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World Rugby rings key changes on sport

By Alex Njue
Thursday, May 14th, 2020
Elphas Adunga scores a try for KCB in a past Sevens clash against Impala at the Kinoru stadium, Meru County. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE
In summary

World Rugby, the governing body of the sport has made an amendment to the scoring laws scraping off the former regulation allowing players to score against the post protector during a match.

Starting on Tuesday May 12 courtesy of approval by the World Rugby Council at a special meeting, the minor amendment to Law 8 was done via tele-conferencing in line with recommendation by the international federation’s Rugby Committee and specialist Laws Review Group in the times of Covid-19 pandemic. 

Previously, attacking players would have their forwards take advantage of the previous regulation to score by simply having the ball carrier score against the post protector as the opponents were under pressure to defend the in-goal area.  

The centre referee also kept on reminding the defenders to stay on side while the two assistant referees would notify him of any offside or confirm a try scored against the post protector but that has now been eased and will be a breather for sides defending their territory with the law now amended and in effect.

Welfare concern for player safety increased as with the difficulty for defending players to protect the post’ area while obliged to stay behind the goal-line. 

Exposure of the posts to players increases the risk of injury in some extreme cases some locally experienced where there are no post protectors or have damaged ones in some lower tier leagues and some friendlies and hence cannot cushion players from physical harm when they leap for a try against one of the posts whilst a defender has to stop the player despite the unprotected post in between them.

As a result Law 8.2 now reads: “A try is scored when the attacking player is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal.” 

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont insisted that the amendment has projected a safer and more enjoyable game that will also offer the defending side a fair chance of protecting their in-goal.

“World Rugby’s mission is to make the game as simple, safe and enjoyable to play as possible. This law amendment reflects that mission.

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