Clip 4 - 22 November 2017 - Law 16

Genia cunning.

Australia attacks the Welsh line. They bash and bash. Scott Sio charges and is brought down by Taulupe Faletau. Other players join the action and a ruck is formed. The ball comes back to Will Genia, Australia's scrumhalf, who nudges it back into the ruck with his left foot.

Ned Hanigan picks up and bashes forward but is brought down by Rob Evans. Again the ball comes back to Genia who nudges it back. Eventually, Australia goes wide and Michael Hooper scores a try.

In both cases - after a charge by Sio and the charge by Hanigan - rucks were formed in the reformed definition of a ruck.

A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler).

What Genia did is forbidden by law.

16.4 Other ruck offences
(a) Players must not return the ball into a ruck.
Sanction: Free Kick

Wales would have liked a free kick here.

If it is not regarded as returning the ball to a ruck, it is at least a case of accidental offside.

11.6 Accidental offside
(a) When an offside player cannot avoid being touched by the ball or by a team-mate carrying it, the player is accidentally offside. If the player’s team gains no advantage from this, play continues. If the player’s team gains an advantage, a scrum is formed with the opposing team throwing in the ball.

* Offside player - one in front of a team-mate who last played the ball, in the first case Sio and Rob Simmons (4); in the second case Sean McMahon. None of those players could avoid being touched by the ball prodded forward by Genia's boot.

Wales would probably have preferred to have a scrum of their own to a try to Australia. advert