Tackle in ball carrier’s own in-goal

Locke


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I had this happen in a U19 game I reffed on Saturday.

Blue is in possession near their own goal line. Blue ball carrier is tackled. He extends his arms, holding the ball, back toward his side, which puts the ball over his own goal line. He does not touch it down. An opponent and a teammate of the ball carrier arrive at about the same time. They make contact and then opponent rips the ball out of ball carrier’s hands and grounds it. The whole thing looked off because, if it had happened a yard up the field, it would have been penalty to Blue for hands in the ruck. But, I awarded a try based on the ball being over the goal line, thus no ruck and no offside lines (although opponent came through the gate so offside lines not part of my decision).

Did I get it right?
 

Flish


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As described, there is no breakdown / offside lines so you could well be right, my only other thought would be whether you could interpret the blue players placement of the ball as a grounding? Even if not their absolute intention, if in reverse would that level of ball placement and possession be a good enough for a try? If so you could make a different decision.
 

Locke


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Thanks Flish. I need to clarify my wording in one spot. When I said the ball carrier “does not touch it down,” I meant that he does not place the ball on the ground. He was holding it a few inches off the ground, I assume looking for a teammate to pass to or hoping a teammate would arrive and take it from him. The ball did not touch the ground in goal until the opponent had possession and grounded it.
 

crossref


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Again sounds like you got it right
An eventful game for the ref !
 

chbg


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Sounds correct.

Subsidiary lesson: what would you have done if both arriving players had dived on the ball to ground it simultaneously (which is what I thought you were going to describe, and what would probably happen with more experienced players)?
 

tim White


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21.17 the last item in the on-line laws "In-Goal" If there is doubt about which team first grounded the ball in in-goal, play is restarted with a five-metre scrum, in line with the place where the ball was grounded. The attacking team throws in.

This seems to apply whoever put the ball into in-goal.
 

Dickie E


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From Law 21 (GLT):
When a player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal so that the player cannot ground or play the ball, the ball is dead. Play restarts with a goal line drop-out.


I assume this applies to both an attacking or defending player.

So a defending player who carries the ball into his own in-goal, and preferring a GLDO to a 5 metre scrum, may allow himself to be held up in goal by team mates instead of grounding the ball?
 

Phil E


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From Law 21 (GLT):
When a player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal so that the player cannot ground or play the ball, the ball is dead. Play restarts with a goal line drop-out.


I assume this applies to both an attacking or defending player.

So a defending player who carries the ball into his own in-goal, and preferring a GLDO to a 5 metre scrum, may allow himself to be held up in goal by team mates instead of grounding the ball?

The RFU issued a clarification on this for English referees.
It all depends on who takes the ball into in-goal.
So in your scenario it would be a 5m attacking scrum as the defender took it in and the ball became dead (held up).

You would need to check with your union whether they are in line with this?
I notice that the USA GMT's follow the same line as the RFU. 5m scrum.
 

Stu10

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I've got a slightly different situation, but is another "tackle in ball carrier’s own in-goal", so I'm adding here rather than a new thread...

We had a maul just outside our goal line, managed to work the ball to the back, one of our players (red) broke away with the ball and was quickly tackled by a defender (blue) attacking the ball (upright tackle) and getting hands on the ball. I honestly don't know if the tackle was initiated in-goal or in the FOP and our ball carrier was driven back in-goal... I don't think this matters with regard to the primary question of try/no try.

The blue player pulled down on the ball, did not take the ball away from red, resulting in pulling both ball and player down to the ground in-goal. The ball hit grass in-goal with both players latched onto the ball. The referee awarded a try to blue. Correct decision?
 

didds

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Hmmm. Im not saying it wasn't. But that seems somewhat a tough call. Presumably had blue attacked and crossed the line but before dotting down ended up in a tussle with red defender, and they both went to ground together as above he'd have awarded a 22 d/o for taken in by blue, made dead by red?

<rhetorical question>
 

smeagol


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The blue player pulled down on the ball, did not take the ball away from red, resulting in pulling both ball and player down to the ground in-goal. The ball hit grass in-goal with both players latched onto the ball. The referee awarded a try to blue. Correct decision?

My first inclination is to award 5m scrum to blue. Simultaneous grounding IMO means no one grounded it "first," so I would apply 21.17
 

Phil E


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The blue player pulled down on the ball, did not take the ball away from red, resulting in pulling both ball and player down to the ground in-goal. The ball hit grass in-goal with both players latched onto the ball. The referee awarded a try to blue. Correct decision?

For me that is a doubt over who grounded the ball first.

Law 21
DOUBT ABOUT GROUNDING
17. If there is doubt about which team first grounded the ball in in-goal, play is
restarted with a five-metre scrum, in line with the place where the ball was
grounded. The attacking team throws in.
 

Stu10

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Hmmm. Im not saying it wasn't. But that seems somewhat a tough call. Presumably had blue attacked and crossed the line but before dotting down ended up in a tussle with red defender, and they both went to ground together as above he'd have awarded a 22 d/o for taken in by blue, made dead by red?

<rhetorical question>

I don't know (I didn't ask the ref after the game); but IMHO if the attacker carries ball into in-goal, defender latches onto ball, ball taken to ground, I think this is awarded as a try 100% of the time.

If we accept that a try is always awarded when the attacker carries the ball into the contact and gets to ground, is the reason for awarding a try to (1) always give benefit to the attacking side (based on territory) [blue], or (2) to give benefit to the player that was originally in possession and carried the ball into contact?

What if we now flip this around to my previous post, with red carrying the ball into contact and the ball being grounded... if (1) is correct then a try is awarded to blue, whereas if (2) is correct then red is awarded the touch down and you restart with a 22DO or scrum.

I don't think law 21.17 helps here... there is no doubt who grounded the ball first... in all these examples, both players are holding the ball when it is grounded, therefore it is simultaneous.

Clarification 2022-1 states "For a try to be awarded, Law 8.2a says an attacking player has to ground the ball first. Where there is simultaneous grounding by an attacker and a defender, the attacking player did not do so ‘first’, so a try cannot be awarded.", but I believe this only applies to a loose ball. Furthermore, we see all the time that if the attacker carries ball into in-goal, defender latches onto ball, ball taken to ground, a try is always awarded (and no one would question this).

Personally, I think the ref in our game should not have awarded a try because our team had initial/primary control of the ball. I could not see the line in relation to the tackle, and I think it would have been an attacking scrum, and they probably would have scored, so I'm not aggrieved by the outcome; but I would like to clarify this for my future referee duties.
 
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crossref


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if a defender is holding the ball and touches it down, I don't think an attacker can make that a try by managing to also get a hand on the ball
 

SimonSmith


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Clarification 2022-1 states "For a try to be awarded, Law 8.2a says an attacking player has to ground the ball first. Where there is simultaneous grounding by an attacker and a defender, the attacking player did not do so ‘first’, so a try cannot be awarded.", but I believe this only applies to a loose ball. Furthermore, we see all the time that if the attacker carries ball into in-goal, defender latches onto ball, ball taken to ground, a try is always awarded (and no one would question this).
You can't substantiate that assertion. A plain reading of the words suggests that simultaneous grounding fits their criteria here.
 

Balones

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I think it is all a matter of timing. If there are two latched to the ball before the original ball carrier goes to ground then I can see some doubt about grounding. If a defender latches on when the ball carrier is in the process of scoring then I would expect a try to be awarded. You quite often see a defenders hands in the ball when a try is scored. Usually they are attempting to keep the ball off the ground but frequently fail but they do have contact with the ball so in this case it would be unfair or unreasonable to doubt grounding.
 
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