The objective of the law changes is yet another attempt by rugby’s national governing body to ensure that the ball remains in play for longer, and thereby ensuring a more attractive brand for fans.
One contentious issue in recent years has been the rolling maul, which was banned a few years ago, only to be reintroduced.
Just saw the 6-5-4 rule (???) for watching super rugby this year. Because rugby didn't have enough rules to remember.— adam taylor (@AdamGeorgeT) February 19, 2016
Teams will no longer be able to shift the initial ball carrier to the back of the maul as this will be viewed as obstruction. Instead, the first receiver will have to pass the ball to his teammates who can then shift the ball to the back of the maul.
In a significant change to the penalty rule, non-offending teams will be able to play from a line-out or scrum if the penalty was awarded after the final whistle of the first or second half had blown this makes the kick to touch and subsequent line-out or scrum part of the penalty.
At scrum-time, when a scrum wheels through 90 degrees, the referee will stop the scrum.
If the official is unsure of the cause of the wheel, he will award a new scrum with the same team to throw the ball in.
Previously the throw-in at the second scrum following the wheeled scrum always went to the team not in possession when the referee stopped the scrumming.
The scrumhalf of the team not winning a scrum is not allowed to step into the gap between the flank and the lock or No 8, and the ball will remain his offside line.
That scrumhalf is also not allowed to touch players in the opposing scrum. (The law at present says he is not allowed to ‘grasp’. Now it is ‘touch’).
At rucks. Saru indicates that a collapsed ruck would remain a ruck and If a player attempts to step through a collapsed ruck, he is liable to be penalised.
@NZStuff Super Rugby is a disaster because no one understands the rules, including the players & the referees. Penalties destroy the game.— Redbaiter NZ (@Redbaiternz) February 25, 2016
Changes have also been made to rules relating to the way players keep the ball in play.
For instance; if a player jumps from inside the field of play and catches the ball before it reaches the plane of touch and he then lands in touch, the player catching the ball will be deemed to have taken it into touch and the line-out will be awarded to the other team.
If a player jumps from inside the field of play and catches the ball beyond the plane of touch and he then lands in touch, his team will be awarded the throw-in at the line-out.
If a player in touch, jumps and catches the ball after it has crossed the plane of touch and he then lands in the field of play, the ball is out.
If a player in touch jumps and catches the ball before it reaches the plane of touch and lands in the field of play, play goes on.
If a player in the field of play, leans over the plane of touch to catch the ball which has crossed the plane of touch and he drops the ball, the throw-in belongs to the kicker’s team.
A few amendments were also made to quick throw-ins.
The law variation states that if a defending team takes a quick lineout when the ball has been kicked into touch outside the 22 – but has rolled on beyond the imaginary extension of the 22m line – they may kick directly into touch and the line-out will take place where the ball went out. (Previously the lineout would have taken place in line with where the kick was taken).
However, if, in a similar scenario, a defender picks up the ball in touch before it crosses the imaginary extension of the 22m line, and then runs back into his 22 before throwing to a teammate who kicks out on the full, the lineout will take place opposite the place where the kick was made.
African News Agency
Just read the competition format rules for the upcoming Super Rugby season and now I'm going to have a lie down. What does it all mean?— Sion Ap Tomos (@SapLand1) February 21, 2016
Original source: Rugby laws tweaked ahead of #SuperRugby