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Duty Ref 558: Adriaan Jacobs

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With SupeRugby Unlocked in its middle stages of the competition, AJ, a young and upcoming referee, spend some time answering some supporters questions.

1. Name: Jose Maria Caupers

Question: Hello. I am Team Manager of o Portuguese club and I have a doubt about a rugby law. Could you please help me to clarify it? Regarding World Rugby Laws, 3 - 33, if a team had made all the 8 substitutions and after a player has a concussion, can he be replaced by a player in the bench that already had participate in the game? If not, what is the meaning of the Law 3.33: TACTICAL REPLACEMENTS JOINING THE MATCH 1. Tactically replaced players may return to play only when replacing a. An injured front-row player. b. A player with a blood injury. c. A player with a head injury. d. A player who has just been injured as a result of foul play (as verified by the match officials). e. The nominated player described in Law 3.19 or 3.20. Thanks a lot, best regards, Jose Maria Caupers

AJ: Hi Jose. Pending the competition format your club is playing any players concussed may be replaced irrespective if all reserves were used or not. World Rugby has simplified the concussion application in their HIA protocols and Recognise & Remove process – thus the wording HEAD INJURY.

The law book cannot be read in isolation and one would need to read the law clarifications and application guidelines on World Rugby website as well – example related to your question: World Rugby law Clarification 3 of 2018 and the law application guidelines for Uncontested Scrums - March 2020.

We have full presentations on SA Referees website regarding replacements -

Kind regards


2. Name: Allan Danker

Question: Referees penalize players in the front row for standing up under pressure. The law is clear: reset scrum. Why are referees not wrong?

AJ: Hi, Allan. That is a great question.

Lets look at a scenario: When both props stand up after the set call, and neither side wins possession of the ball, the referee will call a reset as covered in law 19.34

Law 19.34.When there is no infringement, the referee will stop play and reset the scrum if:
a.The scrum-half throws in the ball, and it comes out at either end of the tunnel.
b.The scrum collapses or breaks up before it has otherwise ended.
c.The scrum is wheeled through more than 90 degrees, so the middle line has passed beyond a position parallel to the touchline.
d. Neither side wins possession
e. The ball is unintentionally kicked out of the tunnel. Exception: If the ball is repeatedly kicked out, the referee must treat this as intentional. Sanction: Penalty. When a scrum is reset, the ball is thrown in by the team that previously threw it in.

Let us look at a different scenario: After the set call, we have one team that is dominant in the scrum, and moving forward, the prop moving backward intentionally stands up under pressure forcing him to change his bind were he is now liable to be penalised by the referee. Law 19.11.c&d states that:

c. Each prop binds by gripping the back or side of their opponent’s jersey.
d. All players’ binding is maintained for the duration of the scrum.

Hope this anserwers your question


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