Law innovations to continue in Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

Mon, 10/05/2021, 01:00 am
Harrison Wakeling
by Harrison Wakeling
Goal line drop-outs remain for Super Rugby Trans Tasman | Getty Images

Law innovations trialled in Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa are set to continue into the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman series with Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby agreeing to the continuation of two law trials.

Goal line drop-outs and replacements for red-carded players after 20 minutes will be the two law innovations carried into the Trans-Tasman series.

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“The goal line drop-out has proven it is fit for purpose and it has allowed for greater ball in play time compared to a five-metre scrum.

“We have seen the red card replacement serve its purpose too in Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU, and while we never want to see red cards, we now know that it doesn’t have the potential to ruin a close contest,” said Rugby Australia’s Scott Johnson.

The 2020 Super Rugby AU competition saw an average of ’78 seconds saved before regular play continued because of a goal line drop-out. While the return of a red-carded player increased the competitiveness of games with an average of 12 points difference between teams.

While laws surrounding ruck speed, captains challenge and the highly praised 50/22 kick set to be sidelined for the Trans-Tasman comp.

Benefits of the new Line Dropout law

In a further change to the competition structure, teams will also share the points for tied matches during the round-robin stage.

The competitions final on June 19th will be under the same extra-time protocols as the recent Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU Final between the Reds and Brumbies.

“Similar to the domestic competition, we believe we have struck the right balance in preserving the integrity of the competition while also developing our players for the Test arena, which now isn’t too far away,” Johnson added.

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New Zealand Rugby 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.

“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.

The 2021 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season will officially kick-off on Friday 14 May with a blockbuster doubleheader when the Highlanders face the Queensland Reds at Forysth Barr Stadium before the NSW Waratahs square off against the Hurricanes at the Sydney Cricket Ground, click here to purchase tickets.

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