Clip 3 - 31 May 2017 - Law 22

What about too many players on the field? What about interference in in-goal?

Robert du Preez of the Stormers kicks off to start the second half of the match with the Lions. It is a deep kick and the Lions try to run the ball from inside their own 22. About eight metres from the Lions' goal-line Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi combine to tackle Harold Vorster. The Lions win the ball back from the tackle/ruck and Ross Cronje passes back into his in-goal.

In the Lions' in-goal the Stormers' replacements are warning up. Dan Kriel is in front of the rest and near the goalposts. Cronje passes at him. Kriel avoids Cronje's pass and the ball flies over the dead-ball line. The referee awards a five-metre scrum, Stormers' ball. Cronje's gesture seems to be blaming Kriel's intrusion, even though the outfit Kriel was wearing was very different from what the Lions were wearing.

The Stormers' replacements were where they were allowed to be, doing what they were allowed to do.

World Rugby Regulation

3.5 Personnel outside of the Technical Zone
a. The replacement bench and the location of the coaches should, wherever possible, be outside the playing enclosure.
b. If replacements require to warm-up and there is not an area outside the playing enclosure, they may warm-up in the opposition in-goal area but must not use balls or any other rugby equipment in their warm-up.

The Stormers who were in the Lions' in-goal did not have balls or any other equipment.

Out of manners, it would have been better if they withdrawn to the dead-ball line but they were not wrong in being where they were.

What if the ball that Cronje passed had touched one of them?

6.A.11 THE BALL IN IN-GOAL TOUCHED BY NON-PLAYER
The referee judges what would have happened next and awards a try or a touch down at the place where the ball was touched.

Why a five-metre scrum?

Law 22.11 BALL DEAD IN IN-GOAL
(a) When the ball touches the touch-in-goal-line or the dead-ball line, or touches anything or anyone beyond those lines, the ball becomes dead. If the ball was played into in-goal by the attacking team, a drop-out shall be awarded to the defending team. If the ball was played into in-goal by the defending team, a 5-metre scrum shall be awarded and the attacking team throws in the ball
.

The referee's decision was the right one. The referee's job is to apply the Laws of the Game as made by World Rugby. That is what the referee did.
 

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