Thursday, 29 August 2019

Kick Off Not 10

At the start of the second half in yesterday's Bledisloe Cup match, the ABs tried a short kick.  It hit the ground short of the 10m line and was promptly snaffled by an Australian - still short of the 10m line.  Unfortunately he knocked on.
Jaco Peyper explained that when the ball hit the ground first, it had not reached the 10m line, so that was the first infringement and he offered Australia the options.
My understanding is that the sanction only applies if the fact that the ball fails to reach the 10m line is the fault of the kicking team.  The law does not specify that the ball must reach the 10m line while in the air. 
It is well established that the opponents can play the ball before it reaches the 10m line and Peyper's explanation implies that the referee is playing advantage if the opponents gather the ball after a short bounce and play continues.
Was Peyper wrong?

The law states:
Law 12
6. The ball must reach the 10-metre line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the optionof the kick being retaken or a scrum.
7. If the ball reaches the 10-metre line but is then blown back or if an opponent plays theball before it reaches the 10-metre line, play continues.
 So the Australian player 'played' the ball.
Played: The ball is played when it is intentionally touched by a player
 So play continues, if the Australian then knocks it would be a scrum.  The Rugby Ref has never seen a precedent for playing advantage because the ball didn't go 10m.  By playing the ball the Australian has accepted the kick off; what happens after that is up to him.

Was Peyper wrong?  Let's just say his interpretation was different to the accepted norm'?

Thanks for a good observation
The Rugby Ref

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Jumping into contact

Hey Rugby Ref
I'm a newly qualified ref in 2019.
I am watching the SA v Argentina game on Saturday 10 Aug evening, in the first few mins an SA player jumps into contact, refere Poite awards a penalty to SA for Argentina player tackling player in the air.  Why wasn't the SA player penalised for dangerous play...
Why was their no offence for jumping into contact, as this seems open to abuse to draw a penalty,  if a player is about to be tackled he/she can jump or lift feet off the ground.
Interested to hear your thoughts.

Hi Rob
Good question.The law does say that you cannot tackle a player who is off the ground.
Law 917. A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.
However we have to consider that a player running with the ball has his feet off the ground most of the time.  In addition a player should not be able to avoid a tackle by jumping at the last moment so that he cannot be tackled.

The general principle that most referees apply is that if a player as to jump to intercept a catch or a kicked ball, he should be allowed to return to the ground before being tackled.  This is a simple safety issue.

There is no specific offence of jumping into a tackle (maybe there should be), but there is a catch all offence of reckless play that puts the player or other players into danger.
Law 911. Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.
 If a player jumps into a tackle and leads with his boot or knee, that would be dangerous.

At the end of the day its a judgement call and sometimes referees will get it wrong.

Thanks for the question
The Rugby Ref

Scrum put in...

Why do referees allow scrum halves to put the ball into their own  second rows now
when the law says he has to put the ball in straight.
You can even see from the angle the scrum half stands at that this is exactly what he is
going to do.
If referees are not going to enforce the law what is the point of having a scrum when
you could just have a play the ball as in rugby league?
Hi Don

Most referees would agree with you on this.  Most referees officiate at grass roots rugby where the straight put in is enforced.  Don't confuse TV showbiz rugby with proper rugby as played every Saturday and Sunday by thousands of players.  TV rugby is under pressure to keep the game going and minimise stoppages. 

The Rugby Ref