CAPE TOWN – Will the new 50/22 law do the game any good?
Eight new laws will be trialled following the World Cup, with the above-mentioned being one of them.
The law will see the team whose player kicked the ball into touch in the opposition 22 from inside his own half, with a bounce before the ball went out, be awarded the throw-in at the resulting lineout. It’s similar to Rugby League’s 40-20 rule, which often sees the defender scurrying at the back to prevent the ball from going into touch after the opposition’s kick.
While it could be exciting in terms of keeping teams on their toes throughout the game it could, and most likely will, result in continuous aerial ping pong as both sides would want to go for such a prime attacking chance. Defending teams will have to guard touch on either side, and pump more players into the backfield, which will give defensive line fewer numbers, giving the attacking side a numerical advantage. It will always be the case anyway if the fullback joins the attacking line, but even more so if the new law comes into play. It could turn 14 and 13-man lines into 12-man lines.