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Duty Ref 563: AJ Jacobs

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Gugu Nkambule

Question: How must the props bind when the front rows engage?; Loosehead prop binds outside the tight head's right arm Tight head prop binds outside the loose head's left arm Tight head prop may bind on the loosehead prop's upper arm Tight head prop may opt not to bind All props must bind on the back or side of the opposing props' bodies Once bound, props may exert upward or downward pressure on opponents.

Answer: It seems to me you don’t need me on this question. You have answered it correctly and well done for that.

Law 19.11 - When both sides are square, stable, and stationary, the referee calls “bind”.

  • Each loose-head prop binds by placing the left arm inside the right arm of the opposing tight-head prop.
  • Each tight-head prop binds by placing the right arm outside the left upper arm of the opposing loose-head prop.
  • Each prop binds by gripping the back or side of their opponent’s jersey.
  • All players’ binding is maintained for the duration of the scrum.

Nirmal de Alwis

Question: Can an attacking team lift two players at the same time in a lineout?

Answer: A good question and if you mean 2 jumping pods the answer is YES, let's see what the Law says in this department called the Lineout.

Law 18.29 - Once the lineout has commenced, any player in the lineout may:

A              Compete for possession of the ball.
B              Catch or deflect the ball. A jumper may catch or deflect the ball with the outside arm only if they have both hands                     above their head. Sanction: Free-kick.
C              Lift or support a team-mate. Players who do so must lower that player to the ground safely as soon as the ball is                     won by either team. Sanction: Free-kick.

Vuyo Shongwe

Question: Is it allowed for 3 or more teammates to protect the ball receiver while the ball is in the air on open play?

Answer: Hi Vuyo. I like the way you think and with the kicking game that has increased in the game, you see this a lot.

So if I understand your scenario correctly they will be in front of the receiver that is going to catch the ball. So that means they are in front of the teammate attempting to catch the ball putting them in an offside position. As referees what are our expectations from these players trying to help their teammates:

- they are allowed to run towards the ball or teammate at any speed
- not allowed to change lanes or obstruct an opponent trying to get to the ball or ball carrier.

Let's see what the law states - Law 9: Obstruction

1. When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.

2. An offside player must not intentionally obstruct an opponent or interfere with play.

3. A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball carrier.

4. A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from having the opportunity to play the ball, other than by competing for possession.

5. A ball-carrier must not intentionally run into an off-side team-mate to obstruct the opposition.

6. A player must not obstruct, or in any way interfere with an opponent while the ball is dead.
Sanction: Penalty.

Based on the above the teammates in front of the catcher, who are offside, will be sanctioned for obstruction should they prevent the opponents from competing for the ball.

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