Know how to use advantage in rugby games. Know and understand why you must play to the whistle.


To encourage attacking play and to prevent teams from benefitting by breaking the rules.

If one team breaks the rules, play normally stops and some form of penalty is given against that team.

In some cases that may hurt the opposing team.

Say one team breaks the rules but the other team is in a good position and is about to score a try. It would be unfair to the attacking team to stop play at that point. It would prevent them from scoring.

To take care of this situation and even extend it, the match official may allow play to continue even after the rules have clearly been broken.

How the rule affects play

When the rules are broken, the match official...

  • Stops the game if letting play continue will not help the other team. The rule breakers are penalised.
  • Allows play to continue if there is a possibility that the other team may benefit. If the other team does benefit, play just continues as if the rules have not been broken. If the other team does not benefit, play stops and is restarted at the place where the rules were broken. The rule breakers are penalised.

So remember, even if the rules are broken...