Video Analysis: All Blacks at the breakdown - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

Video Analysis: All Blacks at the breakdown

Video Analysis: All Blacks at the breakdown

After their loss to the All Blacks in Wellington, Springbok lock Victor Matfield said that “”It seems as if they are untouchable. The refs allow them to get away with murder. … I cannot say much about the ref (Alain Rolland), because I will get into trouble. But there were a few times on attack when we struggled to play because our ball was deliberately slowed down.” Just whingeing, or did Victor have a point? I decided to take a close look at the All Blacks’ “rules of engagement” at the breakdown.

This is my first video blog, so it’s pretty rough in places. But I think it raises some useful questions. Such as: is Richie a cheat or a genius? What part of “offside” doesn’t Owen Franks understand? And is Alain Rolland the plaything of Beelzebub? You be the judge.

  • Lance Free

    The virgin birth Scarfie? Love the languid commentary. Not quite as plummy as Gagger but conjures up images of smoking jackets and pipes….

    The All Blacks were given leeway to run interference at every ruck – amazing how they got away with that?

    • I thought I sounded quite manly, old boy.

    • And humour as well – my game needs upping!

      Great stuff Scarfie

    • Almost ex Rugby Fan

      Not really surprising to see how they get away with it. It’s a South African ref on Saturday, they are the best in the game because they are unbiased and McCaw will be more circumspect. He blatantly cheats and even admits to doing so. But he’s Richie McCaw, refs can’t send him off! The All Blacks play to different rules to everyone else.

      And they mock us all by doing it and knowing that they will get away with it. I wish that the rest of the world could actually see it…

      Excellent video analyses. Paddy O’Brian (a NZ’er) thinks that the ref was perfect. Please send this video to him!

    • Gumby

      Lance. Maybe PDV was right after all and it is part of a conspiracy! Nah can’t be. If anyone else had said it it might have had some credibility.

  • Richo

    Top stuff, mate.

    I very rarely think the Bokke have a leg to stand on with their complaints, but this video has gotta give anyone pause. I don’t know that Alain Rolland is Beezlebub — the devil would never be made to look such a fool.

  • RedsHappy

    Excellent first vb (+ you’ll need one after that effort).
    Very educational, to say the least.
    Nothing will convince me that these AB risks and ploys aren’t pre-calculated, then they execute, and test the ref early on, ‘test and learn, and retreat as needed’ is the model, and clever it is. The ABs are the masters of every detail, every refinement.
    Despatch this please immediately to Paddy with a ‘please sir, explain’.
    Btw, seeing this, you can empathise with some of the Boks’ frustrations over these refs’ conduct.

  • A little like the UN

    Don’t do it again, or I will tell you not to do it again…

    • For legal reasons I’d like it on the record that Scarfman is a puppet and a clown.

  • Robson

    Congratulations Scarfman. You really have put it into perspective. And to think that the bloody kiwi commentators were chuckling about it at the end of the game. Absolutely disgraceful. Those shots in the early part of the video with Franklin flopping all over the place, and McCaw off side and obstructing as well as entering the breakdown from anywhere he bloody well liked is proof enough for me. McCaw is a cheat, but he’s not the only one. Reid and Franklin are rights up there with him.

    It would almost be worth giving McCaw a broken jaw to put him out of action for a few weeks. Can someone instruct Brown to do it. We won’t miss him and Deans will be forced to play someone else. Except he’s got to do it in a place that he can’t be carded on match day.

    That video needs to go to Paddy O’Brien. No wonder Victor Matfield was protesting. The referee must have been blind as well as scared. So is Craigie Boy up to it on Saturday?? I really hope he is.

    That the ABs do these things is one issue. You’ve got to try I guess. That they CONSTANTLY get away with it is just appalling. They should never be critical of Springbok over vigerous play again. The Saffas are just responding to what they see the ABs get away with.

    So what will the WBs do? Big question.

  • Barbarian

    Great stuff Scarfy. The off the ball stuff (Franks, Smith etc) is really hard for the refs to pick up with so much going on at the ruck- they dont have time to look 1-2 metres past to see what else is going on. Thats where the touchies should come in though.

    The problem was Rolland (much like Clancy last week) let anyone do whatever they wanted in the first 20 minutes. I agree with Link here- the ref needs to be pedantic in the first 20 and really set the standard, and the game will open up from there.

    • cyclopath

      A great point, barbarian. This habit most refs have of warning
      after warning ad amnesium shits me, they would be better served to bring the hammer down hard and early on breakdown infringements (whichever they have chosen to actually ref that week) so the players know what they can, and cannot do (and what Richie can do also!)

