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View Full Version : [Law] YC to Munster in Leicester v Munster. Is it illegal to knock ball out of 9's hand ?



CrouchTPEngage
18-12-17, 00:12
60 mins into the Leicester v Munster game today ( video not out yet , sorry )
Youngs lifts ball, at a ruck. Munster forward who is in ruck sticks out a hand and knocks the ball out of Youngs' hands.
Now, the ball didnt get knocked on forward. Indeed, the ref's initial indication was a knock-on by Youngs. TMO was consulted and spotted the Munster hand. Munster player was yellow-carded for cynical foul play.

Cue an argument on my house as we watched.. .. Ben Youngs had lifted the ball , so, the ruck was over. So, some people suggested that this is not illegal. It did look wrong though. Whilst we all agree that the 9 cannot be tackled or interfered with , whilst he digs for the ball, once he's lifted it, then the ruck is over, and he's fair game - right ?

Just wondered if anyone else has similar doubts.

crossref
18-12-17, 09:12
It's difficult without seeing it

We don't want the game to develop into a situation where the prime tactic at every ruck is to try and knock the ball out of the scrum half hands .. that would be a very tedious game to play in and to watch , if it's not a knock on its most likely going to lead to a pile up

On the other hand scrum halves can't enjoy endless time to arse around , protected from interference.

Was he penalised for not being bound ?

Pegleg
18-12-17, 09:12
Was the Munster player on his feet or offside etc?

L'irlandais
18-12-17, 10:12
In fairness it was deserving of a Yellow card. Though not for a deliberate knock-on as given. How about 16.4 Other ruck offences ‬(d)?

‬http://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=16.4]
Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck.

The replacement prop Red 18 (on for Red 3) had only been on the field of play for 2 minutes. A little over keen, I guess. THe TMO review was on the hour of play, if someone has the Full Match replay. I think Mathieu Raynal had a good game over all. Had a word with the captain after Dan Cole gave away his third penalty, perhaps waited too long before finally carding Green 3 after his fifth penalty conceeded (10th for the team at that point)

He was let down a little by the ARs, missing blatant not straight throws in the lineout, amongst other things.

didds
18-12-17, 11:12
This sounds the same as the Itoje incident in the Autumn internationals. there was some debate that he was offside at the maul - but that wasn't C&O from the limited camera angle available and wasn't what that ref (O'Keefe?) awarded the PK for, although he came up with that after the PK award which some thought sounded like a "oh bollix, I've buggered up and need to cover myself" thing.

didds

ChrisR
18-12-17, 11:12
As I understand it from the OP:

Red 18 is bound in a ruck won by Green.

Green SH lifts the ball from the ruck.

Red 18, still bound, reaches out and knocks the ball from the SH.

What law did Red 18 break? None. Law 16.4 doesn't apply as he's part of the ruck that just ended.

No law was broken, no YC should have been issued, after the TMO said not a knock-on then the restart should have been a Green scrum.

It's a natural tendency to see this sort of thing as counter to how we want the game to be played but stick to the laws that we have.

OB..
18-12-17, 11:12
My understanding that the ball has to be lifted clear for a ruck to be over. The rationale is that the scrum half must be given a chance to play the ball (in the interests of the game as a whole). However if the scrum half delays pulling the ball out after having lifted it, he should be warned about "handling in the ruck". He only has licence to lift the ball out.

didds
18-12-17, 11:12
No law was broken, no YC should have been issued, after the TMO said not a knock-on then the restart should have been a Green scrum.

It's a natural tendency to see this sort of thing as counter to how we want the game to be played but stick to the laws that we have.

Agreed. Same as the Itoje case.

If WR doesn't want this to happen then it needs to create a law to enforce it, not rely on individual refs to decide "it isn't how I think the game should be played". Or to provide better guidance to referees who think its illegal when it isn't. The ball has left the maul. the maul has ended. Unless the player was offside at the maul (which going by the OP he wasn't because that isn't what he was penalised for, or advantage already being played)

didds

didds

oldman
18-12-17, 12:12
From memory Red player was not supporting his own body weight and therefore on floor, so out of the game hence penalty.

L'irlandais
18-12-17, 12:12
Agreed Oldman.
Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck.Few laws are so clear about infringing.

Flish
18-12-17, 12:12
From memory Red player was not supporting his own body weight and therefore on floor, so out of the game hence penalty.

