22 Nov 2020
By Referees Department
Some interesting debates are taking place that most people are not aware of a change in law that come into effect in 2020. Can a try be scored against the opponents’ goal post or its surrounding padding?
If we look at clip 1 the hurricane scrumhalf (#21) scores a try against the surrounding padding of a pole. The referee awards the try.
In clip 2 the commentator alludes to the fact that the stormers scrumhalf (#9) has an open padding in front of him - with no defenders, but he opts to pass. Why would he do that?
Let’s look at the law as it now stands - Law 8.2: A try is scored when an attacking player:
a. Is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal.
b. Is first to ground the ball when a scrum, ruck or maul reaches the goal line.
c. With the ball is tackled short of the goal line and the player’s momentum carries them in a continuous movement along the ground into the opponents’ in-goal, and the player is first to ground the ball.
d. Is tackled near to the opponents’ goal line and the player immediately reaches out and grounds the ball.
e. Who is in touch or touch-in-goal, grounds the ball in the opponents’ in-goal provided the player is not holding the ball.
Law 8.2.a has specifically changed in 2020 that a try cannot be scored against the opponents’ goal post or its surrounding padding.
As per the definition and relevant laws, to score a try attacking players would need to ground the ball in the opponents In-goal area which includes the goal line but not the dead-ball line or the touch-in-goal lines.