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Rugby Laws Explained: Law 18 “The Lineout”

Former Munster, Connacht and Ireland 'A' scrum half Frank Murphy is part of the match official panel for the GUINNESS PRO14 final series ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The IRFU’s High Performance Referees continue their series of explaining the laws of the game with Frank Murphy this week looking at Law 18 “The Lineout”.

When play reaches a touchline, the ball is in touch and becomes dead.  Quick-throws and lineouts are methods of restarting the game with a throw after the ball or ball-carrier has gone into touch.

The sections and sanctions associated with Law 18 that are explored this week are:

Law 18.10: 

Each team must form a line half a metre from the mark
The gap must be maintained until the ball is thrown in

SANCTION: Free-kick

Law 18.23.a:

The ball must be thrown in straight along the mark of touch

SANCTION: Option of Scrum or Lineout to Opposition

Law 18.29.e:

A player can grasp and bring an opponent in possession of the ball to ground, provided that the player is not in the air

SANCTION:  Penalty

Law 18.37.a:

The lineout ends when the ball or player in possession:

(i) Leaves the lineout (ii) Enters the area between touchline and the 5m line (iii) Goes beyond the 15m line