Probably, but that also applies to every player, in every ruck in that game I think!

didds
18-12-17, 12:12
From memory Red player was not supporting his own body weight and therefore on floor, so out of the game hence penalty.

aha... so what was the PK awarded FOR ? ie what did the ref actually say (this info is n/a in the op)

didds

L'irlandais
18-12-17, 12:12
Both ref and TMO were French, so their discussion was in that language.
The Irish coverage had no ref link, so I wasn’t able to follow the discussion.

Some extended highlights, but they skip the incident unfortunately.

https://youtu.be/AmCNYVDOgsY

Christy
18-12-17, 16:12
hi watched game
dont have re wind facilities .
but my 1st instinct was red player was actually kneeling / supporting his weight on his own team mate
there for he is off his feet .

seemed good call to me . and deserved yellow .
had he been supporting him self & still bound i would of let it go .

DocY
18-12-17, 16:12
Probably, but that also applies to every player, in every ruck in that game I think!

And in every other first class game.

Maybe it's an artefact from when players might actually be on their feet in a ruck!

ChrisR
18-12-17, 18:12
. . . . so we conveniently pull out the "off your feet" chestnut to qualify a PK and YC that would otherwise not be valid.

It's either illegal to knock the ball from the SH's hands or it's not. Which is it?

And what was the offense indicated by the referee? I bet it wasn't "off his feet".

Christy
18-12-17, 19:12
. . . . so we conveniently pull out the "off your feet" chestnut to qualify a PK and YC that would otherwise not be valid.

It's either illegal to knock the ball from the SH's hands or it's not. Which is it?

And what was the offense indicated by the referee? I bet it wasn't "off his feet".

Hi chris r
There is 1 big material exception here.
He knocked the ball clean out of scrum half hands . Whilst he was off his feet .
Had he held his own weight & still bound in ruck play on all day

OB..
18-12-17, 19:12
It's either illegal to knock the ball from the SH's hands or it's not. Which is it?In itself it is neither. It all depends on the details of the situation.

thepercy
18-12-17, 19:12
From USA GMG

"Players in the ruck may under no circumstance slap the ball out of the scrumhalf’s hands or interfere with the scrumhalf. PK"

So for me in the USA even though its not found in the LOTG, it's a PK. Do the Unions consult with WR when developing their GMGs?

Maybe the elite referees have something similar in their guidelines? Do they have a published set of guidelines?

Taff
18-12-17, 20:12
... It's either illegal to knock the ball from the SH's hands or it's not. Which is it?
The "knocking" itself is not the issue.

The issue is in which direction do you knock it? If a player is on his feet and manages to knock the ball backwards, I'd have no problem with it. However, if the same player (still on his feet) deliberately knocks the ball forwards, then I would have a problem with it.

L'irlandais
18-12-17, 21:12
. . . . so we conveniently pull out the "off your feet" chestnut to qualify a PK and YC that would otherwise not be valid.

It's either illegal to knock the ball from the SH's hands or it's not. Which is it?

And what was the offense indicated by the referee? I bet it wasn't "off his feet".Hi Chris,
16.4(d) says player on the ground, isn’t that just another way of saying off their feet?

Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck.. PK

Or am I missing something here.
The match referee deemed it a YC because Red denied Green clean ball from the ruck they’d won.
No one on Red’s team questioned the referee’s decision. They felt their tight-head just had a brain fart.

Didn’t hear the ref mic but it was clear the penalty was for interfering with the ball coming out of the ruck.
Taff, he slapped the ball toward his own deadball line, so not a knock-on, deliberately or otherwise.

ChrisR
18-12-17, 22:12
This my point:

The ruck has ended as the SH has lifted the ball off the ground.

USA GMGs expressly prohibit slapping the ball from the SH's hands . . . . but it's not stated as such in law.

What I disagree with ringing up the player for being on a knee and doing it when 9/10ths of players in rucks (at this level) are off their feet.

I agree with prohibiting it (I'm all for getting the ball away) but I don't agree with nailing him coz he has a knee on the ground.

Rich_NL
18-12-17, 22:12
This my point:

The ruck has ended as the SH has lifted the ball off the ground.

But the ruck law in question covers "as the ball is coming out of the ruck", so ensuring a clean transition back to open play as well. You see this in laws about falling over the ball as it is coming out of a ruck or scrum too.

ChrisR
18-12-17, 22:12
Yes, this has been a point in question before. To me, "As the ball is coming out . . ." precedes the SH picking it up. Once the SH picks it up the ball isn't "coming" anymore, it's "come" and the ruck has ended.

I think that the laws need to expressly state what they prohibit.

Dickie E
18-12-17, 23:12
My understanding that the ball has to be lifted clear for a ruck to be over.

even this simple statement draws various interpretations. Is ruck over when:
1. SH has hands on the ball, or
2. SH has lifted ball but it is still in the ruck, or
3. a seagull could shit on it, or
4. all of the ball is past all of the body parts in the ruck.

