/ Six Nations 2014

Kidney urges review of ELVs

Updated: Monday, 02 Mar 2009 08:12

Ireland coach Declan Kidney believes the new ELVs are contributing to a more restricted game
Ireland coach Declan Kidney believes the new ELVs are contributing to a more restricted game

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has urged lawmakers to reconsider the rule changes he claims are damaging rugby as a spectacle.

The Experimental Law Variations were introduced to encourage attacking play but Kidney believes in some instances they have had the opposite effect.

Kidney cites the prolonged aerial ping-pong in Saturday's attritional 14-13 RBS 6 Nations victory over England as an example of why teams are struggling to break down defences.

'The changes in the ELVs where you can't maul means there's less space,' he said.

'A large percentage of the game is now in the favour of the defence. That's why you're getting so much kicking.

'Hopefully the lawmakers will look at why there isn't space on the pitch and the lack of the maul is one of them.

'At the ruck situation you have to commit four players to secure the ball, the opposition maybe one or two, so there's never space with players dropping back.'

Ireland remain on course for a first Grand Slam since 1948 after dispatching England in a brutal encounter at Croke Park.

But the scoreline failed to reflect their superiority and Kidney insists his side were hamstrung by slow ball.

'We showed good resilience and pressure throughout and that is improving,' he added.

'The forwards brought huge energy to the pitch, guys like Paul O'Connell hit so many rucks. But we didn't get enough quick ball and the gaps just weren't appearing.'

Ireland now travel to Scotland for their penultimate match as favourites to win the Six Nations title, but Kidney still believes his side are punching above their weight.

'The view that we would beat England heavily never came from us,' said the former Munster coach.

'There is never a bad England team, especially when their backs are against the wall like they were when they played us.

'They were extremely difficult to break down and we had to put our all into it.

'We're an okay team. We have four professional teams, England have 12 and they have a semi-professional league below that.

'We came away with a one-point win in a venue that is very important to us. It was important to win both games against them here.

'There's a lot of experience in our team. They have been down different roads in the past but we know there's no one like Scotland to disturb a party.'

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