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The Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition, which kicks off on Friday night in Dunedin when the Highlanders take on the Reds, has retained a couple of recently introduced rules while ditching a couple of others.
The Australia and New Zealand unions have agreed to retain replacements for red-carded players and goal-line drop-outs in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition after trialling the rule innovations in domestic seasons.
Goal-line drop-outs, introduced in Australia’s competition last year, replace the conventional 22m drop-out after an attacking player is held up or knocks the ball on in the in-goal area.
The goal-line drop-outs, also awarded when an attacking kick is grounded by the defending team in their in-goal area, are intended to speed the game up by encouraging teams to counterattack. It has done away with 5m scrums, which have slowed the games down.
Red-carded players will also be able to be replaced after 20 minutes, retaining the rule change introduced in New Zealand’s competition last year.
However, the competition between teams from both sides of the Tasman Sea will not use the ‘‘golden point’’ system during the round robin stage of the season if matches are drawn after 80 minutes.
The golden point system, which awarded victory for the first team to score points in a 10-minute period of extra time, will only be employed for the June 19 final.
The captain’s challenge has also been binned. It had brought some excitement to the game but many coaches questioned whether more stoppages in play were needed in what was already a game blighted by time wastage.