Our ARU GMG from 2016 is pretty clear:


Ball out
• The ball is only out of a ruck (or scrum) when it is totally exposed or it is clear of bodies.
• If the ball is being dug out (after being won) or is under the feet of players at the back of the ruck, the
scrum-half cannot be touched until the ball is clearly out of the ruck. The benefit of any doubt
must go to the scrum-half.

OB..
19-12-17, 00:12
The ruck has ended as the SH has lifted the ball off the ground.Is that what the USA GMGs say? If so, I think they are out of line. Over here the ball has to be lifted clear for the ruck to be over, and as L'irlandais says 16.4 (d) covers the situation.

crossref
19-12-17, 00:12
I wish we had GMG in England . I think they are a thoroughly good idea

SimonSmith
19-12-17, 01:12
From USA GMG

"Players in the ruck may under no circumstance slap the ball out of the scrumhalf’s hands or interfere with the scrumhalf. PK"

So for me in the USA even though its not found in the LOTG, it's a PK. Do the Unions consult with WR when developing their GMGs?

Maybe the elite referees have something similar in their guidelines? Do they have a published set of guidelines?

The USA is second only to the RSA when it comes to going out on limbs.
See: fiasco over lineout receiver.

Flish
19-12-17, 10:12
The "knocking" itself is not the issue.

The issue is in which direction do you knock it? If a player is on his feet and manages to knock the ball backwards, I'd have no problem with it. However, if the same player (still on his feet) deliberately knocks the ball forwards, then I would have a problem with it.

Trying to visualise this, but assuming all else (bound, on feet etc) and he knocks the ball backwards then surely that's returning the ball to the ruck - also an offence, albeit just a FK. Any which way there's an offence somewhere!

Dickie E
19-12-17, 11:12
he knocks the ball backwards then surely that's returning the ball to the ruck

I think that's a stretch that even St Nigel might have trouble selling

Taff
19-12-17, 13:12
Trying to visualise this, but assuming all else (bound, on feet etc) and he knocks the ball backwards then surely that's returning the ball to the ruck - also an offence, albeit just a FK. Any which way there's an offence somewhere!

I think that's a stretch that even St Nigel might have trouble selling
Technically, you may be right Flish, but like Dickie I think it would be a bit harsh to give a FK for that. I would play on.

didds
19-12-17, 14:12
Trying to visualise this, but assuming all else (bound, on feet etc) and he knocks the ball backwards then surely that's returning the ball to the ruck

surely not if it falls outside of the ruck? Even if it falls back inside the body-of-players-formerly-known-as-the-ruck I'm not convinced - what if the sh popped to a runner who is tackled and falls into the body-of-players-formerly-known-as-a-ruck - has he returned the ball to the ruck? Surely not?


also an offense, albeit just a FK. Any which way there's an offense somewhere!

not necessarily. There seems to be a lot of inventing reasons to blow the whistle, just because its not something seen very often.

1) was the player onside when the ball was IN the ruck?
2) was the player onside when the ball was picked out of the ruck?

If the answer to both questions is "YES" then it is now open play [1]. No offense anywhere. (assuming ball is knocked backwards).

didds


[1] and possibly only 2) is relevant anyway if 1) was NO but the player has subsequently retired to being onside

Flish
19-12-17, 14:12
Hence the 'trying to visualise it', I can't actually imagine penalising because am struggling to imagine it full stop, but it's getting messy, the clean ball has gone, if we're happy there wasn't an offence then we have an ex ruck so is the ex rucking attacker now obstructing the defender who hooked the ball in open play, or if ball goes back into the ex ruck is it a new ruck? Am probably blowing the whistle for something, even if it's just an unsuccessful ruck, certainly if the SH doesn't get it away at the second bite.

My gut reaction seething it live was "you can't do that" and they yellow card was no surprise, but I think that was more my expectation of how that 'offence' tends to be officiated than based on law.

didds
19-12-17, 14:12
I would suggest that a successful ruck that ends up with the ball accidentally returned to it and coming messy through nobody actual fault would end up with a scrum to team in possession just to get a clean start etc. I can;t quote a law ref for that and am happy to be better eduvcated via law reference :-)

didds

L'irlandais
19-12-17, 19:12
Finally the video: (sorry can’t do the time stamp on this ipad) 24:40 into this second half video.

https://youtu.be/1_pmzoBV0RY

Munster captain questions, Sir we have only given away 3 penalties in-the game, how can this be a card?
(Short answer) :biggrin: Because it’s cynical.

