Friday, 25 November 2016

Long Throw In Question

I'd like to ask a question concerning Law 19.15, concerning a long Throw In.
The law states that if the player throwing in throws the ball beyond the 15m line, a player of the same team may run forward to take the ball as soon as the ball leaves the hands of the player throwing in. If that player does so, opponents may also run forward.
In the context of this law, does the scrum half (or receiver) of the team throwing in, constitute “a player of the same team who may run forward to take the ball…….” and therefore trigger the defending team player encroaching within 10m of the line of touch, or does it have to be a player of the attacking team who stands 10m from the line of touch?
Thanks for your help.david
Hi David

Law 19.5 concerns players who are NOT part of the lineout. So if an attacking player who is "not part of the lineout" runs forward from the 10m offside line, then an opponent who is also "not part of the lineout" may run forward from his 10m offside line.  Note however that if the ball fails to travel over the 15m line then the attacking player who ran forward first is offside and must be penalised.

Now to the part of your question concerning the scrum half.  Since Law 19.5 only applies to player who are "not part of the lineout" the simple answer is no.  However for the full story we have to look to a different law, Law 19.14 - Offside When Taking Part In The Lineout.
19.14(f) Long throw-in. If the player who is throwing in throws the ball beyond the 15-metre line, a player taking part in the lineout may run infield beyond the 15-metre line as soon as the ball leaves the hands of the player throwing in.
If this happens, an opponent may also run infield. If a player runs infield to take a long throw in, and the ball is not thrown beyond the 15-metre line, this player is offside and must be penalised.Sanction: Penalty kick on the 15-metre line
 A lineout player may run infield in the same way as none participating players may run forward. But they are two separate laws and cannot be merged together.  So if the attacking scrum half (or any other player in the lineout) runs infield in anticipation of a long throw, then the opposing scrum half (or any other of his lineout players) may also run infield. But it doesn't allow a none participating player to run forward.

To answer your specific question therefore; an attacking lineout player running 'infield' does not allow a defender to run 'forward'.  Likewise and attacking none lineout player running 'forward' does not trigger an opponent to run 'infield'.  The two actions (running infield or forward) are separate.

One final word though.  Once the ball has crossed the 15m line the lineout is over so anyone can move anywhere.

This was a good question that demonstrates that individual laws cannot be read in isolation.

The Rugby Ref

No comments:

Post a Comment