RFL clamps down on play the ball gamesmanship

The RFL has issued a statement confirming that it is asking referees to clamp down on incidents of unsportsmanlike behaviour at the play the ball.

A number of incidents have occurred in recent games where the dummy half has deliberately passed the ball into opposition players who are lingering around the ruck, in order to win penalties.

Josh Jones of Salford actually threw the ball forward into Danny Brough of Huddersfield in once incident like on Sky.

The RFL statement reads:

“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.”

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