Former Irish rugby player Bernard Jackman is fast becoming one of the most highly regarded pundits around with his straight-talking – yet highly analytical thoughts being projected through the television channel, RTE Sport. It’s his thoughts on the recent ‘Dupont Law’ that has people talking this week, after describing it as ‘madness’ on a recent show.
“It’s called the Dupont law because a year and a half ago Antoine Dupont, the French captain, went to the referee before the match and explained that on the kick tennis battles, they don’t actually have to retreat”, Jackman told the panel.
Explaining why, Barnard explained: “As long as they stay static and the catcher of the ball runs five metres, then they’re onside.
“There’s been a game recently in the premiership where there were 14 kicks back and forth, and everyone else in the middle of the field were not having to move, and that’s wrong.”
The game in question was Bath against Gloucester, when Bath’s players decided to remain in the opposition half during the process of kick tennis in an attempt to put the receiver under pressure.
Bath very in tune with the Dupont loophole that states you can advance from an offside position once a catcher has travelled five metres.
When Will Muir finally does get a charge-down, though, Gloucester benefit from the ricochet.
Please can we close the loophole? It’s trash. pic.twitter.com/PZAao1Spvk
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) January 7, 2024
The law indicates that the receiving players need only run the ball five metres before the previously offside attackers are allowed to approach and then tackle them, meaning that the likes of Will Muir were allowed to remain within 10 metres of the Gloucester players receiving the ball.
Jackman went on to explain the major issues that this loophole is currently causing the game: “Also because we’re not having to move, it doesn’t open up the opportunity to counter-attack so the only way to break out of that is to take contact, but the player will get turned over because all their players are behind the ball, or you put up a Gary Owen.
“I think it’s an area that we have to change because we don’t want to see the ball just being kicked 50 meters 50 meters, 50 meters, there’s no counter attack developing. We could have just actually stopped there as long as no one moved, it could just taking a break and play – it’s madness.”
— Bernard Jackman (@bernardjackman) February 5, 2024