Hi, I saw your blog and wonder if you'd like to weigh in on an event that happened to me on Saturday?
Lineout, red throw in and the ball goes in not straight. The blue team throw up a jumper who stretches so far to get the ball that his lifters drop him cold on his back.
I gave a FK as a safety measure - under 18 28 c) Lift or support a player from the same team. Players who support or lift a team-mate must lower the player to the ground safely as soon as the ball is won by a player of either team.
However the appeals were quite interesting. They agreed with the event, but suggested that because an obvious 'not straight' was the first offence and there was no foul play, that I should have ignored the player getting dropped afterwards.
Perhaps, in hindsight as 18 28 c) is intended to stop players being held up longer than necessary that they were right and that dropping your own player should be a PK under 9 11) Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.
An interesting question. What outweighs what when we have more than one offence.
Basically we have two events:
Throw not straight. Line out or Scrum on the 15m line.
Player not lowered to the ground safely. Free Kick.
You were right to use law 18.28, the key phrase being: "Players who support or lift a team-mate must lower the player to the ground safely as soon as the ball is won".
This is in line with the new law on lifting a player in open play (9.26) which repeats the phrase above and also gives the sanction of a Free Kick.
So which offence takes precedence?
The Rugby Ref would suggest that the principles of refereeing should prevail. Safety first, then Enjoyment/Equity, then Law. Safety always comes first. Although a Free Kick would usually outweigh a line out / scrum option anyway.
So if safety trumps law, then you should penalise the team not bringing their team-mate to ground safely.
Free Kick to Red. However The Rugby Ref would have no problem with a Penalty Kick to Red for dangerous play.
The Rugby Ref