World Rugby's optional rule trials have been widely rejected by national unions – no great surprise given the obvious flaws in the governing body's claims the changes would help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies captured the mood when he said the law-change proposal "eats away at the integrity of the game" while England's domestic league and New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson have been similarly dismissive.
The law proposals have, however, sparked fresh debate about ways in which rugby could be open to tweaks that may improve the game.
One of the strengths of the NRL – the first contact sport to resume in Brisbane on Thursday night as the Eels defeated the Broncos in an entertaining spectacle played behind closed doors – is the speed they usher through change.
• Brodie Retallick reveals why he turned down the Chiefs
• New Zealand Rugby optimistic about player market in wake of Covid-19 crisis
• World Rugby considering dropping scrums, mauls to hasten return
• Anzac rugby side proposed by Rugby Australia
The new six-again rule, when the referee waves for another set of tackles instead of awarding penalties for ruck infringements, immediately improved the flow and opened up the game; specifically in the middle of the field where small players with footwork and speed caused havoc.
This season the NRL also introduced the 'captain's challenge', while the broadcast features virtual crowd noise used to replace the lack of spectators, the latter evoking mixed reviews.
Rugby, by contrast, takes an age to implement any change because it usually requires approval from the various national unions.
In a New Zealand setting, for the short term at least, that context no longer exists.
New Zealand will be the first country to resume rugby union when Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off in two weeks, on June 13.
With sole control over that tournament and no need to consult traditional Sanzaar partners, innovations and law trials are certain to accompany the opening match between the Highlanders and Chiefs in Dunedin, and follow throughout the 10-week competition.
Any changes must be careful to preserve the game's essence, and this is why the vast majority of World Rugby's recommendations around rucks, mauls, scrums and upright tackles have been met with rolled eyes.
The rare autonomy New Zealand enjoys with regards to Super Rugby Aotearoa presents a chance to be bold – in many respects to lead the way in attempting to improve rugby as captivated global audiences watch on.
With that in mind, here are law tweaks worth considering.
1. Virtual offside line
Properly policing the offside line is one of the most pressing issues facing the game. Rugby, as a spectacle, is best when there is time and space on the ball and freedom to move.
Teams in recent years have widely adopted various forms of rush defences in which the aim is to suffocate attacks, usually by flying up in the midfield and leaving space on the edge.
Tactically there is nothing wrong with this approach. It was central in leading both the Springboks and England to the World Cup final last year.
Gripes arise, however, when referees give defences the upper hand by allowing them to set up camp well-offside.
All teams push the boundaries in all areas. Officials attempting to police the breakdown while assessing the offside line face a difficult task, so why not help them out?
Projecting a virtual line onto the pitch would give a clear indication of whether a player – or in some cases whole defensive lines - creep offside. Sideline assistants or the television match official could help spot defenders edging forward and relay this to the referee.
Football has embraced goal line technology – rugby would surely benefit from adopting this aspect too.
The offside rule doesn't need changing, but it certainly needs much more stringent enforcement.
2. Allow sent off players to be replaced
World Rugby's proposal for an orange card was downright bizarre.
In short, it was suggested a player awarded an orange card would leave the field while the TMO determined whether they should receive a red or yellow card. If it was deemed a yellow card, they could return after 15 minutes – five minutes longer than a traditional yellow punishment. Whoever came up with that proposal needs a gold star in absurdity.
A much better option for any orange card proposal could be for a player to be binned for 20 minutes – enough time to damage but not completely cripple a team. Another option is to send a player off but allow a team to replace them after 20 minutes.
The crux of the issue as it stands is a red card often ruins the contest after one early incident. Paying punters, both at the venue and at home, feel ripped off in these circumstances.
3. Ruck speed
One of the few suggested World Rugby law tweaks with any merit is reducing the time halfbacks have to use the ball at the base of a ruck from five seconds to three. The problem, once again, is the rules not being enforced. I can't ever remember a referee penalising a halfback for taking too long to use the ball. Merely shouting 'use it' is like telling a teenager not to have a swig of beer. Good luck.
Policing a two-second reduction would be incredibly difficult, adding yet another focus point in an already inherently complex sport. But the purpose is sound. Far too often games, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, are dominated by halfbacks trading endless box kicks while enjoying all the time in the world to edge the ball to the back of the ruck before performing the skill. Ultimately, this leads to long periods of dull, aerial, ping pong.
Cracking down on the time allowed to use the ball should be pursued, and would help improve the spectacle.
4. Golden point
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has confirmed golden point extra time is on the table for Super Rugby Aotearoa, and so it should be. Nobody enjoys playing or watching draws. Stalemates leave emptiness – a dissatisfaction.
The drawn British and Irish Lions series in 2017 is the best example of the need to play on to decide an outcome. Kieran Read and Sam Warburton sharing the trophy was almost as awkward as John Key's three-way handshake.
The least you can give players who take lumps out of each other over 80 minutes is a definitive result.
5. Scrap scrum resets
Scrums remain an essential core part of rugby's ethos but too much time is wasted by resets. Free kicking the infringing team would help reduce the dead time and keep the ball in play more.
The challenge would be making the correct decision. When it comes to the dark arts of the front row, hoodwinking referees comes with the manual.