Super League to embrace golden point and ‘shot clock’

Super League's chief executive Robert Elstone.
Super League's chief executive Robert Elstone.
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Super League will introduce golden point extra-time for 2019, following the lead initially set by the NRL, as one of a number of planned changes.

The matter has been discussed at length by Super League executives this year and the competition has now decided to press on and bring them into play next season.

A radical move, it is among a series of what are termed “exciting innovations” sent by the Super League’s board to the Rugby Football League’s laws committee for ratification and now only the finer detail remains to be resolved.

Golden point has been used in knockout matches in England for some time including Challenge Cup and play-off semi-finals.

However, now all Super League fixtures in the regular season that are level after 80 minutes will be followed by two five-minute periods of golden point extra-time. If there is no score after 10 minutes then the game will be deemed a draw and both teams will take one point.

Among other changes planned are a reduction in the number of interchanges allowed per team from 10 to eight.

There will also be the introduction of a ‘shot clock’ at scrums, drop-outs and conversions to reduce time-wasting.

The changes have largely been copied from Australia, which introduced golden point in 2003.

However, Super League clubs have held off from introducing the NRL’s two-referee system and it is thought the ‘free play’ from knock-on offences will be scrapped.

Since taking over earlier this year, Super League chief executive Robert Elstone made it one of his main aims to “quicken up” matches and help make the competition exciting again after a series of games last season dragged on for around two hours.

Many hoped the use of video referees would also be abolished, but they have not gone that far.

A statement said: “The Super League clubs have been determined to evaluate and improve all aspects of our competition and this includes the way the game looks on the field.

“As part of that process the Rugby Football League were asked via their law committee to clear the way for the introduction of some exciting innovations for 2019 and beyond.

“Those proposals, which include golden point for drawn matches, have now been ratified.

“But the details of exactly what is going to be introduced and how are still being worked through with all relevant stakeholders including coaches and players.

“We look forward to providing full details to Super League fans very soon.”