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Duty Ref 531 - Marius van der Westhuizen

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Marius van der Westhuizen is home and answering readers' questions. Home has been a brief port of call for him in the first eight rounds of Super Rugby this year.

He has been on duty in Tokyo, Singapore, Durban (twice), Canberra, Sydney and Wellington New Zealand. On Good Friday he went up to Bloemfontein. His home is in Cape Town from time to time!

1. Name: Alf Torrents

Question: In the clip shown here (https://youtu.be/9x_NLzChuBY) shouldn't Law 11.4 (f) have been (The 10-metre Law applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but is not charged down) and the try disallowed? The script supporting the clip says that it was a try?

Very many thanks All.

Marius van der Westhuizen: I cannot find the explanation on the website.

For me Alberts was offside based on the following.

a. The “kickers” team will be put back onside if the kick was charged not the “Charger's” team. (Alberts remains offside)
b. “Offside” Alberts moves forward towards the player waiting to catch the ball before he is put back onside.
c. He is would be put back onside by the player internationally touching the ball but he continued to play while still in an offside position.

He is thus offside and should be penalised.

I use the following as my reference:

Law 11.1 (a) A player who is in an offside position is liable to sanction only if the player does one of three things:
• Interferes with play or,
• Moves forward, towards the ball or
• Fails to comply with the 10-Metre Law (Law 11.4).
A player who is in an offside position is not automatically penalised.
A player who receives an unintentional throw forward is not offside.
A player can be offside in the in-goal.


Law 11.2 (None of this happened)   In general play, there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by actions of that player or of team mates:
(a) Action by the player. When the offside player runs behind the team-mate who last kicked, touched or carried the ball, the player is put onside.
(b) Action by the ball carrier. When a team-mate carrying the ball runs in front of the offside player, that player is put onside.
(c) Action by the kicker or other onside player. When the kicker, or team-mate who was level with or behind the kicker when (or after) the ball was kicked, runs in front of the offside player, the player is put onside. When running forward, the team-mate may be in touch or touch-in-goal, but that team-mate must return to the playing area to put the player onside.


Law 11.3 In general play, there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by an action of the opposing team. These three ways do not apply to a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law.
(a) Runs 5 metres with ball. When an opponent carrying the ball runs 5 metres, the offside player is put onside.
(b) Kicks or passes. When an opponent kicks or passes the ball, the offside player is put onside.
(c) Intentionally touches ball. When an opponent intentionally touches the ball but does not catch it, the offside player is put onside.


Law 11.3 (c) This happened but the player took part in the game before he was put back on side, therefore he should be penalised.

Law 11.4 (Not applicable as it was not a kick)
(a) When a team-mate of an offside player has kicked ahead, the offside player is considered to be taking part in the game if the player is in front of an imaginary line across the field which is 10 metres from the opponent waiting to play the ball, or from where the ball lands or may land. The offside player must immediately move behind the imaginary 10-metre line or the kicker if this is closer than 10 metres. While moving away, the player must not obstruct an opponent or interfere with play.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) While moving away, the offside player cannot be put onside by any action of the opposing team. However, before the player has moved the full 10 metres, the player can be put onside by any onside team-mate who runs in front of the player.
(c) When a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law charges an opponent waiting to catch the ball, the referee blows the whistle at once and the offside player is penalised. Delay may prove dangerous to the opponent.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(d) When a player who is offside under the 10-metre Law plays the ball which has been misfielded by an opponent, the offside player is penalised.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(e) The 10-metre Law is not altered by the fact that the ball has hit a goal post or a crossbar.
What matters is where the ball lands. An offside player must not be in front of the imaginary 10-metre line across the field.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(f) The 10-metre Law does not apply when a player kicks the ball, and an opponent charges down the kick, and a team-mate of the kicker who was in front of the imaginary 10-metre line across the field then plays the ball. The opponent was not ‘waiting to play the ball’ and the team-mate is onside. The 10-metre Law applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but is not charged down.
Sanction: When a player is penalised for being offside in general play, the opposing team chooses either a penalty kick at the place of infringement or a scrum at the place where the offending team last played the ball. If it was last played in that team’s in-goal, the scrum is formed 5 metres from the goal line in line with where it was played.

(g) If more than one player is offside and moving forward after a team-mate has kicked ahead, the place of infringement is the position of the offside player closest to an opponent waiting for the ball, or closest to where the ball lands.
Hope this makes sense?

Regards
Marius

2. Name: Shaun Weir

Question: With regards to a general warning given to a team for repeated infringements, can you yellow card a player off a general warning? Does the team accept responsibility, meaning the next person to offend gets a yellow and then the following person a red (different players but the same team)?

Marius van der Westhuizen: Hi Shaun,

Yes, the referee will apply Law 10.3 in this situation. If the referee deems that a team is repeatedly infringing the same law they must be “cautioned”. If they commit the same infringement again a player must be temporarily suspended (Yellowcarded).

Law 10.3 (b) Repeated infringements by the team. When different players of the same team repeatedly commit the same offence, the referee must decide whether or not this amounts to repeated infringement. If it does, the referee gives a general warning to the team and if they then repeat the offence, the referee cautions and temporarily suspends the guilty player(s).
Sanction: Penalty kick


In the past, there was made mention under Law 10.3 (b) that if the same infringement is committed after the Yellow card was issued that the next player should be sent off (Red Carded), However in the latest 2017 Law book, it is not the case anymore. This suggests that if the same infringement is committed that the next player will also be Yellow carded.