  • cyclopath

    Nice work Scarfy.
    I have railed for years against the use of the pillars, a technique perfected by the ABs. Collins and Rodders used to be the masters of charging through the breakdown and just standing 2m offside, unbound and in the way, creating a beautiful channel to be used for a close runner or the 9 to dart through. Hardly ever saw it penalised. Now some are adding interfere / tackle opposition players to that move. Franks is terrible in that video.
    However 2 points.
    1. Viewed in isolation it all looks damning. How bad were the Bokke with regard to the same thing?
    2. It damns Rolland most of all, particularly the sequence where he does the routine of:- ignore once, ignore twice, notice but not comment once, penalise once, penalise twice and vaguely warn, penalise 3 times and specifically warn, penalise 4 times but reset the counter. As you rightly say, a problem for Paddy.

    • The honest answer for Q1 is that they were not nearly as bad. Some cheating, but much more in the normal range that we expect at the breakdown. The real penalty count should have been about 3:1 instead of 1:1.

  • Here’s the thing, if there’s one area on the paddock where you can still get away with a bunch of shit, it’s the breakdown.

    On last week’s Ruggamatrix they had Peter Marshall, ex Aussie ref supremo, and they talked about this situation specifically. His point was that you’ve got one man watching what’s going on from both sides – at the ball, through the gate, hands, staying on feet in real time.

    Right now the big focus is whether the attacking player gets released to play the ball, which means refs are looking at fuck all else. Touchies, for whatever reason, never get involved in the breakdown except for the offside line from it.


    We need to. And I wouldn’t hold your breath for Paddy O’Brien to be randomly clamping down on it any time soon

    As for the Irish refs in NZ, they were fucking stargazing.

  • Paul

    This analysis is flawed. You can go through any game of any team and hand pick some examples to create an impression. Neither the springboks, wallabies or any other team is perfect. So stop whinging.

    • Ziggy

      Well until someone actually does it all we have is your word for it. Scarfman has actually provided video evidence backing up his claim, all we have is your opiniont which is in effect a massive sweeping statement with no evidence to back it up.

    • Scarfman

      Mate, watch the tape yourself. If you can find half a dozen rucks where the ABs are legal I’ll shout the next round.

    • Almost ex Rugby Fan

      You obviously come from NZ

  • BRIX

    “I’m starting here with the haka because it might actually be the last time they’re onside”


  • Rickster

    Hey scarfie

    mate you need to catch a wake and watch the whole game….the ref did not have a god one that day, but please dont be a ninkempoop…if you watch at 80% of the clips you show the all blacks do the same thing SA and the Walla’s do all the time…

    what’s worste you show how inept the Boks were at the breakdown. When most of these things were happening the ball was half way out already and off course the team going forward gets the advantage. if you gonna do analysis then do it properly…show me a couple of the clips from the boks and you’ll see the same thing…same with the Walla’s against the Boks as well…c’mon mate i’m a springbok supporter and i can tell you we here in the republic we very unhappy with the way things went back there but at the same time if you cant tactically defuse these things then you shouldn’t be ranked in the top three.

    enough said

    • Ziggy

      “enough said”

      Seriously? People who say stuff like that clearly have no spine for real debate, more like giving your opinion and then running for the hills to avoid a response. The focus of the video was the all blacks, if the video is so wrong why doesn’t someone make a rebuttal showing all the times South Africa cheated and did not get penalised…

    • Danuk

      Maybe you should look at the clip of McCaw blocking Brown from the Blesidoe game … Even the Aussie commentators saw that one

  • g man

    the ab have used similar tactic gfor many years. i hope pocock and rocky just clean these guys up of the ball at the start to show them a message

  • Scoot

    It’s what happens when you give a tourist a whistle two weeks running. Alain Roland in particular was incredibly disappointing. He’s usually a good ref.

    Never mind that McCaw enters a ruck like he’s jumping from the top rope in the WWF doing a Big Splash. The highlight reel shows Franks entering every ruck from an offside position and tackling players. The Conrad Smith example was another good example.

    I don’t hink I’ve ever seen a team getting away with that kind of play.

  • JJJ

    We’d never get away with that with our conspicuous yellow jerseys. Refs would spot it right away, even refs focused on what the tackler is/isn’t doing.

    What I’d like to see is the blokes who are getting interfered with by the offside unbound AB players giving the interferers a hard jab to the short ribs. A few of them and they might think twice about isolating themselves in enemy territory.

    • Scoot

      I like it. Lay down the law on Franks early doors with a few digs and a bit of agro to lay down the law. I am sticking with my theme that we need to get Mongrel in this game.

  • Joel

    Excellent video analysis Scarf, Paddy doesn’t agree with you. So much so that he’ll travel to NZ to sit down with Graham Henry and then publicly criticise Stu Dickinson. Hmmm publicly criticise? Who else did that recently and is now in front of SANZAR?

    What’s good for the goose is well worth a gander at G&GR.

