All Blacks unfazed by ELVs
Daniel Carter and Richie McCaw insist they are not worried about playing the upcoming Tests under rugby's Experimental Law Variations.
Last Updated: 04/06/08 11:04am
New Zealand star duo Daniel Carter and Richie McCaw insist they are not worried about playing under rugby's Experimental Law Variations for the upcoming Tests against Ireland and England.
After playing this year's Super 14 under some of the ELVs, All Blacks fly-half Carter and captain McCaw believe they will have no problem adapting back to the 'old' laws that have been used in the northern hemisphere this season.
"Every player has played under those rules, it's just a matter of flicking the switch," said Carter.
"There are a few slight changes around the rucks and mauls that we have to deal with but it's just one of those things. You just get out there and play. I don't see it as being a big factor."
Under the ELVs used in the Super 14, the defence had to be five metres behind the hindmost foot of the scrum and Carter said he would have to adjust quickly to having less time and space to work in.
"Their defence will be up in your face a lot faster from scrums but we'll be able to do the same when we are on defence," he said.
"But there will be a bit more leeway in being able to throw the ball back into the 22 and being allowed to kick it out."
McCaw, who specialises in stealing turnover ball, does not think he will need to adjust his game in order to abide by the change of ruling.
"The law at the breakdown hasn't really changed, it's just the sanction for it.," he said.
"(Under the ELVs) the referees got tough on getting rid of the tackler right away, which should happen anyway I believe.
"And teams that are accurate get across the advantage line and it becomes a lot easier to play the game. That's the biggest difference and that's a positive."
McCaw, 27, also admits he has no qualms about any Irish attempts to frustrate the All Blacks by slowing the ball down in Wellington.
"When we go out and play teams we want to slow the ball down as well," he said.
"You slow it down by stopping teams going across the advantage line in first-phase defence. That's the way to really slow it down and that's going to be their plan just as it's ours.
"In terms of how you do it, you do it with what you can get away with but hopefully it's not too much."
It will be Carter's first match against Ireland and the first time the All Blacks have played since last year's disappointing quarter-final exit to France at the World Cup.
The 26-year-old revealed that he his looking forward to pitting himself against opposing fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who arrives in New Zealand on the back of Munster's Heineken Cup success.
"Ronan has played well this season. He is an extremely experienced player and will lead the team around well," he said.
"They are reasonably experienced and have some campaigners there that know how to play test match football.
"Ronan will direct them - he has a good kicking game - to play in the right area of the field and they will try to match us up front.
"So there are a few things that we expect and we have to be right on top of our game if we're going to do well."