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EDITORIAL: Boring As It May Be, Flying Fijians Must Learn To Counter Rolling Maul

Rugby coaches and fans call it boring for more reasons than one. All the teams are vulnerable to it, even the champion All Blacks. The rolling mauls are becoming a
18 Nov 2018 11:27
EDITORIAL: Boring As It May Be, Flying Fijians Must Learn To Counter Rolling Maul

Rugby coaches and fans call it boring for more reasons than one.

All the teams are vulnerable to it, even the champion All Blacks.

The rolling mauls are becoming a blight on the game and calls have been made for World Rugby to change the laws to make it a fair contest.

Whether changes will be instituted or not, it is bound to be part of the game for some time which means we need to live by the rules.

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan it will continue to be a topic of debate because this is one aspect of the game that would contin­ue to disadvantage the opposing team.

It’s tough defending a rolling maul and the easiest way to stop it is by doing it illegally.

This is by collapsing it, which carries a penalty or even player being sin-binned.

Last weekend the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians suffered its biggest defeat to Scotland (54-17).

While critics may have their own say on the game, it’s how we attack the rolling maul was what proved costly for us in the end.

Lock forwards Leone Nakarawa and Tevita Cavubati were both sent off in the first half for collapsing driv­ing mauls and, from then on it was basically game over for the Flying Fijians.

The disadvantage sapped the energy of our team and they failed to score a point in the second half although they tried to be competitive to the end.

It’s hard to win an international test match when you are a man down for 20 minutes.

Teams will continue to target us in the rolling maul, scoring soft tries in the process.

But the laws are what they are and we have to be bet­ter at defending them.

One way of stopping a rolling maul is to break it down early enough not allowing the attacking team to set a platform to drive.

But, unfortunately, Fiji and other rugby nations will continue to have problems stopping it.

At the 2015 RWC David Pocock scored a brace for Australia, but both tries were off the back of rolling mauls against Fiji.

There is nothing as dull in the modern game as a roll­ing maul because rugby should be a form of entertain­ment.

Often, the ball cannot be seen and at the last moment the ball-carrier, usually a hooker or flanker, plops down over the tryline.

Any part of the game that allows a player to score by simply falling down is never going to be interesting. The pick and drive and ruck contest are far more en­tertaining, tense and competitive.

But in the end, laws are there to be followed if we are to be part of the game.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians need to play it the le­gal way otherwise rolling mauls will continue to prove costly for us.

OSEA BOLA

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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