Richard Ferguson

A whole new set of rules

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content on 16 May 2012 at 09:26
Tagged with : , , , ,

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has confirmed that there will be a host of rule changes that will take effect in August for the Northern Hemisphere and in January for the Southern Hemisphere, and includes both domestic and international fixtures. reports that these rules or law changes, whichever you prefer, come after recommendations of the IRB’s independent Laws Representative Group, which comprises representatives from each of the 10 tier-one nations and the IRB Rugby Committee.

The Television Match Official (TMO) will receive more power in that he will be able to rule on events that happened in the field of play, in the build-up to a try. Currently, the TMO is only allowed to comment on events over the tryline. TMO’s will also be allowed to advise on field referee’s on incidents of foul play.

Other changes include a 90-second limit on conversion, in which the conversion has to be made within 90 seconds of the try being scored, as well as a 5-second limit for a ball available at the back of a ruck.

According to new legislation, the ball will have to be used within 5 seconds of becoming available at the back of a ruck, after the referee has instructed the team to ‘use it’.

Further to the implemented changes, a trial will be run during the November Internationals, where an eight man bench will be allowed, as long as the eighth person on the bench is a qualified front-rower.


  • So nothing major then. Altho the 90sec conversion will be interesting when the guy scores a try and throws the ball into the crowd in celebration…

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.05.12 09:52:37 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : It is certainly going to tone down some celebrations. 😆

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.05.12 09:55:48 by Bokhoring Reply
  • The 5 second ruck rule will ruin McLoed’s game! It takes him about 10 seconds to do his ‘arms up arms down’ warm-up routine

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.05.12 10:15:26 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Im not so crazy about the fact that the ball has to be used in 5 sec once its available! It seems to favour the ABs to a certain degree 👿

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.05.12 10:15:59 by Ozbok Reply

  • Could someone elaborate on the 90 second conversation rule. Is the ref allowed a 90 second conversation with the TMO? What happens once time is up? ❓

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.05.12 10:23:34 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : Probably means 90 seconds from the try being awarded

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.05.12 10:30:43 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) :

    The 90 seconds kick in once the try is awarded, thus if a TMO decision is pending, the try will only be awarded once the whistle blows, after the discussions with the TMO..

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.05.12 10:31:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) :

    Its not a conversation rule, its a CONVERSION rule, as in kick following a try, not chat or discussion rule 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.05.12 10:31:51 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : I would assume, once the try is awarded. When the Ref asks the TMO clock stops, once the try is awarded after the TMO, then the kicker my take the kick and have 90 sec to do so.

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.05.12 10:32:37 by Uli Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : Dear Lord I need more sleep! 😳 I’ve been reading ‘conversation’ this whole time! :mrgreen:

    Thanks for clearing that up Rich!

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.05.12 10:49:07 by vanmartin Reply
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  • All good changes IMO!

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.05.12 10:50:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.05.12 10:50:34 by Ice Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 10) : Not a bad idea to limit the TMO conversation to 90 seconds too 😈 . You should forward to the IRB

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.05.12 10:51:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 13) : My best ideas are usually those I’m not actually aware of 😀

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.05.12 10:55:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 10) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.05.12 10:56:28 by Megatron Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 3) : add that to the 3 minutes it takes him to find the ball in the first place.

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.05.12 11:07:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • Personally id only like to see 2 rule changes: 1. the tackler not being able to play the ball at all. 2. The speed at which the ref calls Crouch,Touch,Pause,Engage…

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.05.12 11:26:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) : the old days it was engage and scrums were greatno issues now scrums collapse as they wait forever to engage

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.05.12 11:36:51 by shaniboi Reply

  • I would also like referees to be stricter on interference around the ruck area. The number of times defenders get held back is infuriating. No wonder Downey got bliksemed!

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.05.12 11:39:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) : Interesting suggestions! Regarding your first, what would happen in a situation where a player fielding a kick was completely isolated from his team and an opposing winger tackled him? (Classic Bulls’ strategy). In a case such as this one the winger usually arrives way ahead of his teammates. Any pressure he applies by chasing the kick is nullified after he makes the tackle or am I missing something?

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.05.12 12:04:11 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 20) : as far as I understand the tackler has right to the ball as long as a 3rd player don’t join…

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.05.12 12:13:13 by Franshark Reply
  • Pah, from the heading I thought this was about Sharksworld and a way of spicing things up here.

