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The New World Rugby Law Changes Affecting The Lions Tour Of New Zealand

On Wednesday morning, Lions fans looked on as Warren Gatland’s side were outclassed by the Blues at Eden Park.

It took a late wonder try from Blues replacement fly-half Ihaia West to consign the Lions to their first defeat of the tour. However, in truth, Gatland’s side was inferior on the day and the 22-16 scoreline was an accurate reflection of what had just transpired.

It has been an overwhelmingly disappointing opening to the tour for the Lions with the side laboring to a slim victory over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians just days before.

Although no excuses can be made for the Lions showing in their opening two outings, it is interesting to note that several new changes to the World Rugby laws came into effect on the 1st of June.

Check out the law changes in full (via Wales Online) below;

  • If the referee gives a penalty and the clock has past the 80th minute, a side now has the option to kick to touch and take a lineout. Under the old laws, a kick to touch would have meant that the final whistle would be blown, leaving a scrum, tapped penalty or a kick for goal as the only options to continue playing.
  • If a team goes to uncontested scrums for whatever reason, they must have eight players in the scrum all the time. So that means you may have to put one of the backs into the back-row or second row.
  • A penalty try is now an automatic seven points (rather than five) meaning that you won’t even have to take the conversion.
  • If a player has one foot in touch and one foot in the field of play and catches the ball, it will be the opposition’s lineout because he will be deemed to have taken the ball into touch. Last season, the same circumstance would have led to the catching player’s lineout as the ball was already deemed to be in touch.
  • If the ball is rolling towards you and you have a foot in touch and the other out of play when you pick up the ball, old laws would have meant that it would be your lineout. However, this season that has changed with the lineout now going to the opposition in the same circumstances. The same goes for the 22, the dead ball area and the try-line.

The Lions will take on the Crusaders this Saturday in the AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

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Author: The PA Team

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