I think it took well over a year for our teams to cope with the new rules, in fact it was the All Black’s terrible effort against the Wallabies first up last year in Sydney (we lost 34-19) that led us to do away with the hopeless kick and chase. Teams are still struggling to find their feet with new rules that are interpreted differently by each ref.
However, swinging the pendulum full back may just cause more trouble. Clearly the ELVs were rushed into top level comps and Tests too soon (to get them into the 2011 RWC), but all the Northern toss about it being a SANZAR plot to ‘depower’ the North?! Arse. Frightened of English dominance? Maybe in the twelve months following June 2003, but where are you now England? Seventh in the rankings? Its a case of “The Mouse That Roared”. If you do not have the players across the park that possess the athleticism and skills to play adaptive rugby, you can’t simply change the rules. This is the sort of crap kids pull when they are 6 years old.
Consensus has to be reached somehow otherwise North & South will dig in and tear themselves apart ... and that will be caused by the English RFU and the ARU - the two book ends of rugby in terms of on-field style and off-field political shenanigans. I wonder what Argentina is going to be offered for their votes? The Falklands? A Tri nations slot?
Thirteen Years of Super Rugby Reality Check Time:
- scrap the Super 14 teams, put our best provincial sides (not franchises) through to an international knockout round against the best Currie Cup sides, and whatever the ARU can organise
- let the Pacific islands in, in some form
- don’t give Aussie another team just because they are building another stadium (in Melbourne)
- the non-qualifying NZ teams could play off for the Ranfurly Shield
- the Tri Nations to be played every two years, or replaced, to allow tours that would create an ‘event’ for fans to follow (and overseas fans to attend) and hopefully stop us babysitting weak French or English sides
- stop banking on ‘expanding’ the Aussie TV audience for rugby union; it will never happen
- stop televising EVERY Air NZ Cup game ... even football in England has worked out this destroys attendance
- stop playing the Wallabies every 4 weeks, especially in neutral show-pony venues like Japan and Hong Kong; you are pimping out the All Blacks, and to corporate attendees only
- ask the Indians or the BCCI for some money?