Otago Daily Times

Landers coach happy with new Super Rugby rules

- STEVE HEPBURN

HIGHLANDER­S coach Tony Brown has given the thumbs up to rule changes

The changes, consisting of a goal line dropout and captain’s referrals, will start in preseason matches which kick off this weekend. Golden point and red card replacemen­ts, introduced last year, will remain.

A goal line dropout will occur when an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the ingoal or knocks the ball on in the ingoal area, or when an attacking kick, other than a penalty or drop goal attempt, is grounded by the defending team in its ingoal area.

A captain’s referral will give each captain one opportunit­y per match to ask the referee to have the television match official (TMO) check for an infringeme­nt before a try, or to review foul play.

Brown said the new rules were exciting and all statistics pointed to them creating more ball in play. There could be fewer 5m scrums.

He said the referral system should make sure calls at the end of games were correct.

The TMO will only be able to go back to the last stoppage in play, regardless of how many phases have been played.

Foul play referrals can be made after any stoppage in play if the captain believes foul play has been missed by the match officials.

The captain’s referral will be applied more broadly from the 75minute mark in any match and can be used to check any referee’s decision, regardless of whether a try has been scored.

An unsuccessf­ul referral will lead to the team losing it. The rationale for introducin­g the goal line dropout was to reward attacking teams by allowing them to build pressure and to encourage defending teams to clear the ball from their ingoal area.

It is hoped more teams will attack from a goal line dropout as they will be in attacking areas.

The dropout can be taken from anywhere along the goal line and must go 5m.

In Super Rugby Australia, new rules allow redcarded players to be replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes, while a fivesecond time limit to use the ball once available will also be policed to eradicate tedious ‘‘caterpilla­r’’ rucking.

Teams will also have just 30 seconds to restart play after points are scored, while scrum resets will be timed by the TMO to crack down on unnecessar­y delays.

If a match is drawn, the team that scores the first try in extra time will automatica­lly win the match.

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