In touch? (Law 18.2.d)

Stu10

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I've got a couple of queries about incidents in pro games from the last month, and this is the first from the Leicester v Northampton Gallagher Prem semi-final.

The ball is kicked by Leicester and Biggar plays the ball in his own 22... IMHO, the ball does not cross the plane of touch, while stood in touch, Biggar knocks the ball away from the touch line but does not hold the ball. He then moves into the FOP and gathers the ball. I believe it should of been play on, with reference to law 18.2.d:

Law 18.2.d
The ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal if:
A player, who is in touch, kicks or knocks the ball, but does not hold it, provided it has not reached the plane of touch.


The ref and AR had a chat about it and explained to Biggar that he had taken the ball into touch, and subsequently awarded a lineout to Leicester... was it right?

 

chbg


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Shock horror ... mortals are sometimes wrong.

Feasibly an extension of the definition of 'possession' - in control of the ball. But for me 'play on'.
 

Dickie E


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highlights to me the overly complex combinations & permutations related to the touch law
 

Stu10

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Shock horror ... mortals are sometimes wrong.

Feasibly an extension of the definition of 'possession' - in control of the ball. But for me 'play on'.

This comes over as very passive aggressive and critical of my post. Is it unreasonable for me to ask if a referee got a decision wrong in a forum called "Was it right?", a place "where you can discuss games that you have refereed or watched where you did/saw something which you are unsure was correct."

As an inexperienced ref who has only refereed age-grade, is it not reasonable for me to query why my interpretation of this situation differs to that of Matt Carney, Jack Makepeace, Lawrence Dallaglio and Austin Healey?
 

Stu10

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for me he was never in touch when he played the ball so play on.
Having just checked frame by frame, you are correct, his feet were off the ground and in the FOP when he first played the ball.

IF his foot was touching the line when he first played the ball, would you say play on or in touch? Would this fall under Law 18.2.d or does he "have the ball in his hands" (possession?) as suggested by the commentators?
 

Jarrod Burton


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An excellent example of excessively complex laws around touch. Netball amongst other sports do it way better. If you touch the ground outside the court and you touch the ball, its out. If you are off court and come back on, you must be landed without anything touching off the court to play the ball. Union really over complicates this and it doesn't help anyone.
 

Stu10

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An excellent example of excessively complex laws around touch. Netball amongst other sports do it way better. If you touch the ground outside the court and you touch the ball, its out. If you are off court and come back on, you must be landed without anything touching off the court to play the ball. Union really over complicates this and it doesn't help anyone.

I think laws a-c are OK... this is pretty much any situation comprising the player starting or finishing within the FOP, and not being in contact with the ball while being in touch (ie touching something/floor outside the FOP). I think we would get by fine if law 18.2.d (and law 21.9) never existed.
 

Marc Wakeham


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The referee / To3 got this one wrong for me. However, it is a very difficult area of law to get right in real time. I do think 18.2 needs a proper review.
 

Volun-selected


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I think you’re right - Biggar did everything right and should have been allowed to play on (and show a legit way to handle a 50:22 play). Watching it in slow mo - which the TMO would have done - he is not in touch when he bats the ball back in field.

As mentioned, (yet another) area of law that needs a tweak or two.
 

Locke


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I think you’re right - Biggar did everything right and should have been allowed to play on (and show a legit way to handle a 50:22 play). Watching it in slow mo - which the TMO would have done - he is not in touch when he bats the ball back in field.

As mentioned, (yet another) area of law that needs a tweak or two.
I believe it’s not even relevant if he was in touch or not, per 18.2.d, since he didn’t hold the ball and the ball hasn’t reached the plane of touch.
 

Volun-selected


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I believe it’s not even relevant if he was in touch or not, per 18.2.d, since he didn’t hold the ball and the ball hasn’t reached the plane of touch.
Agreed - more saying that the slo-mo made that clear.
 

Volun-selected


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Looking at the video again and when AR lifts the flag I think as the play is right on the line then in real-time the AR must have seen it as DB touching the line and up goes the flag. If no call to/from the TMO then the ref is going to accept the call. (And I guess it was so close the player felt no protest was worth it.)

Honest error.
 
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