  • kelpie

    Great analysis. People forget far too easily that all riugby ref development, training, evaluation, selection for tests has been ultimately in the hand of Paddy O’Brien, a Kiwi, for two world cups.

  • shaun

    Hey rickster,
    You certainly don’t sound like the Saffer you make out to be – Grammatically you tried hard but at the end I think you’re just an AB stirring the pot . Nice try though.
    The video is fact – get over it. We are all aware of the truth and a crooked ref. To get that much wrong is not just a bad day at the office – there has to be total stupidity or something else in it.
    He should be relieved of his duties for the rest of the tri nations.

    For POB to endorse this type of refereeing is even more shameful – crooked I tell you !!

  • shaun

    Is there going to be an inquiry into the ref and his handling of the game ? he should be cited-
    I suggest 9 weeks !!!

  • Diego

    Thanks a lot Scarf. Way of making a point in top style and content. Now I understand more about “McCaw in particular’s – dominance at the breakdown” (bad grammar in the quotation retained).

  • Baldric

    Great analysis.
    The other issue that is not being managed is the “pillars” standing in an offside position in the rucks. If you are not bound you are not part of a ruck and must get onside.
    Maybe John Smit should have managed the referee better in the game, dunno, it is water under the bridge now. Maybe he should say turn it back on the ref to say that if he wont manage the offside play they will be forsed to, and then ruuck the hell out of the next AB on the wrong side of the ruck.
    Thanks for this great clip. I remember watching the game and thinking why are those people standing on the wrong side of the ruck. You only realise the extent when you watch it after the game and the emotion has died down a bit.

  • Happy Hooker

    I think you hit the nail on the head. The ABs ability to slow play is amazing – amazing in that they aren’t picked up for it. Surely most of the refs seem to be in envy of the ABs or perhaps McCaw charms them more than others?

    He did it again last night. Conrad Smith wasn’t rolling away in the ruck, the ball comes out (from hands in the ruck) and then McCaw runs 20m to score (from some flimsy defence).

    There were too many instances to recall though. Pocock is by far, quicker and better over the ball than McCaw (as Smith was) yet McCaw gets himself into positions which push the boundaries of offside consistently, but unless the ref can read their play and has the balls to take action (which most dont against the ABs) they get away with murder.

    I can only presume that it is the legacy of being the no. 1 side in the world and self pronounced ‘bist in the world’ – you have more sway?

  • Pick and Go

    So why was he MOTM in another hiding of the shackle draggers then Happy Hooker????
    Please remove your yellow glasses and stop drinking that Voy Boy as its clearly affecting your judgement buddy

  • Varknek

    Scarfman, this video is the best “report” I have ever seen/read about the crooking AB’s. Excellent analysis. Bravo.

    Pity this technology was not around when Kirkpatrick was at the helm.

    It is sad really for them to cheat (no, it’s not gamesmanship) like this.

  • Podacity

    Nobody seemed to mind when the Boks kick chasers were consistently offside last year and now the smartest team in world rugby can’t seem to play what is in front of them even though they’ve got the best coach in the world. When the Boks and Wobblies are good enough to provide a contest the whinging will carry a bit more meaning. Until then lets discus the skills (All Blacks) and come up with some constructive ideas regarding the refereeing (Owen Franks). Personally I agree with the theory that there is very little between the Tri Nations teams and believe when Australia get over their injuries and SA start selecting their best players we will see some close games where any errors by the refs may be critical. If not perhaps you could ask the AB’s to play with 14 men?

  • Mr Happy

    Great site guys! I posted your video analysis on my (very random) blog – – and it’s definitely getting some good air time down here in SA and is getting tongues wagging… Talk of it getting some airtime on some of the rugga tv shows later this weekend. Congrats again on a super site…

  • blackmagic

    Well done – now do one on the Boks and the Wallabies. You’ll find they have plenty of material as well. You just need to listen to the commentators from each country, as they’re always finding faults in the opposition tactics. Actually I’m surprised this didn’t come from an English fan. C’mon mate, stop ya whingin.

  • not blind

    seriously cant believe so many jumped on the bandwagon. Obvious some have no idea who/what they are talking about (reid?franklin?…who do they play for?). Both franks 1st 2 incidents were wrongly called…..1st was a fresh tackle from open play which a very near retreating franks fell over (onto the ABs side i may add), then later when he ran past the ruck in “interference” he was pulled by smit! As for conrad smith…you are allowed to clean rucks. You could debate whther he came through gate or not but that aside he had every right to clear kirchner away, and he never “tackled” steyn…steyn pulled him through & to the ground. I couldnt be bothered watching anymore “analysis”…..its clueless

  • BC

    People forget about how the NZ media after the 2011 RWC blamed the lack lustre approach referees had to the break down area in the 2010 and 2011 Tri Nations, which they claimed lead to the subsequent implosion in the quarter final against England. The bad habits picked up during those 2 tri nations campaigns was their undoing as they struggled in a rain soaked Christchurch to come to terms with Kaplan’s strict refereeing of the breakdown. Losing their captain to a red card in the 20th minute (due to continued infriggment at the breakdown) and also conceding a record 16 penalties, played straight into the hands of a limited though determined englang outfit. Comfortable winners at 21-10, the english camp (through Martin Johnson) rather cynically thanked McCaw by name in the post match function, which lead to a mass walk out of the AB team.

