Stage set for 2008 Shute Shield
Scrum.com
March 25, 2008

Sydney Club Rugby season will kick off this weekend with the official season launch of the 2008 Tooheys New Shute Shield taking place today at the IBM Centre.

The 2008 season is focused on 'good honest Rugby in your own backyard', which is exactly what the Tooheys New Shute Shield will deliver over the six-month season.

This year sees a return to a full home-and-away round of matches, local derby rounds, landmark implementation of the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) and a prevalence of high quality players returning to club Rugby on a regular basis.

"This certainly is an exciting season for club Rugby," said NSWRU Chief Executive Officer Jim L'Estrange. "For the first time since 2001 the Tooheys New Shute Shield will be played out over a full series of home-and-away matches, while Grand Final Day will see all four grades return to Concord Oval on what should be a fantastic occasion.

"We are going to see all of the ELVs played across the top four grades, which will give the IRB one of its biggest testing grounds for the new laws.

"Round 11 and the final round of competition are both local derby rounds, which will see some of the traditional match-ups all take place on the one day - Randwick-Easts, Manly-Warringah, Norths-Gordon - there's sure to be fireworks in these rounds.

Mr L'Estrange highlighted the fact that the release of unselected NSW squad members back to their squad on a week-to-week basis was a win-win-win situation for the player, the club and the state.

"This year, unselected players will be released back to their clubs each week to strengthen their game, help their club and push for higher honours with strong performances."

Seventeen HSBC Waratahs and HSBC Junior Waratahs players will be released back to their clubs for round one of the Tooheys New Shute Shield including David Lyons (Sydney University), Dan Palmer (Southern Districts), Luke Burgess (Eastern Suburbs), Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University), Ben Mowen (Randwick) and Ben Batger (Eastwood).

The match of the day will once again be broadcast each week on ABC Television, with the round one blockbuster seeing defending champions Sydney University travel to Manly Oval to take on the Phil Blake-coached Marlins. Coverage on ABC 1 starts at 3:00pm.

TOOHEYS NEW SHUTE SHIELD - ROUND 1
Saturday, 29 March 2008 (Kick-off 3:00pm)
Eastern Suburbs v Gordon at Woollahra Oval
Penrith v Northern Suburbs at Nepean Rugby Park
Eastwood v Parramatta at T.G. Millner Field

Warringah v West Harbour at Pittwater Rugby Park
Manly v Sydney University at Manly Oval (ABC TV Match of the Day)
Southern Districts v Randwick

EXPERIMENTAL LAW VARIATIONS FOR THE 2008 SEASON

Premier Rugby (1st to 4th Grade) will be played under all of the ELVs published by the IRB. The purpose of the ELVs is to provide more continuity of play and to simplify the laws so that there are less penalties and stoppages.

Super 14 is being played under selected ELVs only. The ELVs which effect Super 14 relate to taking the ball back into the 22 metre area, the offside line at the scrum, the offside line at the tackle and the sanctions for offences.

Find below a brief summary of the entire ELV suite to be applied to Premier Rugby in 2008.

Inside the 22 Metre Line

If a team puts the ball back into its own 22 metre area the ball can no longer be kicked out on the full.

Lineout

At a quick throw in the ball may be thrown backwards towards the throwers goal line. It cannot be thrown forward however. The non throwing hooker does not have to stand between the touchline and the 5 metre line. He can join the lineout if he wishes. Neither team dictates the numbers in the lineout. There is no limit to the maximum a team puts into the lineout but they must have a minimum of 2. If a lineout throw is not straight, a free kick is awarded to the non throwing team.

Tackle/Ruck

Arriving players must approach the tackle from their goal line side and be parallel to the touch line (through the gate). When a tackle occurs there are offside lines and players must retire behind those offside lines. The offside lines are parallel to the goal lines through the hindmost part of the hindmost player of each team at the tackle. If the ball becomes unplayable at the tackle/ruck, the side that did not take the ball into contact is awarded a free kick. Players may use their hands in the ruck to win the ball.

Maul

Defending players may collapse a maul. If a maul becomes unplayable, the team not in possession at the start of the maul is awarded a free kick. Truck and trailer is no longer an offence provided it is formed from an existing maul.

Scrum

The offside line for players who are not participating in the scrum is 5 metres behind the hindmost foot of the scrum.

Kick Offs & 22 Metre Drop Outs

For any infringements which occur at the kickoff or 22 metre drop out, the sanction is a free kick.

Sanctions

Penalties are awarded for offside, not through the gate and foul play (including repeated and deliberate infringements). For all other offences the sanction is a free kick.

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