Super Rugby is going to look a bit different.
Super Rugby is going to look a bit different.

Rugby hoping rule changes can launch new golden age

Super Rugby in Australia will next month be enlivened by "golden point" tie-breakers and a radical red card change when law variations are given the green light.

The upbeat changes will be in action for the appealing Queensland Reds-NSW Waratahs clash slated to launch the new domestic competition at Suncorp Stadium in the July 3-4 slot.

A longer wishlist of law variations and amendments were sent to World Rugby for scrutiny late on Thursday by Rugby Australia to lift the pace of play when the five-team competition kicks off.

 

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The golden point idea to eradicate drawn games, of which there were six in 2019, is a straight copy from the NRL.


It is certain to win approval as is the red card tweak because they have already been ticked by World Rugby for use in New Zealand's domestic competition starting on June 13.

 

"If we trial something, we want it to stay in the game long-term," RA's director of rugby Scott Johnson said.

"We have gone a bit further than the Kiwis by seeking a few additional variations to make the game more attractive while being aware of not going too far to be disadvantaged at Test time."

Reds coach Brad Thorn will be delighted at the red card variation where the offending player can be replaced after 20 minutes off the field.

It will rectify the blight of uneven numbers ruining too many matches while still being costly to the sent-off player and his team.

Changes to scrum resets have also been proposed as part of a raft of possible changes.
Changes to scrum resets have also been proposed as part of a raft of possible changes.

 

In 2018, the Reds lost skipper Scott Higginbotham to a red card in the first 10 minutes against the Melbourne Rebels, which deflated the opening weekend spectacle.

Super Rugby coaches, senior players such as Matt Toomua and Michael Hooper, Johnson and referees bosses enjoyed a robust laws and tweaks debate on Zoom on Tuesday night.

A line dropout innovation pushed by the players garnered unanimous support.

If World Rugby endorse it, being held up over the tryline in attack or forcing the ball in defence over the line will both trigger a line dropout to open up more attacking opportunities.

Some tedious scrum resets will also be taken out of the game if it is approved that play-on is the only option, rather than a scrum reset, from a short-arm scrum penalty.

It requires no law variation, but the Kiwi directive to more strictly police the rampant off-side rushes in defence that stifle room to attack is the best move of all.

Queensland Rugby Union chief executive David Hanham  explained on Thursday why Ballymore was not a low-cost option to host Reds games, without crowds, in the new competition.

"Ballymore doesn't have the LED perimeter signage to provide benefits back to our partners on TV, we have a commercial agreement with Suncorp Stadium and Stadiums Queensland has given a 'cost-recovery only' deal to codes playing there in this difficult climate," Hanham said.

There is also the growing possibility that should small crowds be allowed back into stadiums in late July-August, Suncorp Stadium's seating best caters to social distancing fans.

Originally published as Rugby hoping rule changes can launch new golden age

News Corp Australia


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