Law Discussions

Quick throw-in

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 20:38
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Law discussions are back by popular request! Each week we shall take a law topic from the weekend's matches to discuss. This week it is the quick throw-in.

It's not hard law. In fact it is very clearly stated law and should not cause problems.

We have three incidents, one from last Saturday, the other from earlier matches. All of them concern the quick throw-in.

One thing one needs to get clear is that a quick throw-in is not a line-out. It is a different facet of play. As kick is different from a pass, so a quick throw-in is different from a line-out. It's so important to get that right. A quick throw-in is not a line-out and so has different laws.

1. New Zealand vs Ireland in Hamilton:

Israel Dagg of New Zealand kicks a long kick downfield towards the touchline on his left.

The ball bounces in the field, rolls into touch short of the Irish goal-line and keeps on ruling till it is behind the Irish goal-line.

Ronan O'Gara of Ireland gathers the ball and from touch-in-goal throws in to himself, runs forward and kicks the ball into touch.

The referee stops play, tells the Irish that the quick throw-in may not be taken in ingoal and has a formed line-out.

The commentators debate the issue. When the referee, Romain Poite, stops play and tells O'Gara that 'you can't do that in ingoal', one of them, Justin Marshall, a great scrumhalf in his day who won 81 caps for New Zealand and now a comments man, says: "That's new to me. It's obviously a rule (sic) - maybe."

Commentator: "I guess the ball's dead there, isn't it? I don't know."

Marshall: "Neither do I."

Law 19.2 QUICK THROW-IN
(b) For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the place where the ball went into touch and the player’s goal line.

The quick throw-in may not be taken from touch-in-goal. The referee was right and the law could not be more explicit.

2. France vs Ireland:

Ireland win the ball from a tackle/ruck near the half-way line. Jonny Sexton, their flyhalf, kicks towards the touchline on his left but he kicks the ball directly into touch just inside the French 22.

Vincent Clerc of France gets the ball and runs towards the half-way line to take a quick throw-in where the lineout would have been.

The referee stops him.

Law 19.2 QUICK THROW-IN
(b) For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the place where the ball went into touch and the player’s goal line.

A quick throw-in is not a line-out or a replacement for a line-out. It is an activity in its own right. For Clerc to take a quick throw-in he had to do it between the place where it went out, i.e. just inside the French 22, and the French goal line.

3. Valke vs Boland Cavaliers:

Riccardo Croy of Valke kicks off but kicks out on the full. Bolla Conradie of Boland Cavaliers grabs the ball in touch and runs up towards the half-way line, clearly looking for a quick throw-in. But the nearer he gets to the half-way line, the further his chances of a quick throw-in recede. The referee stops him.

The line-out would have been on the half-way line if Boland had opted for it, but the quick throw-in had to take place between the place where the ball went out and the Boland goal-line.

Law 19.2 QUICK THROW-IN
(b) For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the place where the ball went into touch and the player’s goal line.

It is a common misconception that a quick throw-in replaces a line-out. A quick throw-in has a life of its own. The place for a quick throw-in does not necessarily happen where a line-out would have been.

In these three cases the four players involved were all capped internationally - O'Gara 124 times for Ireland, Marshall 81 times for New Zealand, Clerc 57 times for France and Conradie 18 times for South Africa. It is surprising that they do no know such a straightforward piece of law.

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