by Len Kaplan
Here are three match situations. You’re the referee. Decide each time which of the four suggested decisions is correct.
Take your time – there are not a host of players giving you advice, as modern players offer referees, no spectators shouting at you, as spectators have always done, you’re not suffering fatigue, no sweat in your eyes, and no huge players blocking your view, so it should be easy.
1. Bismarck du Plessis throws in at a Springbok line-out. Eben Etzebeth reaches forward and catches the ball just in front of the 5-metre line but both his feet are beyond the 5-metre line (i.e. both feet are between the 5m and 15m lines as required for line-out players).
(a) play on because both of Etzebeth’s feet are between the 5m and 15m lines
(b) give a free kick on the 15m line against the Springboks because Etzebeth has prevented the ball being thrown in 5 metres
(c) give a penalty on the 15m line against the Springboks because Etzebeth has prevented the ball being thrown in 5 metres
(d) give the opposition the option of a scrum or line-out on the 15m line
2. Louis Schreuder puts the ball in at a Western Province scrum. While the ball is in the tunnel of the scrum Western Province flank Rohan Kitshoff – without breaking his bind – swings his leg and with his boot hooks the ball so that WP win the scrum ball.
(a) play on because Kitshoff has used his boot and not a hand
(b) give a penalty against WP
(c) give a free kick against WP
(d) play on because Kitshoff has hooked the ball without breaking his bind
3. Sam Lane kicks off for Clermont-Auvergne. Wanting to put pressure on their opponents waiting to receive the ball, three of the Clermont-Auvergne forwards run ahead of the ball, crossing the halfway line just before Lane gets boot to the ball.
(a) order a scrum at the centre of the halfway line, with the opposition throwing in
(b) give the opposition a choice between having the kick-off taken again or having a scrum at the centre of the halfway line, with the opposition throwing in
(c) give a free kick against Clermont-Auvergne
(d) have the kick-off taken again
DO YOU KNOW THE LAWS?
DID YOU GET 3/3?
1. (b) is correct. The ball must travel 5 metres.
2. (c) is correct. Only props and hookers are allowed to play the ball in the tunnel.
3. (a) is correct. If all players in the kicker’s team are not behind the ball when it is kicked, a scrum is formed at the centre. No options are offered to the opposition for this infringement.