The IRB must simplify the rules of rugby

biltongbek Roar Guru

By biltongbek, biltongbek is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    Craig Joubert was not to blame, it was a lack of the basics. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

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    I was reading the comments of some English and Welsh supporters on the weekend and the conversation inevitably moved on to Steve Walsh and the manner in which he officiated in the match.

    As some might know the English coaching staff wanted some explanations on certain interpretations during the game.

    Graham Rountree, the forwards coach, wanted clarification on the scrums and breakdowns.

    England only managed to win one out of four scrums on their own feed and conceded a total of 12 penalties and four free kicks during the match.

    According to one article, the Welsh have conceded that they dropped six scrums in total, but the English were penalised for not being able to keep the scrum up.

    Further to what I read this weekend, the Welsh supporters are rather proud of the fact that their team “played to the referee” better than the English.

    Going back to a rather painful episode during the quarter final when South Africa were ousted by Australia, a similar situation occurred when John Smit, then captain of the Springboks, and Victor Matfield the vice captain commented after the match that Bryce Lawrence was not interested in communicating with them on-field.

    They felt like Australia was getting away with murder at the breakdown.

    In that game Australia managed to defend their 22 without conceding one penalty in the red zone, despite the fact that they spent a very large proportion of the match under pressure.

    This after John O’Neill criticised Bryce Lawrence heavily for his performance during the pool loss to Ireland.

    “There was some pretty nasty political stuff going on about that appointment.

    “I refereed Australia versus Ireland and Ireland had won but behind the scenes guys like John O’Neill were kicking up a massive stink.”

    “I knew a bit about that and it was enough to affect me, and it probably made me freeze on the biggest stage.”

    The sad thing about refereeing rugby on such a big stage is the impact that they and their interpretations can have on the modern game.

    Their every move can now be scrutinised in slow motion and high definition and any flawed performance is there for anyone to see.

    Obviously not all these performances will impact the result of a game.

    It does, however, have the ability to influence large parts of the game at critical moments. An incorrect penalty against an attacking team can halt momentum, release pressure and importantly swing that momentum and pressure to the opposite side.

    But, and this is a big but, it is unfair to lay the blame on the shoulders of referees as it is nigh on impossible to get two referees to agree on the course of action when some of these indiscretions occur.

    I have spoken to a candidate referee within the Lions rugby union, and he tells me when they discuss video tapes of ruck situations, the varying opinions in regard to these studies are scary to say the least.

    The reality is referees are human, and with the complications of rugby laws and the varying manner in which they are interpreted in classrooms would suggest it to be very challenging to get a clean sheet during a match.

    In my view this all boils down to the number of sub-divisions you would find under each law, be it the breakdown, the scrum or any other area.

    It is therefore imperative that the IRB look at simplification of the laws. Not more laws and no further subdividing of laws, but simple, easily understood and interpreted laws.

    Just an example of these laws are the breakdowns, where a referee has so many different issues, be it entering through the gate, the offside line, holding on, releasing the tackled player and numerous more that need to be monitored.

    In all likelihood you could find a penalty at every ruck.

    I don’t want to see rugby being touted as a game where supporters are proud that their team “played to the referee” better than the opposition.

    This is not the diving board or gymnastics (Pieter de Villiers will attest to that), where a panel of judges score you for pointing your toes, or entering the water with minimal disturbance.

    This is rugby.

    It is supposed to be about physical dominance, superior skills and execution. It is a game where men and women grunt, bellow and bash their opponents with the aim of putting fear and hesitation in your mind.

    Where you run an opponent into the ground, and in some cases (most likely amateurs) can have a beer after the game and swap stories until midnight.

    IRB, please get your act together and simplify our sport.

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    The Crowd Says (99)

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 12:54am
      Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 12:54am | ! Report

      I agree completely with simplification but can it be done?
      I feel that the rules are so complicated as a result of teams finding a way to exploit laws and force amendments etc to the laws.

      It is a huge shame that the way a game is reffed has such an influence and its also a shame that the bigger the game, the more often it tends to happen.

