The duty ref to kick us off is Paul Haycock. Paul is on the IRFU National Panel at Level 3 and has refereed All Ireland League and British and Irish Cup and is a regular Assistant Referee in Europe.
Question 1: Dear duty ref, if a player calls for a mark in goal, is he allowed to tap it and pass the ball to a team mate who promptly touches it down?
Answer: The mark for the free kick is out 5 metres from the goal line so the player in tapping the ball is deemed to bring it in-goal and so if the ball is then touched down it will be a scrum 5, opposition put-in
Question 2: Hi Duty Ref, 15 green kicks the ball directly into touch (inside 22) at the halfway line. Green 14 (loitering on the halfway line) never retreated when his
full back kicked the ball and would be considered offside however because the ball went directly into touch the offside didn’t have material affect on play. Red 10 catches the ball in touch and looks to take a quick lineout but doesn’t take it as Green 14 is standing 5meters in from play waiting to contest any possible quick throw. Does the fact that the green player is now gaining an advantage from
initially being in an offside position mean he should be penalised or because the ball was made dead by going into touch means it doesn’t matter where he was before the ball went dead. Penalise Green 14 for never retreating or play on? My instinct says play on but feel that it looks wrong as Green has gained an advantage by being offside.
Answer: To prevent/defend a quick throw being taken the player must have been complying with law when the ball went out of play. If the player was offside under the 10 metre law, he must have been retreating towards his goal line when the ball went out. Likewise if the player was offside but not within the 10 metre law, then provided he was not moving towards the ball when the ball went out he may take a position to defend the quick throw. If the player fails to comply with the above they should be penalised as offside as their prevention of the quick throw is material.
Question 3: Can you please confirm the rule of the number eight picking from the base of an uncontested scrum. At the annual seminar it was said that the number 8 can’t pick from the base of an uncontested scrum. Can you please clarify this rule and does it apply to all levels of rugby including underage
Answer: This has now been removed from the regulations and does not apply
Question 4: I looked at the new regulations. How can you deal with a player who is consistently infringing – but not a red card – without a yellow – especially at under junior cup level?
Answer: This is more a management issue. The first approach would be to talk to the player and his captain. If that doesn’t work perhaps having a word with the coach will help. If the problem continues suggest that the coach removes the player from the pitch before a red card is issued.
Question 5: Are shortened lineouts permitted at U16 level?
Answer: Yes they are.
Question 6: In the 2010 version of the Laws the above states that the tackler may play the ball “from any direction” . Is this still applicable – I had different opinions over the weekend.
Answer: Yes the tackler, one he has released the tackle player, may play the ball from any direction provided a ruck has not formed.