Unseen footage shows why Scotland’s illegal try robbed England of victory
Scotland have been widely praised for the first try they scored against England on Saturday in the opening round of the Six Nations at Murrayfield.
The quick lineout, changing the direction of attack with an ’11 Play’, Stuart Hogg’s pass, Darcy Graham’s line and step, and the support line from Ben White made this all a spectacular try. However, it never should have stood.
England shared a clip of the try in their latest episode of Inside Line- The Next Level this week, which shows a new angle to their quick lineout. As England only had one man in the line, Scotland were more allowed to do it, but rugby law 18.6 states “The ball must reach the five-metre line before it is played and a player must not prevent the ball from travelling five metres.”
When rewatching this lineout, the receiver Jamie Ritchie has half of his front foot in front of the five metre line. That is ok, but his hands look to be in front of his foot when he receives the ball, and furthermore catches it at the apex of the ball. That means the majority of the ball is in front of his hands, which are in front of his foot, which is in front of the five metre line. Though it is marginal, there is a good chance that this should have been a free-kick to England rather than an eventual try to Scotland.
Take a look and see for yourself:
Eddie Jones has already been critical of referee Ben O’Keefe in an oblique way given the way the final minutes of the match were officiated, where Jones clearly feels England should have been awarded a scrum penalty. He has not commented on this incident, but this will only make him feel more hard done by.
England will hope to bounce back this Sunday when they take on Italy in Rome.