Friday, 15 March 2013

Scrum Law question?

Dear ref

Rule 20.4. E,f, and g.

When team A throws in at a scrum, team B pushes the scrum back and the scrum collapses, or stops with team B having the ball at their feet without any penalty many suggest that a new scrum is formed and team B get to throw in as they "won"   The throw in switches team!!

The rules, however, say the team not in position at the stoppage throw in.  Does this mean at the original stoppage that warranted the scrum or the stoppage when the scrum stopped?  So in my example team B would not get to throw in.

Can you confirm the law please?


 Hi Dominic

Law 20.4 (e) and (f) say:

(e) When a scrum remains stationary and the ball does not emerge immediately a further scrum is ordered at the place of the stoppage. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.
(f) When a scrum becomes stationary and does not start moving immediately, the ball must emerge immediately. If it does not a further scrum will be ordered. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.

What these two laws are saying is, you can't just get the ball to your side of the scrum and hold it there to kill time. This is a scrum version of "use it or lose it".  If you have the ball won and don't use it, then the other team will get a re-set and the put in.  The Rugby Ref has never had to use these laws.

20.4 (g) is slightly different and says:

(g) If a scrum collapses or lifts up into the air without sanction a further scrum will be ordered and the team who originally threw in the ball will throw the ball in again.

That means, if its nobody's fault that the scrum went up or down, we just start again, same put in.  This might occur if someone slips.

Does that answer your question Dominic?

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Quick Throw-In question.

"If a quick lineout is being taken and an opposing player gets in line with the player taking the lineout, can it still be thrown backwards to one of his own team so he has no opportunity to contest it?"

Hi Alun

First off we just need to differentiate between a 'Quick Throw-In' and a 'Quick Lineout'.

A Quick Throw-In is taken before a lineout has formed, and can be taken anywhere from the line of touch, to the throwing team's goal line.  The ball can travel straight or backwards, as long as it goes over the 5m line.  The usual constraints apply such as using the same ball, ball not touched by other players, etc.

A Quick Lineout is taken once a lineout has formed, at the line of touch, but before the other team is ready.  As long as the lineout has formed, this is legal.  A formed lineout is defined as two players from each side.

Alun, I think you are asking if an opposition player can contest the Quick Throw-In?
The answer is 'Yes', providing he does not encroach within the 5m channel.  The thrower can still throw the ball backwards to his own player as a lineout has not been formed.  Remember a lineout consists of two players from each side.

The Rugby Ref hopes that has answered Alun's question.