Thursday, 12 September 2013

Was the Ref correct?

Hi Ref, At the weekend in an U16 Game in Swansea, the ref blew for a penalty infringement at a ruck on the half way line. The scrum half took a quick tap penalty from where the ref was standing. However, the ref stopped play and awarded a scrum feed to the other team due to the scrum half not taking the quick tap penalty from the correct mark. The ref said the mark was not where he was positioned but further in field. Was the ref correct, or should the penalty simply have been re-taken from the correct mark? Many thanks. Confused-ish
Hi there

By the letter of the law the referee was absolutely correct. 

21.2 Where penalty and free kicks are taken 
(a) The kicker must take the penalty or free kick at the mark or anywhere behind it on a line through the mark. If the place for a penalty or free kick is within 5 metres of the opponents’ goal line, the mark for the kick is 5 metres from the goal line, opposite the place of infringement. 
(b) When a penalty or free kick is awarded in in-goal, the mark for the kick is in the field of play, 5 metres from the goal line, in line with the place of infringement. 
Sanction: Any infringement by the kicker’s team results in a scrum 5 metres from the goal line in line with the mark. The opposing team throws in the ball. 

At lower levels the referee may decide to simply let the scrum half retake it from the correct spot, however the referee might equally have already spoken to the scrum half about this, or might have covered it in his pre-game brief? 

It's a judgement call sometimes, but the referee was correct. 

The Rugby Ref