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Remembering 1996

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At the restart after a try had been scored and the conversion attempt had been taken, the side that scored now kicked off to the other team.[46] This change aimed to make contests more even by almost guaranteeing possession for the side that had conceded points.[46] Greg McCallum, the director of referees' coaching, also noted that this convention was "in line with most other sports" and "that is significant when we come to promoting the game in America and Asia".[46] One intention of this change was to "narrow the gap between good and bad teams".[47]

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It also allowed a dominant team to keep scoring and then pinning a side into their own 30 or 40m, therefore surrendering possession in a poor position. I think this was the reason that it changed later on, but I believe it has changed a number of times throughout the history of the game.

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4 hours ago, philipw said:

It also allowed a dominant team to keep scoring and then pinning a side into their own 30 or 40m, therefore surrendering possession in a poor position. I think this was the reason that it changed later on, but I believe it has changed a number of times throughout the history of the game.

Exactly, and in so doing it made contests less even rather than more even.

Edited by Big Picture
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Does it really increase or decrease even-ness of the contest? Not really.

If a dominant team kicked off, they would be chasing hard and pinning their opponents down their end of the field.

If a dominant team received the kick, they'd have possession and could pressure the other side in attack.

Neither is a panacea, in a game where the best side on the day usually wins.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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7 hours ago, philipw said:

It also allowed a dominant team to keep scoring and then pinning a side into their own 30 or 40m, therefore surrendering possession in a poor position. I think this was the reason that it changed later on, but I believe it has changed a number of times throughout the history of the game.

It did indeed. It never worked as was intended. 

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5 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Does it really increase or decrease even-ness of the contest? Not really.

If a dominant team kicked off, they would be chasing hard and pinning their opponents down their end of the field.

If a dominant team received the kick, they'd have possession and could pressure the other side in attack.

Neither is a panacea, in a game where the best side on the day usually wins.

Yes it does increase it.

Where the dominant team receives the ensuing kickoff, they'll be having to run the ball out of their own end after scoring and at times they'll knock forward or throw a forward pass and turn possession over there, creating at least some scoring opportunities for the weaker team.  Where the dominant team kicks off, the weaker team will get little scoring opportunities if any because they'll invariably be punting from their own end of the field after failing to move the ball very far after starting deep in their own end.

3 hours ago, Damien said:

It did indeed. It never worked as was intended. 

It worked the only way it could given the nature of the game though.  Realistically the only way a much weaker team will have possession in scoring position is due to the dominant team turning it over there, and that's not going to happen when the scoring team kicks off to restart play because then the dominant team will only rarely have to run the ball out of their own end, if ever.

Edited by Big Picture
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Seem to recall that this rule also resulted in a lot more short kick offs resulting in the dominant side often regaining possession immeadiately.

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I was so optimistic of a magnificent new era in 1996.

Game awosh with cash; European city clubs not just the M62 corridor; WC challenges involving minimum 4 teams etc...

And we still have not beaten the green n golds in a series or World Cup.

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