Deans backs ‘near perfect’ Super14 rules

New rule interpretations, which have produced a spate of high-scoring games in rugby’s Super 14, are “very close to perfection”, Australia coach Robbie Deans said Tuesday.

Deans has been an outspoken proponent of rugby’s Experimental Law Variations which encourage attacking play.

The Chiefs’ 72-65 win over South Africa’s Lions on Friday, in a match which produced a record number of points and tries, was cited by Deans as an example of what the new interpretations could produce.

“That was living proof of what is possible. If you’re constructive and prepared to play, you’ve got a chance,” Deans said.

The scoreline smashed the previous mark of 14 set in the Crusaders’ 96-19 victory over the Waratahs in 2002.

A total of 52 tries were scored in the Super 14’s second round, 17 more than in the same round last year

Deans said referees now felt more able to encourage attack and penalize negative tactics, and “they can really influence the outcome” of a match.

“Prior to this emphasis they had a sense of being resigned to players and coaches driving the agenda. They understand now that they can make a difference.”

“They can now turn their focus to the arriving support players and insist that they play the game on their feet, because there is no need now to launch with your shoulders below your hips to move bodies from bodies,” he said.

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