Saturday, May 3rd, 2008...11:39 am

ELVs – ‘No intelligent life forms here Scotty! (Grant Fox)

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Source: Sunday Star Times – ELVs decision could be rugby landmark


“there’s less straight arm penalties under the new laws.Previously, there were between 15 and 25 free kicks and penalties in the average game.That’s now up to 25 to 30.

There are more free kicks but less penalties. That’s allowed for more quick restarts which has contributed to the improved 10% ball-in-play. That figure might not sound like much but talk to the modern rugby player and he will tell you it has a big impact on them.”…

MY COMMENTS: To say ‘yes its working’ just because the ball is in play longer is not evidence that the rugby is better. Its about quality Grant, what’s the big deal about ‘pass, run, bash, tackle, ruck,’ up against the field wide trench defense. But how creative can the attacking team get: Start a maul, no, that’s easily defeated by pulling it down; Use a set up move, no, that’s negated easily by the ‘field wide defense’; Kick and hope, no, you loose possession and must set up for counter attack; Kick for lineout, no, this has been cancelled by ELVs (unless my rule of 50/22 is introduced); Scrum is the only option. Therefore you have confirmed your support for mindless ‘run and bash’ or as Ian McGeechan termed ‘one style of rugby’. I refer you to posts listed below for my ELV solution.

..”I’m also heartened that from August teams can collapse a maul.I’m not against mauls because they are fundamental to rugby. But done properly they are incredibly hard to defend against.Therefore the attacking team has held an undue advantage.

Now there’s a legitimate tool a defending team can use to stop a maul. I’d like to think that will lead to more creative play in peeling off a maul, something the IRB might have been helped by going a step further and allowing a “truck and trailer” variation involving a minimum three players.”…

MY COMMENTS: Pre ELVs the maul has an equal defense and that was for the defending team to use enough forwards to stop the momentum of the maul for a period of time to enforce the ‘use it or loose it rule’. This worked fantastically well. Post ELVs, if a maul is formed by eight forwards it will only require one (or two) defending forward to pull it down, the remaining seven defending forwards can stand in the horrible ‘field wide defensive trench’. So why would any team risk attacking with a maul. The balance has swung in favor of the defense. Once again Grant, shot fired and missed!.

..”One is to widen All Blacks eligibility to any Kiwis playing in a Sanzar competition meaning a New Zealander playing for an Australian, South African (or Japanese) franchise “…

..”The second is to open All Blacks selection to any Kiwi playing anywhere in the world. The latter is an inevitability but not necessary now.”…

MY COMMENTS: First, if you allow it for one player, all will want it, once the door is open, it’s over.  All Blacks playing for other super rugby teams, this breaches the ‘tribe vs tribe’ theory, I have a very long post why this is not a good idea (see below). Selecting All Blacks based overseas, that will be fun, just ask the league boys how hard it is to get back international players.

Jes Grant Fox, three strikes and your out!

I refer the reader and Grant to these posts :Super rugby – It’s in safe hands (not) !, Rugby Sabbatical – Ok with me !, ELVs (Experiment Law Variation) – Tactic Review