Kevin Beggs is our duty ref this time around. Kevin is a National Panel Referee who been Touch Judge and TMO in the Rabo Pro Direct 12, Amlin and Heineken Cups for a number of years now and is a member of the North East, refereeing out of Ashbourne.

Question 1: Collapsed maul. Ball must be available “immediately”. How quickly is immediately? One second? Two? Or the very instance the maul hits the ground?

Answer: The question refers to law 17.6 (b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or collapses (not as a result of foul play) and a scrum is ordered. If you cannot see the ball – it is unplayable. There is no definite time here but it should not take you too long to identify that the ball is not available to the team that brought the ball in. A couple of seconds perhaps.

Question 2: Lineouts. Defensive team put the scrum half in the usual hooker position and use the hooker as an extra lifter. One player needs to drop out to maintain even numbers. Does this player have to stand in the receiver position or can they make their way to the 10m offside line? i.e. Does a team have to have a receiver?

Answer: 1. The throwing in side determine the numbers and the defending team must match this or can have fewer but not more. 2. The defending side do not need a receiver.

Question 3: Red 10 kicks long and ball rolls into touch 5m from blacks 22m line, black 15 picks up ball in touch 3m from his 22 and runs a few meters where he takes a QT inside his 22, black 14 clears to touch where ball crosses touch on the 10m line. Gain in ground or directly into touch, please quote supporting law reference.

Answer: No gain in ground as ball went into touch outside 22 and quick throw was taken inside 22. Therefore ball was carried over. Lineout where kicked from.
Law 19.1 (b) When a team causes the ball to be put into their own 22. When a defending player plays the ball from outside the 22 and it goes into that player’s 22 or in-goal area without touching an opposition player and then that player or another player from that team kicks the ball directly into touch before it touches an opposition player, or a tackle takes place or a ruck or maul is formed, there is no gain in ground. This applies when a defending player moves back behind the 22 metre line to take a quick throw-in and then the ball is kicked directly into touch