      Imo, the six nats decider, SA vs Aust WC qtr, NZ vs Fra WC qtr and the NZ vs Fra WC final were all reffed terribly and imo the only game where I feel it prolly wouldnt have influenced the result is the six nats decider. The other games could well have been decided by the ref.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 9:32pm
        sledgeandhammer said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

        It can be done, and was done succesfully through the experimental law variations. These were unaminously endorsed by all players who experienced them, but were rejected on political grounds by home unions, who had not even trialled them (with the exception of Scotland).

      • March 26th 2013 @ 3:47pm
        30mm taga said | March 26th 2013 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        Rugby rules , particularly scrum rules, reward what is disproportionate to the skill that is needed to gain that penalty. Lawmakers rewarding attacking scrums that deliver a 3 point penalty where a man using his arm on the ground props up a scrum to avoid a dangerous collapse. Insane logic for what is meant to be the running game.

        It appears the driver is not to make the game entertaining, nor rewarding for effort, but to perpetuate logic that has had its day and does not simplify the game. Small drip feed modifications that have been made over the years are as welcome as one sip of cold beer from a keg on a hot day but if they let common sense operate , throw away the bung and then lets party with a game that can be so much more entertaining..

        I doubt for one moment the lawmakers ask what can they do to simplify this sporting contest and make it entertaining, not as monotonous as League but just by eliminating the pedantic and rewarding the referees` dominance.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 12:11pm
        Rob said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

        I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of rucking players when it was allowed. But I have to admit that it stopped cynical infringements such as lying on the wrong side of the ruck/ not rolling away. People need to know that if they try to illegally slow the ball down, they will end up with a studs imprinted across the skin of their back. If rucking was still allowed we would be saying RIP Richie mccaw.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:00am
      Onor said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:00am | ! Report

      laws.. we have laws mate.. thats what some clown said to me a while ago when I noted the rules should be changed. Long arm penalties should be a kick for touch only, short arms must be a tap only, scrums should only be for knock ons and a maul thats off the ground.. kick for goal on a sin bin offence and bring back controlled rucking. That”ll keep people interested and have the fans comming to the games.

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:00am
        Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:00am | ! Report

        Well if your team is on a roll and looking like scoring , I will just infringe as much as I can, stop your momentum and get away with it relatively unpunished Onor.
        Penalties are worth points for a reason.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 7:33am
          Onor said | March 23rd 2013 @ 7:33am | ! Report

          and I’d sin bin you and the rest of your mob! you’ll lose a man to the bin and the other team will get some points on the board!! you can only defend line out after linout for so long,

          • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:07pm
            Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

            Onor it wont work.
            Players infringe now to stop momentum, you want to take away the main punishment for doing that.

            • March 28th 2013 @ 2:41pm
              spikhaza said | March 28th 2013 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

              I think it’s a good model. You kick for touch on a standard penalty. Take 3 points for foul play. If they are penalised in the red zone it’s cards time. If teams offend their players will go to bin. Less players on the field = less defenders = tries

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 7:48am
          Gurudoright said | March 23rd 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

          Exactly. Let’s not blame the ref for blowing penalties, the players know the rule and they are the ones that break them. Although I feel that maybe the best dozen or so refs in the world if they already don’t should get together for a conference every six months to form a uniform understanding of the rules.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:19am
      Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:19am | ! Report

      Good article Biltongbek.

      Issues rugby needs to adress and simplify:

      Scrums, they are working on it but it’s a work in progress. It’s killing rugby, as an Entertainment product the endless re-starts:

      -The IRB are spending a lot of money on testing all sorts of scientific tests on scrums, safety and having less scrum collapses.

      -Solution: 1 solution is to get tough and penalise more, and yellow cards, it will punish bad technique and mediocrity.

      -And maybe bring in athletics/swimming type re-set rule. 2 scrum re-set max, and if 2nd scrum collapses a decision must be made.

      The breakdown, like lying on the ball and the side needs to be fixed up a bit.

      Line-outs: Love the quick line-out rule, being able to take a lineout straight away, rewards pace

      -5 second rule at ruck time is good

      -bringing back rugby would fix up the rucks and mauls, but that won’t happen, don’t want to upset the “soccer mums” lol.

      – A 40/20 kicking rule like rugby league would be good

      -If you get penalty , and convert it, just kick-off from the 22, don’t take it back to halfway and kick off.

