Thursday, 1 May 2008

Thirteen...unlucky for some

Well, I guess it was too much to expect the IRB not to make a complete dog's breakfast of the whole ELV trial implementation, so it's not exactly a shock to hear the news that, for a 12 month period starting on 1st August 2008, a global trial will take place of 13 of the 23 proposed ELVs.

Words like "important milestone" were bandied about by IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset when the announcement was made today that some ELVs will be trialled throughout the game, some ELVs (mainly the free kicks instead of penalties nonsense) would be trialled in a selected 'elite' Northern Hemisphere competition (I vote for the meaningless Anglo-Welsh tin cup), some (including the daft handling in the ruck idea) will be referred back to the shadowy Laws Project Group for further reflection (or filing in the nearest bin) and the Southern Hemisphere will continue to go their own merry way continuing to play to their own rules until summer 2009.

For "important milestone" read "utter shambles."

The 13 ELVs to be inflicted on us are:

  1. Assistant Referees can assist referees in any manner required when appointed by a match organiser [Fair enough - no big deal]
  2. The corner posts are no longer considered to be in touch in-goal except when a ball is grounded against the post [sensible]
  3. If a team puts the ball back into their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain of ground [seems universally popular, but let's see how it works]
  4. A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team's own goal line [effectively signalling the beginning of the end for lineouts and, consequently, very tall players]
  5. There is no restriction on the number of players who can participate in the lineout from either side (minimum of two) [watch the midfield fill with forwards]
  6. The receiver in a lineout must stand 2 metres back from the lineout [why, exactly?]
  7. The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball may stand in the area between the 5 metre line and touch line but must be 2 metres away from the lineout [huh? - I thought the idea was to make laws easier to understand?]
  8. Lineout players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in [pretty much as they do already]
  9. The lifting of lineout jumpers is permitted [already the law, no?]
  10. Players are able to defend a maul by pulling it down [NOOOOOooooooooooooooooo!]
  11. Remove reference in Law to heads and shoulders not to be lower than hips [surely that's dangerous?]
  12. Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum [the ONLY really good idea]
  13. Scrum half offside lines (must be in close proximity to the scrum as present Law or must retreat five metres) [unnecessary]

I suppose we should be thankful to get away with just 13 - but I've a horrible feeling that this is only the beginning...


Matt @ Green and Gold Rugby said...

What's the saying...."you can't stop progress"....

But seriously, the pulling maul down thing hasn't been run down south. Surprised they've gone for it up here?

Sportsfreak said...

At least you get away without the rule that it’s only a tap penalty for obstruction at the breakdown.

That’s been the biggest blight on this year’s Super 14.

BigDai said...

Lets get a campaign going

13th September

Nursedude said...

#10, the pulling down of the maul, will at some point really mess up some poor player. Given the size and strength of current professional players, somebody is going to have their leg-or worse-snapped like an old twig. Not a good decision.

Anonymous said...

Hey Total Flanker...Do you also find it suspicious that Munster were awarded a friendly with All Blacks a week before the vote was take? One of our committee men, Noel Murphy is a proud Munster man...

Total Flanker said...

No, I would not be in the least bit surprised if it turns out that votes were "bought" for favours... not that we'll ever know given the IRB's lack of transparency.

Fanatical Welsh rugby fan said...

I still have mixed emotions on the ELV's after watching the 2008 Super 14 season which is coming to an end soon. There seems to more scrums each game and by the time there set and reset due to problems it slows the game down even more. I thought the ELV's were brought in to speed the game up and get new supporters?

When I put on the Magners League, Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership games it's the way it was meant to be and I have enjoyed the games alot more than the Super 14 games. If it's not broken don't try and fix it. As for new supporters if I have to explain it to you your probably not going to get it anyway.

Great site, Mike.