Rainbow Cup trial laws spark concerns
REACTION: South African coaches shared their views on the new Rainbow Cup trial laws following the first round of action.
Three innovative law variations have been approved by World Rugby for use in the Rainbow Cup.
These are red card replacements, captain’s challenge and goalline drop-outs.
These law variations have already been using it across Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU and their use has been encouraged by World Rugby to improve the game.
However, for South African coaches and players, it is an innovation they still need to get used to.
The Bulls opened their Rainbow Cup campaign with a 22-9 win over the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Bulls outscored the Lions three tries to none and could have bagged more.
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However, referee Rasta Rasivhenge had three of his calls overturned – having overlooked transgressions by the Bulls, which resulted in possible tries.
Lions skipper Dan Kriel made use of the captain’s call which saw the try of Madosh Tambwe in the 70th minutes being overturned due to a skew line-out throw.
While the other two tries were cancelled out following interventions from the TMO Marius van der Westerhuizen.
Speaking to reporters after the match, bulls Director of Rugby Jake White revealed while he is certainly pleased with the red card regulations, the captain’s call is a bit frustrating.
“I haven’t particularly enjoyed the captain’s referrals all the time of thinks when you carry over the ball you get a goal-line dropout. But again, that’s maybe because we’ve just been used to the previous laws over time.
“I don’t believe it’s ideal,”
In terms of the red card reguralations, White said: “The red card rule is to be expected.
“There’s a massive push overall for players to abide by the laws, change their height when they go into contact, defensively and on the attack.
“Round one provided evidence that if you are not going to do it, you’re going to be found out. We are working on, breakdown wise, carrying low, defensively making sure your body positions are fine.
He added: “If it’s going to speed up the game and make it safer, then fine. We want young boys to play rugby and not have mothers saying that it’s too dangerous. We want to grow the game and if these nuances and laws are going to help then we’re for it,”
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Meanwhile, Sharks coach Sean Everitt revealed that the trial laws could be a good idea however questioned the degree of intent in terms of dangerous tackles.
The Sharks recorded a 33-30 win over the Stormers, who were handed two red cards during Saturday’s opening at Cape Town Stadium.
Seabelo Senatla was the first player to receive his marching orders as early as the 13th minute after a reckless and mistimed aerial challenge resulted in Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi doing a 360 degree flip.
It was just a minute later that debutant No.8 Willie Engelbrecht saw the first of his two yellow cards for similar high and dangerous tackles, which resulted in his sending off in the second half.
“I don’t think the players [Senatla and Engelbreght] did it intentionally especially Senatla, it was probably careless and he will learn from that.
“However I do get worried because I’ve witnessed two or three really bad tackles in the air like a few years ago when Willie Le Roux got taken out [against Highlanders] which could have been a career-ending injury.
“In the end of the day, the rules are the rules and the fact that a team can finish and make due or change after 20 minutes despite the red card is a good idea in hindsight,”