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12 Kick-off and restart kicks

    Principle

    Kick-offs are used to start each half of the match or period of extra-time. Restart kicks resume play after a score or touch-down.

  1. All kick-offs and restart kicks are drop kicks. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the option of the kick being retaken or a scrum.
  2. Kick-off

    Kick-offs and restart kicks following a score

  3. Kick-offs are taken on or behind the centre of the half-way line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the option of the kick being retaken or a scrum.
  4. The opponents of the team who kicked off the match start the second half.
  5. After a team has scored, their opponents restart play on or behind the centre of the half-way line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the option of the kick being retaken or a scrum.
  6. When the ball is kicked:
    1. Team-mates of the kicker must be behind the ball. Sanction: Scrum.
    2. Opposition players must be on or behind the 10-metre line. Sanction: The kick is retaken.
  7. The ball must reach the 10-metre line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the option of the kick being retaken or a scrum.
  8. If the ball reaches the 10-metre line but is then blown back or if an opponent plays the ball before it reaches the 10-metre line, play continues.
  9. If the ball goes directly into touch, the non-kicking team chooses one of the following:
    1. The kick being retaken.
    2. Scrum.
    3. Lineout.
    4. Quick-throw.
  10. If the ball is kicked into the opponents’ in-goal without touching any player and an opponent grounds the ball without delay or it goes dead through in-goal, the non-kicking team has the option of having the kick retaken or a scrum.
  11. If the ball is kicked into the kicking team’s own in-goal and is made dead by a defending player or it goes dead through in-goal, the non-kicking team is awarded a five-metre scrum.
  12. Restart kicks following a touch-down (22-metre drop-out)

  13. Apart from at a kick-off or restart kick, if the ball is played or taken into in-goal by an attacking player and is made dead by an opponent, play is restarted with a 22-metre drop-out.
  14. A 22-metre drop-out:
    1. Is taken anywhere on or behind the defending team’s 22-metre line. Sanction: Scrum.
    2. Must be taken without delay. Sanction: Free-kick.
    3. Must cross the 22-metre line. Sanction: The non-kicking team has the option of the kick being retaken or a scrum.
    4. Must not go directly into touch. Sanction: The opposing team chooses one of the following:
      1. The drop-out being retaken; or
      2. A scrum; or
      3. A lineout; or
      4. A quick-throw.
  15. An opponent must not charge over the 22-metre line before the ball is kicked. Sanction: Free-kick.
  16. An opponent, who is inside the kicker’s 22, may not delay or obstruct the drop-out. Sanction: Penalty.
  17. If the ball crosses the 22-metre line but is then blown back, play continues.
  18. If the ball does not cross the 22-metre line, advantage may apply.
  19. If a 22-metre drop-out reaches the opponents’ in-goal without touching any player and an opponent grounds the ball without delay or it goes into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead-ball line, the non-kicking team has the option of having the kick retaken or a scrum.
  20. The team-mates of the kicker must be behind the ball when it is kicked. Those who are in front of the ball when it is kicked may be sanctioned unless they retire and do not interfere with play until they are put onside by the actions of a team-mate. Sanction: Scrum.
  21. Drop-out