown laws you have to worry about. It's just information overload in rugby union."

    The former utility back said that he and other internationals were often "pulling their hair out" because of repetitive coaching meetings that ruined much of the enjoyment of the sport.

    "In union there's meetings and meetings for meetings. It just does my head in," Rogers said.

    "There's so many coaches. Everybody wants to have their little say in rugby. It's like a power struggle off the field. You can see it in the players. Behind the scenes they are frustrated and pulling their hair out.

    "I love the fact that in rugby league we've got one coach. There's not a backs coach, there's not a forwards coach, there's not a defence coach, there's not an attack coach. The list goes on.

    "I think that's half the trouble with rugby. From a game standpoint I really enjoyed it. It was just all the stuff that goes along with it that was a headache."

    Released from his 200,000-per-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union in December, Rogers has become the Titans' leading try-scorer in this season's NRL.

    Meanwhile, the 12 Engage Super League clubs have agreed to wean themselves off their dependence on overseas signings.

    Several sides regularly field up to 12 overseas players, taking advantage of the Kolpak ruling, grandparents' origins and European passports, but now the Rugby Football League are to act to close the loopholes.

    From next year, at least five members of a first-team squad of 25 must have either graduated from a club's academy system or be under 21.

    The number will increase by one player each year until 2011, when a squad will have to have at least eight home-grown players. During the same period, the number of overseas players must be reduced from 10 to five.

    Nigel Wood, the RFL's chief operating officer, said: "This new rule fulfils a long-standing objective to encourage clubs to develop young talented players.

    "By giving them greater opportunity at the top level, it is likely to improve standards not only on a national level but also internationally.

    "Over time, the number of home-born players in a squad will increase whilst the number of players who are not academy, Super League or National League club-trained will be reduced."

    The 12 club chief executives passed the proposal at their two-day summit in Perpignan, where they also agreed to implement an overhaul of the salary cap to prevent clubs overspending.

    Under a new system to be introduced from the start of next year, officials will calculate a club's salary cap both at the start of the season and throughout it, and the club will be allowed to sign a player only if they have room under the cap.

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    Senior Player Contributor hopep's Avatar
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    Hes got some points though. Too many coaches can get confusing, unless there is a clear and coherent plan - same as in any large organisation.

    I'm not really surprised he didn't grasp some of the technical aspects of the game. But, thats one of the things that makes it such terrific sport - its more than 'bash the line' and 'crash through'.

    If leaguies have so much trouble interpreting this international game - why does the ARU continue to try to buy them?

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    They buy them because league players have a wider skill base. I would love to see someone from league come and play flyhalf.

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    They tried that with Rogers, but he sucked!!!

    I think the attraction of mungo players is that the ARU have traditionally believed their supporter base to be in the Eastern States and mungo rugby has a very high profile over there (think AFL in WA) and therefore these players are known to rugby supporters. The ARU would be using them to attract more supporters to rugby, maybe even getting mungo supporters over to rugby.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    League players aren't hired for thier intelligence, and this proves the point...If you are playing at the highest level and you cannot get your head around the rules and concepts of the game, well, there is no hope for you...
    After the good will shown to him by the ARU and Tahs when he wanted out, to be ridiculed (about his own lack of intelligence regarding the rules) speaks volumes about the character of the man....
    Indeed, why do the ARU keep persisting with this ideal of league converts being the future????????????
    As for them having more skills, i both agree and disagree with this...
    Agree with set piece play and backline performance, and ability to tackle,,,
    (although some union players are highly skilled in these areas anyway)

    Disagree with ability of forward play, structuring prolonged attack (without kicking for touch), line outs (obviously), Use of thier brain, defence, etc...

    To say that league players are more highly skilled is just crap, they are two different games with two very different sets of rules, of which some players will excell in both, but more often than not they don't...

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    Last edited by frontrow; 27-06-07 at 12:44.
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    I've never really understood the wider skill base thing - from the (admittedly limited) league I've watched, I can see that players often have to contend with multiple tacklers, may be slightly more prone to keeping the ball in hand rather than kicking, and tend to do a better job of getting distance when they do kick. At the same time though, they seldom engage in one-on-one tackles themselves, don't have monsters like Hayman or du Randt run at them, don't have to worry about presenting the ball in their own tackles, focus on ball retention first and the off-load second, don't have to focus as strongly on defending against the off-load, don't run support as often for off-loads from the tackled player, don't have to engage in clean-out, don't have to look to their own tackle support rather than get isolated, don't have to concentrate on positioning themselves through multiple phases of attack and (in my opinion) look too much for the quick fix, lucky pill, individual moment in attack rather than looking to how the team can best mount pressure.

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    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    Best place for Rogers is back where he came from, and thats where he should have stayed 5yrs and still did not know the rules no wonder he had no clue what he was doing out there.
    What can you say
    PROPS RULE

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