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Five points for a try
The try

A try is the most exciting way of scoring in rugby union.

They are worth five points - the maximum number of points you can score in one go in rugby union.

A try is scored when a player touches the ball down inside the opposition's in-goal area between the try line and dead ball line.

This area includes the goal-line itself (but not the side or backlines) and the posts (even if the part of the post touched is not over the goal-line).

A player must either

  • Touch the ground with the ball - the player touches the ground with the ball while holding it in the hand or arms. No downward pressure is required.

  • Press down on the ball - if the ball is on the ground in the in-goal area the player must apply downward pressure "with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the body from waist to neck inclusive".

It is quite often hard to tell if downward pressure has been applied if the player is chasing a bouncing ball.

In international matches, the referee can refer the decision to a colleague in the stands who can watch a television replay.

If a defensive player touches the ball first, the referee will award a 22-metre drop out (unless the defensive player carried or threw the ball into the in-goal area in the first place, in which case a five-metre scrum is awarded, with the feed awarded to the attacking side).

The referee can award a penalty try (five points) if a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent.

The try is said to have been scored between the posts (so the conversion kick is taken directly in front of goal).

If a player is tackled short of the goal-line, but can still reach over to ground the ball, or if their momentum carries them over, a try is awarded.


If a scrum or ruck is pushed into the in-goal, an attacking player may legally ground the ball as soon as the ball reaches or crosses the goal-line and a pushover try is scored.

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