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Rugby 2024 News | Super Rugby Pacific bans frustrating ‘kick tennis’ trend in World Rugby-approved trial

Super Rugby Pacific organizers have announced changes to the law aimed at killing kick tennis and forcing ball receivers to run towards the opposition defence.

According to the current law of the sport (10.7), players in front of the kicker may be on the sideline once the kick receiver has passed the ball or run five yards with it.

These cautions will be removed, meaning defenders will remain offside until put back into play by a teammate coming behind the kicker or the kick itself.

Watch all the action from the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season, which begins on February 23, with every match without advertising, live and on demand on Stan Sport

“We want to create a game that is exciting for our fans and enjoyable for our players,” said Super Rugby Pacific Chairman Kevin Malloy.

“Part of that is seeing our players run with the ball rather than trading multiple kicks in a battle for territory.

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“We are listening to our fans and with the full support of New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and our coaches, we have responded with a small change that we believe could make a big difference.”

Malloy said fans had been frustrated by the current law that had led to back-and-forth kicking.

The problem has been particularly significant in the Northern Hemisphere Six Nations, with the loophole known as the “Dupont Law”, named after French scrum-half Antoine Dupont.

This tactic results in long periods of downtime for players. Receivers often choose to stand still before returning the ball across the field, rather than running toward the defensive line.

The worst example in recent memory took place in a club match between Bath and Gloucester, when two kickers clashed 12 times for over a minute, leaving the players wandering aimlessly in the middle as the ball roared above their heads.

It is possible the law could be introduced globally, with World Rugby using the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season as a trial.

“Fans have recently criticized teams for exploiting a loophole that allowed large numbers of players to stand still while kicks flew over their heads in what some call kick tennis,” he said. -he explains.

“We don’t think this is the spectacle our fans want to see at Super Rugby Pacific. We want to give teams the opportunity to counter-attack with the ball in hand and we are confident that this change in the law will encourage this trend and encourage exciting and attacking rugby.

“We were really happy with the show last year and so we’ve only made one change to the laws for 2024. We want to continue to build an exciting, fast-moving brand of rugby that our fans want to watch.”

The Super Rugby Pacific season begins on Wednesday and begins in earnest on February 23 when the Chiefs host the Crusaders, last year’s title winners.

News Source : wwos.nine.com.au
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