Improving the game

SANZAR referees and assistant referees will be focusing on freeing up the ball and creating clarity around rulings at the tackle area and at scrum-time in this year's Super14 competition.

SANZAR referees and assistant referees will be focusing on freeing up the ball and creating clarity around rulings at the tackle area and at scrum-time in this year's Super14 competition.

This is done in an effort to create clarity for players, officials and fans.

"In the past two months, I have attended workshops in all three Sanzar countries with coaches and officials and everyone has responded positively to this approach," said Sanzar referees manager Lyndon Bray.

Referee performances will also be measured against these priorities throughout the Super 14 season which will guide the selectors in the appointment of officials as the Tournament progresses.

Bray outlined the four key areas as tackled ball, scrum engagement and players in front of the kicker.

"The tackler, once on the ground in the tackle, must release the ball and the ball carrier.

"This gives the ball carrier a chance to 'play the ball', and will tidy up the tackle-ball area which has previously been weighted towards the tackler.

"And any player involved in helping to make a tackle, who is in contact with the ball carrier when he is taken to ground, must then release the ball, before then attempting to contest possession.

"This ensures that in Super 14, we are truly refereeing the Law at the tackle, and it provides the ball carrier with his rights, having been tackled.

"After this tackle, any player then on his feet, in a position of strength (his side of the tackle) may then contest possession."

"The scrum engagement must follow a true sequence, starting with all props required to touch, on the touch call.

"Props must also have their head and shoulders above their hips, and then hit straight on engagement.

"This enhances the chance of the scrum being contestable, and to stay up resulting in less resets." - Sapa

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