L'irlandais
19-12-17, 19:12
Here’s what Peter O’Mahony was referring to, in the first half Monsieur Raynal, after speaking to the Green captain early doors, then let them conceed a further 7 penalties (not all in the red zone) before going to his pocket.

Have a look at the Dan Cole Yellow card at 43:40 in these first half highlights.

https://youtu.be/t2HUddTmZJI
Having conceded four penalties inside the first 23 minutes and his fifth – just before half-time – earned Green 3 a yellow card. Leicester Tigers’ prop got a talking to around 15 minutes in, He didn’t really look all that convinced by the ref’s decision to card him on penalty number 10 for the team, all in the opening 40 minutes.
Penalty for Offside at the ruck and interfering in play. The Yellow being for multiple offenses.

ChrisR
19-12-17, 21:12
Thank's for the clip. Cleared up a few things.

Red was not off his feet, SH had the ball well off the ground, scrum has ended, we're in open play. The only question was re. being forward but that didn't get a mention.

Because it's cynical. Cynical what? What is the offence? Law 12 Knock On specifically allows the ball to be knocked from an opponent's grasp. What if he had just tackled him?

Here's why it got called: It didn't look good and the home crowd roared.

Pegleg
19-12-17, 21:12
I wish we had GMG in England . I think they are a thoroughly good idea

Why don't we all have one set of them Issued by World Rugby? Perhaps we could call them a "Simplified Law Book". Surely nothing could go wrong with that idea.

Pegleg
19-12-17, 21:12
He's off his feet and the call is good for me.

L'irlandais
19-12-17, 21:12
Chris,
(I am a Munster supporter, and would like to agree with your version of affairs.)

A big part of this stems back to the away leg for Tigers. When Green were if anything too honest at the breakdown, quick to show a clean pair of hands. Tackler has released/ ball carrier has released. Only the French ref wasn’t applying Premiership rules. In the ERC far more contest is allowed at the breakdown. Munster took them to the cleaners last week. This week Tigers had obviously decided to test that ERC theory to its upmost limits.

Green 5 the ballcarrier gets tackled low by Red 9 (24:17). Red 18 is a tackle assist and hangs off G5’s shoulders to bring him to ground. At (24:20) he is very much off his feet, lying on the deck with both feet in the air. He momentarily gets to his knees, before lunging forward to slap the ball away. He then lands on the pile of bodies without ever really having supported his own weight, except ever so briefly to push off to lunge forward. If the ball was lifted clear by the time he slapped it down, that can only be because he struggled to get off his knees. Their was a split second between the lift and the slap (60:06 game clock). I think the cynical aspect comes perhaps from his lunge preceding the scrumhalf’s lift.

I do agree with Red captain that there had been several cynical fouls in the first half which he left slide.

Taff
19-12-17, 22:12
He's off his feet and the call is good for me.
There's no way Red 18 could have supported his own weight in that situation unless he was was wedging himself up against a player on the ground. So yes, he's off his feet (as defined) and interfering with play.

I think the Ref got it right, but it was a close call and I'm sure some Refs would have played on.

didds
20-12-17, 10:12
If he was off his feet then it was already a PK. Ref didn't call that though, or even "coach" nhim to get up and away etc. ref just allowed red player to allegedly be off his feet the entire time.

Of course he did. that is a ruck at elite levels as well know... its not a bunch of players on the feet in a pushing contest to win the ball and hasn;t been for a very long time.

WR/elites can't have it both ways. If red is legally in the ruck initially then what he did was "legal" by the same reasoning.
If he was off his feet when playing the ball then he was off his feet beforehand.

what a bloody mess WR/elites have created.

didds

Pinky
21-12-17, 02:12
Red 18 off his feet in the ruck (happens all the time on telly) not material as he didn't really slow the ball down until he knocks it out of the 9s hands. That action was material ans I was not surprised that a PK and YC followed. I haven't seen the game so can't comment on the other penalties, I know he carded Dan Cole after 5 penalties, which is a bit late for me, and 10 penalties to 2 in the first half should have had a second card for someone.

TigerCraig
21-12-17, 03:12
For arguments sake, lets say he was on his feet - then? i'd say play on

L'irlandais
21-12-17, 09:12
Only that is just about where this discussion started. Playing on isn't an option, as the match referee has blown the whistle thinking it was a knock on by Green 9. If you don’t think it was a penalty. Scrum restart? (Unsuccessful end to the ruck?) :chin: The card didn’t affect the outcome of the game. Or if it did, only in so much as Munster dug deep from that moment on, to grind out a win.