Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

Offside rule tweak to end ‘kick tennis’ and ‘open up’ Super Rugby Pacific

By AAP
Carter Gordon of the Rebels kicks the ball during the Super Rugby Pacific Trial Match between Melbourne Rebels and NSW Waratahs at Harold Caterson Reserve on February 03, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

An overhaul of the Super Rugby Pacific offside rule has been approved to encourage teams to run the ball instead of engaging in a tedious game of “kick tennis”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Officials on Tuesday revealed a law variation that they think will close a “loophole” and encourage counterattacking rugby when the competition begins next Friday.

Traditionally, defenders in front of the kicker are put onside when a kick receiver either passes the ball or runs five metres with the ball.

But Super Rugby Pacific’s innovation will throw out those two clauses.

Related

Instead, defenders will remain offside until they have been put onside by a teammate who has come from behind the kicker, or the kicker themself.

Under the new rules, a long kick will be tougher to defend, with a fullback or winger able to glide past any would-be tacklers isolated in front of the kicker and chasers.

The law has been sanctioned by World Rugby as a trial and follows various tweaks in recent seasons designed to increase ball-in-play time.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Fans have been vocal in recent times about teams exploiting a loophole that’s seen a large number of players standing still while kicks go over their heads in what some people have called ‘kick tennis’,” Super Rugby Pacific Chair Kevin Malloy said.

“We don’t believe that’s the spectacle our fans want to see in Super Rugby Pacific.

‘”We want to open up the opportunity for teams to counterattack with the ball in hand, and we’re confident this tweak to the law will encourage that trend and encourage exciting, attacking rugby.

“With the full support of New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and our coaches we’ve responded with a small change we think could make a big difference.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

4 Comments
P
Pete 159 days ago

The Southern Hemisphere comes to the rescue again! God forbid we have to watch what the Home Unions dish up as ‘rugby’. It was exactly the same from England in the last World Cup…..b o r i n g.
Just the TMO’s to get rid of now, and the game will return to it’s past glories.

B
Baptiste 160 days ago

Great news. Let the artists play total rugby. Not even sure this will increase the number of tries because the players will be more tired and then will make more mistakes. That’s what rugby is about.

c
chrash 161 days ago

It could also have the knock-on effect of increasing fatigue and opening up more space (similar theory to higher ball-in-play time). Appreciate this may be more of an issue in NH rugby but good to see it being trialled and hopefully will be rolled out if a benefit to the game as whole.

P
Pecos 161 days ago

Typical Northern teams, looking for ways to slow the game down. There was already zero kick tennis in SRP anyway. This law just affirms what we already do. Play positive rugby.

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

J
Jon 3 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

45 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Springboks subdue Portugal despite 2nd minute red card Springboks subdue Portugal despite early red card
Search