A couple of new law variations will make their debuts this season in Super Rugby Aotearoa in New Zealand and Super Rugby AU in Australia. There are slight variants for each competition, but we got to see the New Version in action in a pre-season game.
One of the new law variations goal line drop-out, which made its debut in a warm-up match between the Crusaders and Highlanders.
From the looks of things, it should provide for even more running rugby.
Scenarios for the new 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.
- The drop-out is taken on or behind the defending team’s goal line.
- The drop-out must be taken without delay. The ball must cross the 5m line.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If the ball crosses the 5m line but then bounces, is blown back by the wind or deflected back, play continues.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.