Archive for Rules

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

We all love the new application of the laws


England 100 yard dash try !


Source: Rugby Runs Free

Not so long ago, international rugby was billed as a battle of the hemispheres: a trans-global power struggle between the three southern giants, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, and the rugby nations above the equator.

For years, the two sides were poles apart on even the most basic elements of this sport—They played the same game; they used the same rules; but the results were undeniably different.

Southern sides embraced an eye-catching, running approach, while the Europeans played a risk-free version of the game that had more in keeping with the British weather—dreary and predictable.

But if there’s any lesson to be gleaned from the first two rounds of the Investec Internationals, the annual end-of-year jousts between the northern and southern hemisphere nations, it’s that this sport’s great global divide is becoming increasingly blurred.

England’s Mike Tindall, foreground, celebrates as Chris Ashton, second left, scores against Australia Saturday. It was a game of rugby few England fans are used to.
Thanks partly to recent tweaks to the laws of the game, a new era of open, attacking rugby has gripped the international game, with all countries now playing—or trying to play—a more expansive brand.

“I have never seen rugby change so much in a year,” said Marc Lièvremont, the France head coach. “It is a new trend… with more tries scored, [a] better balance between kicking and running. It is a new style.”

This trend has been especially pronounced during the opening weeks of the autumn tests. The six games of this series so far have produced 286 points and 27 tries at an absurd rate of 4.5 per game. A year ago, those same matches yielded just 181 points and a meagre total of 11 tries.

Perhaps the biggest evidence of the dramatic change came last Saturday, when England inexplicably dropped 35 points on Australia in a dynamic display of running rugby that featured one of the most memorable tries of recent times—a lung-busting 100-yard foot race from the shadow of its own posts.

Statistics show that this renewed emphasis on attack first emerged during the summer’s Tri-Nations tournament between the southern-hemisphere’s elite sides. After a dour 2009 tournament that featured just 27 tries in nine games, this year’s competition produced 52 tries, a record for the 14-year-old tournament and a 93% increase on last year’s tally.

In addition, the number of passes increased by 35%, the kicks out of hand dropped dramatically and the average time that the ball was in play increased by almost two and a half minutes per match.

In other words, as Wales prepare to play Fiji on Friday in the third round of Investec Internationals, the days of rugby as a glorified game of kick-chase are over and running rugby’s in again.

“There is no question the balance of the game has shifted for the better,” said Shaun Edwards, the London Wasps head coach and an assistant with the Welsh team. “Now all the top teams want to play rugby.”

It’s a far cry from the first meetings between rugby’s leading nations. When England first played South Africa in 1906, the match finished 3-3 and for much of the next century it appeared that the English preferred games to finish with football scorelines.

By contrast, rugby in the southern hemisphere was viewed as an opportunity for a country to showcase its attacking skill and keep the ball in hand, and when the two styles met, the results were predictable: the farther south you come from, the greater your chances of victory.

The advent of professionalism in the sport in 1995 helped bridge the gap by introducing full-time conditioning programs and raising overall standards of fitness and endurance, while recent agreements governing the availability of international players have also helped put the hemispheres on an equal footing.

But thanks partly to tweaks to the rules of rugby, the sport’s lawmakers have re-energized the game by encouraging all players to pass or retain the ball instead of kicking it.

Not so long ago, the way the sport was refereed had turned rugby into a game of defense and territory. Tacklers were able to steal possession at the breakdown, so rather than run with the ball and risk a turnover close to their own try-line, teams preferred to boot the ball away downfield.

As a result, a brand of kick-tennis came to dominate the game, epitomized by Argentina and eventual champion South Africa in the 2007 World Cup. But since rugby’s lawmakers issued new directives on tackle laws last year, giving attacking teams more latitude at the breakdown, the focus has been on a fast-paced and free-flowing rugby.

The revised interpretation of the tackle law has produced less kicking and more passing: In the 2009 Tri-Nations there were an average of 65 kicks per game; this year in the same tournament that figure was down to 35.

By making it easier to retain possession and build phases, international rugby has become a powerful chess game of attack and counter-attack. And every country is forced to try to get on board.

