Posted by: fiore | September 26, 2008

The hot topic…

Just a couple of days ago I wrote about all this mess the ELVs are causing because every single rugby Union is adopting their own version, and yesterday we’ve heard about SARU (South African Rugby Union) dropping the additional Experimental Law Variations they were allowed to use to trial three further experimental laws known as the ‘sanctions regulations’.

Mainly the South Africans are keen to abandon the sanctions regulations to move in line with the rest of the rugby-playing world, particularly with the British and Irish Lions touring the country next June.

Of course, the two other SANZAR Unions are quite disappointed, because both New Zealand and Australia want the use of the sanctions laws to continue in next year’s Super 14 competition but because all decisions within SANZAR have to be unanimous that seems unlikely to happen.

In the meantime we have also heard from Guinness Premiership players and coaches, that after a month of playing under the new laws things are not going well.

Martin Corry, Leicester Tigers
Martin Corry, Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers Martin Corry, who played his first game of the season last weekend, said to the Daily Telegraph that the current climate was simple confusion.

“Interpretation of the breakdown is the key change. You can pick any breakdown and you can penalise either side,” said Corry.

Sarries coach Eddie Jones believes “referees are looking so hard at the ELVs they find it difficult to see the other laws.” And that “There are still problems and great indecision about the tackle and ruck and what is allowed”.

While Harlequins coach Dean Richards is particularly concerned at the inconsistencies which have brewed in the officiating, “Coaches and players are pulling their hair out because you do not know what’s going to happen next,” he said. With Jones adding that under the pressure of the new laws, referees were showing “great indecision”.

Wasps boss Ian McGeechan points out that “It seems to me that a strong kicking game and a decent chase are enough to win you a match, while anything more imaginative stands every chance of losing you one”.

But from the far side of the world we hear Wallabies coach Robbie Deans giving the impression he couldn’t care less about the ELVs.

Robbie Deans’ idea is that sanctions ELV or not, or even full ELVs or not, the game is still going to be pretty much the same.”From a player’s perspective, the game doesn’t change; the same decisions are being made by the referee, it’s just the potential consequence that’s different.

Deans has six fixtures forthcoming: the Bledisloe Cup contest with New Zealand in Hong Kong followed by matches in Europe against Italy, England, France, Wales and the Barbarians, and all will be played under the global ELVs – which involve full penalties…

BTW, how many Bledisloe Cup games Australia and New Zealand have played this year?? Far too many, if you ask me.
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