Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Can you please advise.....

Dear Ref

Can you please advise on the incident that led to the scrum that eventually led to Dylan Hartley being sent off.

I was at the game and had my ref-link on and heard Wayne Barnes telling the player not to kick the ball into touch to end the first half, The player then kicked the ball which i think bounced in the field of play then went out, The resulting sanction was a scrum from the point at which it was kicked.

My understanding is that the kick should land in the field of play, which im sure in this case it did so why the scrum? 


Hi Alan

The Law says that if a 22 drop out goes straight into touch, without landing in the field of play, then the referee will offer the non offending team the option of either a kick again, or a scrum, with the non-offending team having the put in.  There is a third option, but no one ever takes it!

13.14 Drop-out goes directly into touch
The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch, the opposing team has three choices:
  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line, and they throw in the ball, or
  • To accept the kick. If they accept the kick, the throw-in is on the 22-metre line.
That is quite straight forward.  However we had a situation where the drop out was awarded, so must take place, but time was up.  So what happens if it goes straight out?

An IRB clarification going back to 2010, said that (basically) the game must restart and the kicking team cannot end the game by kicking the ball straight out.  If they do then the other team must get the options.

Wayne Barnes made this very clear to Myler, saying several times, "the game must restart", "you cannot kick the ball straight out (to end the half)".  I believe Myler understood this, otherwise why go into the corner of the 22 and try to grubber it across the corner into touch?

The fact is that he messed up the grubber kick and a replay (which The Rugby Ref has watched several times),  shows that the referee got it spot on.  Myler ballooned the drop kick and it went straight into touch without landing in the field of play.  Wayne Barnes then said "I told you you couldn't do that, Options?"

The Rugby Ref is certain that Wayne Barnes got this decision (and the sending off of Dylan Hartley) 100% correct.

Thanks for the question Alan.

The Rugby Ref

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