Clip 3 - 15 March 2017 - Law 10

Does the French scrumhalf do anything right?

The French scrumhalf, Baptiste Serin, puts the ball into a scrum. The scrum falls down, the ball comes out and No.8 Louis Picamoles picks the ball up. The referee penalises Serin.

Serin may not be standing in the right place.
The ball may not be held in the right way.
Serin certainly does not put the ball in straight.

Law 20.6 How the scrumhalf throws in the ball
(a) The scrumhalf must stand one metre from the mark on the middle line so that player’s head does not touch the scrum or go beyond the nearest front row player.
Sanction: Free Kick
(b) The scrumhalf must hold the ball with both hands, with its major axis parallel to the ground and to the touchline over the middle line between the front rows, mid-way between knee and ankle.
Sanction: Free Kick
(c) The scrumhalf must throw in the ball at a quick speed. The ball must be released from the scrumhalf’s hands from outside the tunnel.
Sanction: Free Kick
(d) The scrumhalf must throw in the ball straight along the middle line, so that it first touches the ground immediately beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders.
Sanction: Free Kick

Serin may well infringe all of those.

The ball is in the scrum and moving towards the No.8.

Law 20.12 (b) Offside for scrumhalves. When a team has won the ball in a scrum, the scrumhalf of that team is offside if both feet are in front of the ball while it is still in the scrum. If the scrumhalf has only one foot in front of the ball, the scrumhalf is not offside.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Serin certainly stays in front of the ball - with both feet.

His object is to stop the Irish scrumhalf, Conor Murray, from following the ball down the scrum.

Law 10.1 (c) Blocking the tackler. A player must not intentionally move or stand in a position that prevents an opponent from tackling a ball carrier.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(d) Blocking the ball. A player must not intentionally move or stand in a position that prevents an opponent from playing the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Serin would seem to infringe (d) first then (c) and then (d).

Then he quite deliberately grabs Murray's journey to hamper the Irishman's attempt to get to Picamoles. The referee sees this and penalises Serin.

Law 10.4 (f) Playing an opponent without the ball. Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, a player who is not in possession of the ball must not hold, push or obstruct an opponent not carrying the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

If ever a scrumhalf deserved sanctioning, Serin did.

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