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Players who deliberately throw ball at defender to be penalised

Rugby League knock on

The RFL has instructed its Match Officials to penalise players for misconduct if they deliberately throw the ball at a defender caught up in the ruck.

Several instances of this have occurred in the opening two weeks of the season with fans and pundits calling for a rule to be implemented to prevent the unsportsmanlike behaviour.

This has now been acted on by Head of Match Officials Steve Ganson who says that despite the new orders, defenders could still be penalised if they impede or slow down the attacking team.

The RFL statement read: “Following a review of the first two weeks of the Betfred Super League season, it has become clear that some players are deliberately passing a ball into a player with the sole intention of forcing the Match Official to award a penalty for offside.”

“Having reviewed these incidents, Rugby Football League Head of Match Officials, Steve Ganson, has written to all Head Coaches and made it clear that in these situations, Match Officials have now been instructed to consider Section 15 (i) of the Laws of the Game which state that a player is guilty of misconduct if he behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of the game.

“This does not in any way absolve a defender of his responsibilities to clear the ruck and the defending team will still be penalised should the Match Official deem he is interfering with play.”



  1. Mason Hall

    February 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Referees should already know this as of last week where a player through the ball at an Huddersfield player, was it a forward pass to hit the player on the ground, bad decisions loos games and loos coaches there jobs. Still say the RFL tell the Refs what to do and who has to win

    • Redrose82

      March 12, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      “loos” are toilets.

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