Laws to suit Rebels game

· Super Rugby - AU
by Natalie Yoannidis

Melbourne Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty hopes the Super Rugby AU law variations will give his side an edge when the tournament kicks off next month.


Seven new laws will be trialled by Rugby Australia with an eye to improving the flow of the game.Haylett-Petty is a big advocate of the new 50/22 rule.

The law will see the attacking team awarded a line out if a kick originating from the opposition’s 50m area bounces into touch inside the attacking 22.

“We’re obviously tinkering around and figuring that out at the moment but we’ve got some very good kickers in Matt To'omua and Reece Hodge, I think they’ll do a good job there.

"That should keep numbers in the back field and make it a bit more of an exciting game.”

Haylett-Petty says physical fitness will also be key to his side’s chances, when the revised competition kicks off on July 3.

“I think that suits us as a team, fitness is something we pride ourselves on.

"We’ve always started the season very well off the back of that. We’ll be looking to speed the game up, that’s what the fans want."

The accelerated pace is expected to benefit players with a Rugby Sevens background.

The Rebels squad includes several players who have represented Australia in the shorter format, including the club’s newest recruits Lewis Holland and Lachie Anderson.

Australian captain Holland expects the new rules to help him make the transition to the 15-man game.

"We like to run the ball and when we get into space, finish off.

"The Rebels’ game isn’t too different to how we (Australian Sevens) like to play. There’s a lot more people out there but in saying that when we get the ball in space that’s what we like to do."

The backs aren’t the only ones excited by the introduction of the new 50/22 law.

Rebels prop Cameron Orr hopes the changes will lead to forwards scoring more tries.

“It will be good to get front-foot ball and play where we want to, where we’re scoring points.

"Attacking rugby is the Rebels way, so it will be awesome to get ball in hand.”

The Rebels start their Super Rugby AU campaign against the Brumbies on July 4.