Monday, 12 October 2015

Penalty Try question

If I award a penalty try must I always 'sin bin' the offender?

Jim Hawkins

Hi Jim

Good question.  The Law states that...
A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwisehave been scored. A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either becautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off.
This would suggest that a Penalty Try must also be accompanied by a Yellow or Red card.  However the IRFU asked for a ruling on this very question back in 2004.  The response from World Rugby is still active.

Ruling in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
Law 10.2(a) is Unfair Play relating to Intentional Offending. 
The two paragraphs in Law 10.2(a) must be read in conjunction, having due regard to the heading 'Intentionally Offending'. 
Therefore, if a penalty try is awarded as the result of a player intentionally offending, then the player must be either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off. 
Examples of this would be after penalty tries resulting from: 
  • a collapsed scrum 
  • a collapsed maul 
  • a defending player intentionally offside 
  • a defending player intentionally knocking down the ball. 
If a penalty try is awarded as the result of a player unintentionally offending, the player, as well as being liable to cautioning and temporary suspension or send off, can be admonished by the referee. 
Examples of this may be after penalty tries resulting from: 
  • mistimed tackle (early or late, but not dangerous) 
  • unintentional reactionary high tackle, but not dangerous.

So the answer to your question is 'No' you don't always have to card the player.
Thanks for the question.
The Rugby Ref

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