Rugby Union

NWU-Pukke score historic nine-point try in South Africa's Varsity Cup rugby competition

A rugby union revolution might not be too far away if a South African university competition is anything to go by, after fans were left thrilled with the tournament's first nine-point try on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).

The Varsity Cup - which markets itself as "rugby that rocks" - has introduced a new rule for its 2016 competition that offers teams nine points for scoring a try - if the move starts in their own half.

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Historic nine-point try for NWU-Pukke

A rugby union revolution might not be too far away if a South African university competition is anything to go by.

If the side in possession doesn't lose the ball or kick during the try-scoring move, the bonus points are immediately awarded on the scoreboard.

In a historic first, a sublime flick pass triggered the trial's initial nine-point try.

NWU-Pukke five-eighth Janse van Rensburg touched down after just eight minutes of the competition's first match following a majestic Sylvian Mahuza behind-the-back flick in the lead-up.

The successful conversion meant the play was worth a whopping 11 points. The side went on to beat UP-Tuks 38-15 in Pretoria.

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It is one of a number of rule changes which are being trialled in the competition, which is often used as testing ground before law changes are introduced around the globe.

Attacking sides can also receive bonus points for scoring a try on a move which starts between half-way and their opponent's 22-metre line. Each try will be worth seven points in that scenario.

The edict for more running rugby is likely to be monitored closely by international rugby officials, who are desperate to ensure the sport remains fluid and entertaining.

The tournament is also toying with subtle changes to the scrum and maul, and last year introduced a 'white card' system whereby teams can ask for a review of a referee's decision or non-decision.

The Varsity Cup will restrict the use of the white card to semi-finals and the final in 2016.

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