Friday, February 26th, 2010...3:10 pm

Up north some like the NEW Super 14

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Source: At last! Common sense rules!


The zero tolerance initiative requested by Super 14 coaches, adhered to by referees and bought into, slowly but surely, by the players, has been a roaring success.

Not only is it vindication of the southern unions’ ideal that something needed to change, it is also vindication of the northern unions’ opinions that it was not something inherently wrong in the laws of the game, it was merely a better use of the existing laws.

Despite the two factions having been at loggerheads throughout the whole ELVs shenanigans, they were both right.

The chief criticism of the ELVs was the decrease in structure of the game, the limitation of options from free-kicks, the generic way teams went about running the ball. The variety, the tactical variations and nuances of different teams were stripped.

Not this season. Some teams are kicking, others running. Most employ a mixture of the two, with the most effective mixture coming out on top. Teams not quick or clever enough at the breakdown and not willing to rely on their own defence are being punished – as the Blues found out when losing to eight Hurricanes penalties.

This has had a knock-on effect. The number of kicks per game in the Super 14 is twenty less than in the Six Nations: 72-52. Some may cite the tighter tactics required at international level, but who wouldn’t be willing to bet that it has a lot to do with the cleaner quicker ball coming from Super Rugby rucks.

COMMENTS: Give the Super 14 a few more weeks, the players and Refs more time and we just might have great rugby. Crusaders vs Sharks just been was a cracker !

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