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New tackle rules create concern

Gladstone halfback Inia Katia scoring against Carterton last weekend. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

TUI CUP RUGBY
GARY CAFFELL

The new tackle rules were implemented with the idea of providing quicker ball, but early indications are that some teams in the Tui Cup are struggling to come to terms with them.

Under these rules, players must rethink where they are at the tackle so that they do not breach the offside line by over-running the tackle or even stepping ahead of it.

If that happens, then referees are bound to act, and the flow of the game will be adversely affected as a result.

The premier division match played on Friday night on the artificial turf at Memorial Park was between Masterton Red Star and Carterton.

Saturday’s fixtures feature:
Eketahuna v East Coast
[Eketahuna, 2.35pm]: Intriguing clash this one. Eketahuna will fancy the prospect of their forwards achieving ascendancy up front while East Coast will believe that if they gain parity there, they will have the attacking brilliance in their backs to keep their noses in front. Expect there to be little between them at the final whistle.

Marist v Martinborough
[Memorial Park No 2, 2.35pm]: Martinborough will be the hot favourites after posting big wins in their opening two games. Anything other than a good-sized win to them would be a surprise. Having said that, Marist are not the sort of side who will die wondering and have enough attacking potential to test Martinborough’s defensive structure.

Gladstone v Greytown
[Greytown, 2.35pm]: This has to be the feature match of the weekend with Greytown wanting to make the most their home advantage to rattle the cages of a Gladstone side who have significant depth throughout. And that could happen too, as the Greytown pack have enough experience in key roles to create problems for their Gladstone counterparts, and their backs aren’t exactly shy in their approach either. Gladstone should win but not by much.

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