All Blacks

IT’S THE LAW: Did Cory Jane score a try?

IT’S THE LAW: Did Cory Jane score a try?

I’m sure those of us not wearing black eyepatches on Saturday breathed a sigh of relief when another pesky piece of Cory Jane aerial acrobatics wound up with his running into touch before being able to dot the ball down.

I even joked that I’d be able to name the Kiwi posters on the GAGR forum who would swear blind it was a try — as deluded as that might be.

Well, maybe it wasn’t quite so cut and dried. Here’s the vid of what happened.

[youtube id=”P0qKPk1ckY8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

And here’s the LAW.

According to Law 19 Touch and Lineout:

A player in touch may kick or knock the ball, but not hold it, provided it has not crossed the plane of the touchline.

This is exactly what Jane does twice to start with — so, ‘play on’ at that stage.

Jane then jumped up from outside the touch line, caught the ball and landed in the field of play. The law says:

If the ball crosses the touchline or touch-in-goal line, and is caught by a player who has both feet in the playing area, the ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal. Such a player may knock the ball into the playing area. If a player jumps and catches the ball, both feet must land in the playing area otherwise the ball is in touch or touch-in-goal.

Therefore, if Jane caught the ball in the air he was not in touch and so the plane of touch reference to the ball doesn’t apply.

So it all comes down to whether he was in touch as he finally caught the ball. Here are the two 1/25th-second frames from the video around when Jane caught the ball.

Toe on ground, ball not in hand

Toe not on ground, ball in hand

You can argue either way that when he finally caught the ball he was or was not in touch. In one frame his toe is on the ground but ball is not in his hands; in the next frame ball is in his hand but his toe has left the ground. The difference between the frames is 1/25th of a second so it’s almost impossible to say for sure.

On the night, the Assistant Referee must have incorrectly judged Jane to be in touch when he first juggled the ball, as that’s where he called the lineout.

So what do you say?

Law 19: Touch and Lineout

The ball is in touch if a player catches the ball and that player has a foot on the touchline or the ground beyond the touchline. If a player has one foot in the field of play and one foot in touch and holds the ball, the ball is in touch.

If the ball crosses the touchline or touch-in-goal line, and is caught by a player who has both feet in the playing area, the ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal. Such a player may knock the ball into the playing area. If a player jumps and catches the ball, both feet must land in the playing area otherwise the ball is in touch or touch-in-goal.

A player in touch may kick or knock the ball, but not hold it, provided it has not crossed the plane of the touchline. The plane of the touchline is the vertical space rising immediately above the touchline.

All Blacks
@MattRowley

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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