Monday 27 February 2017

Use It!

Based upon this Sunday’s “interesting” approach to the ruck by Italy…my question is,
Can the referee still require the scrum-half to “use it” if no ruck or maul is called? (As he did in the Italy v England game)
If not, then there might be  even more “interesting” outcomes.
Julian Jones

Hi Julian

First we need to establish that the Italian approach was "Not" to let a ruck form.  There plan was that if no ruck is formed following a tackle, then there are no offside lines, so their players can go round to the far side of the tackle area and block the 9 to 10 line.  They do have to be careful not to breach the tackle zone, or they are guilty of not entering through the gate.  The tackle zone is an area 1m from the tackle, all round it.

The Law Book mentions "Use It" in the laws on the scrum, ruck and maul.  The lawmakers probably never envisioned that it would be required at a tackle only situation.  However we cannot let the ball sit at the back of a tackle forever, so it would be reasonable for the referee to call "use it" in that situation.

We also have law 15.6 at our disposal.

15.6 (e) Any player who gains possession of the ball at the tackle must play the ball immediately by moving away or passing or kicking the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Thanks for raising this point
The Rugby Ref

Feeding Scrums

Has the law changed as the ball now seems to be put in behind the front row instead of straight down the middle for the Hooker to hook?
Hi Steve

No the law hasn't changed and we still penalise it at grass roots.
What you might see on the television is a different game.
20.6  (d) The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line, so that it first touches the ground immediately beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders.
Sanction: Free Kick
The Rugby Ref

Thursday 9 February 2017

Set Scrum

Dear ref
during a set scrum is one of the locks allowed to slip his binding  of his second row partner and drop his shoulder  allowing him to reach into the scrum as a wyn-jones did last week
HI Martin

The Rugby Ref didn't see the incident you were referring to, but locks must maintain a continuous bind with each other and with the front row for the length of the scrum. Handling the ball in the scrum (if that's what happened) is also illegal.

20.3(f) Binding by all other players. All players in a scrum, other than front-row players, must bind on a lock’s body with at least one arm prior to the scrum engagement. The locks must bind with the props in front of them. No other player other than a prop may hold an opponent.  Sanction: Penalty kick
20.9(b) All players: Handling in the scrum. Players must not handle the ball in the scrum or pick it up with their legs.  Sanction: Penalty kick
The Rugby Ref