So picture the scene. The biggest game of the year. The World champs against the best team in the world over the last 4 years.
The mighty Springboks versus the All Blacks. The stuff of legends, potentially a game that will be talked about for years to come. The clash of titans, the breakfast of champions, the old grudge match, the only one we really care about winning at all costs.
Yet this time around the likes of Paddy o’Brien have decided this huge game should be played with another one or two additional hurdles.
Like bogeys in my nose, this is just plain irritating.
Why would they do this?
I’m all for ELVs. I was a sceptic in the beginning but have become quite fond of seeing guys on the field run until they simply cannot breathe anymore. It’s fun. Make the players earn their keep I say!
However, the manner in which the latest chapter of this diabolical story has started, however, is simply not right in my opinion.
These two new ELVs have hardly been tested and have certainly not been tested at a high enough level to warrant inclusion in the biggest game of the year.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, this implementation is simply not acceptable in the professional era.
So much of a rugby player’s play is instinctive, honed from many years of playing the game. Asking them to stop and think which of the 5 sets of rules they’d be breaking is a bridge too far for most rugby players, especially those playing in the pack.
The question that really begs to be asked is why the IRB just don’t allow the current ELVs to bed down before introducing some more. And then surely these should be stress-tested over time to ensure they are in the best interests of the game?
What will happen if they don’t work on Saturday? Will the ref use his discretion and stop blowing the new infringement in order to keep the game special and interesting to the fans?
It seems an unnecessary risk to me to bring in these two additional ELVs without adequate testing and in a game of this magnitude.
Paddy o’Brien, this is not good enough. Not nearly good enough.
You’re alienating current fans and I very much doubt you are bringing in new ones. If I don’t understand what is going on then I very much doubt any new fans starting to watch now will have any clue.
And you’re playing with fire if you take chances and ruin games such as the one on the weekend. There are only a handful of special games each season. This is one of them. Why not introduce these ELVs in a Scotland-USA game? Or at the very least give them an extended run in next year’s Super14 competition, seen as you’re intent on having that be ground zero for every new gimmick you can think of.
Terribly irresponsible and risky. Maybe better to can the idea, can Incompetence o’Brien and start afresh next year with staff that can actually implement a project of this magnitude smoothly and efficiently and not have the inconsistent shambles we currently have.Tweet