Following a request from World Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Joël Jutge for a law interpretation, the members of the World Rugby law interpretation group have acted quickly to clarify Law 5 in relation to when there is time to take a restart near the end of a match and when time has elapsed.
As such, the clarification is as follows: The try-scoring team may elect to take the conversion or not. Providing they decline to take the kick or take the kick within the time remaining, a restart will occur and the match will end at the next stoppage within law. Time is taken from the moment the ball is struck.
The same logic applies to a penalty kick to touch. As long as the kick is taken before 80 minutes has elapsed the lineout will take place and the match will end at the next stoppage within law. Again, time is taken from the moment the ball is struck.
This clarification is part of a new, more agile law interpretation process that came into effect last year, and is to be applied effective immediately.
The members of the law interpretation group assigned to provide clarity on this law were: John Jeffrey (Chairman, Rugby Committee), Agustin Pichot (recent player representative), Nick Mallett (coach representative), Harry Schuster (World Rugby Council), Chris le Fevre (World Rugby Council).
World Rugby backs the decision made by match officials at the end of the Scotland v Wales RBS Six Nations match at Murrayfield on 15 February where this issue arose. This clarification is a new interpretation that will provide certainty for any future issues of this nature.
The full text of the clarification can be found here.