“It’s a different game of rugby now,” said Gregor Townsend, the former Scotland and British Lions fly-half. “Two years, even six months ago, it was different, [but] with these new laws, it’s a totally different game. If you use the ball well, the attack should get the advantage.”

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Rugby dying with heavy Yellow card use!

Jolie Boobs Yellow card, its just not the same ! 

Source: A severe case of yellow card madness

Extract..”If rugby stays on this track, not only are the days of 15 v 15 over 80 minutes over, but there will be heavily reduced contests if referees like Joubert really have the so-called courage some are lauding him for. My guess is the referees will start backing off if a couple of players are already off, fearing they will have orchestrated a farce. Which is what it is.

Just imagine if a World Cup final was skewed, or wrecked, by the rulings which saw Mitchell dismissed.

Rugby needs a decent old pow-wow to sort this yellow card madness out after a rash of dodgy decisions in just four Tri-Nations matches.

Tests are supposed to be tough places where 15 blokes take on 15 other blokes. Yet referees are now dismissing players on suspicion and for non-events.”…

COMMENTS: I agree, I agree.

Whats RIP from the game:

1) Rucking
2) Push over tries ( from scrums, well nearly)
3) Mauls (just saved from ELV attack)
4) A true 15 vs 15 contest (currently under threat with heavy yellow card use).

We have had three ABs game this Tri Nations, every game has been seen the use of the yellow card, and 14 v15 has proven that going to a LIVE GAME is a pure waste of hard earned CASH. I mean its like going to the movies and and seeing Angelina Jolie boobs covered up with a BLACK censorship box, its just not the same. Rugby must insist of being 15v15 at all times.

Rugby League has a reporting system
Basketball has a foul system
Boxing has a point reduction system

BUT PLAYERS STAY ON THE FIELD  (or court), rugby must wake up and fix this !

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Up north some like the NEW Super 14

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 !

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Sanzer new tackle rule: We Like It !

Source: Sanzar Looks to speed up the game

…”We’ve agreed the tackler must release everything when he goes to ground and not hold on as he gets to his feet.”

The upshot will be more time for the tackled player to either pop the ball away to a support player or to place it back away from his body.

Players not making a clean release after the tackle and getting fully to their feet before going for the ball will be penalised.

Bray said the change was not just window dressing and was part of a unified approach to improve the game as a spectacle that is expected to be introduced in Europe for the Six Nations or the Heineken Cup.”…

COMMENTS: Well in my day if you are off your feet, and that’s one KNEE ON THE GROUND, you are out of the game, you cant do anything. So all I see is that this is enforcement of a law/rule, this should have been done years ago !

If you are off your feet in rugby your are out of the game, until you regain your footing. !

Friday, December 4th, 2009

‘Justin Marshall law’: Tackler has no rights.

Source: Annual review the key to bringing back running rugby: Eddie Jones

However, Jones said he would only change one law were he able to order it – the tackle.

”I don’t really think there is much wrong with the game,” he said. ”They [the IRB] probably made a little bit of a mistake by allowing the tackler on his feet to hang on to the ball.

”That has definitely aided defences and the laws at the moment certainly don’t need to aid defence.

”The game needs to be 51 per cent in favour of attack and 49 per cent in favour of defence.

”The tackler being able to hang on to the ball has made sides less adventurous and that is why we have this ping-pong kicking game that bores everyone senseless.

”There is a conservative edge around rugby at the moment where sides are frightened to play a little bit.”

Jones even suggested trialling what has been dubbed as the ‘Justin Marshall law’, named after the All Black veteran of 81 Tests who proposed the law to him in Japan. ”We were having a few beers recently and he came up with the idea that the tackler has no rights to the ball,” Jones said.

”Previously there was a disincentive for the tackler to stay on the tackled player because if he did he got rucked.

”Rucking is out of the game [now], so the tackler gets those momentary seconds to stay on the tackled player. He slows the ball and is allowed to get on his feet and play it again.

”It would be worth experimenting when the tackler had no rights – [where] his only right is to roll away and then he must come back through the gate to contest the ball – and see whether the balance is right.”

