There are several urban myths that exist in rugby: got to let him up; cant take a second quick tap; No 8 can’t pick up from uncontested scrums; there is no offside in-goal or the most famous of all New Zealand always choke in World Cups!
However, a recent gem occured in a match that confused a good level referee and two semi-professional sides. What is more no-one, other than the watching referees, even queeried the decision, and the referees had several views!
So what would you do…?
Blue have a scrum 5m from their own try line and by their posts. Red are oposition. Blue 9 passes ball from back of scrum to Blue 10 who is under the posts, in the field of play. Red 7 attempts to tackle Blue 10, who sidesteps out the way. Red 7 misses the tackle and runs into the in-goal area.
Red 10 races up towards Blue 10. Blue 10 kicks for touch, but Red 10 charges the ball down, which lands in the in-goal area by the feet of the Red 7. Red 7 touches down for the try. Red celebrate and Blue gather under the posts. The referee awards the try.
But was he right…?
Was it a try? Was it a knock-on? or was it a Penalty?
Under Law 11.3 there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by an action of the opposing team. However, these three ways do not apply to a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law.
(a) Runs 5 metres with ball. When an opponent carrying the ball runs 5 metres, the offside player is put onside.
(b) Kicks or passes. When an opponent kicks or passes the ball, the offside player is put onside.
(c) Intentionally touches ball. When an opponent intentionally touches the ball but does not catch it, the offside player is put onside.
However, your own team mate cannot put you onside under law by charging it down…
So… no try. Penalty 5m to Blue!