Saturday, August 2nd, 2008...8:33 am

ELVs – Why the ARU loves them so much !

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Source: Grey days for league as Sonny prepares to shine – John Connolly

Rugby league and rugby union used to be so different, they were black and white. Now there’s a real shade of grey.

Experimental Law Variations have been introduced in rugby to increase the enjoyment of the game, but no one fully recognised the ramifications of bringing them in. [Blog – WRONG – This blog did]

Rugby is now a far better spectacle – players are five metres back from the scrum, there are no more driving mauls [Blog – And that’s sad!], you can’t pass back into your own 22 then kick the ball out, and short-arm penalties have increased the amount of tap and runs.

The Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney last week featured only 14 lineouts, making it a more appealing game to watch. But perhaps the biggest impact the laws will have is making it easier for rugby league players to make the jump across to rugby.

And for that reason I expect Sonny Bill Williams to be one of several marquee players to successfully make the switch.[Blog – And easier for ARU to pick and choose league players to cover the depth issues]

When Willie Carne came across from league to play for Queensland, he had no problem handling the technical side of rugby, but he did struggle with the lack of space.[Blog – Thats because of the forwards standing in the backline, thank the ELVs for that, more here ELVs – ‘The Field Wide Trench Defence’ or ‘FWTD’ ]

Rugby will still need players of certain body shapes and props that can scrummage [Blog – This is sad, what only for scrummaging, traditional skills of mauling and driving will be lost in future years]. I don’t believe we’ll get to the league situation where halfbacks play hooker and centres play in the second row. But the games are far closer together. From now on, all the league backs and the better back-rowers are fair game for rugby.[Blog – ARU so happy happy Yipee !]

My Comments: John Connolly was a former Wallaby coach and is close to the workings of the ARU. So John has officially, maybe not knowing exactly what he saying, said that the aussie lead ELV committee (strong Rod MacQueen influence) wanted a closer game to league that would obviously help the ARU tap the huge resources of players in the NRL to cover there own player depth problem. The north are only currently waking up to this ambush. I believe the ELVs will change the game, but not as far as ARU wants.

John correctly said that there are less lineouts are even fewer mauls, in otherwords less traditional rugby union structure. If you don’t have structure then you are playing a more dumbed down version of rugby, for a full explanation of my thoughts please read foundation posts (must read Chess vs Checkers) . I have said before I like the ELVs but with amendments, see my ELV amendments page for more.

John doesn’t realise that the ELVs (in there current form) maybe a sad day for rugby union, that’s because he is delighted at the prospect of seeing all those great talented ball players in the NRL playing for Queensland rugby union in the Super 14.

Yes last nights Eden Park, Auckland game was an excellent ELV game for the first 60 minutes, and there have been other good ELV games. But what would be so wrong if we had the odd maul and more full lineouts. WHAT’S WRONG WITH MAULS,  I LIKE THEM ! See my post here: ELVs – Endangered Species: Maul and Lineout .