Sunday, 17 December 2017

Passive scrums

Can the number 8 and number 9 change position in a passive scrum?

Hi James

Providing they start off in these positions then yes the No 8 can act as scrum half and the No 9 can play in the back of the scrum. They can't change places after the scrum has set though.  They could do this in uncontested or contested scrums.

The Rugby Ref

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Interpretation of going off feet

Post tackle when opposition players engage to form a ruck and in the act of driving the opposition the the opponent yields goes backwards thus causing the the winning player to go to ground despite winning the battle.
Could you give an interpretation on this as the law refers to intentionally (I think) going to ground.

Hi Paddy

If I understand your question correctly this is ruckers driving over and going to ground from their own momentum, versus them going to ground through being pulled over the ruck by the defenders.

In the first case where a counter ruck goes over the ball but then goes to ground The Rugby Ref would be looking for the grounded player to move away pretty swiftly.  If the lie over the ball and kill the contest then they are going to be penalised for going to ground.

In the second case where a defender at the ruck pulls an opponent over the ruck and onto the ground The Rugby Ref would again be looking for the grounded players to move away to allow play to continue. However The Rugby Ref would not penalise the grounded player, but would caution the defender not to pull players over the ruck, but instead to bind on and push.  The ruck is a pushing contest not a pulling contest.  If the defender failed to heed the warning he would be penalised for failure to bind in the ruck.  If a defender is pulling a player through the ruck he is part of the ruck but is not bound to anyone.  A bind must be from armpit to wrist.

The Rugby Ref

Monday, 20 November 2017

Poorly Refereed game

Hi there ref,
I had a poorly refereed game yesterday where the ref had no understanding of the rules and it took players and spectators to keep him informed.
I then filed a complaint to the schools director of sport which i ended the letter as anonymous. It has now arisen that i have not remained anonymous is this allowed?
Kind Regards,
Hi Anonymous

The Rugby Ref can't comment on school policy regarding complaints, but The Rugby Ref can comment on the referees ability.

Every game needs a referee.  Every referee has to start somewhere.  Unless you are prepared to step up and get a refereeing qualification yourself, then you are in no position to criticise.

You see a poor referee being instructed on what to do by the players and spectators.  The Rugby Ref sees a young referee doing his best and being abused by the players and spectators.  What will probably happen is that young lad will stop refereeing and next time you play you wont have a referee and therefore wont be able to play.

The Rugby Referees experience is that most players struggle to understand the "Laws" (not rules), so any advice given is usually wrong.

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Quick tap penalty

Played today, we were given a penalty advantage at a breakdown. our scrum half put the ball on the floor and asked the ref if we could have the penalty as we wanted to go quickly, he then stopped her going quickly because she'd "asked for the penalty". 
Is it correct that she can't go quickly because she's asked for the Penalty? If so what irb law is this as I've had a look and can't see it online.
Hi Becky

There is no law that covers this other than that the kick must be taken at the place of the infringement. However there are sometimes management issues for the referee that preclude a quick penalty being taken and the referee may take the opportunity to slow the game down for a number of reasons.

If the referee says you can't take it quickly, then you have to wait.  The Rugby Referee is interested in the phrase "she asked for the penalty", this could mean a number of things.  It could mean the player didn't want the advantage and asked to have the penalty instead.  That is a request that many referees will go with.  It could also mean the player appealed for the penalty, which is dissent.  In that case the referee might well slow the game down.  If one team appeals for a penalty and gets it, the other team may think it's ok for them to do the same, next thing we have 30 players all appealing for penalties.  If a player appeals for a penalty it makes it difficult for the referee to give it because of that and they may take the opportunity to slow the game down and possibly speak to the player or the captain about it.

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Alain Rolland ruck video

Hi ref
There is some mixed messages arriving from new ruck video. Can you please clarify . 
1 man ruck from completed tackle . 
As in video team mate of ball carrier steps over tackle area.  There is now an off side line as explained by alaine rolland
If 1 man ruckers steps back in front of ball.  Alaine rolland suggests off side lines are now gone . 
Question 1 ) If lads in middle from opposition were already off side .Do they now automatically become on side 
Question 2 ) If lads who are lazy runners , who were off side in 1 man ruck .Do they now become on side again & can they now intercept a possible pass or tackle ball carrier .From an originally off side position , providing they 1 meter from original tackle zone .
Regards jacky 
Hi Jacky

Once a ruck has formed offside lines are created.  When that ruck ends the offside lines disappear for the ruck and we are back to open play.  However players who were in an offside position need to get back onside before they can participate in the game.

They can do this as follows.
When a ruck, maul, scrum or lineout forms, a player who is offside and is retiring as required by Law remains offside even when the opposing team wins possession and the ruck, maul, scrum or lineout has ended. The player is put onside by retiring behind the applicable offside line. No other action of the offside player and no action of that player’s team mates can put the offside player onside.
If the player remains offside the player can be put onside only by the action of the opposing team.
There are two such actions:
Opponent runs 5 metres with ball. When an opponent carrying the ball has run 5 metres,the offside player is put onside. An offside player is not put onside when an opponentpasses the ball. Even if the opponents pass the ball several times, their action does not put the offside player onside.
Opponent kicks. When an opponent kicks the ball, the offside player is put onside.

The Rugby Ref

Monday, 4 September 2017

More Questions Than Answers

After watching a club game yesterday I have two queries.
My first query is: the defence passes the ball into the in-goal area and the resulting clearance kick by them is charged down by an opposition player, also in the in-goal area. The ball goes dead over the dead ball line. How should the game be restarted.
Secondly. if a quick throw-in is taken when the ball has gone into touch. Can an opposition player be deemed off-side when intercepting the ball being thrown in?

Hi Steve

For your first query the game should restart with an attacking 5m scrum.  It's not about who made the ball dead, it's about who put it into in goal.  The defence took it into in goal and it was made dead (it doesn't really matter how), so it's an attacking scrum.

For your second query it depends on where he starts from.  Was he offside before the ball went into touch?  If he wasn't then he is legal to attempt to block the quick throw in, provided he doesn't do so from within the 5m channel.   So if he was ahead of his kicker when the ball went into touch he is offside, but he wont be penalised unless it becomes material.  If the quick throw is not on then it wont become material.  If it is and he interferes then he is liable to be penalised.

Thanks for the questions Steve
The Rugby bRef

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Player Catching the Ball in the Air

Please can someone explain to me the difference between:
Challenge by players to ball in the air – Super Rugby Final on 05 August 2017 at Ellis Park between Crusaders and Lions - resulting in a red card.
Challenge by players to ball in the air – Currie Cup match on 12 August -  resulting in penalty.
Would love to understand the difference.
Kind regards, Jack (rugby fan since 1947)

Hi Jack

The best way to explain this is to look at the World Rugby Law Application Guidelines.

Challenging players in the air - Law 10.4(i)

  • Play on – Fair challenge with both players in a realistic position to catch the ball. Even if the player(s) land(s) dangerously, play on
  • Penalty only – Fair challenge with wrong timing - No pulling down
  • Yellow card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player is pulled down landing on his back or side
  • Red card – It’s not a fair challenge with no contest, whilst being a reckless or deliberate foul play action and the player lands in a dangerous position

Video examples can be seen here:

The Rugby Ref