      -Stop clock last 10 minutes of game, when a try is scored, will reward attacking play, and cut back on time wasting

      -Shot clock now good for rugby where you have to take conversion within 90 seconds of try, i think it’s 90 seconds

      – 2 refs on pitch should be trailed

      -Like the new TMO trials, but still not a fan on TMO awarding a penalty on foul play, it holds up play a bit too much for my liking.

      -Most of 6 nations was awful rugby, a terrible advertisement for the sport. Trigger happy refs penalising a lot.

      -Also the issues of home town bias , by refs have to be addressed to many home teams are getting the rub of the green which is not good and ruining the upset factor.

      -And I would mak tries 6 points, but still keep 100% penalties at 3 points.

      -Rugby if it wants to find new demographics and a more entertaining product, must have the ball in play longer percentage wise over a match.

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2013 @ 1:40am
        biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:40am | ! Report

        Hi Johnno,

        I believe there are two areas very easy to simplify.

        Mauls and rucks.

        Ruck needs four laws, no more

        Come through the gate,
        If you play the ball be on you feet
        Stay onside
        IF you take the ball into contact you lose it if it doesn’t come out.

        My reasoning is very simple, teams will stop running crashball without support runners as offloading will be vital to maintain momentum. You will see more offloads, cleaner and more efficient clearing at the ruck, a faster game which inevitably leads to more entertainment.

        Maul, change one law, pull down the maul. It will stop players having to go around and infringe, again, teams will ensure better ball control, and stop going to the point of no return where the game is halted for a scrum because the ball doesn’t come out.

        By simplifyin those two aspects, there will be less left to interpretation variations and more playtime.

        • Columnist

          March 23rd 2013 @ 2:09am
          Spiro Zavos said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:09am | ! Report

          biltongbek, you are correct.
          Your suggestions are what the ELVs put in place. The ELVs rewrote the laws of rugby from scratch and came up with about 30 changes, some of them are in place but the important ones like the tackled ball simplification (along the lines you suggest) and taking down the maul were killed by the RFU, England’s rugby union which has opposed all improvements in the laws since 1895.
          After the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the IRB should simply re-instate the full ELVs.
          Problem solved.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2013 @ 2:13am
            biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:13am | ! Report

            Thanks Spiro, you don’t happen to know where one can get a copy of the intial elv’s

            • Roar Guru

              March 23rd 2013 @ 2:24am
              jeznez said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:24am | ! Report

              Agree with Spiro the full ELVs on were great. I only ever saw them in Aussie club rugby and they were awesome and quite aligned to your suggestions. Free kicks for most offences and hands in the ruck allowed if you were on your feet. These were the two main things.

            • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:25am
              Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:25am | ! Report

              biltonbek maybe just try and google , original ELV’S who knows a copy may come up.

          • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:11am
            Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:11am | ! Report

            The ELVs were not just opposed by the RFU. Infact that is a ludicrous suggestion. Some of its biggest opponents were from NZ.
            Those who want the ELVs should watch League.
            Imo they ruined the game, caused aerial ping pong, removed the maul from play and let defence spread as a result, caused more cheating with less penalty for infringing.

            The good laws from the ELVs have been kept.

            • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:27am
              Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:27am | ! Report

              Laws I would like to see introduced.

              The new scrum ELV where you bind before the hit.

              9 man bench with 9 substitutions.

              Halfback of defending team not allowed past tunnel.

              3 points for a conversion.

              Clock stops after try awarded, restarts on kickoff.

              Clock stops for penalty kick, restarts on forward movement of kickers run up.

              2 on-field refs. a ruck ref and an offside ref or wider play ref.

              Steve Walsh to be slapped by every player after every game.

              • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:37am
                Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:37am | ! Report

                why 9 man bench Hightackle.

              • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:54am
                Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:54am | ! Report

                1) Loosehead.
                2) Hooker.
                3) Tighthead.
                4) Lock.
                5) Backrow.
                6) Half.
                7) Flyhalf.
                8) Centre.
                9) Wing/Fullback.

                I may be getting rid of utilities to a certain extent but imo if any game needs 9 subs its rugby due to its diverse positional skills and body types.

