Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ollie Barrett: This final tussle with the All Blacks will be won at the breakdown

Rob Kearney tackled by New Zealand All Blacks' Adam Thomson during their rugby test match in Christchurch. Photo: Reuters
Rob Kearney tackled by New Zealand All Blacks' Adam Thomson during their rugby test match in Christchurch. Photo: Reuters

DESPITE the definite laws regarding the scrum, you can take it for this game at least that we are at the mercy of the referee until some law change in the near future. And it's French man Romain Poite who officiates this time round, so we'll see what his interpretation is of this unusual means of restarting the game.



Another area that is causing consternation is the ruck and it's here that I'm staking my few bob on where the game will be won and lost ... the breakdown.

And as soon as the ball stops on the grass in the field of play and the whistle hasn't yet sounded, arriving will be the terriers of the backrow. And this Saturday we have a mammoth encounter in store. Who will be the first No. 7 to descend on the remains of the tackle to continue or discontinue the sequence of play?

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