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    Confirmation of law changes
    http://www.the42.ie/mitre-10-cup-rug...31782-Jan2016/
    WORLD RUGBY HAS confirmed that some fairly radical law trials will take place in New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup – one level below Super Rugby – in 2016.
    Division 1A of Ireland’s Ulster Bank League is also set to trial the variations to rugby’s tackle and breakdown laws, while the FFR’s U18 League has been signed up too.

    So what’s involved?
    The offside line will be one metre back from the ruck in these trials, rather than the back foot of the ruck as currently applies.
    The trials also see the breakdown become part of the law, forming the offside line as soon as only one attacking player arrives over the tackle on his feet. There will be no need for a defensive player to engage and form a ruck, thereby creating the offside line, as is currently the case.
    The rights of the tackler will be reduced under the trial laws.
    The Mitre 10 Cup will also see two referees on the pitch in order to police the above as accurately as possible, although the IRFU and FFR have not signed up to trial that element at this stage. The assistant referees on the touchline are set to police the new offside line in those union’s competitions.
    Let’s take a more detailed look at each element of the trials.
    Breakdown
    As things stand in rugby, the ‘breakdown’ is not part of the law book. It’s a term we use all the time when discussing the game, but it’s not actually written into World Rugby’s law book.
    Under the current laws, a ‘ruck’ must form in order to create the offside line. That means at least one player from each team on their feet, engaged and in competition over the ball. That forms a ruck, thereby creating the offside line.
    The main issue with the need for a ruck to form the offside line is that defending teams can opt not to engage after a tackle has been completed. If there’s no defensive player engaged with an attacker on their feet over the ball, there’s no ruck.

    That means no offside line. Intelligent teams exploit this and it’s one of the reasons why supporters regularly shout ‘Offside!’ when watching games. Sometimes the defensive team simply isn’t offside, because no ruck has been formed.
    Under these new trial laws, a “breakdown” will in turn form the offside line. A breakdown will form when “at least one player from the attacking team is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground.”
    Once the new breakdown is formed, no player may handle the ball apart from the half-back, who can pass, run or kick.
    Along with the breakdown, the laws around how defensive players can join it are notable.
    All arriving players must come from an onside position, i.e. one metre behind the breakdown.
    The ‘gate’ is a term we frequently use when talking about rugby, but again it’s not something that is actually written in the law book. Either way, the gate is not going to apply under these trial laws.
    As long as the defensive player joins the breakdown from an onside position and enters from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle.
    Tackle
    Essentially, the tweaks to rugby’s tackle law under these trials will mean that the tackler can only play the ball after returning to his feet and to his side of the breakdown mid-point.
    Under the current laws, a defender can complete a tackle, return swiftly to his feet and pick up the ball from anywhere, as long as a ruck has not formed yet.

    In this instance, Gloucester’s Matt Kvesic is entitled to play the ball because he has returned to his feet and a ruck has not formed before he plays the ball.
    There is one Harlequins player over the tackle point, but under current laws that does not mean a ruck, so Kvesic is onside and legal.
    Under the law trials, Kvesic would have to get out of the breakdown area here and retreat a metre back with the rest of his teammates to get onside.
    Even if the Harlequins player was not present over the tackle point, Kvesic would have to get back to his side of the breakdown mid-point before playing the ball.
    The type of turnover we see in the clips above is one of the ugliest elements of the game in many people’s eyes and it will essentially be eradicated in these trials.
    Under these trials, the assist tackler must continue to make a clear release of the tackled player and remain on their feet in order to play the ball before an attacking player arrives to create a breakdown.
    Once that attacking player arrives and a breakdown is formed, no player can handle the ball.
    Trials upon trials
    It’s also worth nothing that the Mitre 10 Cup will feature a new points-scoring system in 2016, as will a number of other competitions around the world.

    A penalty try will be worth eight points (no conversion necessary)
    A try will be worth six points
    A conversion will be worth two points
    A penalty will be worth two points
    A drop goal will be worth two points

    All in all, it should make for a fascinating season in New Zealand’s domestic competition, which has long been one of the most exciting in the professional game.
    2016 will also see the Pacific Challenge, U20 Trophy, Tbilisi Cup, Nations Cup, FFR Academy league, Australian NRC, Welsh Premiership and Colleges championship, and the RFU Army Premiership act as testing grounds for some further interesting new law trials.
    Read more about those here.

    Comment


      Are these changes being selected by a forum of Australian 'Fans'??

      They seem to be intent on creating a very particular type of game.


