Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ELVs: IRB agree on the new laws

The IRB have finally agreed on which of the ELVS experimented with over the past 12 months will become a permanent part of the game. In terms of the number of law changes it sounds significant - ten out of 13 ELVs will be implemented - but once you look at the detail the phrase "damp squib" comes to mind.

For example none of the following changes will now be implemented:
  • Pulling down of rucks
  • Different numbers of players in line outs
  • Replacement of penalties with free kicks for "minor" offences
Instead once the dust has cleared and the fanfares died away, the changes to be implemented from the start of next season, will be:
  1. Assistant Referees (aka Touch Judges) will be able to assist Referees in any way the Referee requires (hardly a controversial idea)
  2. If a team puts the ball back in their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain in ground (virtually everyone agreed this was a good idea - but practically it will have no effect on the way your games are played as kicking for touch is pretty rare)
  3. A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team's goal line (as above!)
  4. The receiver at the line-out must be two metres back away from the line-out (not a major issue)
  5. The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball must stand in the area between the five metre line and touch line and must be two metres from the line of touch and at least two metres from the line-out (which is more or less what used to happen anyway... unless you played Welwyn!)
  6. Line-out players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in (which most of us thought was legal anyway!)
  7. The lifting of line-out jumpers is permitted (ditto!)
  8. Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum (generally felt to be a good idea)
  9. Scrum-half offside line at the scrum (again tidies things up a bit)
  10. The corner posts are no longer considered to be touch in goal except when the ball is grounded against the post (in practice makes the try line about six inches wider)
So the revolution to change the game ends up being an administrative exercise that tidies up a few loose ends. Quite what the southern hemisphere nations - and in particular Australia - will make of it we will see. Some leading lights in Australia have made threats which boiled down to having a sulk and going to play by themselves if they did not get their own way - we will now see how serious they were...

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