How do you score trys?

Updated: 9/28/2023
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13y ago

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The process is simple. The attacking team carrying the ball will progress the game by passing the ball to a team mate in the correct manner or by kicking the ball ahead, collecting it and then;

The player holding the ball to score a try and the ball itself must not be in touch or touch-in-goal (including on or over the dead ball line). The touchline, touch-in-goal lines and dead ball lines count as being 'out'. There has to be contact with the ground or corner flag by a player or the ball for it to be ruled in touch or touch-in-goal. Parts of the body in the air above the lines and outside the field of play or in-goal are not touch, and it is common to see players who are partly in the air over the lines still ground the ball successfully.

The in-goal area in which the ball must be grounded includes the goal line but not the touch-in-goal and dead ball lines.

Grounding the ball in both codes means either holding it and touching it to the ground in-goal, or placing hand, arm or front of body between waist and neck (the front torso) on top of the ball which is on the ground in-goal.

A player does not need to be holding the ball to ground it. If the ball is on the ground or just above it, it can be touched to the ground with a hand, arm or front torso. Match officials interpret dropping the ball in-goal as a knock-on, and disallow a try. For a try to be awarded they consider whether the player had the intention to ground the ball and the control of it when they did. Grounding of the ball can be instantaneous, it does not matter if the player immediately lets go and the ball then bounces forward.

An attacking player who falls to the ground before reaching the goal line scores a try if momentum carries the player so that the ball touches the in-goal including the goal line.

These are common in both code

In Union only

  • A player may ground the ball in one of two ways: (1) if the ball is held in the hand(s) or arm(s), merely touching the ball to the ground in-goal suffices and no downward pressure is required; (2) if the ball is on the ground in-goal, downward pressure from the hand(s), arm(s) or upper body (waist to neck) is required. For a try to be awarded, an attacking player must ground the ball before a defender does so. If there is doubt about which team first grounded the ball, the attacking team are awarded a 5-metre scrum.

A player who is in touch or touch-in-goal, but who is not carrying the ball, may score a try by grounding the ball in-goal.

The goal-posts and padding at ground level are part of the goal line and therefore of the in-goal, so a try may be scored by grounding the ball at the foot of the posts.

A player may ground the ball in a scrum as soon as the ball reaches or crosses the goal line. (The laws governing the scrum do not apply to the in-goal area so as soon as the ball crosses the line, players may unbind and ground the ball.)

If an attacking player is tackled short of the goal-line but immediately reaches out and places the ball on or over the goal-line, a try is scored. (This is a direct contrast to Rugby league which would award a penalty for "double movement", see below. There is occasionally confusion amongst spectators and players at community levels of the game and an incorrect protest of "double movement" is a common one at English rugby union matches.)

If a television match official (TMO, or video referee) has been appointed, the referee may ask for advice before deciding whether to award a try, but under current protocols the TMO may only advise on whether the ball was properly grounded, on whether the ball or ball-carrier went into touch or touch-in-goal in the act of scoring; and on any foul play that may have occurred.

In league only

The laws of rugby league still refer to the need for "downward pressure" to be exerted in grounding the ball with hand or arm.

The laws of rugby league specify that a try is scored if an attacker grounds the ball simultaneously with a defender.

An attacking player whose momentum does not allow the ball to reach the try-line or in-goal after their ball-carrying arm touches the ground may not reach out to score if a defender is in contact with them; this is disallowed by interpretation as a "double movement".

The goal posts and padding are not part of the goal line so grounding the ball at the foot of the posts will not result in a try.

Players who are in touch-in-goal and not carrying the ball may not score a try by pressing a loose ball still in play to the ground.

A try may not be scored in a scrum which crosses the goal line, but when the ball comes out of scrum a player may pick it up and 'bore through' their own scrum to score a try.

Video referees in rugby league are given a wider scope to look at the validity of a try and if the video is inconclusive, the decision is sent back to the referee ("ref's call"). Referees often give the benefit of the doubt in favour of the attacking team in such cases

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13y ago
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9y ago

The attacking player must place the ball down with downward pressure in a controlled manner on the try line OR anywhere in the "in goal " area. In addition if an attacking player places the ball at the foot of either goal post this is also considered a try as the base of the post is situated in the white line. This includes if the posts have protective padding - the base of the padding is considered part of the try line/post

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