When Steve Hansen says the laws of rugby need to be revised, modified and made easier to play, to referee, and to understand, the rugby world should take notice.
The All Blacks under Hansen’s adroit coaching are in an era even more golden than previous great eras.
They are not only playing winning rugby, they are playing rugby the way it is supposed to be played – with courage, physical strength, high skills and the intent to score tries while stopping opponents from doing so.
With the recent pedantic display of refereeing, it pains me to say that the World Cup could turn into a game of whistle-blowing, ruining the experience for the spectators and more importantly the players.
Some of the technical refereeing that has been on display has eliminated any “feel” for the game.
Right now, the blokes in the middle are trying to put on their best show to be chosen to get a gig in England in 2015. But who is judging their performance so they get to secure a position as a top whistle-blower?
There is always something to discuss after a rugby Test match, especially one as thrilling as this.
There are the action and the special moments to discuss, the performance of players and all to frequently the Laws of the Game, the ever-changing, confusing and after controversial Laws of the Game and the demands of applying them accurately.
There were two tries especially discussed after the Nelspruit Test – one a try by the Welsh hooker and the other the definitive penalty try near the end – and penalty tries are rare and always debated.
Blues coach Sir John Kirwan believes he has the solution to rugby’s scrum problems and wants changes to be made immediately.
The 63-cap former All Blacks wing wants changes to occur to the scrum law in the middle of the season, in order to solve the issues and thinks that the IRB and SANZAR should work together to ensure the decisions are made.
We have two incidents from Super Rugby in the last two weeks which are worth looking at, both incidents which caused debate and argument and even acrimony.
We are dealing with decisions by top referees in top matches when speed is an essential ingredient, including the speed match officials need to process the information, even when they have help from the replays provided by the TMO.
There is never a rest from debate and argument when it comes to rugby football, certainly not in the application of the most complex set of laws of any sport – a contact sport played by 30 vigorous young men in physical contact in a confined space.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) is set to ditch the ‘YES NINE’ scrum call in favour of a non-verbal, pre-agreed instruction.
The change will take place with immediate effect, and will be introduced at all levels of the game.
Referees will no longer give a verbal instruction of ‘YES NINE’, and instead will issue a non-verbal instruction to the scrumhalf when he considers the scrum to be square and stable.
The non-verbal instruction must be agreed by the referee and both scrumhalves prior to the start of the game and could be in the form of a tap on the back while the referee is on the side of the put-in, or an agreed signal (nod of the head or hand signal) by the referee while he is on the other side of the scrum.
Civil rights organisation AfriForum has warned SARU in a letter that its decision to implement racial quotas in the Vodacom Cup would constitute a violation of the IRB’s prohibition on racial discrimination.
SARU was also informed in the letter that the Olympic Charter, with which rugby has to comply as Olympic sport, explicitly prohibits racial discrimination.
Georgina Robinson of the Sydney Morning Herald, a pleasant lady who sat next to me at Loftus Versfeld during Super Rugby… or was it a Test between the Springboks and Wallabies, wrote an article about Ewen McKenzie, Wallabies coach, complaining bitterly about the unfair treatment the Wallabies scrum gets, due to the perceptions of the quality or lack of quality of Wallaby scums of recent years.
Now understand me clear here, I do not moan over Georgina article, after all she has a duty to report the news when it presents itself – and generally she is a fair lass as far as rugby matters go, in my opinion one of the better rugby scribes from Down Under.
The beef that I have is the smoke and mirrors, the side-show that Ewen McKenzie is trying to conjure up and the smoke he is trying to blow up the IRB and our combined arses, to make up for absolutely woeful Wallaby scrummaging!
We’re going to look at Georgina’s Article in the Sydney Morning Herald first… thereafter we will look at a video clip analising all 17 scrums in the recent Test between England and the Wallabies (a must watch clip) and finally, each will come to his or her own conclusion, mine being to laugh at McKenzie’s antics in disgust and disbelief!
Already the moaning has started. The scrums are going down too often. They are ruining the spectacle. Let the scrum-halves just throw the ball into the second row like they do in league. It is all predictably negative and misses the point entirely.
The IRB in conjunction with the SARU’s Referees Departmant have translated Laws of the Game – Rugby Union 2013 into Afrikaans and Xhosa and it is now available for download, in an effort to extend the reach and understanding of the game. Various other languages are also available.
This is going to be a very short article. Maybe it will be removed, but do we really talk RUGBY or are we just moaning, bitching, complaining about things that went wrong for OUR teams.
I want us to talk about the deeper things in the game we love. Laws, interpretations, bad coaching, player stupidity.
Let’s try and have a free for all on this article.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) announced on Tuesday that it would implement a new set of experimental Laws in all local competitions from Friday.
The Laws have been developed by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and are expected to result in more continuity in matches and reduce the risk of serious injuries.
Key features are a new scrum engagement sequence, stricter policing of the scrum feed, adjustments to judicial sanctions and strengthening of concussion protocols.
There were several decisions this last weekend which are worth debating. One of them was the try scored by Chiliboy Ralepelle of the Bulls, a try which took the home team to 25-10 with 13 minutes to play.
This year, the International Rugby Board has introduced 11 law trials that will be implemented from the start of the 2013 season.
It may be a Neanderthal thought, but perhaps the answer is to bring back good old-fashioned rucking. The question, of course, is what to do about players who are persistently offside.
To say that the new White Card system in Super Rugby is a disputatious issue, would be stating the obvious. However, SANZAR boss Greg Peters feels the trial is serving its purpose.
It is a simple edict – aim to have at least 70 percent of ball available out of the ruck within three seconds – and this will be one of the crucial areas where referees will turn their attention to in the 2012 Super Rugby season.
Our sport is more enjoyable to watch than it was in the olden times when I was young, but there are a few things about the modern game I would rather be without. (I read this and posted it, purely because of Lee Grants obvious hatred of our boys, which he mentions on several occasions. What are your thoughts?)
The Bulls won’t even make it through to the knockout stages in defence of their Super rugby title, says former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick. And Fitzpatrick launched a scathing critique of the Pretoria-based team’s failings in this year’s Super 15, as they crashed to defeat against the Western Force in Perth.