[Tackle] Dragging a man on the ground

DocY

Rugby Club Member
#1
I had an interesting one today:

Kick through, fullback dives on the ball less than a meter from the goal line.

The chaser pauses then grabs him by the shirt, drags him (still holding the ball) over the goal line then goes for the ball, which was definitely grounded (it was unclear who by).

What should I have given? I'm intentionally not saying what I gave to try not to bias answers.
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#2
I remember an incident some years ago where a player fell on the ball near the touch line and was promptly dragged into touch by an opponent. The panel referee decided the player who fell on the ball had taken it into touch (because he could have released it).

On that basis the full back took it into in-goal, but unless the chaser was first to ground it, no try. Attacking 5m scrum.
 

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#3
I had an interesting one today:

Kick through, fullback dives on the ball less than a meter from the goal line.

The chaser pauses then grabs him by the shirt, drags him (still holding the ball) over the goal line then goes for the ball, which was definitely grounded (it was unclear who by).

What should I have given? I'm intentionally not saying what I gave to try not to bias answers.
If it was a tackle I would say PK for not releasing, but this is a Law 14 situation, and it only has this to say about players on their feet...

14.2 PLAYERS ON THEIR FEET
(a) Falling over the player on the ground with the ball. A player must not intentionally fall
on or over a player with the ball who is lying on the ground.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) Falling over players lying on the ground near the ball. A player must not intentionally fall
on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them or near them.
Sanction: Penalty kick


I cannot see that the dragger has done anything illegal. My decision would be 5M scrum - attacking ball.
 

crossref

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#4
Is it legal to drag someone across the ground?
I am not sure, what if two red players grab a blue player by his ankles and drag him 40m along the ground? Play on?? Surely not.

If it is legal then in this scenario, because there is doubt about who touched it down, it's a 5m scrum,
but the defender had touched it down we would have to decide who took the ball in goal, the dragged or the reluctant ball carrier?
 

Christy

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/ireland.p
#5
Ill go out on a limb .
Penalty try .

I hope my spelling is ok .
Ive been told off before for spelling mistakes .
 

DocY

Rugby Club Member
#6
Thanks guys,

A couple of suggestions I hadn't thought of. I was thinking either attacking scrum or defending penalty.

I gave the attacking scrum - I couldn't see anything wrong with the drag and thought the defender had taken the ball into in goal.

If there's doubt about grounding you go on who took the ball into goal for the restart, don't you?
 

Camquin

Rugby Club Member
#7
Is it legal to drag someone on the ground.

Law 7.1
Any player may tackle, hold or push an opponent holding the ball.
Why should a player who is off their feet have more rights than one on their feet?
If they are holding the ball I can push them.

Technically you cannot pull the ball carrier even if they are on their feet - but I suspect the referee who blew for that would get a lot of odd looks. That would be an attempted tackle.

Could I push/pull him/her 40m?
No - as under law 14 if they are off their feet they have to play the ball immediately
I cannot see how I could push or pull someone more than a metre immediately.
 

Paule23

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/scotland.
#10
I'm thinking penalty against the dragger. This is not a tackle, however we do have a player on the floor. If this had been a tackle situation you would have had to release the player, dragging would result in a penalty. I would apply similar thoughts here, it cannot be the right answer that you are permitted to drag players across the pitch. I'm happy for players to contest for the ball when a defending player falls on a kick, but not play the man. Again this is playing the man on the floor, so I'm gonna give a penalty for the defenders.
 

ctrainor

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#11
Same for me penalty to defence, attacker should have tried to play the ball. If he had tried to do that and fullback held on with nobody else around, he would probably have won a penalty try.
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#12
This is not a tackle, however we do have a player on the floor. If this had been a tackle situation you would have had to release the player, dragging would result in a penalty. I would apply similar thoughts here, it cannot be the right answer that you are permitted to drag players across the pitch. I'm happy for players to contest for the ball when a defending player falls on a kick, but not play the man. Again this is playing the man on the floor, so I'm gonna give a penalty for the defenders.
The laws simply do not say what should happen. It is not a tackle, so "release" is not relevant. The player on the ground is still the ball carrier and can legally play it. The opponent is prohibited from falling on him, but no other restriction is specified. He can't make a tackle because that requires him to bring the ball carrier to the ground (and he is already there).

