Forget Your Super-Over, Bring On Sudden Death

The crazy rule that could decide Rugby World Cup
12:21, 19 Sep 2019

Who could forget the drama of this year’s Cricket World Cup Final when the words ‘Super Over’ were catapulted into the spotlight? 

England and New Zealand could not be separated, meaning the utilisation of this unusual and barely used regulation which had even the most ardent cricket buff scratching their head.

And, with the Rugby World Cup beginning on Friday, we could see another nail-biting finale to a major event given the tie-breaker rules put in place by World Cup, the tournament's governing body.

This year's final could well be decided by a rugby variation of a penalty shoot-out if scores are tied.

Games in the knockout phase of the competition will go to extra-time, played in two halves of 10 minutes. A further 10 minutes of sudden-death would then be needed if the teams remain level, with the first team to score winning the game.

But if that doesn't separate them, we're on to the oval ball game's answer to July's drama in the showpiece Lord's final.

Each captain must nominate five players to participate in a place-kicking competition. They will then take turns to have a shot at a penalty goal from the 22-metre line.

Will we see a prop forward attempting to win the World Cup with a penalty kick? It's very possible, and they won't make it easy for him either. That's because the position of the kicks will be varied.

Beyond the obvious spot directly in front of the posts, players could also be forced to take an attempt from the 15-metre line on either side of the uprights.

And just as in football, once the first five kicks have been taken, there will be sudden death until somebody cracks.

After Ben Stokes' late heroics and Novak Djokovic's historic Wimbledon victory over Roger Federer, perhaps we are in for more high-pressure sporting tie-break drama in 2019.

Endless penalty kicks going long into the Tokyo night? Bring it on.

Let the fun begin!

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