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Thread: Obstruction: IRB ruling

  1. #1
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    Obstruction: IRB ruling

    The designated Members of the IRB's Rugby Committee have, in response to a request from Scotland, given a ruling on the possibility of obstruction when a team hopes to form a maul.

    Scotland's scenario: At a line-out team A is throwing in and wins the ball. As the jumper returns to the ground and his supporting players bind onto him in accordance with Law. The ball is passed to the back man of the bound players with the expectation that team B will contest for possession of the ball and form a maul.

    At no time during the catching of the ball or while team A form what they expect to be a maul, do team B contest for possession of the ball. Once team A advance towards team Bís goal-line, team B makes contact with the front players of the advancing group of team A players but are denied an opportunity to make contact with the ball-carrier as the ball is now at the back of the group.

    Question: Is this obstruction and are team A liable to penalty?

    Ruling: The Designated Members have indicated that the Laws applying to obstruction need to be applied consistently whether they be at a line-out or in any other open play situation.

    The Designated Members have ruled that in the situation described the original ball carrier is no longer in contact with the ball, it is not possible for the opposition to form a maul by contact with the ball carrier.

    The Referee will award a penalty
    kick in accordance with Law 10.1 (c), (d) or (e) save for situations where the Referee considers the actions constitute accidental offside in accordance with Law 11.6 (a) when a scrum is awarded with the throw in to the non-offending team.
    http://www.rugby365.com/all_news/2095800.htm
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Could make for some interesting line-out and restart tactics next year...

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    learn from the pros:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH-jWfm8z1c"]YouTube- Italy Lineout Tactic Rugby[/ame]

    The refs are well aware of this, i can't see a reason for scotland to complain about it.

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    A bit different - those examples were about the offside line rather than obstruction. So the defensive side can either run around the back of the maul and directly engage the ballcarrier (as in the video) or engage the front of the maul and be awarded the obstruction penalty (as per the IRB ruling).

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    So Team A can pull penalties by not contesting the lineout....

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    only if Team B attempt to create maul, but if the opposition don't engage you, there really is no point - may as well make a few yards if they're backing off ....

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    forming your own maul is cheating and should be penalized. It happens a lot more in the NH though.

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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Us refs had a session with Warren Robilliard, ARU Coach Education Manager, a few years ago and we discussed this very point.

    Wazza's view, from a coaching point of view, was that a team would be very, very unlikely to choose not to contest the pack that forms once the ball has been taken in this type of phase because the team with the ball could make easy forward progress while not being challenged. If the defending team chose not to contest it and then tried to run around the grab the ball or ball carrier, that's fine but it would take a fair bit of strength to halt the momentum. So they generally choose not to.

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    italians seemed to do it quite effectively..

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    Quote Originally Posted by zimeric View Post
    italians seemed to do it quite effectively..
    yep, though they are a professional rugby team who are a lot more organised than amateurs, if one of your team mates engages (miscommunication etc) then it's a maul.

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