Possible Law trials during November
October 30, 2012, 15:04:28
Here are points that could count. They come with a WARNING.
They may not happen at all!
1. Scrum cadence. This will be reduced to three calls - crouch - touch - set. Pause is out and engage is reduced to a sharp monosyllable. The laws coyly say: "The 'set' call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready. If it's not a command what is all this fuss about taking the hit and fading on the hit. The hit is rubbish.
2. Substitutions Teams are now allowed to nominate eight replacements/substitutes instead of the seven previously allowed. This is the French system aimed at reducing the number of uncontested scrums. This will happen in November.
3. Quick throw-ins Up till now the quick throw-in was allowed between the place where the ball went out and the throwing team's goal-line. Now it could well be, as it is in the north, between where the line-out would be and the throwing team's goal-line.
4. Time for the conversion The maximum time to take the conversion has been laid down as 90 seconds from the time the try was scored. It used to be a minute from indicating that the kick was to be taken, which was silly in the case of a conversion.
5. Five seconds to play When a team has won the ball at a ruck and it is available, that team must play the ball before five seconds is up or forfeit it. It then becomes a scrum to the other side. If the ball-carrier in a maul goes to ground and the ball is available to be played, that team must play the ball before five seconds is up or forfeit it. It then becomes a scrum to the other side. So no queuing up and rolling the ball in and out and all those other annoying bits of time-wasting that some scrumhalves seem to think is playing rugby.
6. Knock-on option If a knock-on or forward pass goes into touch it is a scrum now but then the other team will have the option of having the scrum or having a line-out. Having an option is new and may well suit a team suffering in the scrums.
7. Using the TMO The law trials allow an extended use of the TMO. He can now be used to identify foul play or a player guilty of foul play. Also he may be consulted about infringements in the lead-up to a try. That one needs clarification and amplification.
8. Options at penalty kicks and free kicks At present the team that benefits from a penalty or a free kick, has the option of choosing a scrum. Now, if that penalty of free kick is for a line-out infringement, the team benefiting may also opt for a line-out.
9. Single stud At present the IRB's clothing regulation reads: There shall not be a single stud/cleat at the toe of the boot. The new trial allows for a single stud at the toe of the boot.
10. Scoring from a free kick The team awarded a free kick cannot score a dropped goal until after the ball next becomes dead, or until after an opponent has played or touched it, or has tackled the ball carrier. This restriction applies also to a scrum or line-out taken instead of a free kick. That just makes things clearer.
NB This is speculation. It may not happen.