Sports Letters: Forward march

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The Independent Online
Sir: England's method of victory against France is just more evidence of the undesirable impact of the tackle and ruck laws. Get into the opposition's half and then run the ball into tackles and wait for an infringement; if this goes to the opposition then they can only kick for territory - in which case repeat the process.

It relies on forward power, line- out prowess and greater discipline than the opposition in not giving away penalties. All credit to England for having developed these. The unpredictability of the laws (and their susceptibility to manipulation?) makes it a very good low-risk strategy for victory. But it requires no attacking qualities at all from the backs.

Mickey Skinner was right. The only 'Jessica' you need is a good kicker at outside-half. The impact on the attractiveness of the game for spectators is self-evident.




7 March