Coaches in the Varsity Cup rugby competition will face some interesting challenges next year after the introduction of a power play rule.
The FNB Varsity Cup organisers want to see exciting tactics and an ability to adapt to the new variation from the young student-athletes.
The new rule will allow the team calling the power play to remove any two backline players from the opposition for three minutes of playing time.
The power play can only be called by a team while they are in their own half, must be called by the captain, and can be called only once.
If the team who have lost the players score a try during the power play period, it will be worth seven points.
University of Johannesburg coach Werner Janse van Rensburg said he felt the innovation had positives and negatives.
“I pointed that out at a gathering of coaches and referees, but the reality is that it is now part of the competition,” he said.
“To be honest, I don’t think anyone can speculate about how it is going to turn out. One will have to have to watch a few games before you can get a feel on how it might influence a match.”
He said they had done some initial planning and would have a plan in place when they played a friendly against Shimlas in mid-January.
“I think you’ll have to plan for it on a weekly basis and you’ll probably need a video of the opposition before you make your decision for the next game. There are so many variables.”
Talking about their squad for the 2018 tournament, Janse van Rensburg said UJ would lose a number of senior players such as Godfrey Ramaboea (Griquas), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions) and prolific points scorer Divan Nel.
“Leon Massyn will probably play Super Rugby and we will lose seven senior guys from this year’s squad.
“We’ll be young in some areas, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The new players will have plenty of incentive to show what they can do.”