Friday, 16 September 2016

Another question about 19.8....

Hi .. You’ve addressed a query about 19.8.  I have another you might help with “A player must not take a quick throw-in after the lineout has formed” .. and quick throw ins are often prevented by a defending player (often a back) chasing the kick to form the lineout, but then retreats when the lineout participants arrive.  However 19.8(d)  says: “Players of either team must not leave the lineout once they have taken up a position in the lineout until the lineout has ended” Surely the chaser must remain in the lineout? Martin
Hi Martin

What we have to remember is that there are two types of throw in, a "Quick Throw In", and a "Lineout".   These are treated separately in the Laws.  What you describe is players forming a mini lineout to prevent a "Quick Thrown In, which cannot be taken once a lineout has formed.  This takes two players from each side.

Once the "Quick Throw In" has been voided, then we are looking for players arriving at the line of touch to form the "Lineout".

Technically you are correct in that they may have approached the line of touch, but in reality these players who race up to prevent the Quick Throw In are probably going to be fast wingers or backs.  They are a different set of players to the ones that then arrive for the full lineout.  The full lineout hasn't formed until the "proper" lineout players arrive.

It's an area where the law says one thing, but common sense says another.  As usual we have to look at why the law was written that way?  It was to prevent a set of players forming a lineout, then swapping some out to counter a change by the opposition, then maybe swapping again, delaying the lineout.

Remember, unlike other sports the Laws of Rugby Union are essentially a framework which the referee uses to facilitate a game of rugby.  There are many grey areas in the laws and very few black and white ones.

The Rugby Ref

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