[Line out] Holding the lifted catcher in the air.


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I have noticed an increasing trend with teams, especially on defence close to their goal-line, deliberately keeping their lineout catcher up to try to milk a PK for early driving. While it is the responsibility of the non ball-winning team to ensure they don't drive until the lifted catcher's feet touch the ground, it is actually an infringement to keep the catcher hoisted.

(g) Lowering a Player. Players who support a jumping team-mate must lower that player to
the ground as soon as the ball has been won by a player of either team.
Sanction: Free Kick on the 15-metre line

Defending teams often time their drive to coincide with the player alighting; holding the player up unfairly (and illegally) confounds that timing. Its is already difficult enough for defending teams to contest the formation of a maul from a lineout, and this makes it even more difficult. IMO, allowing this FK infringement to go unpunished gives the attacking team too much advantage..


How would/do you handle it in your game?


, Resident Club Coach
we've discussed similar in an actual match scenario ISTR - where team A kept their player longer in the air than seemed "normal".

Could have been England women last 6N?



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Had it happen last year. Chatted to the captain in the first instance, FK'ed the second.
Spot on for me. If captain playing at full back or something then maybe chat to "pack leader" or key lineout caller who should take responsibility. But manage at the first instance, then penalise if no compliance.


Rugby Club Member
Had it last season. Same flow chart as above: Word then free kick. After the game the Coach disagreed even after being shown the law in the book. Happy days.


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All as above, but perhaps wth an added shout (at the time) of "Bring him down" - just to let it be known to the opposition that you are aware of the tactic and want to avoid blowing the whistle.


, Resident Club Coach
If this is becoming a standard tactic at the elite/televised end of the game, then you can guarantee it wil seep into the the lower ranks of the game eventually.



Phil E

, Referees/Trains Referees in England
It's coached and usually the teams have no idea its illegal.

I warn then potentially FK, but in truth the warning has always worked.

Lee Lifeson-Peart

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I had this in a game last month and as the OP suggested I gave the PK for the early drive by the defending pack (it was the defending pack before the definition pedants start :))

I actually didn't realise that holding up too long was a FK until now :redface:

I don't think it was an issue before because I don't think I've ever had an early drive by a whole pack before. My assessor made note of the PK in his analysis but never mentioned a FK potential for the attackers. That makes 2 of us then! :)