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ELV’s – Did we need them?


A report in News24 suggests that the ELV’s for all its glamour actually failed to deliver on its promise.

The saying all that glitters is not (necessarily) gold aptly applies to the effect of the various sets of Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) used in South Africa in 2008 and also in the Super 14 and Tri-Nations competitions this year.

If this year’s tries and points scored in the three major competitions in which South Africa compete are compared to those of last year, the advantages of the ELVs are only marginal – and the question must be asked whether the upheaval they caused was worth the trouble.

In fact, if the extra time played in the matches because of the purported greater continuity under the ELVs is added into the equation, it may well be found that the number of tries and points scored per minute played have gone down in all instances!

True, statistics are not necessarily exact, and there are the discrepancies brought about last year when the Springboks played their last two Tri-Nations Tests in Australasia with what was a virtual B-side. In the Super 14, New Zealand’s All Blacks were also withdrawn for the first half of the 2007 competition. And this year’s Currie Cup still has two rounds to go with the top sides playing the bottom teams – something that can affect the final analysis of the ELVs.

It is interesting, however, to note that the points scored in the 2007 and 2008 Super 14 competitions differed by only one – 4000 in 2008 and 4001 the previous year Comparisons in the three major international competitions in which South African sides took part in 2007 and 2008 are as follows: Super 14: Points in 91 matches in 2007: 4001 points, ave 43,97 points per match Points in 91 matches in 2008: 4000 points, ave 43,96 points per match Tries in 91 matches in 2007: 426 tries, ave 4,68 tries per match. Tries in 91 matches in 2008: 483 tries, ave 5,31 tries per match Conclusion: 0,61 tries more per match under ELVs


Points in 6 matches in 2007: 242 points, ave 40,33 points per match

Points in 9 matches in 2008: 386 points, ave 42,89 points per match

Tries in 6 matches: 19 tries, ave 3,17 tries per match

Tries in 9 matches: 43 tries, ave 4,78 tries per match Conclusion: 1,61 more tries per match under ELVs 2,22 points more per match under ELVs

Currie Cup:

Points in 56 matches in 2007: 3086, ave 55,11 points per match

Points in 48 matches in 2008: 2518, ave 52,46 points per match

Tries in 56 matches in 2007: 387 tries, ave 6,91 tries per match

Tries in 48 matches in 2008: 310 tries, ave 6,46 tries per match Conclusion: 0,46 tries less per match under ELVs 2,65 points less per match under ELVs

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  1. I really don’t know what the big issue is with the ELV’s. As a player I don’t really find them that disturbing or disrupting.

    The number of players in the lineout definitley make the game quicker and allow the ref to look for other things that might have gone unnoticed – Like the bugger that is pulling me down in the lineout.

    The maul has always been pulled down if we are honest about it. And if you organise the maul correctly you can still put 20m drives in.

    As for the 5 yards to the back of the scrum – Well I’m a forward – I don’t give a crap ’bout stuff like that – Those pansies in the back can worry about that.

    The not kickout from the 22 when it is passed back is pretty freakin simple – if you can’t understand that you maybe need a walkman to tell you to breathe in and out.

    What else is new ? Our ref from lastweek Saturday made up a rule on his way to the game – you are not allowed to bridge when one of your players get tackled – if you do it is a penalty. That was a crap one…


  2. The biggest problem lies with
    the way different referees
    handle things like (a) coming in
    from the side (b) not rolling away
    (c) hands in the ruck.

    The ELV’s changed nothing in this

  3. Boertjie

    The refs here in Enland has come up with a solution to (b) – When a guy is getting raked – close your eyes – unless it is on a joint.

    All rules can be bent\ abused by players – the rolling away one – I tackled a guy on Saturday who broke through (yes yes I know – but Miracle’s happen) Very few of my players were onside – I was off my feet – kept my arms around him for about 2 seconds and then rolled towards their side – impeding their scrumhalf and giving my team time to get their lazy asses onside – and the ref told me “Thank you No4 – good rolling away.”


  4. Die afbreek punt lyk soos n waterpolo game….net arms waar jy kyk…

    En die ref moet interpreteer oor wie nou eintlik die kakmaker is …..

  5. TB

    Actually – Yes – I was watching the one All Black prop doing it last week – What is good for them is probably even better for me.

    Do you have my email address ? Pop me a quick one – Want to send you a few pics from our game on Saturday.


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