Not sure if this will be unpopular, but I absolutely loathe the zero tackle restart. Several reasons:
- It doesn’t do what it’s meant to. The idea was to encourage attacking play by introducing effectively a penalty for ‘negative’ kicking dead, but in fact all it does is make teams more conservative in attack.
- It’s palpably unfair. Drop a ball just short of the try line, the oppo gets a normal set starting with a scrum on 10m. Drop the same ball over the line, zero tackle set 20m out. If you put a lot of pressure on a team and end up having a video ref multiply reviewing grounding, you really don’t deserve to see all that pressure evaporate if you didn’t quite ground the ball.
- It’s obvious why it’s never criticised: because it creates more attacking opportunities and thus more excitement. Who cares if it’s unfair, if it means more sets ending in attacking positions rather than in midfield? In which case, why not just start all sets on 20m and zero tackles? Or half way?
The annoying thing is there’s an incredibly obvious fix out there that no-one discusses. If the idea of the rule change was to stop defensive kicking, just make it so it only applies to kicks from outside the 20m or 30m line. That way you take kicks dead on purpose out of the game but don’t penalise genuine attacking kicks.
I guess in theory a team leading narrowly in the final minutes that gets close to the opposition line would just kick dead. But they do anyway - just to the touchline. That’s a slightly higher degree of difficulty kick than just booting it through the in-goal… but it’s hardly a major element of the game.
agreed, but maybe just make it that (similar to a kick out on the full), the defending team gets the ball back from wherever it was kicked dead with a minimum of 20m. so if you belt it dead from 50 out the other team gets it at halfway