Off­side Line

We give you the low­down on point s of law in this new se­ries

Rugby World - - FRONT ROW -

When Sam Un­der­hill’s try against the All Blacks was ruled out for Court­ney Lawes be­ing off­side when charg­ing down TJ Per­e­nara (above), it caused a lot of de­bate. We ran an on­line poll ask­ing whether peo­ple thought he was on­side or off­side and the re­sult was ex­actly 50-50!

At the start of 2017-18, World Rugby in­tro­duced a law that cre­ated a ruck when a sin­gle player stood over the ball in a tackle. In April 2018 the law was amended slightly, mean­ing off­side lines are cre­ated when one player ar­rives but a ruck is cre­ated when at least one player from each side are in con­tact. Tony Spread­bury, RFU’s head of pro­fes­sional game match of­fi­cials “In this sit­u­a­tion, no Eng­land player was on his feet. There was no ruck but an off­side line due to the NZ play­ers on their feet over the ball.

“Each team’s off­side line runs par­al­lel to the goal-line through the hind­most point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball.

“The tackle ends when a player on their feet gains pos­ses­sion of the ball (not just plac­ing hands on it) or the ball leaves the tackle area. The of­fi­cials had to de­cide if (Lawes) was on­side be­fore the ball left the tackle area or the NZ nine picked it up.” @ugomonye HUUUUGE de­ci­sion, but think the TMO has got it right @Jon­tyUpNorth Tackle only, no ruck. Ball was out of the tackle area hence tackle over, no off­side line. A tackle ends dif­fer­ently to a ruck @Ro­nanB It was tight but Lawes was just in front of the last foot when the ball was picked up @DJBurges If Lawes was off­side, then ev­ery player at ev­ery ruck ever formed is off­side @RobGod­frey1979 Lawes was on­side! Scrum-half had hands on @stod­ders79 Both teams al­lowed lee­way at off­side line. If ei­ther fell foul that’s price of tak­ing the risk

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