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.05.12 12:23:38 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I like these rules (laws). About the 90 second conversion one. Does the kicker usually have 60 seconds after the try has been scored or 60 seconds after the ball has been place on the kicking tee?

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.05.12 12:32:49 by Ben Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : Downey got moered at a Maul if I’m not mistaken..

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.05.12 12:35:55 by Ben Reply
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  • Scrum penalties are often a lottery. They should go back to free kicks only.

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.05.12 12:36:17 by Ernie Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 24) : I think it was a set scrum.

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.05.12 12:37:48 by Ernie Reply

  • @Ernie (Comment 25) : I like that idea. Free kicks for all scrum infringements.

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.05.12 12:40:17 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ernie (Comment 26) : Just double checked. You are 100% correct. It was at a scrum.

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.05.12 12:45:19 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 28) :

    But he was still holding onto the player preventing him from being able to defend….classic Crusaders and AB tactics!

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.05.12 12:54:28 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 20) : That is a good scenario for me to explain. The tackler after making the tackle would not be able to play the tackled player, however, at the same time the guy being tackled has to place the place. So in effect guy gets tackled, tackled releases him and the tackled player places the ball. Once that is done and the good term ‘daylight’ is shown then the ball is free to be played by either player. And wen i say ‘daylight’ i mean no contact between the tackler and tackled player with any part of the body. If the IRB wants to clear up the ruck its the only way!

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.05.12 12:58:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) : Yup.

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.05.12 13:00:46 by Ben Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 30) : Problem is that you also have this “not held” rule which allows the tackled player to get up and carry on running. So how long should the tackler hold the tackled player before it is deemed a tackle, and how long after that before the tackler need to release. It is becoming such a confusing area of the game to referee

  • Comment 32, posted at 16.05.12 13:02:40 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 3) : @robdylan (Comment 16) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Oh it`s gonna be interesting!

  • Comment 33, posted at 16.05.12 13:09:33 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @SheldonK (Comment 30) : Makes sense, thanks for the explanation! My worry is similar to Bokhoring’s – I suspect this leaves a lot of room for ‘interpretation’ from the refs. Was the tackled player held/not held, did he immediately place the ball, etc…

  • Comment 34, posted at 16.05.12 13:12:49 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Cheetahs team for Saturday:

    1 Coenie Oosthuizen
    2 Adriaan Strauss ( c )
    3 WP Nel
    4 George Earle
    5 Izak van der Westhuizen
    6 Heinrich Brüssow
    7 Justin Downey
    8 Philip van der Walt
    9 Piet van Zyl
    10 Riaan Smit
    11 Willie le Roux
    12 Andries Strauss (vc)
    13 Robert Ebersohn
    14 Cameron Jacobs
    15 Hennie Daniller
    16 Hercu Liebenberg
    17 Trevor Nyakane
    18 Andries Ferreira
    19 Ashley Johnson
    20 Tewis de Bruyn
    21 Sias Ebersohn
    22 Philip Snyman

    So Sias back to the bench

  • Comment 35, posted at 16.05.12 13:30:49 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 32) : @vanmartin (Comment 34) : Now you see this ‘not held’ rule actually isnt a rule at all. Let me explain, as the rule stands…if i tackled someone and im in contact with them when their knee hits the ground then i hav made a tackled and have to release the player and likewise the tackled player has to place the ball and cant get up again. If however i throw or push a player to the ground and im not touching him when he lands then there is no tackle so the tackled player is free to get up and keep going, in the same instance i dont have to release the player as i was never in contact. Does that make sense? This ‘not held’ thing gets people confused.

  • Comment 36, posted at 16.05.12 13:33:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : As you explain it, it is pretty clear. But I have seen cases where a player went to ground with a tackler holding onto his leg where the player goes to ground first, shakes off the tackler, and then carries on, and ruled not held.

    It all happens so fast sometimes – it is not very clear cut

  • Comment 37, posted at 16.05.12 13:37:42 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 37) : That my friend is more a reffing problem than a law problem unfortunately. Just like not all players make the same choices on the field, not all refs see things the same way. I guess thats what makes things interesting in a way.

  • Comment 38, posted at 16.05.12 13:41:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • On another point, maybe Plum can tell McLeod that the new 5 sec rule already applies at rucks. 😈

  • Comment 39, posted at 16.05.12 14:04:38 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 39) : LIKE 😀

  • Comment 40, posted at 16.05.12 14:08:42 by Pokkel Reply
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