The Nines Tournament Rule Changes

Today, the NRL announced the rule changes for the Nines Tournament next February. We will see ‘golden try’ extra time, a tackle count of 5 tackles, a ‘bonus zone’ and scrum changes. Here’s a bit about each rule:


Golden Try

If the scores are locked up at full time, the game will go into golden try’ extra-time. The first team to score a try in extra-time, wins. This is different to the current ‘golden point’ extra-time rule in the NRL. From what I’ve read, it’s unclear whether there will be a time limit for the ‘golden try’ extra-time.

The reason for this rule change is to stop the field goal shoot out in extra-time. The purpose is to trial this change with a view to change the rule in the NRL competition if it is received well. Personally, I’m not fussed whether it is golden try or golden point; I think it would be exciting either way. 

5 Tackle Count

It will be interesting to see how the players adjust to this. I can imagine we will have some players caught out on the last tackle thinking that they have another tackle to go. The refs will need to be very clear with their tackle count.

Bonus Zone

For any tries scored under the posts, the team will be awarded 5 points. I assume this is to encourage teams to go through the middle rather than try to go around other teams and beat them with speed. I’m sure the goal kickers will be happy with this rule!

Scrum Changes

Along with the 5 tackle count, this could be one of the biggest changes. Scrums will only be packed after a double infringement, otherwise it will be a hand over. A lot of people can’t understand why the NRL still has scrums when in most cases you can’t contest the ball anymore. There’s also another reason for scrums, teams run set plays from them. It takes the forwards out of play and makes things a little easier for the attacking team.

The powers that be see scrums as time wasting which is why they are trialling this idea. This is another rule change that we could see within the NRL competition in the next couple of years.

I’m excited to see how teams adjust to this form of the game. I think it will be exciting and fast-paced which will be a lot different to the standard NRL game.

I really hope clubs embrace it and put forward the best team possible, rather than just the bare minimum that was requested by the NRL. Given it was a World Cup year, I don’t like the chances though. 

The Nines Tournament has the potential to be something big and exciting, so long as the clubs treat it with the respect it deserves. Not only am I excited that we will get a footy fix earlier than normal but it’s something new and I am excited to see the teams game plans.


Ladies who League