Woodward slams Aussies' blocking tactics

  • Other Sport
  • Sunday, 12 Oct 2003

PERTH: Clive Woodward has resurrected his campaign against what he considers Australia's illegal blocking tactics following the host nation's 24-8 victory over Argentina in the opening game of the World Cup on Friday. 

Speaking in Perth yesterday, a day before England's opening pool C game against Georgia, the coach returned to one of his major bugbears when he claimed that Matt Burke blocked an Argentine player as Joe Roff scored his late try in Sydney. 

“We have discussed the Roff try, it's back to the old chestnut of what is a block or a dummy run,” Woodward said. 

“For me he blocked him. It was very well done and very difficult to referee because of the speed at which it is happening but it is the rules of the game. 

“It is not easy to pick up, it is part of the game, whether it is good for the game going forward, that is for another time, it is a part of this World Cup. 

“You don't often see players run through defences totally, without a hand being put on someone.” 

Woodward has long argued that the tactic of using dummy runners takes defenders out of the game but having made little progress, he said he had resigned himself to following the trend. 

“We are doing it, we have to live with it,” he said. “I'm not saying I am agreeing with it, but that is the competition we are in, and we think we have stepped up to the mark in that area.” 

Woodward, however, was impressed with the way the Wallabies came through a potentially awkward encounter. 

“Australia did very well. It was a big pressure game that they could have lost and I think they won very comfortably in the end,” he said. 

“And I am sure the positives will far outweigh the negatives, they won the game, they got it out of their system and I think they will be very, very pleased.” 

“It is about winning test matches, it is not about style.” – Reuters 

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