The brand new rule is customized from rugby league’s 40:20, and was pushed by the much-travelled Australian coach Scott Johnson at a World Rugby laws conference in 2019.
How does the 50:22 rule work?
If a participant kicks the ball from his personal half and it bounces earlier than going out of play within the opposition 22, his group is given the throw into the ensuing line-out, in a primary attacking place.
The concept is to create area as a result of the defending group will maintain an additional one or two gamers within the backfield, taking them out of the defensive position that’s typically strung throughout the sector.
The opposite hoped-for profit is that it’s going to cut back the variety of massive collisions and due to this fact cut back harm and damaging contact to the top.
Professionals of the brand new legislation
Chatting with i again in 2019 when the 50:22 kick was first seriously mooted, former England fly-half Toby Flood was hopeful it might result in extra attacking play but additionally had some reservations.
“Once you face a strung-out defensive position, and also you don’t have the numbers, you’ll be able to’t go wherever,” Flood defined. “You both relax or try to discover the chink of their armour, and typically it’s not fairly…
“I assume it would flip 14-man traces into 13-man ones, or 13 into 12. When you take Saracens, who’ve the perfect defensive set-up round, they’ll have two males within the backfield for almost all of the time, plus the scrum-half who dips out and in of the defensive position.
“Or they may have only one again, however the open-side wing can be alert to any kick from our 9 or 10. A group with two gamers again can be determined to protect these two for so long as potential, till certainly one of them engages after they’re underneath stress from the assault, possibly 30 to 40 metres out from their very own try-line. I can see these backfield gamers would sit deeper, as a result of they wouldn’t wish to be overwhelmed by the 50-22 kick.
“The time it turns into actually viable is on turnover ball – and will probably be attention-grabbing to see whether or not the legislation says it have to be kicked from your personal possession. Undoubtedly on a turnover the 9 will whack it down there as greatest he can, and if the ball squirts out of play, it’s a enormous acquire. That might be painful; you’d find yourself miles again.”
Cons of the brand new legislation
Whereas it’s hoped the legislation will result in extra thrilling play, it may not work out that manner in actuality.
Right here’s Flood once more: “It would take away these moments of brilliance on counter-attack – the two-pass turnover is perhaps misplaced to a again simply whacking it in hope. And I used to be chatting to a few of my teammates who’ve performed league, and so they say the kick isn’t simple.”
The 40-20 rule in league generates pleasure when the group sees the kick unleashed, and watch the defender scurrying madly to forestall the ball going out.
However Flood added: “Is that extra enticing to the viewer, or is it Seventies rugby stuff – whack the ball and go after it?
“Hypothetically, will a group like Exeter, who play loads, now play much less round their opponents’ 30 or 40-metre level, taking fewer dangers, as a result of they’re anxious a few kick going again behind them?
“There might be extra ball in play, and fewer tackles, however much less enticing play.
“I completely perceive what they [the lawmakers] try to do, however I don’t understand how a lot you’ll be able to struggle the evolution of the game. Persons are greater, sooner and stronger than they have been.”
Different modifications to look out for in 2021-22
It is advisable to be much more alert for the brand new goal-line drop-out. A group held up when driving over the road not has a put-in to a five-metre scrum; as a substitute the defending group drops the ball out from their goalline. It’s geared toward lowering the variety of scrums, rewarding good defence, encouraging counter-attack and growing the speed of ball in play. The elevated motion within the in-goal space might be fascinating, and as it will probably differ from six to 22 metres in size, look out for golf equipment redrawing the traces or regretting their tiny pitch!
Different measures are aimed collectively at better security and equity in defence. “Latching” onto a ball-carrying team-mate continues to be permitted, however the participant in query has the identical duties as a primary arriving participant: to remain on his toes, enter via the gate and never fall to the bottom. Additionally, a penalty can be awarded in opposition to any pods of three or extra gamers who’re pre-bound earlier than receiving the ball, whereas gamers can be penalised if they aim or drop their weight onto the decrease limbs of a jackler. Plenty of these choices would require sharp reactions from the referee, and the TMO might get entangled with the clear and apparent ones.