Wednesday 25 April 2018

Hindmost foot rule has to be obeyed

Stock picture
Stock picture

Noel Mannion

It is one of the oldest laws in the book and we all grew up knowing that the hindmost foot defines the offside line, but it is so rare that the rule is applied nowadays.

What we see is two or three men either side of the ruck obeying the line, but wider than that everyone is ahead of the imaginary line. The straight line has become banana-shaped.

With so many defenders living offside, when the nine passes to ten and he looks up, the option to go wide is usually cut off. Every yard is vital.

What you end up with is frustrated wingers who are seeing less ball and countless phases of the ball being banged up the middle and the winger has to wait for his chance.

This is far from one team - every team is at it - and they are spoiling the game.

Everyone wants to create more space on the pitch, but the law is there already that will solve the problem. The offside rule allows space for the game to breathe.

If I'm a defensive coach I'd think my players now have to break the offside line, but as an attacking coach it is hugely frustrating.

Most importantly, the supporters are missing out on more attacking rugby.

What difference would it make if the laws were applied like they are meant to be?

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport