This article appeared in the Edinburgh Match Day Program
As mentioned last week World Rugby announced that the current package of 12 global law trials will be adopted into rugby’s law book with immediate effect.The World Rugby Council unanimously decided to adopt the law amendments following positive feedback from players, coaches, match officials and fans, and an evaluation by World Rugby’s 15s Laws Review Group [LRG].
The LRG includes the IRFU’s David Nucifora and ex-Ireland international Alain Rolland, now World Rugby’s head of referees, while Paul O’Connell also provided input during what has been a four-year process of reviewing and amending the laws of the game. The global law trials that are to be adopted immediately into the law book have been in effect in the Northern Hemisphere since August of 2017, while they came into effect in the Southern Hemisphere in January of this year. That means you have already been refereeing or watching all of the laws in action. Let’s have a look at some of them, we will follow up with the others in a future article.
Law 3.15 – Uncontested scrums must have eight players
This means that if uncontested scrums happen as a result of a yellow/red card or an injury, both teams must still have eight players each in the scrum. The amendment will ensure that attacking teams from scrums will still have an advantage if it is the defensive team who has lost a player.
Law 5.7c – Permit penalty kick to touch after time has elapsed
This allows penalties to be kicked into touch and the lineout to be taken even after the match clock has run into the red.
Law 7.2 (d) – Where multiple penalty infringements occur, the non-offending team can choose the most advantageous
This means that the attacking team will have a choice of where to take their penalty from if the defence commits more than one offence during a single passage of play.
Law 8.1c, 8.3 and 8.7 – Penalty try has no conversion
Penalty tries are not required to be converted.
Law 18 and Law 21 – Touch, 22m and in-goal simplification
There are quite a few parts to the touch definitions regarding when the ball is “is not in touch or touch-in-goal”.
The amendments here look to simplify what happens if a player is already touching the touchline or touch-in-goal line when they catch or hold the ball.
Essentially, if the ball has reached the plane of touch before that player catches the ball, the catcher is not deemed to have taken it into touch. So, that means that the catcher’s team will have the throw into the lineout. However, if the ball has not yet reached the plane of touch when that player catches it or picks it up off the ground, then the catcher has brought it into touch, regardless of whether the ball is moving or not. That means that the opposition will have the throw into the lineout.
A lot of interesting changes which should see the game speed up and become clearer. Also it is great to see a new shortened law book.
Finally, it was great to see 50+ new recruits at our recent new recruits seminar. Many thanks to Richard Kerr (USRFR) for his excellent presentation and to Denis Collins and Gary Glennon for their trojan efforts in organizing.
The Leinster Referees always need more referees and opting to become one may be the best decision you’ve made for a long time. Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees through Sean Gallagher at Sean.Gallagher@irfu.ie
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