COMMENTS: Well, the above is true. Needs to be considered (What Richie out of a job !) I do agree with the IRB in that you cant change the rules every god dam year, that’s just stupid, if you do you end up with ‘fruit salad’ ! I also remember the rule that you could not roll over a ruck unless you were bound to another a player ( I am not sure if that law still around). The one rule in rugby that is abused the most is that if you are off your feet then you are out of the game and you can not touch or do anything. But you cant tell the English forward pack that !

Hmmm more thinking required !

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A call to save the GAME..

Source: SOS to IRB: our game is dying as a spectacle

After many words, Mick Cleary sees only one solution..

…”Personally, I would bring back the ruck. The administrators won’t do that, citing (wrongly) safety issues. But they have to do something. The game is dying as a spectacle.”…

COMMENTS: The PC idiots that diluted the rucking laws for TV,  queasy mums and non rugby sponsors types is the true reason for rugby break down issue.  Maybe the fear of losing TV dollars the IRB might say..Bring back the ruck ! Keep up the good fight Mick !!

More here : Rucking, Ref’s should allow ‘collateral damage’


Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Smith: May have a point !

Source: Second rugby ref pushed to improve test spectacle – Daniel Gilhooly

Introducing a second referee to top level rugby is a possible solution to offside play that is strangling the All Blacks’ counter-attack, according to assistant coach Wayne Smith.

Smith said referees are ignoring the law which states players in front of the kicker must remain behind a perceived 10m line right across the field from the kick receiver until put onside. There used to be an imaginary 10m circle around the receiver but that had been changed by lawmakers to encourage more counter-attack.

“I think the ideal behind the law changes is to have a more flowing game and a counterattacking game. . . but I don’t think we have seen that yet because I don’t think that law has been applied very well,” Smith said.

This is true. But what are the Assistant Refs doing for a living !

Offside law is applied very strictly in league and soccer to ensure space for players to move. Rugby has 15 players on the field, the sports mentioned have 13 and 11. So offside play is very important, and must be stopped. I would try a 2nd ref, but only allow him to do off sides and foul play. Then the players know there is a ‘ZERO’ window to infringe.

Yes I think the game would be better for it, but another ref or the current refs doing there job better ! Hmmm !

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

More ref whistle means rugby is a greater lottery


Source: Referees making rugby a lottery – Marc Hinton

Just a short posting today..

Most of the whistle occurs around the ruck. Hands in, off the feet, off side, dangerous play, etc.

The RUCK is the most important phase during an attack as it allows continuation of the attack before (hopefully) the defending team reforms its defense. A failure to allow this makes rugby a game for defenses and not attack.

The above line is the one of the most important understandings of rugby union, that has not been supported adequately.

If you increase the methods that the ref can police the ruck this will result in more stoppage [note: The ELVs tried to make the stoppage quicker with free kicks rather than scrums, well that didnt work out so well, did it] with more confusion on how the individual ref saw the particular situation. The term ‘refs interpretation’ has become more prevalent since the rucking laws where made too tough to allow the player to implement the rucking process.

Either educe the refs involvement in the ruck, and/or allow the players more slack in applying the rucking rules, allow ‘collaterial damage’.


Previous Post: Rucking, Ref’s should allow ‘collateral damage’, ELVs: Mains is soo fooking correct !

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Every rule can be negotiated – UPDATED

Source: NZRU move to fast-track McAlister  – Neil Reid

Previous Post on the subject : Every rule can be negotiated (Thinks Henry)

If you are a player with ‘power’ or ‘status’, then there is no rule within the NZRU legislation that can not be bent in your favour. Esp if Henry wants it to be so !

Luke McAlister will play in the Tri Nations, his conditioning and performance will be interesting.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Rucking, Ref’s should allow ‘collateral damage’

Source: Ref points finger at players over rucking – Richard Knowler


Lyndon Bray says the referees and lawmakers should not be copping flak for the lack of rucking in rugby.

The New Zealand Rugby Union’s manager of high performance referees says modern players no longer have the skills to free the ball with their feet.

“We just don’t see that anymore. It’s more to do with the evolution of the game and the techniques used than it is about referees (or laws) killing rucking.

