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Tag Law Clarification

Tag Law Clarification

Law 3.6 states:
If an attacking Ball Carrier touches the ground with the knees or arms before the tryline, or slides across the tryline and then grounds the ball, a Try may be awarded, save where Law 5.6 applies.

Law 3.3 States:
Attackers may dive to score a Try when the ball is in their possession and there is no Defender within ten (10) metres. The referee may at his/her discretion not award a Try where an Attacker dives in order to ground the ball.

Law 5.6 states:

If the Ball Carrier falls or dives to the ground, and a Defender is within tagging distance, a tag shall be counted. A Try shall not be awarded if the Attacker in possession of the ball falls or dives over the tryline and in doing so prevents a Tagging. The Ball Carrier shall be asked to conduct a Ruck Ball no less than five (5) metres out from the tryline and the tag count will continue. If this occurs on the last tag a Changeover will occur. 

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In essence, law 3.3 is contradicted by Law 5.6.

For clarity and consistency we will use law 5.6 as this is consistent with policy in other areas of the pitch. If a player in possesion dives or falls to the ground and in doing so prevents a tagging, or if there is an opponent within tagging distance, a tag should be called. If there is no defender within tagging distance a player that falls or dives to the ground may score a try or may get back to their feet and play can continue.

As a result, Law 3.3 will not be used but 5.6 applied instead.


To download full copy of IRFU Tag Laws document (PDF format), click here.

To learn more about refereeing IRFU Tag, click here.