Foul play?

Marc Wakeham


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I've been trying to find additional clarification online, and came across this on the Bay of Plenty club site... I don't know the author or their position/authority, but it provides an additional interpretation for consideration:



3. When two opponents are running for the ball what can they do?

Run shoulder to shoulder but they may not push or charge each other (Obstruction - Law 9.1 - PK)
which contradicts:



Law 9.1: When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.

As it says the opposite!
 

Stu10

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which contradicts:

Law 9.1: When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.

As it says the opposite!

Depends how you read it... it doesn't say the opposite in my eyes; for me that post, law 9.1 and law 9.15 all align... this is the crux of this ongoing debate, which appears to have hit a deadlock.

Maybe we can at least all agree that law 9.1 could be phrased better?

This is giving me flashbacks to the discussion of whether a flying wedge can only happen or usually happens near the goal line and/or whether it can only happen or usually happens from a PK/FK or open play.

https://forum.rugbyrefs.com/index.php?threads/non-contested-maul.22470
https://forum.rugbyrefs.com/index.php?threads/scotlands-first-try.22261
 
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Stu10

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Iagree it is play on. However I once witnessed in a pro game a Penalty Try given in such circumstances along with a YC. So opinion is divided.

But law 9.1 does allow it. So: "am I wrong?" carries no weight. The only law it is in "contradiction" wit his 9.15 an not "all othr laws." sorry.

It is not in contradiction with "all other laws" it is in contradiction with one other law. And that other law is in contradiction with this one (It works both ways). Sorry the laws allow a shoulder to shoulder charge. in the circumstances set out in Law 9.1.
All seams perfectly clear to me.
I do find it strange that you appear to be 100% certain that it is clear, and that the shoulder charge in the OP is allowed, yet
  • you've posted that you've seen a pro level ref award a penalty try for this
  • a post by a NZ ref (who I think officiates at provincial level) who says penalty for a push/charge
  • opinions in this thread are penalty = 7, no penalty = 3, and I'm not sure if @Locke has changed from play on to penalty... either way Locke decides, the majority think the OP was a penalty offence.

We can agree to disagree, and I'm bowing out at this point.
 

Marc Wakeham


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The fact that a pro referee gave a pk does not mean the law is poorly worded. His angle may have suggrested a different scenario. Or he may have been simply wrong. THat there is debate does not mean there needs to be.
 

Phil E


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  • opinions in this thread are penalty = 7, no penalty = 3, and I'm not sure if @Locke has changed from play on to penalty... either way Locke decides, the majority think the OP was a penalty offence.

That was on the event in question, not necessarily the principle of shoulder to shoulder.
Quite a few people said they felt the event in questions was not shoulder to shoulder and that's why they said PK.

You cannot get round the fact that 9.1 specifically says it is ok to push or charge if your are shoulder to shoulder.
 

Rich_NL

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Adding my twopenn'orth - in a chase for the ball, shoulder to shoulder jostling/barging is allowed. In the original film clip, there was no chase for the ball, but a charge to take the player out without any follow-up on the ball, so PK.

Looking at the wording, it's hard to imagine a shoulder charge that could occur if both players are chasing the ball.
 

Stu10

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That was on the event in question, not necessarily the principle of shoulder to shoulder.
Quite a few people said they felt the event in questions was not shoulder to shoulder and that's why they said PK.

You cannot get round the fact that 9.1 specifically says it is ok to push or charge if your are shoulder to shoulder.

Phil, you are suggesting quite a few people here would have been happy with the actions of maroon if the two players had first been running shoulder-to-shoulder (i.e. side-by-side) - is that correct?

To expand this, is everyone happy with this scenario?
  1. Ball gets kicked through, no defenders positioned in the back field.
  2. Blue and maroon players chase the kick, running shoulder-to-shoulder.
  3. Maroon pushes/charges blue in the essentially the same way as the OP video, resulting in blue taken to ground with maroon on top of him.
  4. A trailing maroon player runs past, gathers the ball without contest and scores a try.
So, most people here would award the try to maroon?
 

Zebra1922


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That was on the event in question, not necessarily the principle of shoulder to shoulder.
Quite a few people said they felt the event in questions was not shoulder to shoulder and that's why they said PK.

You cannot get round the fact that 9.1 specifically says it is ok to push or charge if your are shoulder to shoulder.

Law 9.1 does not say that. It says you cannot charge or push except shoulder to shoulder. You could read that as allowing a push shoulder to shoulder, a push or charge shoulder to shoulder, or some other shoulder to shoulder contact. It does not explicitly say you can charge shoulder to shoulder.

And i certainly would not allow a shoulder charge unless it was two players running together for the ball, I also would not allow a charge where someone comes in at an angle and makes shoulder contact.

The aim of the law is to allow some shoulder to shoulder contact whilst players are running together for the ball, not to allow shoulder charges from any angle when one player is going for the ball and another is going for the player.
 

Stu10

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I've been trying to find additional clarification online, and came across this on the Bay of Plenty club site... I don't know the author or their position/authority, but it provides an additional interpretation for consideration:



That interpretation of law 9.1 has actually come from New Zealand Rugby (i.e. official New Zealand RFU).

Law 9 Foul Play
Obstruction
1. When two opponents are running for the ball what can they do?
Answer: Run shoulder to shoulder but they may not push or charge each other.


 

chbg


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So New Zealand RFU says that "When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder" actually means that "When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, they may run shoulder to shoulder but they may not push or charge each other". Do they use a different language other than English?
 

OB..


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If two players are competing for a loose ball, shoulder to shoulder contact is inevitable. I have always understood the law to be saying that in such circumstances it should not be penalised.

However a deliberate push in such circumstances is not allowed.

Forensic dissection of the laws does not help because the laws are not written to those standards. Use common sense.
 

Dickie E


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When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.
A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from having the opportunity to play the ball, other than by competing for possession.


I think these 2 clauses in law 9 should be read together. ie an amount of rigorous jostling contact is legal but only if, in the view of the referee, the players are competing for possession of the ball.
If I saw that a player had eyes on an opponent and not on the ball (as per the OP), I would consider that he/she was not legally competing for possession.
 

Ian_Cook


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Yup.. PK for mine.
The maroon player has already lost the chase for the ball, so he shoulder-bumps his opponent (Law 9.4 or 9.25)
My call would be "Advantage Blue" since we don't see what happened next, but there is a blue player steaming after the kicked ball. If there is no advantage accruing, come back for the PK.
 
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