      By itself I like the idea to move the offside line back 1m from the hind most foot. That rule is completely ignored and abused anway - simply being beside the ruck seems to satisfy in most cases. It will do one simple thing and that is create more space - its up to teams then to utilise that space better.

      However, negating the ability to counter ruck and to compete at the breakdown would be a huge negative - IF that is what becomes of this.

      Comment


        So thoughts on these changes.
        Im not sure on the offside line being a metre back. Its makes whole ruck area a good bit harder to officiate and most penalties in the game come at this area of the game so why make it harder to ref?
        Will removing the gate be so much better than whats here now?
        I disagree with tackler having to move back onside to play the ball. Them able to play from anywhere before a ruck is formed speeds up the game. What does this change bring to the game?
        On the changes to the points allocated to scores. I disagree with dropping penalties and drop goals to 2 and increasing tries to 6. Teams will be more cynical and give penalties away for kicks at goal as theyre worth less than now.

        Comment


          Allowing players to fly in from all angles seems like a very bad development. The "gate" at least brings an element of discipline to the clear out.

          Comment


            "As long as the defensive player joins the breakdown from an onside position and enters from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle."

            What does this mean exactly? I never thought there was any problem with the law and understanding the difference between joining from an onside position and from behind versus in from the side. See Law 16.5 (c)

            So you can already run in from anywhere on the whole pitch from any angle as long as you join legally. Run in parallel from the direction of the touch line fine. Just change direction in a hook or J shape so that you join onside from behind the hindmost foot. How is "any angle" a new thing here and what does this mean with regard to the poorly defined "mid-point"?

            Furthermore, why is "defensive player" specified here? What the scéal for offensive players?

            Things I DO think are problematic as they blatently are allowed in contradiction to law 16 are the following:

            16.1 Forming a ruck
            (b)
            How can a ruck form. Players are on their feet. At least one player must be in physical contact with an opponent. The ball must be on the ground. If the ball is off the ground for any reason, the ruck is not formed.

            [How many times have you seen the tackled player holding the ball with his hand up in the air to present it to the scrum half? = No Ruck. = No Offside = Go in from the side and get it legally then!]
            (While we're at it - throw in the tackled player on the ground/off his feet pushing the ball back with his hand so it's easier for the scrummie to pick up the ball. Oops...bit of pressure...not safe pull it back a sec...Ok...all good here ya go now...got it? That is actually simultaneously 3 offences. Tackled player not releasing, handling the ball on the deck and pulling it back in to the ruck.)


            16.2 Joining a ruck
            (b)

            A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.

            [OK, but see below]


            (c)

            Placing a hand on another player in the ruck does not constitute binding.

            [How many times have you seen a prop guarding a ruck from in front of the hindmost foot with just the palm of his hand on the small of the back of one of his teamates? How long is a piece of string?]

            16.4 Other ruck offences
            (a)

            Players must not return the ball into a ruck. Sanction: Free Kick

            [Forwards playing in the scrum half position looking for a pick and go are particularly skilled at placing a foot on the ball and nudging it a half a rotation or so back in front of the hindmost foot. It is helpfull cloaking of this regularly occuring infringement when this foot is extended further back simultaneously]


            (b)
            Players must not handle the ball in a ruck except after a tackle if they are on their feet and have their hands on the ball before the ruck is formed. Sanction: Penalty kick

            [See 16.1 (b)]

            Comment


              Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
              Allowing players to fly in from all angles seems like a very bad development. The "gate" at least brings an element of discipline to the clear out.
              But all arriving players must come from an onside position, i.e. one metre behind the breakdown
              They must enter from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle.
              There is still a considerable element of discipline involved in the clear out. Probably more so.
              I wouldnt call it a very bad development. Would like to see in practice though...

              Comment


                We've 2 threads on this. The OP is also in the Red Army under law questions. (Cowboy is right though...this is international afairs)
                Clean-up in aisle 1 or 2?

                Comment


                  Originally posted by ormond lad View Post
                  Will removing the gate be so much better than whats here now?...
                  Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                  Allowing players to fly in from all angles seems like a very bad development. The "gate" at least brings an element of discipline to the clear out.
                  The concept of the narrow or wide gate depending on the shape of the players on the ground is understood with general consensus, but it does not exist in Laws 15 or 16. You can't get rid of something that doesn't exist.

                  Comment


                    Hmmm, not sure there'll be much of a contest at the breakdown anymore. We'll still see the first man in competing for the ball until but once an a ruck is formed I reckon the defending team will simply fan out across the pitch one yard behind the gainline. To get back a yard and then join the ruck is going to take too much time and energy. Simpler to just consider the ball lost as soon as a ruck is formed and concentrate on setting the defensive line.

