KSA Shark ©

ELVs need to tackle rugby’s grey area


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 1 Apr 2009 at 07:09
Tagged with : ,

Steve Tew hopes some middle ground can be found on the contentious tackled ball area as rugby gets set to mix new and old with a fresh set of rules after several years of experimenting.

A London conference involving 60 key rugby people from around the world has recommended 10 of the 13 ELVs that have been trialled over the past two years be rubber stamped by the International Rugby Board next month to finally give the game some global unity.

Duncan Johnstone reports for RugbyHeaven that ELVs regarding sacking the maul, body positions at mauls and unlimited numbers in lineouts were thrown out.

The key ELVs involving free kicks rather than penalties and the general refereeing of the tackle-ruck infringements were officially listed as “still under review”.

But according to Tew they have no chance of being passed by the IRB in May as they become a major sticking point with the northern representatives who haven’t even bothered to trial them, yet argue against them.

“There is no chance that the sanctions will be agreed to at council in May,” Tew said in a phone conference call from the UK where he headed a large New Zealand delegation at the conference.

“We had the 10 major unions in the room yesterday with the people who will make decisions before they go to council. There is no chance the sanctions are going to get through.

“The Six Nations simply don’t agree with them.”

Tew felt the London gathering was hugely positive in giving general agreement to “the straight forward” ELVs. But he clearly lamented the negativity towards the sanctions.

And so he should. This area remains the biggest grey area in rugby and yet it hasn’t been dealt with, other than to revert to the old rules.

“The sanctions are most handy at the tackle and ruck situation because you don’t have to go to a straight penalty every time there is an infringement,” he said.

“It is the part of the game which is the most difficult to both play and referee.”

Tew indicated there were hopes the IRB could find some middle ground and initiate a more literal interpretation of the current law to allow the first tackler to continue working for the ball with his hands irrespective of whether a ruck is formed.

“At the moment it is a bit like going through green, orange and red lights without the orange light.

“Hopefully we can improve the contest and give the referee more discretion if we allow that player to hang on to the ball and finish the act he had started.”

Tew felt one of the biggest lessons to come out of the conference was that if there was to be any future trialling, it needed to be done with a universal approach so that “we don’t confuse ourselves and everybody else in the process”

“We had the rather ridiculous situation yesterday where the Six Nations were en masse rejecting law variations which they had not trialled,” Tew said.

“It’s fair to say that raised a few eyebrows given they were telling us why they didn’t work. They were basing their arguments on assumptions rather than facts.”

Tew felt talk of the ELVs being a north v south issue was something built more around media attention.

It should be remembered that the ELVs were initiated by the IRB after extensive reviews.

That 10 of the 13 had been accepted was proof of acceptance from both sides of the equator.

Now it is a matter of sorting out a start date for new laws that can suit both hemispheres.

June is the traditional time for northern teams to tour south, an itinerary that is highlighted this year by the British & Irish Lions playing a test series against the Springboks in South Africa.

While the IRB will make a decision in May, Tew indicated the start the start date for the introduction of the laws might not be till August 1.

That could allow Sanzar to continue with the sanctions in the Tri-Nations although it seems they need to think of the bigger picture.

“Obviously that (August 1) doesn’t work with the southern hemisphere because some competitions will have started.

“We will have to give that some thought. We were really keen to see what was going to go through before we finally determined those things.

“We will want to talk to our coaches, some of our players, and obviously consult with our own board and others before we make that call.

“There is a pretty strong argument that the sooner we move to the law that is going to be in place, the better it is.

“Conversely, another top-level competition trialling something that we still have some faith in that might one day get some traction also some potential for some upside.”

To see the IRB Media release on the outcome and suggestions at the meeting read it HERE.



6 Comments

  • Let’s hope we can prevent this thread from going all “Stormery” on us. :roll:

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.04.09 07:17:11 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Tew indicated there were hopes the IRB could find some middle ground and initiate a more literal interpretation of the current law to allow the first tackler to continue working for the ball with his hands irrespective of whether a ruck is formed.

    one of my peeves i have with the jk is he allows the tackled player to hold onto the ball. just doesn’t seem fair to the tackler that gets on his feet and also has rights to the ball never gets a chance to complete the hard work he has done.

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.04.09 07:43:59 by try time Reply
    Super Rugby player
     
  • But according to Tew they have no chance of being passed by the IRB in May as they become a major sticking point with the northern representatives who haven’t even bothered to trial them, yet argue against them.

    Spot on. The North may not rule the rugby pitches, but they sure do rule the boardrooms. These laws were never going to make it if the NH guys didn’t want them to.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.04.09 08:04:19 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : yes if the sh spent less time fighting amongst themselves and more time fighting with the irb, rugby wouldn’t be in the mess it is in now.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.04.09 08:25:45 by try time Reply
    Super Rugby player
     
  • London – English rugby union chiefs were in buoyant mood after leading what appeared to be a successful European challenge to the permanent implementation of the most drastic experimental law variations.

    After a two-day International Rugby Board (IRB) conference in London, which featured some 60 of the game’s leading figures and statistics from over 800 matches in 15 different countries, it was recommended the ELVs which allows a maul to be pulled down be thrown out from incorporation into the rulebook.

    And the sanctions experiment, currently being trialled in the southern hemisphere, which sees most offences punished with a free-kick rather than a penalty, has been sent away for further review.

    It is not expected to be up for serious discussion again before the 2011 World Cup.

    The London meeting, which finished on Tuesday, did not take any binding decisions. Instead its conclusions were designed to guide the IRB’s rugby committee ahead of their April 27 meeting.

    That last bit is important. These are recommendations ONLY and are NOT changes to the laws.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.04.09 08:27:32 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • The “57 old farts” phrase comes to mind. What’s the point of having these discussions is the unions with the most clout are saying no without even trialing the ELVs.

    It’s like my 3 year old daughter who doesn’t like the taste of something, even though she hasn’t tasted it!

    IRB vs 3 Year old child. Mmm, interesting comparison and difficult to seperate.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.04.09 09:09:34 by Baldrick Reply
    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     

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