Golden point, red card replacements introduced in Super Rugby Aotearoa

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Golden point will be introduced in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition next month.

New Zealand Rugby announced three rule modifications on Tuesday night, ahead of the tournament's June 13 kick-off.

Similarly to NRL's golden point system, if matches are drawn after 80 minutes, teams will go into a 10-minute period of extra time and the first team to score any points will win the game.

Bonus points will still be up for grabs for teams who lose in golden point, should they rack up three more tries than their opponents despite the result.

NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said golden point would add an extra "edge" to the competition.

“Draws can often leave everyone feeling a little empty and after feedback from our coaches and players we have added the golden point rule,” he said.

“We’ve seen the excitement it can generate in other codes and we think adds a real edge.”

Red-carded players will also be able to be replaced after 20 minutes in another significant change.

If a player is sent off, they will not be able to return to the field but their team can replace them after 20 minutes in the bin.

Lendrum said the move was to try and reduce the impact that red cards have on a game, sometimes effectively deciding the result in the early stages.

“While players should, and still will be, punished for foul play, red cards can sometimes have too much of an effect on a match,” he said.

“There are no winners when a player is red carded, but paying rugby fans, players and coaches want to see a fair contest. Replacing a player after 20 minutes strikes the right balance.”

Breakdown laws will also be applied more strictly in the competition in a bid to make a more attacking and faster contest.