"Totally wrong" - Nigel Owens furious with latest law change - Ruck

“Totally wrong” – Nigel Owens furious with latest law change

SANZAAR have announced that the 20-minute red card law trial will continue to be used as part of this year’s Rugby Championship.

This will see a player replaced after 20 minutes by another player if they have been red-carded.

NIGEL OWENS OPINION:

“The part which I don’t understand is that you will hear talk about players being unlucky to be sent off, and that therefore you need a 20-minute card as a solution,” he wrote in the Telegraph.

“Well, my response would be that if a player is unlucky to be sent off, then he shouldn’t be sent off.

“Governing bodies need to stay strong on those acts of recklessness and thuggery. We have already seen how strict policing of certain offences can lead to change with tip tackles over a decade ago. There has been a total change of behaviour from players and those acts are now very rare.

“The last thing the sport needs is a situation where a player runs in and headbutts an opponent in the opening minutes, only for the offender to then be replaced 20 minutes later by a substitute. In situations like that, your team does not deserve to go back to 15 players.

“Make a clear decision between whether foul play is accidental or reckless and then award the appropriate yellow or red card.

“A 20-minute red card merely papers over the cracks. It is totally wrong, and if we go down that route then rugby is going to be in trouble.”

Nigel Owens wants five law changes ASAP

Owens, who hung up his whistle two years ago, has come up with four possible changes to encourage expansive rugby.

#1. Scrap the goal-line dropout

Owens wrote: “As for goal-line dropouts, I was a big fan initially because I felt it would prevent attacking teams from numerous pick-and-gos near the try line, with teams instead attempting to move the ball wide to avoid being held up and losing possession. But I’m not sure it has worked as planned. We still see plenty of pick-and-gos until teams get over, we still see plenty of mauls and the number of collisions hasn’t decreased.

“We are also seeing fewer scrums near the goal line, and to be honest I’m not sure that is a good thing. The scrum needs to be an important part of the game, and right now we are not seeing the benefits of it. Rugby must continue to be a game for all shapes and sizes, and at all levels, too.

Attacking teams are also kicking longer knowing that if the ball rolls dead, the defending team has to do a goal-line dropout and they can get the ball back. We’ve also lost the short dropouts we used to see from the 22-metre line where teams would compete to win the ball back, or a quick dropout would be taken, because teams now backed up on their goal line just kick the ball long to escape and what happens? The opposition kick it back.

“From initially believing it would work, I would now like the goal-line dropout law to go to be honest. If anything it is having a negative effect.”

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