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Sydney Morning Herald previews new laws for Aussie season

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 13 Feb 2023, 5:39 am

Shot clocks
This was announced just before Christmas and the new protocols have been in use in the Six Nations, which has just finished a second round of thrilling Tests. Goal kickers will have 90 seconds to take conversions and 60 seconds to take penalty kicks, while forward packs will have just 30 seconds to assemble for scrums and lineouts once the referee has given the mark.

Foul play review
This is the rule tweak that has the potential to make the biggest difference to the game in Australia. When a referee observes an act of foul play, he or she will immediately issue a yellow card to the offending player, who will leave the field. Play will continue at this point, and the television match official will review replays of the incident to determine whether the act meets a red card threshold. The intended outcome is that play is not held up while the TMO and on-field match officials spool through replay upon replay, from multiple angles, to make the correct call.

Pulling the No.9 into line
Australia and New Zealand are trying something different with the halfbacks after the ball has been thrown into a scrum. This one is not part of World Rugby’s global law trial but is designed to improve attacking opportunities from the scrum. It was trialled in New Zealand last year across non-premier senior and teenage rugby.

Once play has started in the scrum, the defending halfback will have to stay “on that team’s side of the middle line (or tunnel) within one metre of the scrum”, or further back. This is a tweak to World Rugby’s current law requiring the defending halfback to “take up a position with both feet behind the ball and close to the scrum but not in the space between the flanker and the No.8″.

It will stop defending halfbacks pestering their opposition, which will be devastating for players like Nic White and Tate McDermott, but hopefully lead to more of those sweeping attacking plays we love to see off set piece.

Tackle height change delayed for now
The most controversial law amendment in the game in recent years, which lowered the legal tackle height to the waist and nearly cost England’s RFU board their positions, will not be used in Super Rugby this year.

A lowered height limit might not be far off, however, despite protestations to the contrary from Rugby Australia. Across the ditch, New Zealand’s 26 provincial unions have agreed to lower the legal tackle height to below the sternum across all community rugby, including senior premier and first grade this year.

In a community rugby trial last year, two-player tackles were allowed if the first tackler targeted the abdomen and the second could go in below the shoulders - which is where the current law is at.

Reports from that trial stated that 78 per cent of participants believed the lowered tackle height improved the tackler’s safety, 73 per cent thought it made the game faster and 72 per cent felt there were more opportunities for offloads.

It is hard to see RA holding out too much longer on a community rugby trial at the very least, with trials in French and New Zealand rugby reporting improved player safety.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/more-new-rules-on-the-way-for-rugby-but-these-ones-could-work-20230213-p5ck0b.html

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Post by Duty281 Mon 13 Feb 2023, 9:59 am

The 'foul play review' sounds like a recipe for chaos:

1) What if the referee makes a mistake in live play and cards a player who doesn't deserve it?
2) If play continues and the TMO is checking the previous incident for a yellow/red card, what if something else happens in the new phase of play? The TMO will now miss it as he's busy checking something else.

I think the current system for this works fine and the fans are content to wait for the correct decision to be made. Just another example of needless meddling.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 16 Feb 2023, 6:57 am



Mark at Two Cents Rugby talks through the changes. Looks like they are also relaxing the deliberate knock-on penalty.

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Post by Geordie Thu 16 Feb 2023, 7:40 am

Why do we have to have constant law changes for gods sake....

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 23 Feb 2023, 12:50 am

Just realised that Super Rugby kicks off this weekend. Time has really flown by....

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