Law discussion: Simultaneous

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 11:07
Large nigel owens 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: rugby365 law guru Paul Dobson looks at the rare incident that occurred during the match between the Wallabies and the Springboks.

This is a rarity indeed.

Australia attack and on an overlap Samu Kerevi heads for the corner flag as Johan Goosen heads across to stop him. Kerevi strives to score and Goosen strives to stop him from scoring. They clash and go to ground boy ending up over the goal-line where the ball is grounded. Neither referee nor assistant referee was sure that it was a try and so they refer to the TMO with the 'Try/no try' question.

The TMO provides clips from different angles and as slow as possible. His advice to the referee is that the grounding of the ball was simultaneous with his leg touching touch-in-goal.

The referee awards a drop-out.

This is a case of a ruling/clarification that became law. In 2009 South Africa asked for a ruling on such an occurrence and the IRB's designated members gave their ruling which has become law.

Law 22.3 Ball grounded by an attacking player
(b) When an attacking player who has possession of the ball grounds the ball in in-goal and simultaneously contacts the touch-in-goal line or the dead-ball-line (or anywhere beyond), a 22m drop-out is awarded to the defending team.

It is a rare occurrence over the past seven years which adds to the credit of the referee and the TMO for getting something so rare so right. And bless the Laws for covering it.