“The reality is that we have lost the art of how to walk through and ruck. Secondly, what they (the players) are dead scared of is the judicial rather than the referee.

Law 16 of the International Rugby Board’s rulebook states players can still ruck but must not rake players on the ground and not intentionally step on them.On March 20, Hurricanes lock Jason Eaton rucked a Bulls player who was slowing the ball down and was subsequently yellow carded by Australian referee Matt Goddard.

COMMENTS: Did you read this stupidity, what sort of stupid thinking is that. Why, because if you are going to ruck there must be a margin of error in favour of the player doing the rucking, at the moment there is none.

Consider this: A defending player is laying on wrong side of a ruck, ball is under him or just in front of him. The current policing of this is by a referee ruling of either free kick or penalty, here we see the game stop, allowing the defending team to reset a defense, and the attacking team lose the advantage. What should happen is the attacking player should be able to ruck the ball and the player free for the next phase of attack. If this results in the player getting ‘raked’ or ‘stood on’ then that’s within the margin of error or ‘collateral damage’. A bit of slipper, that’s all!

Rucking margin of error should allow:
1) Player doing the rucking, must have one foot on the ground
2) The rucking player must be bound to another player within the ruck.
3) The player receiving the rucking, the body contact (by rucking players boot) must be with half a meter of the ball. So ball must be close to the rucking action. 
4) No rucking of heads or family jewels.

Rugby is doomed with this head in the sand analysis by Lyndon Bray, rucking does not exists anymore as the refs/laws don’t allow a wider margin of error. You cant avoid collateral damage with effective rucking. Get real rugby lawmakers !

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Rugby: Its biggest problem is !

Source: The biggest problem in rugby today –

An interview with Guy Noves – Toulouse Coach

An important Extract..

When it comes to the laws governing the contact area and playing on the ground, generally speaking I think we’re allowing the referees too much room to interpret the rules. If three people watch the same match, you’ll get three different impressions of the sanction needed for a error in a ruck because all the laws can be interpreted in certain way. For me that’s the biggest problem in rugby today, we need laws that don’t depend on an interpretation.

COMMENTS:This is why pre 1995 rugby there was traditional ‘rucking’. Take the interpretation risk away from the refs and let the players do a bit of self rule ! After a decade of IRB law makers failing with trying to police the ruck with the ref whistle, its time to go back to what worked. BRING BACK THE RUCK !

There are those that say that rucking is ‘barbaric’. This leads to biggest nervous quiver the IRB has, that is large men giving a first five a bit of slipper on the wrong side of the ruck with all to see on the TV close up. Personally, I think it would great for ratings ! After all TV has been around since the 1950s, and its only in the last 10 years the IRB became nervous, primarily from sponsors and TV networks who didn’t understand the concept that force the IRB hand to bend to there PC thinking ! Maybe IRB should put rugby first.


Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Honiss: You did ok mate !


Source: Paul Honiss hangs up his boots

In all, Honiss refereed in 211 first class matches, including 49 Super 14 fixtures and 71 Air New Zealand Cup games. He also refereed in three IRB Rugby World Cup tournaments in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Some real slip ups, (funny how the media drags you down on your last day):

* World Cup, 2007.
Honiss’ shocker of a decision to disallow Samoan second-rower Joe Tekori’s try against the Springboks not only penalises the gallant Pacific Islanders, but leads directly to a South Africa try when the Boks take a quick tap while Samoa captain Semi Sititi and others are remonstrating with the ref about the call. The match, which was heading towards a potential thriller, now turns into a blowout to South Africa on the basis of that 14-point swing.

* World Cup, Sydney, 2003
Honiss was in charge of the World Cup opener between Argentina and Australia when his refusal to allow the Pumas to scrummage aggressively allowed the hosts a much more comfortable evening than their play merited. Australia wins 24-8.

My Comments: Ok a couple of clankers, but many games well done. Even Paddy O’Brien had his issues. So in all well done. Rugby referee is a damn tough job with millions watching on TV. Not many would take it on. So remember that next time you bag a ref !

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

TMO – More TV Replays to help critical Ref Decisions!


