Controversial new ‘golden point’ rule not to be used in lower leagues

Castleford Tigers reached the Grand Final in 2017 thanks to Luke Gale's late drop goal against St Helens in the play-off semi-final.
Castleford Tigers reached the Grand Final in 2017 thanks to Luke Gale's late drop goal against St Helens in the play-off semi-final.
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BETFRED CHAMPIONSHIP and League One clubs will play under some of the new laws and playing conditions being introduced to Super League next year but not the most controversial.

The free play rule will be scrapped in both top-flight and lower division games from 2019 and the Rugby Football League have confirmed they will follow Super League’s lead by reducing the number of interchanges from 10 to eight.

But golden point extra-time – set to decide top-flight matches which are level after 80 minutes – will not be used in Championship or League One.

The RFL say the amendments will be implemented from mid-January, so the free-play will operate in pre-season games played before then, though clubs will have flexibility over the number of substitutions.

In a statement, the RFL announced it has “acceded to the majority view of the Championship and League One clubs that golden point extra-time should not be introduced for regular league fixtures – meaning matches can still be drawn at full-time”.

The statement added: “Free play will revert to regular advantage. The referee is the sole judge of what constitutes an advantage.” Super League’s law changes will bring the competition into line with Australia’s NRL and will be officially confirmed early in the new year. Extra-time will be used in cup ties and play-offs.