Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s rugby news has another rule change, SANZAR defending bonus points, Speight back for five games and Eddie looking for an attitude shift. 

New rule offers late drama

Australian flyhalf, Bernard Foley, kicking for touch following a pentaly against the French.

SANZAAR’s Executive Committee has approved a number of law changes and among those long-expected will be the opportunity for teams to kick for touch after the full-time siren and take a line-out. Previously if a side opted to kick the ball out of play after the hooter, the game automatically ended.

The change is one of the many new rules which attempt to continue the evolution of rugby towards a more attacking product. “Permitting teams to opt for a lineout after time has expired serves as a disincentive to opponents infringing and aims to reward sides that are particularly strong set-piece exponents, which, coupled with the previously mentioned changes, encourages more attacking and competitive rugby,” SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said.

SANZAR defends changes

assistant referees

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos has also defended the Super Rugby variation of the bonus point system, which will now add a point for finishing three or more tries ahead of the opposing team. Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder found the process “bizarre”  and was disappointed by the lack of consultation.

But Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos defended the process. “It has not gone unnoticed the number of key stakeholders that have felt the need to publicly criticise SANZAAR for initiatives that were floated months ago and heavily canvassed throughout each National Union,” Marinos wrote.

Speight to start ACT season

Brumbies vs Waratahs 1stH 0013_2014_03_15_9975

Henry Speight will play the first five matches of the Super Rugby season for the Brumbies before he shifts his focus to the Rio Olympics. The Fijian winger has emphasised that it was difficult to walk away from the Brumbies as they chase a Super Rugby title but thought that the chance of an Olympic medal was too good to pass up.

Speight is one of three Wallabies players – with Quade Cooper and Nick Cummins – to commit to the sevens program, but he is the only one currently on a Super Rugby contract. Coach Stephen Larkham emnphasised, “Ideally we’d like guys in our program for continuity and the combinations they build over a full season. But some of these decisions are guided by the ARU and in an Olympic year there’s focus for success in sevens.”

Eddie instilling arrogance

eddie jones training england

Eddie Jones has continued to dismantle the cultural foundations laid by the previous England regime by declaring he is happy for his team to be labelled arrogant as long as they are winning. Jones has already acknowledged that what he terms ‘the honeymoon’ period is coming to an end and that he will be judged by results, starting with Saturday’s (Sunday AEDT) championship opener against Scotland.

“If you are winning and you are arrogant then it is self-belief. When you lose it is being arrogant,” Jones said. “We are a side that is going to prepare well for Test matches. We’re going to believe we can win Test matches and we’re going to believe that we are going to be the best team in the world.”


  • Guy

    Kicking for touch after final siren is a great idea. Anything that reduces cynical play is gold for rugby.
    I’m with Blackadder on the bonus point change though. I have read articles here and elsewhere, and still feels like change for change sake.

    • Graeme

      In some ways being forced to tap after the siren added an interesting element to the game. But it certainly encourages cynical play, especially since no ref is going to even bother with a yellow for repeat offenses once the sirens gone. An overdue rule change.

  • Pedro

    With the kicking for touch thing, can you opt for the match to end? or do you have to tap and kick for touch for that result?

    • GoMelbRebels

      I was thinking the same thing. With the NRC a tap and kick was the way to end it if you didn’t want the lineout. If it’s your penalty, you should be able to choose.

      • Pedro

        I can’t remember which game it was but last NRC season a team ended the match with a kick into touch from a penalty. I think you should be able to say to the ref that you want to end the game, but I’d be keen to know if that is written in the rules.

    • SuckerForRed

      I believe that you would have to tap and kick for touch….

    • Braveheart81

      I believe you can end the game by kicking it into touch directly from the penalty. The law change says that teams can now ‘opt for the lineout after time has expired’ so on that basis you can also opt not to have one.

      • SuckerForRed

        Ahhhh. Makes sense then….

  • GoMelbRebels

    I am very much in favour of the rule changes. The 3 try advantage bonus point keeps teams playing for the full 80. That worked well in the NRC.

