Bath concede last try thanks to one of rugby's unusual laws

It’s the lesser-spotted charge down putting players onside for a try! Leicester Tigers got a huge slice of fortune for this coming off of Bath hands in their Gallagher Premiership clash. Just give it a watch…

Normally Tigers’ centre Matt Scott would be in an offiside position, but with Matt Gallagher getting fingertips on the ball as he attempted to charge down, it played Scott (and Mike Brown) onside. Scott worked the ball to Brown and it eventually found Harry Wells who had one of the easiest run-ins you’ll ever enjoy.

It was the icing on the cake for Tigers, the last try in their 48-27 win at Welford Road. However, if you don’t understand completely why this try was given, here is a bit more detail on the laws of the game around charge downs, knock-ons and offsides.

The rugby charge down laws explained

Is a charge down in open play a knock-on? Not according to the law book. As World Rugby’s laws explain it:

Law 11.5a: The ball is not knocked-on, and play continues, if: A player knocks the ball forward immediately after an opponent has kicked it (charge down).

You might also be wondering why in an action like the above, Matt Scott is considered onside when he is so far ahead of the kicker. The laws say:

Law 10.8: A player offside under Law 10.4c cannot be put onside by any action of an opponent, apart from a charge down.

And so the ball is not considered a knock-on, and in the instance above, the player ahead of the kicker is considered onside, because the last touch was by a Bath player.

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