Source: Henry backs greater use of technology in officiating

All Black coach Graham Henry is backing an increase in the use of technology, including a greater use of TV replays, in deciding on contentious refereeing calls.

The IRB has overnight granted South African officials their approval to increase the powers of the TV match official in their Currie Cup competition.

At present the TMO is only allowed to rule on the grounding of the ball.

But the IRB’s decision will now let the TMO rule on forward passes, knock-ons and other transgressions before the ball has gotten over the opposition try-line.

“I think it is a major problem with the game at the moment. And we just need to try and get those things right.”

The increased powers to be used in the Currie Cup mirror those that are used in the NRL league competition.

My Comments: About time, you cant have millions of people around the world witness a shocking call by the Ref when it could so easily be resolved by a few minutes looking at the TV replay. All Blacks vs France RWC 2007 forward pass was a shocker and a bad mark against the world wide rugby union reputation. I do agree that the TMO can’t resolve all issues and nor should it, just the 5 pointers is good enough !

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

IRB – Have got this correct, and about time!

Source: IRB orders refs to be stricter

LONDON – The International Rugby Board ordered referees to be stricter on illegal behaviour at tackles and rucks today.

The IRB said match officials should be aware that players are increasingly falling on top of the ball to prevent opponents from carrying on with play and this should be penalised more often.

It also said referees should give equal treatment to both the attacking and defending teams in rucks, saying players on the ball-carrying team are often allowed to pick up the ball to form a maul. The defenders, meanwhile, are being told they can’t handle the ball, the IRB said.

Referees were also urged to remind scrum halves they must feed the ball straight through the centre of the tunnel at scrums, as the IRB said players are continually ignoring the rule.

My Comments: Or they could allow rucking back into the game, and about time the half back placed the ball in the middle of tunnel, finally !

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The effect of removing rucking is still with us today.


Source: RIP rucking — and rugby – Andrew Logan

I was sitting in the sun recently, dreaming idly, when I started trying to remember the last time I saw a real, solid, honest-to-goodness ruck in a game of rugby.

My mind turned the years over like pages on one of those desk calendars and eventually I had to admit that, aside from some noteworthy rucks in various great games I had watched on video (the 1988 19-19 Bledisloe Cup draw at Ballymore had some fantastic footwork), I couldn’t think of one.

“Hang on” I hear you say, “there were hundreds of rucks in the Super 14 last week!”. But I say no way Jose.

When I say ruck, I don’t mean a maul that’s on the ground. I mean ruck as in rucking. As in rucked. As in feet churning over some unfortunate lying on a ball until he gets spat out the back like chaff from a haybaler. Jersey torn, stripes criss-crossing his back like a whipping from some biblical scourger, and hobbling to the next breakdown as though he’d just gone a few rounds with a rotary hoe.

If the defining characteristic of rugby is the contest for the ball, then the most defining characteristic of that contest was the use of feet on an opponent who was obstructing the passage of that ball.

The ruck was quintessentially rugby, and it meant that there were actually only two types of players in the game – the ruckers, and the ruckees.

The ruckers were invariably forwards. Very often loose forwards who were charged with freeing up the ball for their backs. The ruck was as close as any sport came to allowing the players to deal out justice to opponents, and generally the referee stayed well out of it, reasoning that if someone was lying close enough to the ball to cop a shoeing, they probably deserved it.

This is turn created a race of maniacs for whom the ruck was a place to show their daring to the world. Impervious to pain, and feeling that they hadn’t really done anything unless they threw themselves into a 16-footed tree-shredder, breakaways the world over were the benchmarks by which a willingness to absorb punishment was measured. The ruck was their home, and they inhabited it gladly.

Backs mainly stayed out of it, but were occasionally drawn in as collateral damage. A memorable anecdote from All Black winger Stu Wilson had him copping a stray boot and finishing a match with a single livid mark on his ribcage. Anxious to show off his trophy, and his toughness, Wilson entered the shower, where he hissed in a deep breath to draw attention from his fellows, and then turned so that his ruck mark could be fully observed. In the act of turning, he says, he was just in time to see the legendary All Black flanker Mark “Cowboy” Shaw enter the area, covered from shoulder to thigh in bleeding gouges. Shaw turned on the hot water and soaped up with nary a whimper. Wilson remembers skulking away without another word. The ruck was no place for the fainthearted.

