Peter Bills: New approach closing in on 'perfect game'
The news this week that the northern hemisphere, like its southern hemisphere rivals, will have to learn to adapt to the new law interpretations in the 16 months leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, presents rugby in this part of the world with its greatest challenge for years.
IRB Referee Coordinator Paddy O'Brien confirmed that the zero tolerance of southern hemisphere referees in the Super 14 this year, regarding four critical areas, will be gradually implemented north of the equator. It is thrilling news for all those involved in the game in this part of the world.
Ever since the advent of professionalism, a rigid focus on defence has dominated the debate throughout the game, but especially in the northern hemisphere. Stopping sides playing, shutting down their attacking options and crowding them out with ever wilier defensive tactics has been the mantra.