Ball dropped while trying to score


, Advises in England
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(Not sure if this is your job any more?)

There is a lot of argument on the referees website about knock-ons into or inside the in-goal. Up to the 1970s, the laws said a defender could ground the ball and get a drop-out. Then they (gradually) changed the laws to say it was a scrum, just like any other knock-on.

Some referees argue that you can "play advantage" and give the drop out. The standard reply is that the defenders can only play advantage before the ball is made dead. Thereafter the advantage law does not apply.

Now there is the ingenious idea that if a defender picks up the ball and runs around the in-goal before making it dead, he has gained a tactical advantage by using up time and making the opponents use energy chasing him. When advantage is over, he can then make the ball dead for a drop out. I think that is an unreal view of tactical advantage, which should ultimately mean putting the team in a better position to score.

However there is one twist: if he runs around long enough for time to expire, no scrum has yet been awarded, so he avoids having one.

Steve's reply
Interesting discussion but would apply commonsense!! It would always come back to a scrum 5 in my opinion.

May be you should run it by the Dave Broadwell as the Law guru at<>

I forwarded my original to Dave Broadwell
Steve always favoured the hospital pass. Ha Ha things must be pretty desperate in good old Glos if this is a debate. It can only ever be a scrum one way or another. The referee cannot blow time until the ball is dead so someone will force the issue by grounding the ball or kicking it out of play.
Dave Broadwell


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Well, I am not sure that really advances the argument much, everyone will agree that if advantage is played and gained, then the scrum never happens, so it's not 'always' a scrum.
I submitted a similar question to SA Referees Duty Ref, perhaps they will address it.

If the argument is "Ref it that way because the RFU, and other senior people tell you to" then I cheerfully ref the way the RFU tells me. I totally agree with the importance of consistency, and that's more important than whether I think it's right or wrong. Similarly if I was in the USA next week I would follow the USA Game Mgmt Guidelines, for same reason.

If the argument is "ref it that way, because the Law book says so" then we need to have a look at the text of the Laws, it would have been interesting to see Steve/Dave's analysis.
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