What I am thinking of are the law changes. Two years after even the most pig ignorant fans had worked out the tackle ball was about as effective as using petrol to extinguish a bbq, the powers that be have cottoned on too. And it seems they might have actually got it right. Using the ball as the offside line is logical and more importantly, intuitive for the players. The penalties at tackle time finally make sense. Scottie "razor" Robinson was pinged once in the Crusaders game, and though he shook his head gave the usual victimised looks of disbelief, he was clearly offside. For the first time in two years I feel like more people than just that short fart with the whistle know what is going on at tackle time.
Even better, the sight of six front row forward having their snouts jammed firmly into the turf by the weight of a collapsed scrum seems to be almost a thing of the past. Changes to the laws concerning how forwards grab each others shorts seem to have sorted out a really annoying aspect of the game. Finally - no more wasted time as scrums are set, reset and set again and abloodygain!!
Have you picked the common theme here?
Yep. The laws are being steadily changed back to how they were. Back to the days when the game flowed and a team that played well could retain possession and recycle the ball. Think 1996 Super12, before the beloved tackle ball law changes and you might remember those good old days.
So.... in summary: What was working was ruthlessly and mercilessly fixed until it was broken. Two years later we are being presented with a strangely familiar model we all knew worked and are being confidently told it should work. Brilliant!!