Friday, 16 March 2012

A question from the France v England match

"I was wondering, in the England France match when Phil Dowson was injured, the referee blew up to protect him, should the ref have awarded the scrum to England. I ask because I have seen very little press comment – compared to say the Charlie Sharples yellow, and it was potentially a crucial decision.

The Laws state - If the referee stops play because a player has been injured, and there has been no infringement and the ball has not been made dead, play restarts with a scrum. The team last in possession throws in the ball.

Tom Croft was in possession – I recall because he trod on Phil Dowson’s head. The ref awarded the scrum to France on the basis they had the forward nudge at the ruck, but if it was not for the injury, he would not have stopped play as the ball was already becoming available to England.  

What are your thoughts?"

The Rugby Ref was puzzled by this as well, thinking that this was a stoppage for an injury.  The put-in at the resultant scrum should have gone to the team in posession at the time of the stoppage.

However, it appears the referee didn't stop for the injury, he stopped because he deemed the ball was unplayable at the ruck.  He only noticed the injury after he stopped the game.

The law says if the ball is unplayable at a ruck, the put in at the resultant scrum goes to the team moving forward just before the stoppage.  Which in the referee's estimation was France.

As he was a lot closer to the action than The Rugby Ref, The Rugby Ref accepts what he decided.

Hope that helps.

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