Thursday, 29 August 2019

Kick Off Not 10

At the start of the second half in yesterday's Bledisloe Cup match, the ABs tried a short kick.  It hit the ground short of the 10m line and was promptly snaffled by an Australian - still short of the 10m line.  Unfortunately he knocked on.
Jaco Peyper explained that when the ball hit the ground first, it had not reached the 10m line, so that was the first infringement and he offered Australia the options.
My understanding is that the sanction only applies if the fact that the ball fails to reach the 10m line is the fault of the kicking team.  The law does not specify that the ball must reach the 10m line while in the air. 
It is well established that the opponents can play the ball before it reaches the 10m line and Peyper's explanation implies that the referee is playing advantage if the opponents gather the ball after a short bounce and play continues.
Was Peyper wrong?

The law states:
Law 12
6. The ball must reach the 10-metre line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the optionof the kick being retaken or a scrum.
7. If the ball reaches the 10-metre line but is then blown back or if an opponent plays theball before it reaches the 10-metre line, play continues.
 So the Australian player 'played' the ball.
Played: The ball is played when it is intentionally touched by a player
 So play continues, if the Australian then knocks it would be a scrum.  The Rugby Ref has never seen a precedent for playing advantage because the ball didn't go 10m.  By playing the ball the Australian has accepted the kick off; what happens after that is up to him.

Was Peyper wrong?  Let's just say his interpretation was different to the accepted norm'?

Thanks for a good observation
The Rugby Ref

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