  • Mr Happy

    @BC – sensational..!


    Excellent discovery, now the world knows, but what is being done about it? Better not say anything or you’ll end up b4 SAZAR and get send off to the naughty corner. SA are being targeted. And why the fk do games involving SA get irish refs and not NZ vs AUS

  • Scott

    Nice one scarf! Peter DeVilliers defends himself in a SARU hearing today reqarding his comments on tour,hope he has your video as evidence! When is the rest of the rugby world going to stop thinking the AB are gods gift to the sport, bugger that mate, better this controversy is aired pre World cup, maybe it´ll be squared away by then and I’ll have a little chuckle if they can’t get their hands on the Webb Ellis on home soil, boo haha!

  • Mr Price

    If your analysis recognised the difference between a tackled ball situation and a ruck your posting might have more credibility. As it is all you are doing is pandering to the whinging conspiracy theorists from Aus and SA. Guys, you got beaten fair and square – get over it, or get used to it. As for the notion that Paddy O’Brien has instructed referees from Ireland to ignore the ABs “cheating” at the rucks, that runs your credibility even thinner.

  • Happy

    Oh Mr Price, tell me how many world cup trophies are in the cabinet?
    Sooner or later the rugby will have to follow the rules, The All Blacks better hope they know them by 2011 otherwise more tears for Richie

  • He’s been doing it all day!

    How about going through the clip you guys made of Elsom and Pocock in Brisbane and pointing out all the instances where Australia did exaaactly the same thing against South Africa, which is kind’ve fitting since they copied all of the All Bla–Reds! tactics.

  • Derano

    With the pace the All Blacks play at its hard to keep your feet. Didn’t see much there to really complain about, the All Blacks were rampant. Regarding the instance where Richie was defending his line, he had released his man, turned around and got to his feet, had a go at the ball (which wasn’t released) and then fell over (through no fault of his own) and kept well away from the ball. The last incident was similar but he left his feet due to the Springbok on his back. He does everything so quick. Slowing the ball down is not illegal, you are allowed to compete for it. Also you are allowed to clear the ruck areas., most of the Springboks cleared had no intention of competing at the ruck and took their positions in the defensive line without delay. If you get numbers at the ball you can dictate. With the momentum of attack the All Blacks had it is a bit wrong to slow everything down and nit pick, its a great style of rugby and the world should catch up.


    What? Slowing the ball down is not ilegal? You are spot on there Derano, at least for the AllCheats /McCheat it’s not. Deliberately falling on the ball – on the Boks side- that is legal. What about the obstructions all around the ruck – tackling guys when they don’t even have the ball. The AllCheats are great, always are and will be. But how about some fair play from the irish refs. The world should catch up all right, but the world is not going to tolerate this “great style” of play at the world cup. France is so gonna kick ya ass – AGAIN! So have this year’s TRI but that’s about all u’ll get.

    • blackmagic

      Oh Ougat, you’re really showing your ignorance for the game now. Slowing the ball down is NOT illegal, as it can be done easily and within the rules, Every team tries to do this. The rest of your comment confirms your ignorance.

  • Derano

    I didn’t see one case of an All Black falling onto the ball. Its harder to win the Tri-nations than the World Cup. We’ll add the Bledisloe to the Tri-nations tonight and we have every other cup, besides the Webb-Ellis, there is to win (v South Africa, v France, England, Scotland etc). We are ranked No 1 and have been forever (apart from minor blips) and currently enjoy the greatest gap ever between the first and second ranked teams. I’ve lost count of the number of tries we have scored lately and later this year we will win yet another Grand Slam. World Cup rugby is boring and its over-rated. Our current ‘World Champions’ have had some fairly dismal results against some lowly ranked sides so the title doesn’t mean much. If its some consolation to all you fans of teams that have been well beaten by the All Blacks, you are right we dont have the World Cup (yawn) but we won’t sell our souls to get it and will continue to advance running rugby, we are after all the ‘Brazil of Rugby’

  • Disco

    Why don’t the Kiwis make up a video of the Aussies & Saffas? If we do it then back it up with your own footage.

  • Mr Price

    Because Disco we are not that sad. Game’s over, let’s look forward to the next one tonight.

  • Waratah

    Derano de Bergerac is quite the muse… the All Blacks being the ‘Brazil of Rugby’

    Romancing the obvious.

