The ball has been kicked by the attacking team and rolls to a stop in goal. The defender stands next to the ball and just puts his hands on top of the ball thinking he has touched it down in goal. An attacking then dives on the ball thinking he has scored. His argument is that the defending player had not picked up and placed the ball down, as the ball was static. The question is does the defending player need to pick the ball up and dot it down as the ball was static instead of just putting downward pressure on say a moving ball.
The simple answer is, No. He does not need to pick up the ball, just press down on it.
You seem to mixing up a couple of laws here.
First off, just picking a ball up is not touching it down. To touch down the ball you need to press down on it, or pick it up and then touch the ground with the ball.
Law 22 tells us this.
22.1 Grounding the Ball
There are two ways a player can ground the ball:
(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.
(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.You are then mixing that up with a couple of laws that relate to picking up a moving or static ball. These laws indicate whether a ball has been taken over a line by the kicker or the picker up. This principle can apply (for instance) to a touchline, the 22, the goal line, or the dead ball line. Here is an example.
22.9 Defending Player In In-Goal
(a) A defending player who has part of one foot in in-goal is considered to have both feet in in-goal.
(b) If a player with one or both feet on or behind the goal line, picks up the ball, which was stationary within the field of play, that player has picked up the ball in the field of play and thereby that player has taken the ball into in-goal.
(c) If a player with one or both feet on or behind the goal line picks up the ball, which was in motion within the field of play, that player has picked up the ball within in-goal.Note that both of the above just indicate the ball has been picked up, not grounded.
The Rugby Ref hopes he has cleared that up for you Mike.
The Rugby Ref