However, as much as the ruck was a frontier where the laws where barely observed, it filled a useful function. In the old days, it was simple. The players policed the ruck, and if you wanted to lie over the ball, you would pay the price. The referee was there simply to make sure that the unofficial rules of rucking were observed, and that heads were left alone. This meant that ruck ball was quick ball, continuous ball, and aside from offside or foul play, ruck penalties were relatively rare.

When feet in the ruck were gradually outlawed, in the lead-up to the 1999 World Cup, the game began to grapple with the fallout.

All of a sudden, games were being decided by penalty shootouts because players knew that lying on the ball, particularly in defensive situations, would often result in 3 points rather than 7. And they wouldn’t have a boot laid on them anyway.

Chris Hewett, rugby writer for The Independent in London, said in 1999: “While no one in authority is willing to say as much, the ruck — the single most dynamic mechanism in the attacking armoury, and the phase that provides union with a continuity unique among handling games — will effectively be outlawed during this year’s showpiece event because the administrators fear the negative impact of “boots on bodies” on the TV audience.”.

So television has become the master of rugby, not once, but twice, because the demise of the ruck as we used to know it has now led to the ELV’s in an attempt to remove the blight on the game of kicking from breakdown penalties and return continuity to the sport.

The continuity has come at a price. Phil Kearns at a recent Super 14 preview function was asked: “What differences will we see this year with the new ELV’s?”. His answer? “Skinny players”. Kearns was not joking. The fact remains that under the new laws, players need to be fitter than they have ever been before, and the balance has decisively swung away from the strongman set piece specialist like Andy Sheridan, to a loose utility who can run all day, like Stephen Hoiles.

This is not to denigrate Hoiles, who is a wonderful player. But it is the first step on the road to uniformity in player shape, whereby we lose yet another defining characteristic of rugby.

Which brings me back to that most definitive element of rugby, the ruck.

Had feet in the ruck not been outlawed (under duress from those paying for TV rights), then continuity at the non-maul breakdown would have been maintained. The penalty shootout in its awful modern form would not have evolved to put pressure on the existing laws, and some of the ELV’s at least (certainly free kicks instead of long-arm penalties at the ruck) would never have needed to have been conceived.

Consequently, the quick tap would not have come into vogue with the ELV’s and rugby may have remained Marxist, drawing “from each according to his abilities”, rather than creating die Herrenrasse (the master race) of super fit, super lean automatons.

It is hard to argue with the weekend comments from Springbok half Fourie du Preez: “Rugby is now a different game. It’s like Sevens, with constant counter-attacking. There are not enough set-pieces,” Du Preez said. “It’s less enjoyable to watch and to play.” Even Lote Tuqiri compared the Waratahs vs Hurricanes game to a touch football match.

Rugby is flirting with danger in changing it’s very fabric. It is losing the elements which made it unique in the first place. Sure, restore the continuity in rugby. But do it by maintaining the essence of the sport, rather than playing with the laws.

Bring back feet in the ruck.

MY COMMENTS: Very true, if the reader is over 40 years of age then you will agree with the above, if under you probably have no idea what a real ruck looks like. The rules changes since the death of rucking have not been an adequate replacement. Bl**dy rugby administrator fools, where is Louis Lyut when you need him !

 More here : Rucking

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Dan Carter rule, very naughty!


              Naughty Boy (Dominion Post/NZRU)!

Source: Rule on Carter Needs Backing – Dominion Post


If the “Daniel Carter Option” that allows the great five-eighth to go to France for six months, earn $1.4 million and then return to play for the All Blacks in June 2009 isn’t a done deal, it should be.

The rule that a player (or a coach, for that matter) has to be involved in the Super 14 tournament is sound, as far as it goes.

But in exceptional cases, where a once-in-a-lifetime player is concerned and a special deal can be arranged, then the rule should be adjusted.

