ELVs to be trialled next season

The IRB has inflicted these ‘essential’ changes on Northern Hemisphere rugby, from club level through to international. The changes below have been copied from the BBC, since I thought people might have a few things to say about them.

Changes to be trialled worldwide include:

– Players can defend a maul by pulling it down.
– Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum.
– No restriction on the number of players who can participate in the lineout from either side (minimum of two).
– The receiver in a lineout must stand two metres back from the lineout.
– Flags are no longer considered to be in touch in-goal except when a ball is grounded against the post.

Further ELVs to be trialled in an elite northern hemisphere competition, expected to be the European Challenge Cup, include:

– For all offences other than offside, not entering through the gate, and Law 10 – Foul Play, the sanction is a free kick.
– If the ball is unplayable at the breakdown, the side that did not take the ball into contact will receive a free kick.
– If a maul becomes unplayable, the team not in possession at the start of the maul receives a free kick.

8 thoughts on “ELVs to be trialled next season

  1. I think anyone who’s watched a bit of Super 14 this season agrees that these are just making the game a cross between rugby league and touch. A couple seem good (e.g. defending 5m back from scrums) but the majority are verging on the idiotic – handling in the ruck / teams being ‘punished’ with a free kick for 99% of offenses. Most worrying is the pulling down the ruck rule, which seems bloody dangerous. I wonder how long it’ll take before a couple of serious injuries from this makes the RFU take a massive U-turn.

    Can’t believe they’ve rushed this through so quickly, and despite the RFU and WRU’s protestations, the IRFU seem to be taking no notice.

    As a player, I’m also not looking forward to being allowed no rest, with less opportunities to boot the ball into touch when you fancy a breather!

  2. If it is being done for TV marketability they’re making a total arse of that though. Supposedly they want to see more expansive rugby but there’s only really the 5m behind the scrum rule that does anything to encourage that by handing some initiative back to the attacking side.

    Teams tend to attack though once they get good field position and with fewer penalty offences and therefore fewer kicks for touch, teams will find it hard to get inside the opposition’s 22.

    And the lineout rule makes it easier for defending teams to barely contest the lineout and pack their defence – how exciting to watch eh?

    I’ve watched less Super XIV than usual this year due to family commitments, and I must admit I’m not armed with loads of stats on this, but to my mind there’s just been more rugby than ever played in the middle of the park and there doesn’t seem to be any increase in the number of tries (though stats could well prove me wrong) so what’s so bloody good about the ELVs eh?

    This could all backfire on the SH teams because with fewer penalties and no significant increase in tries scored it will just make drop goals rise even more to the fore which will wind them up even more! I look forward to us beating the chokers in the 2011 final on their home turf 15-0 with 5 Cipriani drop goals.

    I’m repeating myself and Uncle Mat from previous posts here, but one or two positive new rules (like the 5m behind the scrum one) and a tightening up of some old rules that aren’t being enforced now, was all our game needed. As Dewi said on last night’s Rugby Club, you only need look at the rugby played in the Heineken last weekend compared with the not-very-Super XIV to see how much we need the ELVs

  3. with regards rolling mauls: a smart player (who isn’t worried about a good tramppling!!) can already pull down a rolling maul and get away with it. I think by legalising it we are simply incuraging it and its only a matter of time before a serious injury or worse occurs by someone attempting and failing to pull down a maul and ending up stamped on by 8 pairs of feet on their way over top. so i guess im saying i dont really agree with this rule.

    the 5 metre from back of the scrum: i think this will be the best out of the proposed rules as it will incourage more back row moves which may incourage a more running game instead of the boring kicking match we are subjected to these days.

  4. A petition against these changes has been started – it is only in its infancy but if like me you are strongly against the changes please take a moment to fill it in. It is a lot shorter than the RFU survey.

  5. I am a New Zealander and I think the ELVs overall have had a positive fact – Reds vs Blues and Chiefs vs Force have been just a couple of really exciting matches. I dont think we need all the changes though – unless collapsing the maul, hands in the ruck or allowing unmatched numbers in the lineout can somehow add some element of strategy then they just shouldnt be introduced. The freekicks for “99%” of offences should be downgraded to a less amount but certainly a little bit more than how it is under the “old rules” – it can get boring when a team opts for a penalty shot at goal and wastes a good two minutes of game time. I would rather like to see more long range drop goals.

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