Rainbow Cup’s new laws baffle spectators – and coaches!

South African rugby coaches had mixed reactions to the new trial laws being implemented in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA.

Rainbow Cup’s new laws baffle spectators – and coaches!

South African rugby coaches had mixed reactions to the new trial laws being implemented in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA.


Among the new set of laws adopted in this Rainbow Cup, teams can now replace players who have received a red card 20 minutes after the infringement, while captains are each allowed to challenge one call and send it upstairs to the TMO for a referral if they think the on-field official may have gotten it wrong.

The new red card rule saw plenty of action in the match between the Sharks and the Stormers in Cape Town, as the home side twice found themselves reduced to 14 men, ultimately spending a full 40 minutes of the match with a man down.


Had the Stormers not been able to replace both red card recipients, Seabelo Senatla and Willie Engelbrecht, after 20 minutes, the Sharks would surely have run away with the contest.

As it happened, the men from Durban only just managed to hold on to a 33-30 win, but Sharks coach Sean Everitt nevertheless gave the rule change the thumbs up after the match.


“Especially early in the game when you concede a red card, it’s always going to be tough to try and make a spectacle out of the game,” said Everitt.

“I don’t think those players [Senatla and Engelbrecht] intentionally went in.

“With Seabelo Senatla, I don’t think that was intentional from him. It was probably careless, and he’ll learn from that. We know he’s a good rugby player and he’s not a malicious person at all.

“At the end of the day the rules are there and the fact that a team can make do and change on a red card after 20 minutes I think is a good idea in hindsight.”

Meanwhile, Bulls coach Jake White admitted he was not entirely convinced by the new captain’s call rule, which saw Morne Steyn’s cross-kick which led to a “try” for Madosh Tambwe in the 70th minute ruled out due to a wayward lineout throw in the build-up.

Lions captain Dan Kriel sent up the referral and successfully got the try chalked off – although it made no difference to the final result as the Bulls held on for a 22-9 victory in Pretoria.

“It’s going to be one of those things you have to get used to,” White said after the Rainbow Cup match.

“I haven’t particularly enjoyed the captain’s referrals all the time or things like when you carry over the ball you get a goal-line dropout. But again, that’s maybe because we’ve just been used to the previous laws over time. It hasn’t been like that before.

“I don’t believe it’s ideal.”

White also acknowledged that the new red card rule will make it easier for referees to send players off and enforce the laws.

“The red card rule is to be expected. There’s a massive push overall for players to abide to the laws, change their height when they go into contact, defensively and on attack,” said White.

“I suppose today’s round of action provided evidence that if you’re not going to do it, you’re going to be found out. It’s something we’re working on hard, breakdown wise, carrying low, defensively making sure you’re body position is fine.

“If it’s going to speed up the game and make it safer then fine. We want young boys to play rugby, not mums say that it’s too dangerous. We want to grow the game and if these nuances and laws are going to help, then we’re for it.”

Source : The South African More