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Laws and Interpretations

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by dru, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. dru Tony Shaw (54)

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    We have a refereeing thread, but nothing I could find for discussion about the laws (and their interpretations).

    Complaints about refs can go elsewhere.This thread is for the G&GR brains trust to clarify what the laws are and how they are meant to be interpreted.
  2. dru Tony Shaw (54)

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    Let me kick it off with interpretation at the Line Out.

    The throw is meant to be "straight". What does this mean, how much latitude is anticipated through interpretation?

    Particularly with a short throw to the front of the line. I had always imagined that at least in theory the ball would have to travel along a line that would end up splitting down the middle of the tunnel. Early in the Scotland v RSA game was a Scottish throw (pass) to the front of a formed line out. The ball landed dead center of the chest of the first Scottish player in the line.

    Play on. Or not straight?
  3. Brumby Runner Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Interpretation seems to be that a ball thrown to the outside shoulder is deemed crooked. Most throws to the front would be metres crooked if allowed to travel to the mid point of the lineout, but they are largely not judged to be crooked if they go straight to the player at the front.

    I think the interpretations are wrong, but there is some consistency I suppose with the so called straight feeds to the scrum.
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  4. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    Refs also seem to be more lenient if the defending team doesn't contest the lineout.
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  5. dru Tony Shaw (54)

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    Fair enough.

    How do you contest a throw/pass straight to the front man in the line?
  6. southsider Trevor Allan (34)

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    Same as anywhere else, read the play and anticipate where it’s getting thrown
  7. dru Tony Shaw (54)

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    Well that was entirely uninformative - My fault though. Not how do you contest, how do you demonstrate you have contested to the ref?
  8. The Honey Badger Alan Cameron (40)

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    Main thing with a short throw to the front is that it must travel the 5 metres. A player can't catch it forward of the line. This is what refs most often rule on a short throw.

    I do like a bit of innovation and variation with the line-out. The Scotland one was a cracker. The driving mall off the line out is becoming stale. Most good teams can defend it.
  9. Strewthcobber Geoff Shaw (53)

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    Next question. Using the 2018 law book, is the Scottish player who scored the try entitled to get the ball in the lineout?

    I reckon under currents definitions, he is not. (This is a comment on the poorly written law, not the play)
  10. southsider Trevor Allan (34)

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    I thought the same thing too but only saw one reply from not a great angle
  11. The Honey Badger Alan Cameron (40)

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    I think it should be a valid try. It was a great play, and Rugby needs to be dynamic and unpredictable. Keep the game open to innovation and intestesting.
  12. Dan54 Geoff Shaw (53)

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    I actually think other thing I would like to see clamped down on at lineout time is hooker stepping to right before he throws ball, he can then throw ball in straight as he not in middle of lineout when he starts, so ball goes down own line. If you watch for it a number of hookers do it.
  13. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I'm really not sure.

    The law (18) is silent on whether the receiver can move after the ball is thrown.

    They need to be 2m from the lineout when the ball is thrown which I think he is.

    I am tempted to say that it was legal and that the receiver can catch the ball providing they are 2m away when the ball is thrown because the law doesn't say they can't.
  14. southsider Trevor Allan (34)

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    I may be very wrong because I haven’t looked at the laws in years but

    Don’t you need someone at halfback while the lineout is happening? It’s fine for him to run in same as when you throw a crazy long ball and someone from the backline runs through and catches it. My problem is I don’t think anyone from the lineout steps out to fill that “halfback” position
  15. Strewthcobber Geoff Shaw (53)

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    The laws were comprehensively rewritten in 2018, and a few of the clauses removed that told everyone exactly what they were supposed to do.

    They have also made it really confusing by referring to
    • participants in the lineout
    • lineout players
    • players in the lineout
    at different times, and not clarifying how the receiver fits in to those definitions.

    The 2017 Lawbook had this
    But it's been removed from 2018
  16. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    What's the ruling on a player binding onto a team-mate not in possession of the ball or involved in a ruck or maul therefore it's just the two of them? Does that not constitute what we used to call a flying wedge? Happened Sunday morning when Irish prop latched into his 8 who then received the ball & they went over the line together but were held up.

    From the same match, re: Kearney's disallowed try was he not playing the ball on the ground? Didn't matter as they were under penalty advantage anyway but I'd have been spewing had that been given as a try.
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  17. Strewthcobber Geoff Shaw (53)

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    Kearney definitely shouldn't have been a try - they've made that clear in the new laws


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  18. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    A flying wedge is illegal but whilst it isn't defined in the laws I think it requires more than two players.
  19. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    And yet the AR said try & it was sent upstairs as an on-field try. Interesting.

    That would make sense but I'm sure AB had a try disallowed on a recent NH tour (v Wales seems to ring a bell) with the explanation from the ref being that the player(s) had "pre-bound".
  20. Baldric Jim Clark (26)

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    There are two laws that apply to the ball travelling 5m. 18.23.b says the ball must reach the 5m line before being played. My interpretation is that if the player reaches into the 5m area the ball has not travelled 5m and therefore a scrum or lineout option to the opposition.

    OK, but what if the defending team reaches into the 5m area. The laws say that a player may not block the throw, this is a penalty. So what happens then?

    Another bugbear of mine is when the thrower has his feet on the line. The laws state the thrower must have both feet outside the field of play. Is standing on the line outside the field of play? The sidelines are not in the field of play so if your foot does not encroach into the playing area then OK. But some of the throwers have half of their size 12 boots in the field of play.

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