            • March 24th 2013 @ 10:56am
              nomis said | March 24th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

              I think we saw the aerial ping pong in SR where the full ELV’s were not used. I don’t think this occurred in the ARC where they used the full ELV’s

            • March 25th 2013 @ 9:35pm
              sledgeandhammer said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

              That’s just rewriting history. While a few crusty old NZ pundits may have opposed the laws, surveys of actual super rugby level Kiwi players were overwhelmingly in favour of, and postive about the ELVs. No offence, but between your opinion and the players, I side with the players.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 3:41am
          AndyS said | March 23rd 2013 @ 3:41am | ! Report

          So just to be clear Bil, off the top of my head you are saying that:
          – the tackler no longer has to release or roll away
          – the ball carrier doesn’t have to play the ball or even make it available
          – anyone can interfere to stop him from doing so even if he tried, or scrag players on their feet
          – mountaineering and slipperings are fine
          – trying to kick the ball out of the players possession is fine
          – players can dive in and join the ruck any old how
          – players can go straight to ground, seal off, collapse the ruck, jump on top of it, etc?

          It is easy to say that things need simplifying and it may even be true, but the laws and subclauses are all conveniently numbered – just list the specific ones that can be deleted.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2013 @ 4:43am
            Who Needs Melon said | March 23rd 2013 @ 4:43am | ! Report

            I agree with AndyS. Simplification seems to be a noble ideal… but in practice there always seem to be good reasons why the subclauses or whatever were adopted in the first place. And most of those reasons are still current.

            There are one or two things I’d like to see changed around the scrum that have been discussed here on previous articles – changing ‘touch’ to ‘bind’ or something like that and not resetting the scrum when the ball is already out and/or available (more an interpretation thing) – but that’s about it.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2013 @ 5:12am
            biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 5:12am | ! Report

            Andy, if you look at each of your points they are up for interpretation and players attmept to fool or con the referee.

            Tacklers supposedly roll away, or supposedly try to get out of the way, yet they roll into the scrumhalf, roll over the ball, roll sideways to where it impedes a supporting player etc. all of these only have to happen for half a second to effect the clearing of a ruck.

            The Ball carrier are often impeded by the tackle assist to play the ball anyway

            Players on the other side of the ruck where the referee is get away with slippering and mountaneering all the time.

            Can’t see how kicking is going to be an option

            Can’t dive into a ruck if you are supposed to be on your feet

            Sealing off is not allowed.

            The point I am getting at is that the ruck must become a contest between players. If a team wishes not to contest a ruck, they should get caught with ball in hand.

            • March 23rd 2013 @ 7:24pm
              mitzter said | March 23rd 2013 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

              You haven’t proided a workable solution biltongbek. As much as Spiro loved the oiginal elvs there were good reasons why they weren’t used.The rucks were a complete mess withmany players of their feet and rucks unplayable. You might think hands would be fine (aftr all if hands are in there first we allow them) but this actually encourages going off your feet rather than pushing past the ball. The problems were much worse the more sklls the players had.
              We have already discussed mauls on anoher post so i won’t repeat why I think they’re great and shouldn’t be rmoed from rugby as was the result of the elvs.

              • Roar Guru

                March 23rd 2013 @ 7:34pm
                biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

                Mitzter, I don’t see how my suggestions are not workable.

                A ball carrier gets tackled, him and the tackler are on the ground, therefor both have to release the ball, the next arrival if on his feet can play the ball, be it a support runner or defender, if the ball is not immediately secured by either the ruck will effectively commence as both teams fight for the ball.

                consider those playing the ball must be on their feet.

                Thus far easy to offciate.

                Did the players (tackler and carrier release the ball?)( those arriving are they on their feet?) (Are anyone sealing off the ball?) (Did every player come through their respective gate?)(those standing off the ruck are they onside?)

                Ball is either won and play commences, or the ball is not coming out, possession goes to the defending team.

                What is not workable there?

                Mauls, I don’t want mauls to be removed, I just want mauls to be allowed to be pulled down. That is the only change. It is up to the attacking team to keep it up. Simple

              • March 25th 2013 @ 9:38pm
                sledgeandhammer said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

                So a true contest for the ball is a complete mess now? The rucks under the ELVs were ballistic and great fun to watch, players just went hard to win the ball, not BS. I loved ruck and maul time under the ELVs, better than the contrived crap we have now where a defender only has to keep his feet and lay one hand on the ball to win a penalty.