The point about Daniel Carter is that he is not leaving New Zealand rugby for a number of years. It’s a matter of months, only. 

Are you freaking kidding me !

  • i) He has done nothing that confirms GREAT, he’s no C Meads or M Jones.
  • ii) He has potential, that’s all, but if he does not play internationals he will never get the ‘great’ tag, and that should be up to him, why let him hedge his bets, let him choose the money or forever lasting ‘All Black Great’.
  • iii) Once in a life player!  Very early to say that he is nothing more than a solid international player. I think Mr Jonny Wilkinson still holds the ‘world best’ title and if Mr Dan Carter wants to contest this crown let him compete for it the same way any other player does.

Having special rules for your kids means you create envy and animosity. Rugby players are only a decade out from the school play ground, why do you think it will be any different? It’s the same when a wrong goes unpunished, if you remove the deterrent then why would any one follow the rule!

The writer of this article must have one unruly house hold, dam fool ! This goes for the NZRU, if this is so !

More on this post HERE

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray – English RFU shows some balls !

Source : See post here.

The subject is ELV.


 …”They are also concerned about possible long-term implications, such as driving the maul out of rugby and reducing the scrum’s importance.

..”Those opposed to the variations believe rugby could become little more than glorified touch-rugby, taking away much of its power, technique and confrontation. “….

“As these ELVs could potentially result in major changes to the laws of the game, the RFU believes it is important to consult those involved in the game at every level and give them an opportunity to express their views. “..

 I have heard the unconditional love for the  (the super rugby version) ELVs from Sky TV commentators Tony Johnson and John Drake,  it seams they are in some sort of blind puppy love with them. See my blog posts named ELVs and Chess vs Checkers for a full discussion.

The English RFU are conducting a fan based survey and email forum discussion, good on them I say. The NZRU are not conducting a similar market surveys, however they did have a tree hugging weekend with ‘stake holders’, but I am afraid you and I didn’t get an invite.

Please send me (via contact me page) any URLs of NZ journos work on the objective analysis of the ELVs. I havent seen any in the NZ Herald yet, but this one was close.

ELVs are boring ‘because of refs’ – Peter Thorburn


..”Thorburn said the implementation of the experimental law variations in Super 14 had been flawed, but put that down largely to the referees and, more particularly, coaches.”…

 ..”I hear people say, ‘it’s getting like league, it’s getting like league’. Why is it getting like league? Because of that lack of imagination.”..

…”[I] would go even further and implement an idea first bandied about by French legend Pierre Villepreux, which is to replicate the five-metre rule now used at scrums under the ELVs at rucks.”…

 .”Despite the fundamental flaws in implementing the ELVs, Thorburn insisted that to do away with them would be a grave mistake for a sport already struggling to maintain the public’s imagination.”…

I agree, some of the ELVs are very good, but in no way the current super rugby ELV package is the full and final one.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008


The single most damaging rule change in the last 30 years has been the removal of traditional rucking methods. The resulting confusion of how to manage the breakdown has been the continuing debate since there removal.

Source: Free kicks blight ELVs– Warren Gatland

…“Players will ride the line and that is no different from last year,” said Gatland.

Since rucking was removed, it has become much tougher for referees because where once players would know what was coming if they were on the wrong side of the ruck, now they make the tackle, hold on then make a slight effort to roll away.”….

My argument for rucking, is that rugby it is the last great world sport where two nations battle in full physical contact. It is as close to team martial arts as you can get. You have four divisions on the field: tight forwards, loose forwards, inside backs and outside backs. These four divisions are used to contest with the other teams divisions with a wide array of tactics and skills not seen in other sports. Allowing both hands and feet to be used, but not a the same time.

Rucking defined: To use the base of the boot in a stroking motion to clear the ball (while a ruck is formed). The base of the boot can and may be used on opposing players hindering the immediate clearance of the ball. The use of rucking should not breach the gentlemen’s rules of physical contact.