    • Graeme

      I wouldn’t think so. I didn’t watch the NRC so don’t know how it went there, but if a team gets 3-0, 4-1 tries ahead they should be thinking about defending that lead as much as anything else. And as I understand it, the losing team loses one of its motivations to score tries

  • SuckerForRed

    Question about the bonus point thing – In which of the following senarios will the bonus point apply:

    a) Team A 24 (4 tries, 2 conv) defeats Team B 7 (1 try, 1 conv) – Yes this is the gimme.

    b) Team A 24 (4 tries, 2 conv) defeats Team B 22 (1 try, 1 conv, 5 pen)

    c) Team A 39 (4 tries, 2 conv, 5 pen) defeats Team B 22 (4 tries, 1 conv)

    • Xaviera

      A and B for the team with the greater number of tries. Not yet clear whether losing by seven or less still generates a bonus point – will have to wait and see about that.

      • Braveheart81

        Loss by 7 or less still results in a bonus point. There is no longer the possibility for getting a 2nd bonus point as the losing team though.

        • Mr Wobbly

          Still mathematically possible, I reckon:

          d) Team A 18 (six pen) defeats Team B 15 (3 tries, 0 conv) Team A – 0BP, Team B – 2BP

        • Braveheart81

          Yes, I just realised that although I’d also make accusations of match fixing if it happens!

        • Graeme

          I actually checked the Scotland World Cup quarter because I thought that might have been an example if we had lost, but even then there were only two tries difference (I felt we scored more tries than only 5). I can’t remember an example of a team losing when three tries ahead, although I suspect it must have happened. But really quite difficult.

        • SuckerForRed

          That was the other scenario…… I can’t find anywhere the exact wording of the change. All I can find repeated is along the lines of teams having to ‘finish 3 tries ahead of their opponent’. No mention on they have to also win. No mention on if it is purely try count or it is points based……. Just would like some clarification. And also hoping that the teams have been communicated with a bit clearer than what is in the media releases…..

        • Xaviera

          Indeed – hence my hesitation in saying more, until we see the actual Competition Rules. I agree that Mr Wobbly’s scenario could well be the case, especially if it was say a South African side at home at altitude, against a running rugby Australia/NZ side. Unlikely, but possible.

        • Kiap

          At least for the NRC it says: “the ****winning team**** is awarded a bonus point for finishing 3 or more tries ahead of their opponents”.

          Not sure about the Soup, but they should make it the same

    • John Tynan

      And the one I am interested in – how about Team A 24 (4 tries, 2 conv) LOSES to Team B 25 (1 try, 1 conv, 6 penalties)?

      • Xaviera

        As per below – Team A should receive two bonus points – one for losing by less than seven, the other for scoring three or more tries than their opponents. It’s going to make the permutations prior to finals times a bloody nightmare! Even less chance of a prop shooting a field goal now….

        • John Tynan

          The game will be all the poorer for that!

  • JJJ

    I’m assuming there’s some kind of limitation on taking the lineout after the siren? Can you only do it the once? Because otherwise if the lineout is taken and the team without the ball keeps infringing you could see several penalties with lineouts resulting and quite a bit of extra time being added. I can’t imagine that would suit broadcasters.

    • Xaviera

      I haven’t seen the Competition Rules, but I suspect the first time the ball is dead after the lineout will mean the end of the match. What happens if there is a succession of penalties? I suspect it is play-on, even if a lineout is once again created. Will be interesting to see how that is managed.

    • Graeme

      I’d imagine the ref would just give post siren yellows in that case. Trying to defend the line with only 14, even if it is the last play of the day, would discourage that level of cynicism.

  • jamie

    Is the 3 tries based on points(15 or 21) or on actual tries scored(3)?

    • Braveheart81

      Actual tries. Points difference is irrelevant as far as this bonus point is concerned.

  • Teh Other Dave

    Andy Marinos uses long-winded management speak. A simple ‘yeah, this’ll stop goons from sealing the ruck off after the hooter – THE BALL IS ALWAYS IN CONTEST, MOFO,’ should be more than sufficient.

  • Graeme

    I really can’t understand how the 3 try bonus point is suppose to make the game more attacking. Quite the opposite. The 4 try bonus point was a great idea. It encouraged riskier, more entertaining play from both teams looking for the bonus point. It’s whole aim was to promote teams not playing defensive percentage football. However if a team has to be 3 tries ahead, then defense and percentage play comes back into the equation, defeating the purpose of the bonus point.

    • Graeme

      I mean if you’re 3 tries to nill up with 5 minutes to go, do you fling the ball around knowing that any turnover or intercept could result in losing the bonus point, or do you just tuck it under the jumper. The first keeps even one sided games interesting until the end. The latter is like watching mid-90’s England.


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