Wednesday, February 15, 2012

McCaw happy with changes

All Blacks and Crusaders captain Richie McCaw enters another season facing some adaptations to previous interpretations of the tackle and breakdown but that is nothing new.

Throughout his career the troublesome contact point in the game has been a focal point and McCaw has made his reputation on his ability to meet the needs of the law.

At least he has prior experience of the interpretations as they are intended this time around as a move back to those employed in 2010 offers the hope of more attacking room, especially around rucks and mauls.

"I think what they've decided is pretty good. Get the tackler out of the way. That has made a hell of a difference in the last couple of years so they are obviously going to be pretty strict on that from the start so that is pretty critical from the start rather than try and bring it in halfway through."

The other key element was the 'sealing off' in rucks by players and McCaw thought it was good that it was being dealt with, especially when teams were under pressure and they tried to hold onto the ball by going off their feet intentionally.

"It's going to be a wee bit tricky for them where in good, positive play were everyone does fall over you have to weigh up that but they way they have said they are going to do it they are going to be consistent with it then at least you'll know.

"So as long as they stay consistent we'll know. It will be interesting but other than that it is all pretty similar," he said.

What these interpretations allowed was the attacking team to have confidence with the ball.

"If you do it right, and you have the support there you'll keep the ball whereas the year before the tackler had the ability to lie there, slow it up and allow defensive players to get on the ball and it became a real dogfight there.

"It will reward positive play but you have got to keep it in context. That's what 2010 did, you saw more teams with the attitude of using it a bit more," he said. 

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