Morne wrote recently to leave the laws as they are, and I would like to offer a converse view – please IRB, change them!
At the moment there are a few issues of contention, one of my major gripes is the role of the Assistant Referee, AKA the Touch Judge.
How often do we see skew throws? If the opposition didn’t contest, I see no problem there, although “rulz is rulz” and within reason, a throw should be about as straight down the middle as possible. Since the ref is generally standing to the side, he can’t gauge accurately, whereas the TJ is watching the trajectory from an ideal viewpoint and is in perfect position to rule on the straightness – or not – of a throw.
The second is the breakdown, a major problem in the modern game, because slowing it down and not rolling away and killing attacking ball is not penalised, but REWARDED! What game rewards negative play? Isn’t this “the game made/played in heaven”? Yes we want to see big hits, but ultimately, we want to see tries. In essence, attacking play is penalised way more than negative play at the breakdown, and I have the solution.
Anyone who shouldn’t be there, should be rucked out. No stomping mind you, but let him know, he’ll get a back or leg full of studs for being in the wrong place.
Rucking was outlawed on the premise that it was dangerous. Since then, eye-gouging has been on the increase, certainly a bigger blight on the game. Blood injuries are commonplace, suggesting that injuries are going to occur at the breakdown even without rucking.
And by allowing rucking, it will signal a warning to the cheaters of the game that their misbehaviour will be dealt with and they will be less inclined to be where unwelcome boots can find them.
This will speed up the attacking play and result in more enjoyable rugby. And don’t just take my word for it….
Rob Andrew, RFU’s director of elite rugby has warned the International Rugby Board that spectators were being driven away by laws that were killing the game as a spectacle.
The Rugby Football Union has blamed referee interpretations for the recent injury crisis and the negative, safety-first tactics that were prevalent. On average only 2.2 tries were scored per match in the third quarter of this year, any ambition thwarted by the reality that laws make it easier to defend than attack.
“I’m very concerned that attendances will start to decline unless changes are made. I think we’re seeing it already,” RugbyeNews reports him saying. “You just have to talk to people in the game, including some of the coaches who have said they’re turning the TV off themselves when they’re watching matches.
” Now you’re better off without the ball than with it, which isn’t what rugby should strive for. The risk in keeping the ball hand is too large. There are some fascinating stats from this year’s Tri Nations, showing how little time South Africa had the ball yet they won the tournament. In one match against New Zealand they made the lowest number of team passes in any Tri Nations match ever, yet still won. The New Zealand scrumhalf made more than that on his own.”Tweet