              • Roar Guru

                March 25th 2013 @ 9:48pm
                biltongbek said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

                Agree sledgehammer It made good viewing to see a true contest.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 9:18am
          soapit said | March 23rd 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          so how do you stop people diving over?

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2013 @ 9:21am
            biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

            Penalise them, if they are off their feet, you blow.

            • March 23rd 2013 @ 5:12pm
              AndyS said | March 23rd 2013 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

              Penalise them how – by your only four laws, they could only be penalised for diving over if they then played the ball…?

              It is one thing for players to try and get away with breaking the laws now, quite another to tell them all that they will no longer be penalised at all.

              • Roar Guru

                March 23rd 2013 @ 5:42pm
                biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                No, by implication diving over is deliberatley going off your feet.

              • March 23rd 2013 @ 6:19pm
                AndyS said | March 23rd 2013 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                So that is a fifth law that the ruck needs. What about the players that are no longer making any attempt at all to roll away – anything need doing about them?

              • Roar Guru

                March 23rd 2013 @ 6:35pm
                biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

                Andy you are being pedantic now, it is logical that going off your feet to seal the ball off is the same as being off your feet and playing the ball.

                You are preventing those on their feet to participate

              • March 24th 2013 @ 1:06am
                AndyS said | March 24th 2013 @ 1:06am | ! Report

                So which laws are you saying should be eliminated in the interests of simplification then? From the sounds of this and the response to Mitzer above, it seems what you are actually saying is that all the current laws are fine so long as they are all infallibly applied. That is quite a different thing from the IRB simplifying them though.

                Agree on the maul though. I was dead against allowing it to be pulled down when the ELVs first came out, but changed my mind as the season progressed. Far from destroying the maul as an option or being dangerous, it forced players into far better tehnical execution and made the rolling maul much better.

              • Roar Guru

                March 24th 2013 @ 1:59am
                biltongbek said | March 24th 2013 @ 1:59am | ! Report

                Andy the biggest difference is to allow hands in the ruck at any time as kong as you are on your feet.

                The interpretation of when to release as a ruck has formed is the greatest commomn denominator for penalties.

                By saying to the players yoy may contest the ball, AS LONG AS YOU ARE ON YOU FEET, irrespective of the fact that the ruck has formed, allows both teams to contest for the ball.

                If the team taking it in, similar to a team taking a ball into maul doesn’t manage to bring it out, lose possession.

              • March 24th 2013 @ 2:54am
                AndyS said | March 24th 2013 @ 2:54am | ! Report

                Ah, gotcha, but would have said that that particular law is a pretty minor contributor to breakdown penalties relative to the all the other transgressions that are open to interpretation (entry, releasing, holding on, sealing off, supporting weight, rolling away, etc). As noted, it was tried in the ELVs – led to a lot of kicking as most of the hands in the ruck weren’t trying to secure the ball, just stopping it coming out. Made the breakdown a big raffle, so players went to the boot instead and hoped the opposition would take it in.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 6:34pm
          Chivas said | March 23rd 2013 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

          You could simplify it more. No rucks or mauls. That would be league. Take away forwards, that would be soccer, use a bat that would be polo…

          The ruck and maul has already been damaged, y not kill it. We aren’t allowed to ruck, because some teams can’t. Allowing teams to pull down the maul. Another response playing into the hands of the weak. How would pulling down mauls lead to a more flowing game. It’s been tried and didn’t lead to a more exciting game.

          Leave it alone for a bit I say.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2013 @ 6:39pm
            biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

            How do you get from making the ruck and maul more in line where players are doing to competing, to taking it away?

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:07am
        Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:07am | ! Report

        I dont agree with the last 10 mins thing. All game or not at all.
        I like the idea of having tries worth 5 and conversions worth 3 (all goals are 3 points).

        They are trialing scrums where on “touch” you bind and on set there is a smaller distance on the hit.
        According to reports it is going well.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:43am
      Minz said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:43am | ! Report

      How about helping out refs with how to call scrums? I’m sure not too many of them are ex-front rowers! The number of scrums at international level where one prop is clearly (on TV!) pulling down the scrum and yet wins a penalty against the other team is really surprisingly high. Perhaps the refs need schooling in scrum dirty tricks?