                    It will create more, much needed, space for attacking backs to play with but it will create too much space for attacking forwards. Going around the fringes they'll have an extra yard of space to build up momentum. That doesn't seem like much but if they recycle quickly, which should be easy as defenders will have to work so hard just to be allowed to counter-ruck, they'll pretty much get over the gainline every time and the defending team will be constantly back pedalling to stay onside.

                    This will basically be league with less space to attack.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post
                      Hmmm, not sure there'll be much of a contest at the breakdown anymore. We'll still see the first man in competing for the ball until but once an a ruck is formed I reckon the defending team will simply fan out across the pitch one yard behind the gainline. To get back a yard and then join the ruck is going to take too much time and energy. Simpler to just consider the ball lost as soon as a ruck is formed and concentrate on setting the defensive line.

                      It will create more, much needed, space for attacking backs to play with but it will create too much space for attacking forwards. Going around the fringes they'll have an extra yard of space to build up momentum. That doesn't seem like much but if they recycle quickly, which should be easy as defenders will have to work so hard just to be allowed to counter-ruck, they'll pretty much get over the gainline every time and the defending team will be constantly back pedalling to stay onside.

                      This will basically be league with less space to attack.
                      its hard to get a grip on this really without seeing it!

                      And not to disagree with what you have said above but more to tease the point out

                      1. Will create a huge attack opportunity directly past the ball i.e. where the ruck would previously have been contested there is a "free metre". Will this pull in more defenders to this channel creating space out wide?

                      2. It will be v hard work for defenders to get back "onside" to challenge the breakdown If they are the tackler, or in line with the tackler they will need to get up retreat before re-entering. Will it lead to a situation where ALL players cannot line up in one defensive line? will some players need to hang back a metre from first defenders to allow themselves attack a tackled player immediately from onside positon and with forward momentum? If it would I could see a fair attacking benefit with a removal of a number of players from defensive line


                      Very interesting to see how this plays out.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by No. 16 View Post
                        We've 2 threads on this. The OP is also in the Red Army under law questions. (Cowboy is right though...this is international afairs)
                        Clean-up in aisle 1 or 2?
                        merge into one thread then? All laws discussion in one thread. That's why I created the other thread to allow any questions of exisiting and new laws and discussion around them....

                        Comment


                          I actually searched for the "Laws questions" thread and couldn't find it! Thought it was a sticky, too - think I'll combine the two and make the original a sticky.

                          EDIT - have also moved the combined threads into the "Rugby in Praxis" section - seems the most logical place for this discussion.
                          Tis but a scratch.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Corcíoch View Post
                            Are these changes being selected by a forum of Australian 'Fans'??

                            They seem to be intent on creating a very particular type of game.
                            I think its unfair to say this is just wanted by aussies tv/ARU etc

                            By itself I like the idea to move the offside line back 1m from the hind most foot. That rule is completely ignored and abused anway - simply being beside the ruck seems to satisfy in most cases. It will do one simple thing and that is create more space - its up to teams then to utilise that space better.

                            However, negating the ability to counter ruck and to compete at the breakdown would be a huge negative - IF that is what becomes of this.
                            What law are you saying is ignored? Hindmost foot isn't really ignored....
                            Offside line 1m back is harder to police especially when we're talking about rugby at domestic level with a referee lucky to have neutral qualified officials running the line nevermind being micced up etc

                            Originally posted by No. 16 View Post
                            "As long as the defensive player joins the breakdown from an onside position and enters from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle."

                            What does this mean exactly? I never thought there was any problem with the law and understanding the difference between joining from an onside position and from behind versus in from the side. See Law 16.5 (c)

                            So you can already run in from anywhere on the whole pitch from any angle as long as you join legally. Run in parallel from the direction of the touch line fine. Just change direction in a hook or J shape so that you join onside from behind the hindmost foot. How is "any angle" a new thing here and what does this mean with regard to the poorly defined "mid-point"?

                            Furthermore, why is "defensive player" specified here? What the scéal for offensive players?

                            Things I DO think are problematic as they blatently are allowed in contradiction to law 16 are the following:

                            16.1 Forming a ruck
                            (b)
                            How can a ruck form. Players are on their feet. At least one player must be in physical contact with an opponent. The ball must be on the ground. If the ball is off the ground for any reason, the ruck is not formed.