Rucking has been removed by IRB memos re writing referee interpretations over a number of seasons. Currently any lifting of the boot is considered to risky by any team as a means of clearing the ball. There was no trial period with the right of refusal (unlike the ELVs). I would guess that the motivation to remove rucking was sourced from TV money. I concede the vision of rucking is not attractive. I would suggest that broken legs and necks are not attractive (nor is it to me), and as these injuries are mostly sourced from scrums and the tackle, these contests in rugby have not been treated the same way rucking has, and nor should they be, but some how rucking has fallen foul of the ‘not nice on TV’ brigade. If rucking was given the same level of importance to the game as scrums and the tackle then rucking would still be in use today.  This is a critical mistake. The IRB have under estimated the importance of rucking.

Rugby should be issued with a health hazard and playing the game is acceptance of the hazard. (To quote Tana Umaga ‘It’s not tidly winks ref!”) If you want to watch or play rugby you (especially new fans and mums) must accept that its closer to boxing than it is to soccer, there is going to be a little blood, lots of bruising and minor soft tissue damage from bodies smashing in to each other. Both rugby and boxing is a challenge of the mind and human spirit. (To quote Mike Tyson “Every one has a plan, until they get hit!”)


Source: Bring back rucking to get rid of cheats – Duncan JohnStone

I recommend one change that would accomplish what they are trying to do to liven up rugby – bring back rucking!Eight weeks into the Super 14 and a major flaw in the new laws has quickly been exposed: the breakdowns are now simply a licence to cheat.They are more of a mess than they ever were and until referees get tougher on dealing with the serial offenders this new-look rugby is going to be the same old stop-start affair.The ELVs were designed to make the game faster and give it more flow. But last year’s nemesis, the scrum, has been replaced by the free kick as the most frustrating feature of the new-look game.

The ELVs call for free kicks instead of penalties for some offences. As a result, players are prepared to flop all over the ball to cut off or stall the opposition’s supply because they know they will usually cop a free kick rather than a penalty.

And a free kick allows their defence just enough time to get organised.

You sense that the free kick is also an easy option for the referees, allowing them to sidestep the issue of narrowing their focus to the real culprits at the breakdown.

Until the referees dish out early penalties or yellow cards, the cheats will prosper and rugby will be reduced to a stuttering game of bull-rush.

The simple way to speed up the supply of second phase ball is to return to rucking, a rugby tradition sadly eradicated by the same people who are now trying to fix the game.

The conspiracy theorists would suggest that hard-core rucking was removed from the game to depower its best exponents – the All Blacks. They are probably right.

The PC brigade that dominates much of the sporting and social world these days will argue it was removed for safety reasons. Yes, there is an element of danger to rucking but there was always an unwritten law that said the head was sacrosanct. Players who brought sprigs and scalp together knew they were in for justice, either in the form of a dust-up, the referee or the judiciary.

But there never was a quicker way to get an opponent out of the wrong side of a ruck than to give them a tickle up. Correctly done, players could be rolled out of a ruck with military precision through clever use of a boot or two.

Conversely, players knew what to expect when they were caught in the wrong place. Desperate times called for desperate measures and if the consequences were ripped jerseys and bloodied backs then these scars were worn with a sense of pride. Ask Buck Shelford. He was quick to dish it out but he was equally happy to take his medicine as well.

The thing with rucking was that, by and large, the players sorted out the mess themselves, eliminating guess-work from referees. Most importantly, they ensured quick ball was available for use when it was needed most.

At the risk of sounding like a rugby dinosaur, that simply isn’t happening enough in today’s game.

What we have is a game where cheats prosper and the refs run the risk of tennis elbow from dishing out so many free kicks.

There are obvious merits to some of the ELVs, most notably the 5m rule at scrums and the pass-back into the 22. It will be fascinating to see how many, if any, survive the cut when their architects, the IRB, ultimately make the call on their future once the northern hemisphere sides play with them.

To me, rugby would be better to look back to move forward and return rucking to the rough and tumble of forward play.

Refereeing bosses will claim that technically rucking is still allowed and that it’s merely the motion of the boot that differentiates rucking from stamping.

If that was truly the case, why don’t we see it in use?

Rucking has clearly become too risky and is now a forgotten – make that forbidden – art.

It needn’t be. Right now rucking should be seen as a solution rather than a sin.