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Just one more sleep.
The Lions open up their New Zealand tour against the Provincial Barbarians tomorrow and not only will they have to adapt to the conditions and timezone, they also have a few new laws to take note of.
It’s safe to say the players have already done their homework here, with the new laws coming into effect in the northern hemisphere in time for the 2017/18 season, but playing an actual game with the new laws in place is completely different.
These laws have been in place down south since January so the New Zealand lads will be fairly well used to them at this stage. The challenge awaits the Lions over the next few weeks.
Here’s a nice and simple breakdown of the laws, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph
The Five New Laws
Number of players (uncontested scrums)
Add to 3.6 (h)
Uncontested scrums as a result of a sending off, temporary suspension or injury must be played with eight players per side.
World Rugby reasoning: To discourage teams from going to uncontested scrums.
Add to 5.7(e)
If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the referee allows the throw-in to be taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead.
World Rugby reasoning: To discourage teams from infringing in the final moments of the game.
Add to 8.1(a)
When there are multiple penalty infringements by the same team, the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks.
World Rugby reasoning: To discourage repeat offending when advantage is already being played and to reward teams against whom repeat offending has taken place.
Method of scoring (penalty tries)
Add to 9.A.1 (points values)
If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted but the value is seven points
World Rugby reasoning: To discourage teams from illegally preventing a probable try from being scored while also saving time on the clock by negating the need for a conversion.
Touch and lineout
Add to definitions
A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
World Rugby reasoning: This brings into law something that is already applied in practice. It means that a player juggling the ball does not have to be in contact with it at the exact moment of touching the touchline or the ground beyond it for the ball to be deemed to be in touch. This makes it easier for the match officials to adjudicate.
Add to definitions
If a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area (or if that player catches the ball and throws it back into the playing area) before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches the plane of touch.
If the ball-carrier reaches the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area without first landing in touch, play continues.
If the ball has passed the plane of touch when it is caught, then the catcher is not deemed to have taken the ball into touch. If the ball has not passed the plane of touch when it is caught or picked up, then the catcher is deemed to have taken the ball into touch, regardless of whether the ball was in motion or stationary.
World Rugby reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.