  • Lee Enfield

    Rules don’t apply to the Kiwis. The All Blacks probably are getting preferential treatment, the IRB have probably realised that if the All Blacks don’t win next year, the NZ population will probably halve. Their supporters probably won’t handle another failed World Cup campaign from their team, which normally goes in to the RWC as the number one ranked team and the favourites. I am surprised the Kiwi’s haven’t gone to court to win the RWC like they did with the America’s Cup.

  • Derano

    Everyone needs to get over their bitterness. The general theme here seems to be Irish referees, or any referees for that matter, are biased towards the All Blacks. I struggle to see why they would be, no-one has offered a credible theory. Have they been paid? Are they under Richie’s spell? Are they incompetent? The theory that they are part of a wider conspiracy to let the All Blacks win the RWC is interesting. I would have thought getting them knocked out would benefit everyone else especially the home nations by opening it up. The only advantage the referees are giving is to the side dominating play, nobody is matching them for competing at the ball. Anyway the All Blacks are just going to roll on, adjust to whatever the referee’s interpretations are on the day and play open, running Rugby. My suggestion to opposing teams is to do the same. Why don’t Pocock et al copy Richie, if he can get away with it why they try it.? Are they whiter than white or not smart enough or just not good enough?

  • Lance Free

    Scarfie – Phil Kearns just mentioned your video analysis on the test pre-game show.

    G&GR setting the agenda again….

  • Waratah

    Last week it was Wessels and this week it is Kaplan.

    Wessels for dishing up a card when at best a penalty… Mitchell on McCaw

    this week

    Kaplan for (his words, “No more”) numerous indiscretions and then the icing on the cake… Woodcock!

    Why is it we Aus V NZ have to cop S A referees, why can’t we have northern hemisphere refs too?

    • abfan

      woodcock should have been sent off. but he wasnt suck it up. the abs 9 or 10 wins in a row wasnt from a referee conspiracy. why is it a win is brilliant a loss is the refs fault…talk about sore losers. your best suited to join the other soccer whingers.

  • All Black Fan

    Great game, better effort by the wallabies but that was to be expected but Waratah still with whinge whinge bloody whinge. In the words of the great aussie dingo deans because after seeing him sing your national anthem you people can have him ” you still come up short”

    • Waratah

      If drawing attention to the sub par performance of Wessels last week and this week Kaplan (supposed best SH ref if to be believed) is whinging then so be it. Poor ref performances is not conspiracy it is pure incompetence.

      Cheers mate, enjoy. I take nothing away from the All Blacks they have played all games this TN at a level beyond the Wallabies or Boks. Congratulations with all sincerity.

  • Bullet

    awesome video analysis… the ABs are a good team, they play great rugby but why did the ref allow them to do that at the breakdown? i think that’s the question here? why do this? this is something i just don’t understand. was it because of the 3-0 defeat last season and the fact that SA dominated S14. also the Boks were missing some keys players there4 it was always going to be difficult for them to beat the ABs in new zealand. there4 the ref just made matters worse for the Boks.

  • Barry

    If you want a definition of one eyed then this video analysis is a classic. Easy to see from the title alone. Not that I would not agree with some of the things said, but
    1. no analysis is attempted at all of the South Africans
    2. Not every ruck is analysis – so you only pick some,
    3. The first mention of Franks he comes through in an offside position but not touch or interfer with anyone – it is not enough to be offside
    Even at the selected rucks you can pick South African “illegalities” by his own definition
    4. at 6.26 in the video SAF on attack you see number 17 coming around the side in front of the ball, he is pushed back but has taken out a defender out
    5. At that same incident McCaw should not even have been penalised. He made the tackle, released the player, went to his own side, and facing downfield and coming from his own side he reaches over and plays the ball as he is entitled to do, the South Africans having no one to clean out. He releases the ball as he hits the ground. No penalty.
    6. Please do an analysis of every ruck of Bledisloe no 2, and check out the Wallabies coming offside, especially at 75mins when the ball comes back and there is Pocock standing offside, he gives it up by just kicking at the ball instead of picking it up, he’d given himself up, but no penalty.
    This analysis obviously deplores this years negative play, and wants to go back to the positive play of last year where we can half tries and triple penalties. This is obviously part of the campaign to change the laws for next years world cup, as happens every World Cup year

  • Barry

    PS: Please do an analysis of the 2007 quarter final NZ v France, at every ruck for that game, that would be most interesting, don’t forget to look for forward passes as well.

