Coaching the Game Innovations

Reduced Tackle Height

WHAT: The tackle height (below the sternum. i.e., the tummy region) applies to the first tackler, any subsequent tackler is bound by current world rugby height (below the shoulder). 

WHY: To ensure safer tackles for all, a reduction in the likelihood of head impacts, allowing for more offloads and a faster game. By lowering the tackle height, the tackler can get the ball carrier to the ground faster and create more opportunities to contest the ball at the tackle. The opportunity to turn over the ball creates more opportunities for a defensive team to transition defence into attack. 

WHO: All Community Rugby grades

HOW: Coaching the tackle

Offside at Scrum

WHAT: The halfback of the team not in possession must remain 1 metre from the scrum and may not advance past the tunnel until the scrum has ended. If they opt to stay in a position in front of their Number-8's feet, they must stay within 1m of the scrum.

WHY: To encourage positive play by providing quicker, cleaner ball. With the removal of the “disruptor” role of the defensive halfback, there is also a reduction in the number of scrums resulting from handling errors at the base of the scrum. 

WHO: All Community Rugby grades

HOW: Halfbacks have a number of defensive positions and roles available to them at scrum time. 

Coaching the offside at scrum

Scrum 1.5m Push

WHAT: The maximum push of any scrum is limited to 1.5 metres unless the scrum is within 5 metres of the goal line. A restriction of 1.5m push does not depower the scrum but does encourage teams in possession to play the ball more quickly and discourage them from holding the ball in to draw penalties. 
Please note: Small Blacks rugby at U12 and U13s is already limited to a maximum 0.5 metre scrum push and teenage rugby is already limited to a maximum 1.5 metre scrum push.

WHY:  To improve scrum stability – especially where there is a significant imbalance between opposing scrums, reduce the risk of injury, to get the ball back in play more quickly and to reduce the ability to scrum for penalties.

WHO: All senior grades designated as non-Premier). This Law is already in place for all levels of teenage rugby.

HOW: Scrum practice for the 1.5m push could involve pushing for 3 short steps and then holding or locking out against any counter push. (The player cues could be calling out 1-2-3- HOLD.) 

Coaching the scrum push