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Thread: Captain's Call in new law variations

  1. #1
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Captain's Call in new law variations

    Kiwis have brought in a captain’s referral (nicked from cricket) and a goal line drop-out (nicked from Aus who nicked it from league).

    Be interesting if this gets included in SR Trans+Tasman.

    Super Rugby Aotearoa: Radical law changes for 2021 include captain's referral

    08:00, Feb 10 2021

    A goal-line drop-out and captain’s referral will be introduced for Super Rugby Aotearoa, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed today.

    The two law variations will be used for the first time when preseason matches begin this weekend, two weeks before the season kicks off on Friday, 26 February.

    The innovations, which have World Rugby Executive Committee approval, have been introduced after extensive feedback and collaboration with players, coaches and referees, and follow the successful introduction of golden point and red card replacement laws in 2020, both of which will continue in 2021.

    A goal line drop-out will occur when an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on in the in-goal area, or when an attacking kick, other than a penalty or drop goal attempt, is grounded by the defending team in their in-goal area.

    A captain’s referral will see each captain given one opportunity per match to ask the referee to have the Television Match Official (TMO) check for an infringement in the lead up to a try, or to review foul play.

    • Captains will have 10 seconds to make their referral after a try has been awarded.
    • The TMO will be able to go back to the last stoppage in play, regardless of how many phases have been played.
    • Foul play referrals can be made after any stoppage in play if the captain believes foul play has been missed by the match officials.
    • Captain’s must reference ‘specific’ incidents or infringements.
    • Footage must be ‘clear and obvious’ for a referral to be upheld.
    • The scrum and lineout are not included in the referral process.

    If the referring captain is correct, they will retain their referral, but if the referee’s original decision stands, or the TMO footage is not ‘clear and obvious’, the captain loses their referral.

    The captain’s referral will be applied more broadly from the 75-minute mark in any match at which point the captain, provided they have not already lost their referral, can use it to check any referee’s decision, regardless of whether a try has been scored.

    NZR Head of High Performance Mike Anthony said the aim of the law variations was to make the game more attractive for both players and fans.

    “We’re constantly looking at how we can make the game faster and fairer for players, and a better spectacle for fans and we’re hopeful the goal line drop-out and captain’s referral will go some way to achieving those objectives in 2021.”

    The rationale for introducing the goal line drop-out was to reward attacking teams by allowing them to build pressure and to encourage defending teams to clear the ball from their in-goal area, Anthony said.

    “We’ve had great support for this innovation from coaches and players and we’re confident it will be popular with fans.

    “The current re-start rule of a 22-metre drop-out often pushes the receiving team well back into their own half and we think teams will be more likely to counter-attack from a goal line drop-out, which will in turn lead to more attacking pressure and hopefully more tries.”

    NZR National Referee’s Manager Bryce Lawrence said the captain’s referral would bring players into the on-field decision making process, make the game safer by adding another level of scrutiny to foul play, and mitigate the risk of matches being decided in the final stages by an incorrect referee’s call.

    “We think the captain’s referral is a no-brainer. Nobody wants to see a match decided on a wrong call, particularly in the final minutes, and especially in a competition as fiercely and closely contested as Super Rugby Aotearoa was in 2020.

    “When a match goes down the wire and hangs on a referee’s decision, everyone wants to make sure we get a positive outcome.

    “Rugby is a fast-paced and, at times complex game, so another set of eyes is always a good thing. We’ve seen this sort of concept succeed in other sports and we want to see how it goes when applied to rugby.”

    A full breakdown of the goal line drop-out and captain’s referral is below.

    Goal line drop-out


    1. When an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on in the in-goal, play restarts with a goal line drop-out.

    2. When a kick (excluding a penalty kick, drop kick attempt, kick-off or play restart kick) goes into the in-goal area and is grounded, or otherwise made dead by the defending team, play restarts with a goal line drop-out.

    1. The drop-out is taken on or behind the defending team’s goal line.
    2. The drop-out must be taken without delay. The ball must cross the 5m line.
    3. If the drop-out is not executed correctly the receiving team has the option of asking for the kick to be retaken or being awarded a 5m scrum.
    4. If the kick is taken on the full by a defender in their in-goal area, the defender may claim a mark and play restarts with a free kick on the 5m line in line with the place of the mark.
    5. If a player from the attacking team causes the ball to go into touch-in-goal or over the dead-ball line, then the defending team will have the option of taking a 22m drop out or a scrum at the place that the ball was kicked.
    6. If the ball crosses the 5m line but then bounces, is blown back by the wind or deflected back, play continues.
    7. If a goal line drop-out goes out on the full, the receiving team has the option of either: asking for a re-kick, a scrum feed on the 5m line in line with where the kick was taken, or throwing to a lineout on the 5m line.
    8. The receiving team must be back at least 5m and cannot charge the kick. The sanction for charging the kick is a free kick 10m up field.
    9. The team receiving the ball from a goal line drop-out, can not score a dropped goal until the ball has gone through one phase of play.
    10. If the ball hits the kicking team’s posts during a goal line drop-out and the ball goes dead, then the receiving team has the option of a 5m attacking scrum in line with where the kick was taken or can ask for a re-kick.

