Monday 17 April 2017

In Possession or not?

Northampton vs Saracens Sunday April.16 This from match report....73 minutes 
Quote 'Bit of TMO-based drama. Billy Vunipola burst through and tried to loop a pass over to the right. Foden batted the ball up in the air and attempted to regather, but was taken out by Schalk Brits. Original decision is a scrum to Saracens. The TMO suggests another look, but Matthew Carley sticks with the initial call. unquote courtesy Daily Telegraph 
In fact ref even goes so far as to say there was 'no certainty' that guy who last touched ball (Foden) would have caught the ball.   
Rule 10.4 (f) clearly states "(f) Playing an opponent without the ball.Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, a player must not hold, push or obstruct an opponent not carrying the ball.Sanction: Penalty kick  
My rugby ref buddy says ref call was correct because the act of ball bouncing up from players' hands means he is in possession. Ridiculous IMO. 
Hi Peter

Sorry to tell you, but your ref buddy is correct.

If a player is juggling the ball, such as trying to regathering a knocked on ball he is deemed to be in possession.

If he wasn't in possession, then you wouldn't be able to tackle him. This would mean a player could 'juggle' the ball as he ran down the pitch from one end to the other and no one would be able to stop him. This would clearly be ridiculous.

So a player who holds the ball, or juggles the ball, or loses the ball and is in the act of regaining it, is deemed to be 'in possession' and can be tackled. A scrum was correct for the knock on.

The Rugby Ref