How Barry Taylors knee was ruined (also known as why there isn’t a “dribbling rush” anymore)

Updated: May 15

Life Member Barry Taylor turned 80 in August last year. He’s in pretty good shape all things considered..all except that is for his knee.


What’s wrong with his knee you ask?.


So, it was 1962, Tuesday night training at the old top oval at Eastwood. The boys were getting ready for a big tour of NZ. Coach JT Ramm – a man known for his thoroughness and research – had decided that from top to bottom of NZ, we were going to be facing the fearsome “dribbling rush” – the Kiwis were acknowledged masters at it so we had to get better or face an Aoteroan wipeout


The forwards lined up in formation, Barry Taylor had the ball at his feet, the defenders were lined up at right angles.. On the whistle, the defenders rushed in to stop the dribbling rush by throwing themselves at the ball. Big Ron Mobbs missed the ball, got Barry’s knee, and finished Bunters NZ tour. Oh he still went along to help with the social side of things, but couldn’t play a minute on tour – it was a full season before he was right to go again

What on earth was this fearsome thing – the dribbling rush? It’s long gone from the game but for over a hundred years it was a key part of both forms of rugby


“the entire forward pack would mass behind the ball and soccer-style (aka traditional rugby too) transport the ball upfield – you were a brave man to try to stop that by diving at the ball or even trying to kick at it”


Here’s an example from the 1950 lions tour of NZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gktEJLnRaE at the 14minutes mark

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