Clip 1 – 18 February 2019 - Law 21

After Keith Earls takes the ball into touch near his goal-line, Stuart McInally of Scotland throws into the lineout. James Ryan of Ireland jumps up and knocks the ball back towards the Irish side.

The ball bounces towards the corner post. It strikes the post and rebounds into the Irish in-goal area. Rory Best of Ireland touches down just ahead of McInally. The referee orders a five-metre scrum, Scotland's ball.

When he sees the referee award a scrum, the commentator has three explanations for what happened.

i. "The referee saw a knock forward from a hand in the Irish lineout."

ii. "The ball hit the post, which is out."

iii. "Just to clarify. That wasn't a knock forward. It was brought back behind the Irish line by an Irish forward, by the hand of Ryan from the lineout and Best touched the ball down, and the result is a five-metre scrum to Scotland."

The clarification in (iii) is correct. It was good of the commentator to get it right. The only thing we need to make clear is the role of the corner post.

Law 21.16: Corner flag post
If the ball or ball-carrier touches a corner flag or corner flag post without otherwise being in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues unless the ball is grounded against the post.

It is not as it once was. When the ball hit the corner post in this incident, it did not matter. Play went on. It did not stop until Best touched the ball down.

What was said in (ii), is wrong.

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