Until WR decides to sort it out, we are on our own. I'll stick with the advice I was given as quoted above.
 

ChuckieB

Rugby Club Member
#13
And what about the England vs Wales Game, and the chase back by Nowell pursued by Biggar, I think it was? Nowell gathered and went to ground when tackled by Biggar. Biggar clearly still had hold of him by the shirt as Nowell took his feet again. Everything in the same movement

So tackle was technically complete and yet Nowell didn't release ball and Biggar didn't release him. Play on. I can't make my mind up!
 

DocY

Rugby Club Member
#14
So tackle was technically complete and yet Nowell didn't release ball and Biggar didn't release him. Play on. I can't make my mind up!
I thought that should have been a penalty against Nowell for not releasing the ball. He was brought to the ground and held, then got back to his feet, which he isn't allowed to do.
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#15
But isn't the mantra at a tackle something like brought to ground - tackler release - ball carrier release ball ?

In which case surely its pk against biggar? And both players and skippers get a short chat.

Didds
 

VM75

Player or Coach
#16
I had an interesting one today:

Kick through, fullback dives on the ball less than a meter from the goal line.

The chaser pauses then grabs him by the shirt, drags him (still holding the ball) over the goal line then goes for the ball, which was definitely grounded (it was unclear who by).

What should I have given? I'm intentionally not saying what I gave to try not to bias answers.
If this practice is allowed to proliferate then where does it end? dragging a player by his shirt 20/30/40 meters down the pitch being legitimate rugby ??? , sorry not for me.

So I'm going with:
Clear & obviously dragging him along by his shirt isn't in the spirit of the game - PK against the dragger

As a coach i'd expect the chaser to go after the ball 100% , which means depending on the isolation of the defender could easily become a Penalty try if grounded fullback doesn't release it to him.
 

ChrisR

Player or Coach
#17
Why PK the 'dragger' when the clear offender is the player who went to ground? Under Law 14 he must get up, pass or release the ball immediately. Clearly, he has failed to comply.
 

Paule23

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/scotland.
#18
Why PK the 'dragger' when the clear offender is the player who went to ground? Under Law 14 he must get up, pass or release the ball immediately. Clearly, he has failed to comply.
Bit difficult to get up when someone is dragging you along the ground!
 

crossref

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#19
Dragging an opponent along the ground for any distance strikes me as a potential flash point, and something in general to discourage.
 

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#20
If this practice is allowed to proliferate then where does it end? dragging a player by his shirt 20/30/40 meters down the pitch being legitimate rugby ??? , sorry not for me.

So I'm going with:
Clear & obviously dragging him along by his shirt isn't in the spirit of the game - PK against the dragger

As a coach i'd expect the chaser to go after the ball 100% , which means depending on the isolation of the defender could easily become a Penalty try if grounded fullback doesn't release it to him.
Judgement is subjective. At what point do you decide that a late tackle is actually late... do you have a definitive number of 1/10ths of a second when you decide that a late tackle is actually late... 2/10ths? 4/10ths? 8/10ths? a second? Of course not... you use your judgement.

Dragging a player a short distance to touch or in-goal is fine. Dragging him 20/30/40 metres might be dangerous play... I'll judge the boundary between fine and not fine it when I see it.

You don't need a bright white line for every decision you make on a rugby field.


ETA

As an example, this might be considered OK in "the other code" but I would not like to see it allowed in ours, and I would probably penalise it for Dangerous Play under Law 10.4 (e)

[video=youtube;J_f5Rr93v_Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_f5Rr93v_Q[/video]
 
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