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RugbyX's 'clearly unfair' tie-breakers baffle

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The 'clearly unfair' tie-break rule in new rugby variant has left fans absolutely baffled

The main rugby event of the calendar may be happening in Japan right now, but back in England a new form of the game has launched its inaugural event.

RugbyX, the brainchild of former Fiji coach Ben Ryan, kicked off its first-ever tournament at London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday and has been met with plenty of controversy.

The new format of the game is played on a half-size pitch with 5 players on each team (which would’ve made RugbyV a more appropriate moniker, given the naming conventions of other rugby variants).

RugbyX has been dubbed a faster variant of the game, with quick lineouts and smaller scrums as well as only one way to score – tries (keeping with other forms of the code, tries are still worth 5-points, however).

Rule changes include banning kicks higher than 10-metres (the ball is equpped with a sensor) and setting a limit on the number of players that can get involved in rucks and mauls.

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All in all, it’s a slightly more contracted game of sevens.

There is one particular change to the laws of the game that has left fans absolutely baffled, however – the tie breaker.

In the instance of a draw, play moves to a one-on-one situation with the winner decided by who scores three tries first.

For fans watching the game, it became quickly obvious that every possession would result in a try – which meant that the player who started with the ball had an insurmountable advantage.

Tellingly, every sudden-death result fell the way of the team who had first possession.

Fans took to Twitter to vent at the absurd law.

The overall consensus regarding RugbyX seemed to be that the variant showed potential in its inaugural tournament but there are also plenty of issues to iron out.

The last matches of the day saw Argentina beat Ireland in the final of the men’s competition while the USA defeated England in the women’s final.

There are no further RugbyX competitions scheduled for the future, as yet.

Rassie Erasmus was typically candid in his latest press conference leading up to the Rugby World Cup final:

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The 'clearly unfair' tie-break rule in new rugby variant has left fans absolutely baffled