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I have just started watching League and Union Rugby and have been trying to familiarize myself with the rules.

While watching this evening's NRL match between the Storm and Cowboys, a cowboys player was penalized for catching a forward-kicked ball that a storm player had kicked toward the try zone. Effectively, his grabbing the rolling, forward-kicked ball prevented it from rolling into the try zone.

Knowing that forward kicks can be caught and played in other contexts (such as a "punt" which is made before the 6th tackle is achieved) I was confused as to why this would not be allowed.

Also, earlier in the game, a Queensland player fell on top of a forward kicked ball to prevent it from going into the try zone after it had bounced off the post of the upright and this was okay. And, I know that a defending player can also lay on top of the ball in the try zone to prevent the offense from scoring.

What are the differences in these situations, or could someone please point me in the right direction for the rule on this?

  • At what point in the match? – Nij Oct 1 '17 at 20:52
  • Thank you for trying to answer. I think it was right before the Storm scored their third try. Meaning, I think that the try that the storm scored right after this penalty was their third. And I believe that it happened right before half time around the 37-38 minute mark. – Shortbus47XYY Oct 1 '17 at 23:55
  • One of the possibilities that I thought of is that maybe the player knocked on. The way that he dove onto the ball it was very hard to see whether or not he held onto it (he fell over top of it as he jumped). The broadcasters just said "oh my! I don't know what he was thinking there, I guess he just figured he had to get there to stop it." So they did not clarify what the error was. Is it possible that he just knocked on and I did not notice? – Shortbus47XYY Oct 1 '17 at 23:57

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