After the reward of a 22m drop out for the Crusaders after walking away from a scrum against the Sharks there was some spirited discussion on Sharksworld. SA Rugby Referees this week feature that incident and give their views.
View the clip of the incident here.
Would you have awarded a penalty try in this case?
The Sharks opt for a scrum for a free kick – a scrum five metres from the Crusaders’ line.
The Sharks win the ball in the scrum and immediately start pushing the scrum forward. As they do so the Crusaders pack rapidly disintegrates while the Sharks keep pushing straight ahead in their formation. When their front row crosses the line all the Crusaders’ forwards are behind them.
As the ball crosses the line Ryan Kankowski of the Sharks tries to ground it and so do Michael Paterson and Bronson Murray of the Crusaders.
The referee refers the matter to the television match official, saying: “I need to know if a try has been scored and if there was an infringement in goal by the scrum team not being bound. in which case we need a penalty try.”
The TMO came back to him and said: “There was no touchdown by the Black team [Sharks] but do you need info on the scrum before when the ball reached the goal line?”
Referee: “No, it was over.”
TMO: “The scrum was over.” (It is not clear if he was agreeing or repeating what had been said to him.”
Referee: “The ball was over, grounded, no offside at the scrum.”
Referee: “It’ll be a 22.”
If this is right, there will never again be a push-over try in rugby.
Forget the left flank Paterson who was unbound from the start of the scrum but everybody else left the scrum. All eight Crusaders left the scrum before it was over.
That is an infringement.
They stood up in the scrum. That’s an infringement. In fact there is a multitude of scrum infringement.
It is right that when the ball crossed the goal-line, the scrum was over and there was then no offside line at the scrum, but the two Crusaders who approached the ball were behind the scrum and therefore offside. They became liable to penalty when they moved forward to play the ball before it reached the goal-line. This forward movement enabled them to ground the ball before Kankowski. Their offside had an effect.
But was the it still a scrum?
20.10 ENDING THE SCRUM
(a) The ball comes out. When the ball comes out of the scrum in any direction except the tunnel, the scrum ends.
(b) Scrum in the in-goal. A scrum cannot take place in the in-goal. When the ball in a scrum is on or over the goal line, the scrum ends and an attacker or a defender may legally ground the ball for a try or a touch down.
The scrum was not over because some players left it, because the ball had not come out. The scrum was over when the ball went into in-goal, but by then there had been many infringements.
Those infringements deserved to be penalised – not the reward of a drop-out.
Law 10.2 A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored. A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off.
Law 10 DEFINITIONS
Foul play is anything a person does within the playing enclosure that is against the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game. It includes obstruction, unfair play, repeated infringements, dangerous play and misconduct which is prejudicial to the game.
What the Crusaders did was against the letter and spirit of the law all right.
Would the Sharks probably have scored a try?
Should the penalty try have been awarded?
And if it had been award nobody would have quibbled with the decision.
Perhaps the problem was in the conversation between referee and TMO. They may just have had a wire or two crossed.Tweet