My thoughts on the new Rugby Laws to be introduced

Some of the new laws being introduced from 1 August 2013 (28 June 2013 in all new SARU competitions), has been long coming. Others again doesn’t make sense at all. Here are the laws and my thoughts about them.

Props will now be required to pre-bind before the “hit”, resulting in the scrum call being changed from “crouch, touch, set” to “crouch, bind, set”
This has should have been the case from the start. By touching and withdrawing the arm and then having to go for the bins, players lost the bind. This will hopefully see less scrum resets and less useless penalties and free-kicks.

The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop must bind. A loose head prop must bind on the opposing tight head prop by placing the left arm inside the right arm of the tight head and gripping the tight head prop’s jersey on the back or side. A tight head prop must bind on the opposing loose head prop by placing the right arm outside the left upper arm of the opposing loose head prop and gripping the loose head prop’s jersey with the right hand only on the back or side. The props must not grip the opponent’s chest, arm, sleeve, or collar.
I pretty much thought that this is how it was supposed to be all along.

Referees have been told to more strictly police a straight feed by scrumhalves into the scrum.
Well I have been calling for this for years. We will once again see the scrum being a contest as it was intended to be. I will bet that we will now see more “heels against the head” thanwhat we have seen in the last 15 years. Hooking will once again become an art. Currently the locks do more hooking than hookers.

Rugby fields may be no longer than 100m in length and 70m in width, while the in-goal area should not exceed 22m in depth.
Fields for international matches and International Sevens Rugby must be as close as possible to the maximum size, and no less than 94m in length and 68m in width, while the in-goal area has to be a minimum of 6m in length.

Again a silly law. I thought these were the standard dimensions for a rugby field.

The match-day doctor for Test matches will be the sole adjudicator on whether a player has a blood injury or not. (SARU already ensures that match-day doctors are appointed for all International, Super Rugby and all Absa Currie Cup Premiership matches).
All players diagnosed with or suspected of having concussion need to be removed from the match or training session and may take no further part in that particular match or training session. The player diagnosed with concussion needs to follow the management protocol as described in the  IRB Concussion Guidelines ( ) before they may return to full contact participation.

A very good move. Team doctors are not always acting in the best interest of the player, but rather the team. And we know of blood bins that weren’t just to get a goal kicker on the field.

Judicial Officers have been given the freedom to apply sanctions of less than 50% of the lower-end entry and in some cases no sanction for offences. In the past they could only apply a minimum of 50% of the entry-level sanction.
I have a major issue with this law. A minimum sanction should be in place and applied. If a player has no past history, that is the sanction he gets. If he does have a history of committing said offence or other offence, the sanction should be increased. If found not guilty he gets off free.

Yellow cards may now be expunged from a player’s disciplinary record in the case of mistaken identity, while red cards could be expunged if a judicial officer believes the offence did not warrant a red card. This was not previously allowed.
In the case of cards for the wrong player, this should have been the case all along. Good move on the Red Cards issue. Will it however be replaced with a yellow card if that would have been sufficient?

follow Dave on @djvanman on twitter


About Dave

I totally love sport. Rugby, cricket and soccer, but my first love will always be rugby. Other than sport I write my own poems and other interestings articles. I also love cooking. A man of many talents. When it come to Cricket I'm a Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders and Proteas supporter. Soccer there is only one team and that is Man United and Germany internationally. Other than that I'm a loving father and husband.

Posted on June 25, 2013, in Rugby Opinions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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