                            [How many times have you seen the tackled player holding the ball with his hand up in the air to present it to the scrum half? = No Ruck. = No Offside = Go in from the side and get it legally then!]
                            (While we're at it - throw in the tackled player on the ground/off his feet pushing the ball back with his hand so it's easier for the scrummie to pick up the ball. Oops...bit of pressure...not safe pull it back a sec...Ok...all good here ya go now...got it? That is actually simultaneously 3 offences. Tackled player not releasing, handling the ball on the deck and pulling it back in to the ruck.)


                            16.2 Joining a ruck
                            (b)

                            A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.

                            [OK, but see below]


                            (c)

                            Placing a hand on another player in the ruck does not constitute binding.

                            [How many times have you seen a prop guarding a ruck from in front of the hindmost foot with just the palm of his hand on the small of the back of one of his teamates? How long is a piece of string?]

                            16.4 Other ruck offences
                            (a)

                            Players must not return the ball into a ruck. Sanction: Free Kick

                            [Forwards playing in the scrum half position looking for a pick and go are particularly skilled at placing a foot on the ball and nudging it a half a rotation or so back in front of the hindmost foot. It is helpfull cloaking of this regularly occuring infringement when this foot is extended further back simultaneously]


                            (b)
                            Players must not handle the ball in a ruck except after a tackle if they are on their feet and have their hands on the ball before the ruck is formed. Sanction: Penalty kick

                            [See 16.1 (b)]
                            I think it means a player can enter the ruck on their side from any angle and therefore a wider angle than what currently exists.
                            On returning the ball to the ruck. Moving the ball with foot and nudging it has always happened. This is talking about the player in scrum half position using hand to move ball....

                            Comment


                              Last first for simplicity
                              Originally posted by ormond lad View Post

                              On returning the ball to the ruck. Moving the ball with foot and nudging it has always happened.
                              Yeah, I know, but, the law says...

                              Originally posted by ormond lad View Post

                              This is talking about the player in scrum half position using hand to move ball....
                              Hang on. Where does the law say any of that?

                              Originally posted by ormond lad View Post


                              I think it means a player can enter the ruck on their side from any angle and therefore a wider angle than what currently exists.
                              But presumably a hypothetical any angle would not include an offside angle in any case. The "gate" concept helps currently (although the Laws are silent on this matter).

                              Think the talented Richie McCaw. People often accuse him as coming in at the side. (He does sometimes in error), but mainly he's just really good at hitting the corner, legally and very quickly and effectively.

                              You can't come in the black arrows, but you can come in the other ones and even cut the corners as long as you're onside anyway, which automatically has you behind the back foot and "in through the gate" (at impact).

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                              I'm trying to imagine what they mean by the wording:

                              "As long as the defensive player joins the breakdown from an onside position and enters from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle."

                              I'm wondering why people are thinking that this is increasing the angle from which players can enter. Below the player in the bottom left hand corner can already hit the ruck from this angle (from somewhat behind the back foot at the ruck). The player that is offside cannot - unless he makes it look really good, but he would probably bring himself close enough to technically onside anyway doing so I guess - turning in from behind). So what am I missing here? You can already come in from any onside angle "through the gate". I guess I'm stuck on the definition of "mid-point". But with the offside line now 1 metre back - This would narrow rather than increase the available angles from which one can approach. Look at Weeble Wobble Blue (B) above. That's about barely onside under the new breakdown offside line. But how does this affect the offesive team? Can C & D be standing there protecting or is C offside (if that's only 3/4 of a metre as a rough example)?
                              Below, if Red is going forward, Blue defender in the bottom left is just about standing on the offside line. Imagine the picture is not of a ruck, but just a tackler and ball carrier on the ground. The new law has just narrowed angle from which he can run in and compete for the ball right?

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Now consider that there need not be a ruck under the trials – only a “breakdown”.
                              Originally posted by Murray Kinsella @ The42.ie
                              As things stand in rugby, the ‘breakdown’ is not part of the law book. It’s a term we use all the time when discussing the game, but it’s not actually written into World Rugby’s law book.
                              Under the current laws, a ‘ruck’ must form in order to create the offside line. That means at least one player from each team on their feet, engaged and in competition over the ball. That forms a ruck, thereby creating the offside line.
                              The main issue with the need for a ruck to form the offside line is that defending teams can opt not to engage after a tackle has been completed. If there’s no defensive player engaged with an attacker on their feet over the ball, there’s no ruck.

