1. if there is defensive scrum where at time of put-in the no.8's feet are in the 22 can the defending team kick to touch directly and gain ground?
my answer to this was yes because the scrum is in the 22. Is this correct, or should the "are you in the 22" decision be made based on where the mark for the scrum is?
a. Mark for scrum inside 22 – kick directly out – gain in ground
b. mark for scrum outside 22 (i.e. ball travels over the 22-meter line while in the scrum) – kick directly out – no gain in ground
The mark is where the scrum is regardless of its length. The fact that part of it is in the 22 is of no interest.
Compare this to a 5-yard scrum which is pushed back towards the goal-line – the scrum only ends when the ball enters the in-goal area.
2. if a scrum starts in the 22 (regardless of the above), and the defending team pushes the scrum out of the 22, can the defending team kick to touch directly and gain ground?
my answer to this was yes as the phase of play started in the 22. I am more confident I am correct on this one, and while it may seem an unlikely thing to happen, but I can see other applications of the same principle (e.g. scrum in 22, 9 passes to 10, 10 goes over the 22 and passes to 11 who is in the 22 and kicks directly to touch to gain ground).
Scrum begins inside the 22 but then is pushed out by the defense – their choice to leave the 22. If the ball is then played back in and kicked directly to touch – No gain in ground