  • Barry – this is interesting, you know we have penalty lottery at scrum and break down, and situation changes is milli-seconds. A strong arguement for instituting the ELV sanction of a free kick. Then a team still has to actually do something to score, reducing the infuence of decisions, it would also speed up the game, and if you take a quick tap you will have won that ball from the scrum or ruck. Particulary the scrum which we all know is a lottery and it is only a restart of play for a minor offence.
    Just looked at it again
    10. 7 mins in the ABs were penalised when they where driving the Boks backward, where was the bok drive ? The ABs hit that ruck so well, if it went over it was because boks were not there
    11. 7.20 – classic reason for reverting to the ELV sanction of FK. McCaw made tackle, release back onside goes forward picking up the ball, he is only penalised because he goes off his feet and “over”, he was hit from behind, and only one Bok was there pulling him down, nothing to hold him up, it is just one millisecond you are legal then you go off your feet
    12. Openside flanker – job at breakdown, contest the ball, get a turnovers, drive and clean out. . Schalk Burger is the South African openside, and we did not see him go offside or illegally play the ball with his hands, or clean out in front of the ball – because he was not there. Please look again at this contact situations, Richie McCaw is at nearly every breakdown, but is Burger in ANY of them? I couldn’t find him.

  • Sully

    Tell you what Barry. You do a video showing what you want and send it in. And maybe it will be put up. But stop bitching about what someone else did in their spare time. Because I’m sick of hearing what one person thinks another person should have done. If you love Kiwi rugby so much go post on a Kiwi Rugby web site.

  • Derano

    So much anger Silly Sully! In Barry’s defence may I say he merely pointed out some facts to ensure some lively and balanced debate. The tone of his post doesn’t seem bitchy unlike yours and many previous. Making videos which are slowed down to look at a couple of frames in a game of 80 minutes with 30 bodies in all sorts of frenetic motion really doesn’t achieve much and is quite sad, people need to move on. People so inclined, can’t be any sort of passionate rugby player currently playing, more of the armchair ‘could’ve been type’. I have alot of respect for the Wallabies and Springboks but the squeals of ‘not fair’ is embarrassing and un-rugby-like. I understand 9 straight defeats is humiliating but you Wallaby supporters are really starting to lose it, calm down and man up.

    • Juan

      This really is laughable I stopped after 3minutes. Does Scarfman need new glasses? If it were the exact same video and greenandgold shirts pasted onto the blacks, he would suddenly see the light.
      1st ruck – Read is taking out the tackler which any supporting player is allowed to do (and you will have noticed – the only scenario where refs don’t penalise supporting players for going to ground, as they are cleaning out)

      2nd ruck – watch how both mealamu and franks are coming round back onside and getting tripped up by players on the ground or blocked by bodies in their path… even then you see mealamu make it right back around and push through the gate.

      3rd ruck – this is the best … Smit pulling Franks by the arm in a tango move where the Sth African is clearly the lead dancer and still Scarfman blames Franks …

      didn’t see any point in going on … Scarfman is either blind, stupid, or (i hope for him) just being deliberately provocative to get hits on his blog (if so good work).

      Anyway i am a Frenchman and we will beat all you Hemisphere Sud teams come the WC, one by one… then i will put up a video blog showing how the Wallabies are always fondling the referees buttocks when they think no-one is looking!

  • Sully

    Actually dumb derano losing 9 straight to a great team doesn’t bother me at all and is not in the least bit humiliating. The constant bitching about people passionate work does bother me. But by all means continue

  • Derano

    Please read Spiro Zavos in the SMH, some well balanced comments and rugby-reasons the ABs are winning, not conspiracy theories. <>

  • Derano
  • Derano

    Cant get the link to happen, but you can find his opinion at Rugby Heaven. In it he talks of “an unhelpful obsession by some of our rugby experts with the so-called illegalities in the game of Richie McCaw”.

  • Pingback: Tony Woodcock hit proves SANZAR Citing process is a farce | BlogSpot Rugby()

  • Jay

    The thing is, you don’t really even have to make another video to show the Boks cheating at the breakdown –

    In the second example John Smit enters the ruck from the side.
    In the third example John Smit tries to hold Owen Franks back from supporting the tackled player/entering the ruck
    In the fourth example, Smit (AGAIN?!!) takes a big sideways step behind the tackled player with the clear intention to impede All Blacks from entering the ruck.

    Add to that a poor basic understanding of the breakdown/ruck, and this video is laughable.

    Take the 2nd example – So Mealamu and Franks enter the ruck from the wrong side? Correct me if I’m wrong, but for a ruck doesn’t there have to be a tackle first? And seeing as McCaw is still on his feet when Franks arrives, I don’t see how it’s a ruck. And it’s not a maul either, as there’s only one Bok tackler (I note the freeze frame with 3 Boks bearing down on him, but you didn’t mention that two of them completely missed him). So what does Franks actually do wrong? The worst you could possibly say is that it’s an accidental offside.
    Mealamu, after bumping into Smit, goes around the back and enters the ruck legally (unlike Smit).