    Captain’s referral

    There are three scenarios under which a captain’s referral can be made:

    1. For an infringement before a try is scored, at any time from the last restart in play. (Previously, the TMO could only go back two phases).

    2. Foul Play: A captain can refer a referee to an act of foul play he thinks has been missed by the match officials.

    3. After the 75-minute mark, including any period of extra time, the captain can use his referral to challenge any referee’s decision, not just those leading to a try.H

    How it will work
    • Captains get one referral per match.
    • When he wants to use his referral, the captain will tell the referee what they want checked and confirm they are using their captain’s referral. For example: “Ref, we think there was a knock on at the last ruck before this try. Can you check please.”
    • The referee will ask the TMO to look at the footage and advise whether the referral was correct, or not.
    • Once a ruling has been made on the referral, play will resume.
    • If the captain’s referral is correct, then they get to keep that referral to use again.
    • If they are incorrect and their referral is over-ruled, they lose it.
    • The captain must make a referral within 10 seconds of a try being scored, a referee’s decision, or a stoppage in play.
    • The captain must be specific about what they are referring.
    • Anything referred must be ‘clear and obvious’ in the TMO’s review.
    • The captain cannot use his referral to stop play following a quick tap penalty or quick throw-in.
    • Scrum and lineout are not part of the referral process

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by Ham105; 10-02-21 at 04:37.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Super Rugby AU introduces golden try and 30 second restarts to speed up games

    Filipo Daugunu of the Queensland Reds dives in for a try in front of a crowd at suncorp stadium in Brisbane.
    Teams scoring a try in extra-time will immediately win the game in Super Rugby AU.(AAP: Dan Peled)

    An extra-time golden try and 30-second restarts will be introduced as Australia's rugby brains encourage "action, options and less dead time" in Super Rugby AU.

    Key points:
    • Scrum resets will also be timed by a TV match official to crack down on delays
    • The changes follow a raft of new rules introduced in last year's domestic tournament
    • RA director of Rugby Scott Johnson said the changes weren't purely made for entertainment purposes

    A host of law changes were introduced in last year's domestic tournament after COVID-19 forced the suspension of traditional Super Rugby.

    They will remain in 2021, but with some tweaks, when the season begins next Friday under a new broadcast deal that includes games on free-to-air television for the first time.

    Red-carded players can be replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes, while a five-second time limit to use the ball once available will also be policed to eradicate tedious "caterpillar" rucking.

    Teams will also have just 30 seconds to restart play after points are scored, while scrum resets will be timed by the television match official to crack down on unnecessary delays.

    If a match is drawn, the team that scores the first try in extra time will automatically win the match, in a tweak to encourage more attacking play in the Super Time initiative introduced last year.

    Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson also anticipates more expansive and creative attack because of the 50/22 kicking rule introduced last season.

    Scott Johnson says the the focus is on producing winning Wallabies teams.(AAP: Dan Peled, File)

    Teams scored tries 36 per cent of the time after regaining possession from a successful 50/22 kick last season.

    Johnson expects teams to exploit that further, but also hopes the threat of kicking will open up defences for sides willing to run the ball.

    Changes not purely about improving spectacle
    There will be an onus on officials to "speed up the game" while Johnson said Rugby Australia's mantra for "action, options and less dead time" wasn't done solely for entertainment purposes.

    "That's not our mandate; we want to make winning Wallabies teams," he said.

    "We are cognisant of the fact it's a competitive sporting landscape in Australia, but it's not at the top of our agenda.

    "Legislation change needs to be long term, innovative and improve the spectacle and be creative for the betterment of the game, not to tear at the fabric of it."

    Introduced last season, the red-card replacement ensures contests aren't killed off in the first half by a numerical advantage.

    Johnson is optimistic the tweak could find its way to Test level.

    "They're [World Rugby] certainly open-minded. Safety, speed and space is what they're trying to get into our game and trying to achieve," he said.

    New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa will also feature a captain's challenge, but with the prospect of reviews stretching back potentially 30 phases, Australian officials felt the initiative was too complicated and time-consuming to introduce.

    The countries will both play their own domestic competitions this year before taking part in a combined, six-week Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition from May.


    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    I like the red card change. I hope the scrum changes are not going to push out the big boppers who might need extra time to catch their breath! They should focus on stopping the shenanigans that cause the multiple resets.
    Why the need for golden tries? Are draws really so bad? Extra time should be reserved for finals and then they should play all of the extra time.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    IMHO I believe that the Captain's Call is wrong. I don't like it.

    Rugby Union prides itself on how it has total respect for the officials. To me, Captain's Call takes away from that. It is not necessary.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!


    "Ehh, Good Enough" - Mediocrates

  5. #5
    Legend Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I'm a little undecided. If it replaced the ref always going to the TMO unless requested, might be worth a run. TBH though, it is the kiwis problem; doubt I'll see enough of their games to tell.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  6. #6
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Shenton Park
    I’d like to see a limit to the number of rolling mauls a team is allowed per game. I like a well set up maul, but as we see with the Brumbies it gets so predictable and boring as their default play.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

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