You're the Ref - What would you give?
We all like to shout at the TV during the Six Nations or offer the officials some ‘helpful’ advice from the touchline or terraces of our local ground.
“You’re so far out of your depth you’d drown in a puddle,” is one of the more memorable lines I heard during my time as a referee.
RugbyPass is now giving fans everywhere the chance to put themselves to the test.
Ref Watch columnist Paul Smith’s answer is below.
You are the referee of a match played in pouring rain on a pitch with huge in-goal areas.
With his team feeding a defensive five-metre scrum the home side’s full back positions himself directly behind the set-piece just inside his dead ball line.
The rest of the home backs line up 15 metres in front of the full back on their goal-line.
After winning scrum possession the ball is passed to the full back who seeks to find touch.
Fast-advancing opponents pressure the kicker who slices badly causing the ball to strike his own posts and balloon in the air.
Although the away side’s no.7 is now only a metre away, the home centres are closest to the ball which eventually comes down directly behind their posts never having crossed the goal-line.
These three players contest the awkwardly spinning ball in the air. It is caught then immediately touched down by the home side’s no.12.
What is your decision?
a) Five-metre scrum opposite the point where the ball was touched down with the away side to feed
b) Goal-line drop out
c) Penalty to the away side on the five-metre line opposite the point where the ball first went into in goal
d) Penalty to the away side on the five-metre line opposite the point where the ball was touched down and a yellow card for home no.12
e) Penalty try
f) Penalty try and yellow card for home no.12
Ref Watch columnist Paul Smith’s answer:
I’d opt for option F – a penalty try and yellow card for home no.12, although I also see the argument for D.
Despite what is sometimes suggested a player can be offside in goal.
Home no.12 is in front of the kicker and is therefore offside once he interferes with play.
The close proximity of away no.7 brings a penalty try into the referee’s thoughts.
Based on the skill level of the players and weather conditions the referee must assess the probability of a try being scored had the no.12’s offence not taken place.
Given that home no.12 caught the ball under pressure, we have to assume away no.7 would have managed it too – especially without the presence of the offside player.
It is therefore a penalty try.
Home no.12 is guilty of a ‘professional foul’ type offence in his own ‘red zone’ and since he is identifiable he is shown a yellow card.
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— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 27, 2021
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