Regards
Marius

3. Name: Peter Shortell

Question: A player who is ahead of a kicker, but not offside under the 10m law is not required to retreat, but may wait to be put on-side. If he is put onside by some action of the opponents, does this free him up entirely, or does Law 11.9 apply? Do you have any examples of it being applied in this or any other situation?

Marius van der Westhuizen: Hi Peter,

Good question.

The answer in short is Yes. If the player is offside in general play BUT not offside under the 10m law is he is not required to retreat. HOWEVER he is liable to be penalised if he takes part in play or moves forward towards the ball before he is put back onside. Either by his own team mates or opponents. The definition of the offside law as well as law 11.1 is very clear in this instance.

Law 11 Definition:
At the start of a game all players are onside. As the match progresses players may find themselves in an offside position. Such players are then liable to be penalised until they become onside again.
In general play a player is offside if the player is in front of a team-mate who is carrying the ball, or in front of a team-mate who last played the ball.
Offside means that a player is temporarily out of the game. Such players are liable to be penalised if they take part in the game.
In general play, a player can be put onside either by an action of a team-mate or by an action of an opponent. However, the offside player cannot be put onside if the offside player interferes with play; or moves forward, towards the ball, or fails to move 10 metres away from the place where the ball lands.


Law 11.1 (a) A player who is in an offside position is liable to sanction only if the player does one of three things:
• Interferes with play or,
• Moves forward, towards the ball or
• Fails to comply with the 10-Metre Law (Law 11.4).
A player who is in an offside position is not automatically penalised.
A player who receives an unintentional throw forward is not offside.
A player can be offside in the in-goal.
(b) Offside and interfering with play. A player who is offside must not take part in the game. This means the player must not play the ball or obstruct an opponent.
(c) Offside and moving forward. When a team-mate of an offside player has kicked ahead, the offside player must not move towards opponents who are waiting to play the ball, or move towards the place where the ball lands, until the player has been put onside.
Sanction: When a player is penalised for being offside in general play, the opposing team chooses either a penalty kick at the place of infringement or a scrum at the place where the offending team last played the ball. If it was last played in that team’s in-goal, the scrum is formed 5 metres from the goal line in line with where it was played.


Unfortunately, no instances spring to mind, But I will keep it in mind when watching the games this coming weekend and hopefully we can upload an example of this.

Hope this makes sense.

Regards
Marius

4. Name: Rodney Tuisavalalo

Question: After reading Law 12, there's some confusion on what is deemed a knock-on. Here's the situation: #9 makes a high pass to a trailing player. Player reaches out and tips the ball in mid-air, but the ball's velocity keeps it traveling 'backwards'. Is it considered a knock-on if the ball travels backwards, but upon hitting the ground the ball then bounces forward towards the defending goal? I have been calling it a knock-on because I think the player's contact with the ball affects the motion of the ball as it travels backwards. If it then bounces forward towards the defending goal to me that's a knock-on. Yes? No?

Marius van der Westhuizen: Hi Rodney,

You should judge the direction of the ball after it hits the hand or arm of the player and before it hits the ground or another player. If the direction is backwards it is not a knock-on. What happens to the ball after it hits the ground or another player is irrelevant.

Please see the definition.

Law 12 A knock-on occurs when a player loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, or when a player hits the ball forward with the hand or arm, or when the ball hits the hand or arm and goes forward, and the ball touches the ground or another player before the original player can catch it.
‘Forward’ means towards the opposing team’s dead ball line.

If a player in tackling an opponent makes contact with the ball and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier’s hands, that is a knock-on.
If a player rips the ball or deliberately knocks the ball from an opponent's hands and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier's hands, that is not a knock-on.

I suggest the way you will be calling it may change in the future after this explanation?
All the best for your upcoming games.

Regards
Marius

5. Name Faizel Holmes

Question: When does retaliation get penalised?

Willie hits me with a punch. I retaliate and punch him. Who gets penalised?

Willie holds me back by my jersey. I punch him. Who gets penalised?

Willie trips me. I get up and punch him. Who gets penalised?

Thank you.

Marius van der Westhuizen: Hi Faizel,

Retaliation should never take place and if it does it should be penalised. However this will only apply on how the game is restarted. Both players could still be yellowcarded or redcarded and the most serious or last action should be penalised.

Willie hits me with a punch. I retaliate and punch him. Who gets penalised?  Willie should be penalised first and the penalty kick reversed for the retaliation and both players be yellow or redcarded. The player who retaliated should be penalised.

Willie holds me back by my jersey. I punch him. Who gets penalised? Willie Should be penalised for the holding back and the penalty kick reversed for the punch. If the holding back is a cynical infringement it should be yellowcarded and the severity of the punch should also be dealt with either a Yellow Card or a Red Card. The last action should be penalised.

Willie trips me. I get up and punch him. Who gets penalised? Willie should be penalised for the trip and yellowcarded or redcarded based on the severity of the trip, then the punch should be dealt with based on the severity, either a yellow card or a red card. The punch was the last action so that should be penalised.

I think you should now understand the process that we follow. The main thing is the initial foul play should not be ignored but retaliation should always be penalised.

Regards
Marius

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