NZ, Australia bin captain’s challenge

The controversial captain’s challenge law innovation that has been utilised in Super Rugby Aotearoa will not be retained new trans-Tasman competition.

New Zealand Rugby had introduced the law in Super Rugby Aotearoa, but it divided fans and players, with Crusaders captain Scott Barrett criticising the law for slowing down the game.

The captain’s challenge allows the captain of either side one review each where they can ask the referee to refer a try-scoring incident or foul play to the TMO.

If the review is successful, the team keep their challenge for the rest of the game. However, if they are unsuccessful, they lose their review until the last five minutes of the match.

The law has also been implemented in the Rainbow Cup SA, but after just two rounds has been questioned by Bulls director of rugby and head coach Jake White.

However, in an update on Monday, New Zealand Rugby confirmed that the law will not be part of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, which starts this weekend.

‘New Zealand Rugby has trialled a range of innovations this season in Super Rugby Aotearoa and we are reviewing those trials with a view to making some recommendations for future competitions,’ head of high performance Mike Anthony said.

‘For Super Rugby Trans-Tasman we have agreed with Rugby Australia to stick to laws that were consistent across our respective domestic Super Rugby competitions, which in this case are the goalline drop-out and the red-card replacement.

‘Statistics from Super Rugby Aotearoa indicate the goalline drop-out has achieved its purpose of speeding up the game and getting the ball back in play more quickly than a five-metre scrum, while we believe the red-card replacement rule maintains the integrity of matches for players and fans alike when a player has been sent off.’

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