    There’s a bunch of other mistakes in there, but I can’t be arsed going through the entire thing with a fine tooth comb. The obvious conclusions are:

    1) All teams cheat at the breakdown – the fact that a video supposedly showing All Black indiscretions also contains many Bok ones is pretty damning. I mean, imagine if you were actually LOOKING for Bok cheating?

    2) The guy who made this video knows sod all about the laws of rugby.

    3) The guy who made this video doesn’t really look very closely at what the Wallabies do at ruck time, or indeed anyone else playing those dirty filthy cheating All Blacks.

  • Pingback: Bob Dwyer’s view on the All Blacks cheating and Paddy O’Brien()

  • He

    He knows so little about rugby that he’s writing articles and creating videos for one of the most read rugby sites in Australia..

    • Jay

      Indeed – perhaps that’s indicative of why Australia is so shit at rugby right now?

  • He

    Derano you’ve decided on behalf of the AllBlacks that RWC isn’t worth it and boring? Maybe go and confer with them again before you publicly state that. and not blind.. that aside? that aside? You’ve just pointed out another reason why Conrad Smith was wrong.. and clearing two players 5m’s over to the corner flag is not clearing them out of the ruck.. May as well clear them out of the stadium as its pretty much the same thing. I do agree though that a few times it does look like Franks & Co trip over (a little clumsily). Barry there’s no analysis of the SA breakdown because thats not the point.. Anyway if anyone actually read more than one article on this site then they’d realize how unbias it is.. I urge any AB fan to go back and just read the titles of some of the articles..

  • Derano


    I wouldn’t call a touch footy playing academic conducting his first video blog, an expert on the realities of breakdown play at international level. And “Green and Gold Rugby’ wouldn’t exactly allow a video blog of George Smith’s breakdown tactics to be posted. This site is for people that support the Wallabies and giving it to the ABs is a big part of that, this video suits that purpose and thats why its here. All good, there are websites devoted to people who don’t believe man walked on the moon. Scarfie as, an academic, you should know that all thjngs should be open to scrutiny, which is what we are doing to your blog.

    Conrad Smith may be slightly early but everything is happening so quick he doesn’t have the time to ponder whether the Springbok was technically in the ruck or not. This seems to be the problem with peoples perceptions. The laws between what is allowed at a ruck, in a maul or in a tackle are different. When the game is being played with the pace of that of the ABs its difficult somtimes to draw a line. Referees mostly have one chance to make a decision and I’m sure they would love to be able to spend hours going through a match, frame by frame, in order to make decisions. The referees in these games see a dominant attacking All Blacks side getting numbers to the ball and dictating play. Its the sort of rugby that is exciting and is in the real spirit of the game. Rugby is a running game and the ABs have always tried to promote that style. The World Cup is a knockout tournament. Its a big money-making machine that is highly geared towards a defence orientated game as everyone is trying not to lose. The open style of play the ABs bring carries high risk and if you dont get it right you’re gone, it doesnt mean that they are all of a sudden the 6th best team in the world.

    I’m sorry if somehow I gave the impression that I was speaking on behalf of the All Blacks. I am in no way connected with the All Black set-up and they have not appointed me as their spokesman. I didn’t say the Rugby World Cup was boring, I said some of the rugby being played was boring, especially when when it came to the knockout stage. I don’t think I said it wasn’t worth it either, there is just a great deal of importance placed on it. Every test should be special and not part of the World Cup cycle. Theres alot of emphasis on peaking for the World Cup and every game in between is related to how things will go in the World Cup.

    This site seems to be prone to individuals prone to exaggeration, misperception and negativity. Again I quote Spero Zavos, a highly respected Australian rugby writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, “an unhelpful obsession by some of our rugby experts with the so-called illegalities in the game of Richie McCaw”.


  • Ed

    Come on, the truth abt the ABs are out. SA 6 penalties per yellow card. Aussie, 7 per yellow card. and the Blacks 44 thats right 44 penalties to a yellow card. How much are you [paying the ref???

  • Derano

    I think there has been too many yellow cards. The Abs dont get many because they have been the team exerting the most pressure, are technically superior and have excellent discipline. Apart from Richard Loe, when do you see the ABs going on like porkchops Drew Mitchell shouldn’t have been red carded and Woodcock was a little lucky. I think Woodcocks case was one of tackling a man without the ball. Fainga (if someone wants to put together a video) did alot of lying on the wrong side, Woodcock could be deemed to be cleaning out the ruck area, it just so happens the man to be cleared is directly behind our side of the ruck. What makes you think you can hang around in that area?
    You know Bob Dwyer has had alot to say recently about infringements but its what he said about the quality of some of the players which interests me. You just don’t have them, thats why you are losing. Dwyer says O’Connor, the Faingas, Mafu, among others arent up to the job, but who else is there and Cooper hasn’t really been tested. If Giteau gets injured and Cooper loses confidence and form, what sort of backline could they put out and who would be sitting on the bench?
    If you guys want to start competing with the ABs forget about refs and get your house in order, at the moment Australian rugby is weak.

