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Board index Super League Warrington Wolves Phil Clarke: Creativity is being coached out of rugby league

Posted by Wires71 on Thu May 05, 2016 6:45 pm
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I found this a thought provoking article from Phil Clarke. Probably explains to me why I find formulaic RL dull as ditch water and hark back to the days of Millard, Andy Greg, Davies, Blake, John Woods etc when we saw individual creativity every game. I guess Sandow is the closest we have currently.

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Posted by morrisseyisawire on Thu May 05, 2016 9:49 pm
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It isn't an easy thing for the old lips to say about anyone with Wigan connections, but Clarke is a very knowledgeable, fair, thoughtful and passionate lover of the game and this is another example.

He's absolutely right, and the sentiment is one that has been touched on many times on this forum; the business of winning games has meant the eradication (largely, but not totally) of flair and risk taking in favour of structures, percentages and one size fits all half-backs.

Make no bones about it, we are extremely fortunate at Wires in that we have a coach who encourages, rather than stifles, creative rugby even when it involves risk. We are also very fortunate that, as we did with Briers, we have in Sandow a player who plays the game from instinct on the pitch, not based on a whiteboard in the dressing room. They are a dying breed.
Posted by ratticusfinch on Thu May 05, 2016 10:01 pm
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Indeed. Just watching the touchscreen with jon wells makes me weep. I hope they get sandow on at some point. 'so Chris did you see the left side only have three markers, one a late retreating prop who had just broken a fingernail and had his hips facing the wrong way?' sandow shrugs 'dunno...just saw a gap and went for it'
Posted by Hatfield Town Wire on Thu May 05, 2016 10:57 pm
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Sandow and briers off the cuff . Enough said
Posted by Thelonius on Fri May 06, 2016 1:28 pm
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The Sandow/Briers off the cuff players are going to become fewer and further between as long as coaches and parents see winning at all costs as the be all and end all even down at Under 7's. Getting the bigger kids to take all the runs and bulldoze through the opposition gives the smaller, and often more elusive or skillful, kids little chance to develop or even enjoy the game hence they drift away.
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Posted by the flying biscuit on Fri May 06, 2016 8:20 pm
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Anyone that was unfortunate enough to watch Australia vs New Zealand will agree.
To see the best players on the planet assembled together in perfect rugby conditions in front of a packed Newcastle crowd and playing against a half strength Kiwi side and playing uninspiring rubbish was borderline criminal.

stuff going on like taking the 2 when the Kiwis were under the hammer and not looking likely to score if they were still playing now.

Then again, at 76 minutes and 12 nil up the Astonishingly Dull Cooper Cronk telling every one to calm down as they looked to start a set from there own twenty.

calm down I was already nodding off.........
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Posted by latchfordbob on Fri May 06, 2016 8:35 pm
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Clarke's a bit late to the party here. It's been going on for years.

morrisseyisawire wrote:

Make no bones about it, we are extremely fortunate at Wires in that we have a coach who encourages, rather than stifles, creative rugby even when it involves risk. We are also very fortunate that, as we did with Briers, we have in Sandow a player who plays the game from instinct on the pitch, not based on a whiteboard in the dressing room. They are a dying breed.


We are lucky that Smith is the way he is but that's not the issue here; it's the talent coming through. We're more lucky that we now have someone like Sandow to replace what we had with Briers.

Thelonius wrote:
The Sandow/Briers off the cuff players are going to become fewer and further between as long as coaches and parents see winning at all costs as the be all and end all even down at Under 7's. Getting the bigger kids to take all the runs and bulldoze through the opposition gives the smaller, and often more elusive or skillful, kids little chance to develop or even enjoy the game hence they drift away.


Hasn't this always been the way though? Maybe not under 7's but when I first started playing at under 12, there were loads of teams with one or two bulldozers.

I think it's more to do with coaching installing set moves into the players. I was talking to a coach a few years ago and he said he had a series of moves that would almost guarantee a try every time they came off
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Posted by morleys_deckchair on Fri May 06, 2016 8:46 pm
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the win at all cost mentality effects all sports... the same accusation has also been leveled at football over the years.

athletic players that can perform all over the game, in various positions, are what clubs try to produce.

now and again flair players slip through the 'net' because they are so good..... it certainly isnt encouraged at youth level anymore... people want winners, and they want them from the ages of about 10.
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Posted by silver2 on Fri May 06, 2016 10:30 pm
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Part of the problem is the flat line of attack resulting from the 10m rule. If you watch games from before the rule was introduced you'll see a much deeper attack. Consequently the players had more thinking time before impact and were able to develop and display their skills
Posted by Wires71 on Fri May 06, 2016 10:41 pm
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ratticusfinch wrote:
Indeed. Just watching the touchscreen with jon wells makes me weep. I hope they get sandow on at some point. 'so Chris did you see the left side only have three markers, one a late retreating prop who had just broken a fingernail and had his hips facing the wrong way?' sandow shrugs 'dunno...just saw a gap and went for it'


Me too. I like Wells but when I see the 'hidden workings' of modern RL with strip plays and automaton like rugby by numbers it makes me sad for the game. I can see why RU bods call our game predictable. The entertainment element needs to be foremost. That is a blend of aggression, bone shaking tackles, odd punch up interspersed with flair runs, chip throughs, and outrageous dummies.

Whilst we are at it this appealing to the ref, often with hands aloft in mock outrage, for penalties every odd tackle needs to stop too.
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