Clip 1 - 10 October 2019 - Law 21

Cornerpost

Clip 1: Argentina vs England

England fullback Elliot Daly passes to England flyhalf George Ford, who is about 43 metres from the Argentinian goal-line. Going left, Ford kicks a low bouncing kick towards the touchline on his left. the ball bounces energetically and strikes the cornerpost at the junction of the Argentinian goal-line and touch. The ball bounces back off the cornerpost and goes into touch.

The assistant referee raises his flag for a lineout five metres from the Argentinian line.

Clip 2: Canada vs South Africa

On their right, Canada attack South Africa with a strong run by Jeff Hassler. Hooker Andrew Quattrin charges ahead but South African lick RG Snyman tackles him about the ankles. Quattrin falls to ground with Snyman behind him. A ruck forms and the ball comes back to Phil Mack, the Canadian scrumhalf as Snyman is rising to get back to his side of the ruck. Mack throws the ball against Snyman. The referee penalises Snyman for being offside. The Canadians kick the ball into touch and win the lineout. They are going left just outside the South African 22 when flyhalf Peter Nelson kicked a High diagonal towards the touch line on his left. The ball is coming down close to the South African goal-line, near the cornerpost. Fullback Warrick Gelant of South Africa, wing DTH van der Merwe of Canada and wing Sibu Nkosi of South Africa are close to the descending ball. Van der Merwe and Gallant jump for the ball. Van der Merwe plays the ball back to where Gelant is sinking to the ground. Gelant knocks the ball back to where Nkosi is also falling to the ground. Nkosi's lower leg knocks the ball towards touch. The ball strikes the corner post and bounces back into in-goal. The ball strikes Nkosi's body and bounces back to touch-in-goal. It touches touch-in-goal.

With the TMO's help, the referee concludes that the ball was taken back into in goal by the South Africans and that it had touched touch-in-goal after it rebounded from the cornerpost. He awards a five-metre scrum to Canada.

Let's look at the cornerpost in law. It used to be referred to as the corner flag, though the flag on the post was only a decoration.

Law 21 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.

In both the instances above, the decisions were right. The ball was not out just because it touched a cornerpost and bounced back. This relatively recent law.

In 1898, the law read: A player with the ball in his possession touches the corner flag, is in touch. In 1926 it read: The ball is in touch-in-goal when it or a player carrying it touches a corner post or touches or crosses a touch-in-goal line The flag shall not be regarded as part of the corner post.

That is how it stayed till 2008 when it became what is it today. And, by the way, it is NOT a try if a player grounds the ball against the base of the corner post.

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