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The JR Blog

The JR Blog tackles the topics effecting Rugby, with a special interest on the effects they may have on the Junior Rugby world.

Maybe 13 is the lucky number to get rugby out of this dire state of affairs. Put your hand up if you are enjoying the drudgery we face every test match in the current Tri-nations arena. If your hand is raised I am sure you are feeling a little lonely at the moment.

If the IRB and the Northern Hemisphere powers that be aren’t keen to change the rules of the game to increase the viewing pleasure then maybe the only alternative is to drop the flankers. It pains me to say it as I am an ex-flanker and loved the position, however, in light of the increase in skill level and defensive adaptability the game is to big to fit 15 players on the field and score tries.

The aim should always be to place the advantage of the game in the hands of the attacking team, giving them the best opportunity to score tries, providing they can hold onto the ball and limit mistakes. At the moment the advantage is firmly gripped by the defensive team.

Defence has come so far in rugby that most teams only need to place 2 or 3 players in the ruck to win or slow the ball down, while the attacking team usually has to double that number just to maintain possession. Do the maths and you can see why everyone is resorting to the arial game, it’s the only way through.

Ironically the IRB and the Northern Hemisphere hand brakes complained about the increased amount of kicking in the ELV’s. Naturally they resorted to a conservative amendment to the rules and unfortunately I can’t see much of an improvement. The Super 14 was run under the ELVs and even though the speed of the game was increased the spectacle didn’t really live up to expectations.

What other law changes can actually benefit the attacking team, possibly making the ruck defensive line 5m back (league style governed by the touch judge), drop the rule allowing the tackler to play the ball after getting to his feet or as Graham Henry mentioned giving a mark for every kick caught on the full.

Personally I think these changes will mean a greater intrusion into the game we all know and love. Reducing the numbers will mean the rules can remain the same and the only change will be a little more space on the field and let’s face it who wouldn’t love to see a back line with a little more space?

Looking at the rule changes being thrown around I think this is by far the best alternative and lets face it the defensive patterns will quickly adapt or maybe not, isn’t that what we want?

Jason Grier | Monday, August 24, 2009 | Comments ((Disabled)) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

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