Thursday, July 24th, 2008...7:52 pm

ELVs – Fix Bayonets, Charge ! (Brian Moore)

Jump to Comments


Source: Brian Moore on ELV attack

Among all the reviews, reports and recriminations regarding the trial of the ELVs in the north ahead of next season, former England hooker and current solicitor/columnist Brian Moore’s voice has been shouting louder than most.

Here is Moore’s Daily Telegraph column in near-full form for the staunch defenders of the old game to sit back and enjoy!

“The laws are for ALL levels of the game. The view of Super 14 supporters and viewers is no more legitimate than that of any third XV player in London Division Two. It is now quite plain that only the views of those connected with games seen on television, and thus ‘in the shop window’, are being heard. Few unions have sought the views of all their constituents and even fewer have a mandate on the subject.

– Any ELV that threatens the unique tenet of rugby – that it is a game for all shapes and sizes – should not see the light of day [Blog: Agreed].

– I do not accept that there was, or is, overwhelming evidence that rugby needs fundamental changes to its laws. Nobody has ever identified the imperative which made this whole exercise necessary. [Blog: Do not agree, pre ELVs refs are too influential on the game outcome, and too many grey zones on how to ref the game, some change was required].

– ‘If laws do not move forwards, the game moves backwards’ – it’s a stupid cliche, disproved by many other sports whose laws have remained static without detriment [Blog: Agreed]. .

– I was and still am suspicious of the motives of certain countries that are pushing the ELVs, because I was at an International Rugby Board meeting at which it was stated that the moratorium in introducing any new laws had to be introduced because it became obvious that certain countries, Australia in particular, were suggesting law ‘improvements’ which would favour their international team’s strengths[Blog: It seams that way, maybe a bit harsh]. .

“Allowing mauls to be collapsed: I don’t think collapses will produce many more injuries, save for lifting a man off his feet, which is dangerous and should be carded immediately. I do think it removes the last method of ensuring opposition forwards are kept in, or close to, the breakdown and not clogging up the midfield. [Blog: Agreed]

“Not having to match the throwing team’s numbers in the line-out: This allows packing midfields with forwards and putting ‘flyers’ at the tail to exploit an advanced position. This could be solved by making any forward not in a line-out stand 10 metres back and within 15m of touch. [Blog: Na, just have full lineouts, otherwise this is one solution. Decision pending.]

“Handling in the ruck: They say this only legitimises what goes on anyway. It goes on only because referees allow it. Go back to the previous laws on rucking. [Blog: Agreed, 1970’s rucking style I hope he means !]

“Reducing all offences to a free-kick, save for offside, foul play and repeated or cynical offending: This has not led to the referee being less involved in games, the reverse is true. On average there are 50 per cent more times when the referee whistles. This is because players are prepared to take a risk on committing offences, knowing the referee has a difficult job deciding on their intention. Thus, referees are as much, if not more, involved in influencing the game. [Blog: Not sure, more data required, will watch games with this thought in mind. Interesting Watson ! ]

“This proposed change has contradictorily been claimed to both speed up the game and empower the scrum. Both cannot be true. Further, even if there are scrums chosen instead of a free-kick, scrums are not empowered because they are not a contest anyway due to the IRB allowing referees to ignore the stated put-in law. [Blog: The hooking contest has been a joke lately, so he has a point, that’s the refs failed policing of current law].

“Drawing an offside line immediately when a tackle takes place: It is a measure of the confusion caused by the ‘okey-cokey’-style trialling of the ELVs that we do not know if this still lurks or is dead. If not, kill it, it is stupid. [Blog: Interesting, jury’s out]

“The avowed intent and claimed consequence of the ELVs to ‘speed up the game’ is illegitimate. The 95 per cent of players to which the ELVs will apply do not need or want a ‘faster’ game, nor are they equipped to play one. [Blog: Dont agreed, players are equipped, the little fatties just lost a few pounds, thats all.]

“If you want to discourage aerial table tennis, extend the ‘mark’ rule to the 10m line of the opponents’ half. This would stop aimless punting, particularly the chip and chase when players can think of nothing else to do with possession. [Blog: The force back game is horrible, and seams more popular under the ELVs, this needs more thought!]

“Can I be any more candid?” [Blog: Nope Just fine!]

My Comments:Brian most likely represents the northern view from the grass roots level and up in the UK. You can bet that the ELVs as we know them down under will not be the final package. If they survive at all. Brian does make some good points concerning ELVs that remove traditional rugby union structure from the game. Others well, he is on the radio, and he must stir things up for the ratings so ‘grain of salt’ comes to mind. I like the ELVs but with amendments, see my page call My ELV Amendments, thanks.

Comments are closed.