Jake White in favour of World Rugby's proposed 50/22 rule

Jake White (Gallo Images)
Jake White (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White believes rugby's lawmakers should alter the laws of the game to favour teams that have more possession during matches.

White expressed his views via a column for the All Out Rugby website on Tuesday.

In the column, White said he paid interest to last Saturday's Super Rugby final in which the Crusaders beat the Jaguares 19-3 in Christchurch.

The Argentine side dominated possession, but came second best on the scoreboard, something White took note of.

"The Crusaders won their 10th title by kicking instead of keeping the ball in hand - they finished the game with less possession and territory, and won. That reminded me of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. In the last eight games at the tournament (the four quarter-finals, the two semis, the third-place playoff and the final) the team that had less ball won seven of eight matches," White wrote.

“As was the case in 1995, South Africa prevailed in a final where no tries were scored, and here we are 12 years later, in a competition that prides itself on tries, and only one try was scored in the final by the team that had less ball."

As a solution, White suggestion a slight alteration in the laws.

"I think it’s fantastic that World Rugby is considering implementing the 50/22 rule. Based on a similar law in Rugby League, the 50/22 rule would award a lineout to the kicking team if they successfully kick from their own half and the ball rolls into touch inside their opponent's 22.

"The threat of conceding an attacking lineout would motivate the defending team to deploy 'goalkeepers' on either side of the field to make sure the 50/22 kicks are covered. And if you've got two goalkeepers deep, a scrumhalf covering chips and a fullback in the middle, that leaves you with 11 guys in the defensive line which means the attack would have a big numerical advantage."

The implementation of the above-mentioned law could create the problem of teams kicking too much and for this White added the following solution: "To add some balance I'd suggest the following law change: the receiving team can mark a kick launched from their opponent’s half for a free-kick anywhere on their opponent’s 10-metre line."

READ Jake White’s full column on the All Out Rugby website

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