New Zealand’s latest gripe with the Republic comes after the South African Rugby Union (SARU)’s ‘disappointing’ call for the additional Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) to be dropped.
This follows after the SANZAR unions – South Africa, New Zealand and Australia – were given special dispensation to trial three further ELVs known as the ‘sanctions regulations’, following the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) announcement of the global trials from August 1.
Rugby 365 reports that the three additional ELVs were set to be incorporated in the 2009 Super 14 and Tri-Nations competitions, with the global trial running until the end of July 2009.
The additional Laws state that most offences are punishable by free kicks rather than penalties, while failure to clear the ball at a ruck or maul sees a free kick awarded to the team not taking the ball in.
However, with the global trial now under way and all international matches to be played under the 13 ELVs initially proposed, SARU wants to abandon the sanctions regulations so as to move in line with the rest of the rugby-playing world – particularly with the British and Irish Lions tour of the Republic in June 2009.
New Zealand and Australia on the other hand want the use of the sanctions laws to continue in next year’s Super 14 competition – however, all SANZAR decisions have to be unanimous.
Unless the SA contingent can be persuaded to change their stance at a SANZAR executive committee meeting in Sydney next month, the additional laws are unlikely to continue.
New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) general manager, Neil Sorensen, told Radio Sport in Zealand that they would no doubt attempt to persuade the South Africans otherwise.
“It’s not a done deal. SANZAR needs to meet on October 15 to ratify this and no doubt Australia and New Zealand will be trying to talk South Africa into getting back to trialling these additional ELVs,” said Sorensen.
“We are struggling uphill if we can’t get South Africa to agree to continue to trial them. It’s an experiment and it’s an experiment which is not going to see its full tenure and that’s disappointing.”
Sorensen admitted that all the inter-changing between the different sets of laws this year had led to some confusion.
For example, the Boks who played in this year’s Super 14 played under the ELVs, whereafter they had to revert back to the traditional laws for their Tests against Wales in June.
They then switched back to the ELVs for the Tri-Nations series, but will play under the 13 global ELVs for the November internationals against Wales, Scotland and England.
“It [changing between laws] has been a bit of a mess and we would be the first to admit that,” added Sorensen.
“You’re always going to get that when you have a worldwide trial over a number of different competitions and over about two-and-a-half years by the time it is finished.
“We thought it would be thorough to continue the trial and hopefully get some competition in the Northern Hemisphere to trial these sanctions and then decide at the end of the trial whether they have achieved the objective that they set out to do at the start of this review.”Tweet