Clip 3 - 12 December 2017 - Law 10

"A long transfer." What on earth is that?

Jacques du Toit of Cheetahs throws into a line-out. Up goes Rynier Bernado to catch the ball. He hands it to flank, Oupa Mohoje, his captain. The Cheetahs drive ahead but the referee penalises them for obstruction.

The referee explains his decision as "a long transfer and then coming back into the jumper. It's obstruction".

The long arm transfer is not in the laws but it was a part of World Rugby's 2016 guidelines:

The maul

For implementation:
January 1st 2016 in Southern Hemisphere
June 1st 2016 in Northern Hemisphere

The ball can be moved backwards hand-to-hand once the maul has formed. A player is not allowed to move/slide backwards in the maul when the player is in possession of the ball and the ripper needs to stay in contact with the jumper until they have transferred the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

What is in the laws is what happened in this case.

Mohoje was being Bernado and his supporters and detached from him and them. Bernado handed Mohoje the ball. But then the infringement came for Mohoje drove ahead into Bernado who was in front of him and formed a buffer between Mohoje and the Kings players.

In the simplified laws obstruction is not dealt with under Law 9 which used to be Law 10.

Law 9 Foul play


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

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

The penalty was correct, long transfer notwithstanding!

In fact the reasoning behind forbidding the long transfer or the sliding back of the player who gets the ball from the jumper is to protect the integrity of the maul by ensuring that it is correctly formed and that the defenders have a fair chance to defend against it. advert