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Controversial captain's referral law innovation dropped for Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

By RugbyPass
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Goal-line drop-outs and the ability to replace red carded players after 20 minutes are the two law innovations trialled by New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia that will carry over to Super Rugby Trans-Tasman when the new competition kicks off this weekend.


Players, fans and coaches have grown accustomed to a range of law trials during Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU this year, but a number of these will not be used during Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

The two law innovations used in Super Rugby Aotearoa that will not carry over to the new six-week trans-Tasman competition are the captain’s referral and golden point extra-time.

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Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos speaks to media
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Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos speaks to media

NZR head of high performance Mike Anthony said it was important to ensure the laws used over the next six weeks did not disadvantage players from either side of the Tasman.

“New Zealand Rugby has trialled a range of innovations this season in Super Rugby Aotearoa and we are reviewing those trials with a view to making some recommendations for future competitions,” he said.

“For Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, we have agreed with Rugby Australia to stick to laws that were consistent across our respective domestic Super Rugby competitions, which in this case are the goal-line drop-out and the red card replacement.

“Statistics from Super Rugby Aotearoa indicate the goal-line drop-out has achieved its purpose of speeding up the game and getting the ball back in play more quickly than a 5m scrum, while we believe the red card replacement rule maintains the integrity of matches for players and fans alike when a player has been sent off.”


It has been agreed that matches tied at full time during the round-robin will finish as a draw with the two teams sharing the competition points, Anthony said.

“The exception will be the final, which will follow the same extra time protocols as the Super Rugby Aotearoa final.

“If the respective Super Rugby finals in New Zealand and Australia over the weekend are anything to go by, Super Rugby Trans-Tasman will be an incredibly exciting tournament.”

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman kicks off at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday when the Highlanders and Reds play the first of five weeks of cross-Tasman matches involving the Hurricanes, Blues, Crusaders and Chiefs from New Zealand and the Brumbies, Waratahs, Rebels and Force from Australia.


Innovations from Super Rugby AU which will not carry over to Super Rugby Trans-Tasman are the 22/50 and 50/22 kicking law that rewarded tactical kicking, a restart variation, which saw any infringement from a kick-off result in a free kick on halfway to the receiving team, and golden try extra-time.

– New Zealand Rugby


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