Hey RR.. A question on penalty tries. The laws are quite straight forward: “..an act of foul play when a try would probably have been scored.”
But. When evaluating whether a try would ‘probably have been scored’, does one remove the offending player from the equation altogether (alternate universe) or include in the balance of probabilities any legal options that player may have had?
Not likely relevant at breakdown penalties, but certainly instances of offside and dangerous tackles would apply. In the latter, in the instance of a player making a high tackle, the same player may have been in a position to make a perfectly legal try-stopping tackle.
Gave a pen try a while ago that would have passed criteria either way but the question entered my head at the time & I’m curious if I should continue to entertain it.
Yes, in evaluating a penalty try we use what many referees call the "Beam me up Scotty" approach. That is to say you not only remove the foul play from the equation, but also the player who committed it.
If the player who committed the foul play was suddenly "beamed up" and not on the field, would the player with the ball probably have scored?
Obviously you also need to take into account any other defenders and support players, as well as such things like distance from the try line.
If it was just one on one 10m out, and the defender high tackles the attacker, you remove the defender from the equation altogether and the result is that there is nothing to stop the attacker scoring a try, so Penalty Try.
The Rugby Ref