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:49am
        Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:49am | ! Report

        2 refs on pitch may help, 2 sets of eyes on both sides of scrum or have TMO, being allowed to penalise on scrums if they infringement in the scrum.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:56am
      Onor said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:56am | ! Report

      Why cant the props use their hands to push themselves up if a scrums about to go down! penalties are killing the game!

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2013 @ 2:16am
        biltongbek said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:16am | ! Report

        I fully agree with you one that one.

        There must be a balance between common sense of trying to keep a scrum up and avoiding the collapse and a referee thinking a prop is trying to get an unfair advantage.

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:33am
        Malo said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:33am | ! Report

        Good point but think if Aussie sides continually collapse time after time the yellow card must come out. It seems to be an Aussie phenomena against every team

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 6:07am
        Hightackle said | March 23rd 2013 @ 6:07am | ! Report

        You have to drop your bind to do it I guess.
        However sometimes its allowed and sometimes its not.

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:57am
      Malo said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:57am | ! Report

      Johnno what you are creating is more penalties and more stoppages for infringements thus frustrating the public more. I believe referees should be more lax and only penalise on clear case infringements. Reduce penalties such as coming in the side, allow rucking, take time off for goal penalties which waste countless minutes. Only award penalties for clear infringements , let the game flow. The breakdown should be a free for all, allow mauling more this will create more space. Cut out heaps of laws. Scrums are now too low that is why they are collapsing more than ever, they should be going slightly up rather than horizontal, now they are horizontal bordering on going down . Make lineouts a free for all just police straightness and not taking players out, but dont worry about numbers in. Reduce the number of penalties where you can go for goal. Make the balls heavier, ie leather balls so you cant kick goals from 50m out thus encouraging tries. Johnno please 40/20 kick means sides will kick all day and 2 refs means double the penalties and more stoppages. Keep the basics like forward passes knock ons, foul play and off side but it basically let it flow.

      • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:02am
        Johnno said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:02am | ! Report

        Malo you make a lot of sense. What’s your opinion on the 5-second rule, if you have a free for all at ruck-time, I think you need a shot clock otherwise the ball will never come out.

        A case example, the RWC final 2011, NZ just killed the ball in that last 10 minutes it was awful, under the 5 second rule they have to play the ball out of the ruck faster.

        On a side note the most pure rugby I saw over a complete season was the 2012 ITM cup. Was awesome rugby, the games flowed, and high percentage ball in play over a match.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 2:17am
          Malo said | March 23rd 2013 @ 2:17am | ! Report

          Agree with time but 5 seconds if it is sitting at the back they should have to clear it out but yeah I think mauls etc should be about 20sec but the refs are getting better at that this year. Yeah agree the ITM cup games but i thought the Sharks Brumbies game was a cracker and think there will be good games this weekend, it is more of a problem from northern hemisphere refs. Rugby has always had this problem since I watched but the scrum resets is the major issue at the moment, I think Aussie sides are the major cause in this and have largely created this phenomena alla ever since Eddie Jones. Quality sides such as nz teams create less infringements and hence are better spectacles and make the refs job easier.

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 7:39am
          Greg said | March 23rd 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

          Last ten minutes is an exageration. Three minutes max.

          • March 23rd 2013 @ 12:54pm
            Bakkies said | March 23rd 2013 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            ”Reduce penalties such as coming in the side”

            No. That encourages cynical and offside play. I have seen junior games destroyed by refs who allow that to happen as it makes rucks a mess and the ball to be killed. I would hate to see a pro match where people have paid good money to watch be ruined by that.

            • March 23rd 2013 @ 1:07pm
              Malo said | March 23rd 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              Bakkies not coming in offside but the constant penalising that they must come thru the gate is being overdone and tiresome, just relax the interpretation a bit so less penalties, you dont want players to be to scared that they may give a penalty if they dont do everything 100% correctly.

              • March 24th 2013 @ 12:40pm
                Bakkies said | March 24th 2013 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                It already is relaxed. Look how often McCaw gets away with lying on the wrong side of the ruck, coming in from the side, not staying on his feet. It has led to opposition taking the law in to their own hands with cheap shots to take him out of the game as referees are refusing to penalise his cynical ruck play. It’s just an example of what happens when referees are lenient at the breakdown.

                If they do it correctly you increase the chances of getting a good, quick, clean game of Rugby.

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