                              That means no offside line. Intelligent teams exploit this and it’s one of the reasons why supporters regularly shout ‘Offside!’ when watching games. Sometimes the defensive team simply isn’t offside, because no ruck has been formed.
                              Under these new trial laws, a “breakdown” will in turn form the offside line. A breakdown will form when “at least one player from the attacking team is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground.”
                              Once the new breakdown is formed, no player may handle the ball apart from the half-back, who can pass, run or kick.
                              I’m also curious here. He’s saying that the “half back” (Kiwi for “Scrum Half”) is the only one that can play the ball? Only the guy with the #9 on his back? I doubt that’s possible! He could be the one that is tackled! None of this is close to clear! (tee hee)

                              Now consider the new trials will move this new “breakdown” determined “offside line” one meter back. I’m no geometry expert, but wouldn’t this narrow the possible angles from which one can come in from an onside position toward the breakdown rather than increase it?
                              Originally posted by Murray Kinsella @ The42.ie
                              Along with the breakdown, the laws around how defensive players can join it are notable.
                              All arriving players must come from an onside position, i.e. one metre behind the breakdown.
                              The ‘gate’ is a term we frequently use when talking about rugby, but again it’s not something that is actually written in the law book. Either way, the gate is not going to apply under these trial laws.
                              As long as the defensive player joins the breakdown from an onside position and enters from their side of the breakdown mid-point, they can come from any angle.
                              The last sentence is also confusing. Why note “onside” and “from their side”? Isn’t this redundant? How can you be onside and not on your side?

                              So the mythical “gate” falls away here (as stated presumably only for defensive players? ) in a case where there is a breakdown, but no ruck.

                              The defending player, now presumably with a narrower angle than previously available to him under the 2015 laws with a “gate” and a 1 metre further back offside line, can compete for the ball. He is offside if he is already over the breakdown. This is the bit that seems like it will make it harder to compete defensively and turn Union into League. I can’t fathom why the Mexicans want to do this! Is it that rampant in SH rugby that they need to eradicate tacklers competing before there is a ruck? I presume that if there is a ruck, both teams can compete as normal. However, players joining the ruck (from either team ? ) must come from a further metre back?

                              Very odd stuff! Is the second referee in the middle gong to be there to focus solely on the constantly evolving guestimated 1 metre distance during fast phases of play? Presently there are reference points on the pitch for offside at least > FEET! Would it help to paint 200 horizontal lines on the pitch to help make these judgement calls!!??

                              Furthermore, (disregarding for the moment the knockonery as correctly noted by Cowboy above - pretend it was clean)

                              Originally posted by Murray Kinsella @ The42.ie

                              Tackle
                              Essentially, the tweaks to rugby’s tackle law under these trials will mean that the tackler can only play the ball after returning to his feet and to his side of the breakdown mid-point.
                              Under the current laws, a defender can complete a tackle, return swiftly to his feet and pick up the ball from anywhere, as long as a ruck has not formed yet.
                              We see an example of that below.

                              And from another angle below.

                              In this instance, Gloucester’s Matt Kvesic is entitled to play the ball because he has returned to his feet and a ruck has not formed before he plays the ball.
                              There is one Harlequins player over the tackle point, but under current laws that does not mean a ruck, so Kvesic is onside and legal.
                              Under the law trials, Kvesic would have to get out of the breakdown area here and retreat a metre back with the rest of his teammates to get onside.
                              Even if the Harlequins player was not present over the tackle point, Kvesic would have to get back to his side of the breakdown mid-point before playing the ball.
                              The type of turnover we see in the clips above is one of the ugliest elements of the game in many people’s eyes and it will essentially be eradicated in these trials.

                              I think it's plain nuts to view this as a problem that needs fixing. Kvesic was in a position to challenge for the ball. Quins weren't able to deal with him. SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! If they had simply dealt with him by shoving his bold arse back to where he belongs, they probably would have just secured the ball! So ruin the rest of normal breakdown play and turn Union into "Rugby" League because of this one type of thing!? Has anyone ever really seen this that frequently anyway? This is pure feckin daft as a brush!
                              Last edited by No. 16; 7th-January-2016, 01:31.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by No. 16 View Post

                                Very odd stuff! Is the second referee in the middle gong to be there to focus solely on the constantly evolving guestimated 1 metre distance during fast phases of play? Presently there are reference points on the pitch for offside at least > FEET! Would it help to paint 200 horizontal lines on the pitch to help make these judgement calls!!??
                                Fuppit! I finally got to sleep and I just woke from a terrible nightmare! Wayne Barnes and Romain Poite were the two referees on the pitch and they kept runnng into each other and falling down and the players were tripping over them trying to retreat back a metre after every tackle! People were just running in circles and falling down and the children in their colours were crying and the players just started walking off the pitch and the lights in the stadium were being turned off and then dozens of chartreuse and hot pink coloured soccer balls started flying all over and rugby union was dead and I felt like I was falling and imploding at the same time!

                                Comment

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