  • Jay

    Funnily enough, South African test ref Mark Lawrence agrees that the All Blacks play highlighted in the video is pretty much standard rugby. For all teams.

    2. Name: Mike Biagio

    Question: Hi there,

    The play by the All Blacks lately has made me very concerned, in that they are running obstructively (i.e. in front of the tackle) on defence and on attack. The means that on defence, the Boks cannot get to the tackle to compete, and the All Blacks get quick ball. On attack, the obstructive running slows our cleaners from getting to the tackle at all. This is clearly not within the laws of the game. See the you tube video “All Blacks at the breakdown” as an example.

    This is very blatant and has a massive effect on the game, however, the refs don’t pick it up because they are focussed on the ball and competition for it. What are the refs going to do about it? Perhaps the linesmen could be tasked with looking for it, as well as offside play?

    Mark Lawrence: Hello Mike,

    Thanks for you question. I watched the eight-minute video but couldn’t quite finish it, as nothing the All Blacks did, was any different to what any other team does when they carry the ball into a ruck. This is a long standing problem of attacking teams, whose arriving players don’t enter through the gate. They often then overrun the tackle if the defenders don’t contest the tackle, and end up as “pillars” on the defenders’ side of the tackle/ruck.

    As referees, we are pretty good at penalising the defenders for incorrect entry, but not so the attackers. The problem for referees is to be able to watch the defenders and attackers at the same time . We naturally watch the defenders first and then the attackers. However, the IRB and SANZAR are continually working with, not only the refs but the coaches too, in an effort to get the defenders and the attackers to be refereed equally at the breakdown.

    I guess the order of the day for the referees is “to look and kyk, gelyk” for our English readers it translates to look, watch and see everything simultaneously. Just sounds more impossible in Afrikaans.

    Don’t fear, Mike, the playing fields are level for all the teams.

    But of course, he’s been subconsciously influenced.

  • BamBam

    HA HA HA crybabies. You play to the ref’s boundaries – it’s not rocket science & is definitely not cheating. Richie is on record as saying you assess the ref, see what he’s allowing & what’s not allowed then you play accordingly. I’m really surprised other treams don’t do this? How dumb.

    It would have been more balanced to see examples of RSA behaviour at rucks so we could compare apples with apples. As it stands, this vid merely compares the ABs with . . . well, no-one. Such lop-sided research/evidence is adolescent and unhelpful. I’ve watched this match several times & the Saffers engaged in identical tactics without penalty so . . . duh!

  • Derano

    Another respected Australian rugby writer, Wayne Smith, writes (The Australian, Aug 23 2010)
    “It’s becoming tiresome, all this speculation on the legality of McCaw’s play. Let’s just acknowledge that he is one of the greatest players, one of the greatest captains ever to grace the game.” Wayne Smith is the rugby union editor for The Australian.

  • Peru Rugby

    I was interested in the amount of coverage this website was getting in the worldwide rugby media so thought I´d check it out. I was hopeful of being pleasantly surprised by some impartial and insightful analysis, but atlas, I was to be disappointed.

    Is it any wonder Australian rugby is in the bottom dwelling depths it currently is when the general populous has absolutely no idea about this beautiful game? Seriously, the large proportion of the comments on here by clearly Australian supporters or “analysts” are breathtakingly stupid and show how little understanding you have of the subtleties.

    I shall ensure I make better use of my time in future and not bother reading anything on this website again.

    Oh yeah – Bob Dwyer, you are everything most people despise about the quintessential Australian. Obnoxious and self serving. Had an unlearned reader perused your column inches they would would be forgiven for mistaking you as Gods gift to coaching. To use one of your fellow countryman´s nauseating phrases “pull your head in”.

  • Kiwi in Aus

    Its amazing what post edit CGI effects can do to video
    If the wallabies can follow the instructions of their coach maybe they will win some games….but he is a Kiwi too I forgot. Well at least let #10 make the plays to win some points….but he is from Tokoroa I forgot. Maybe include a black strip on the green and gold uniform it could help it will certainly motivate the performers

  • Richard

    I noticed that no one came to McCaw’s defence for being the only player ever know to have been given 2 official warnings! Seams to me that this could be more than a rugby problem. I societal one perhaps?

All Blacks

G'day, I started The Yellow Scarf back in 2007, which quickly became the most read rugby forum in Australia. The Scarf became part of the GAGR empire in 2009 and the place has gone from strength to strength since then. In my spare time not watching rugby, I regularly tear my achilles tendon at touch footy, as well as being an academic.

More in All Blacks