Clip 2 - 2 February 2018 - Law 11

Knock-on?

The Shimlas win a line-out, and scrumhalf Dian Badenhorst passes a low pass to flank Benjamin Janse van Vuuren, who does not catch it. The referee blows his whistle for a knock-on.

Was it?

If it was, hoi did the ball go through his legs, which were behind his hands and ended up being his feet? It kept going backwards.

Law DEFINITIONS
Knock-on:
When a player loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, or when a player hits the ball forward with the hand or arm, or when the ball hits the hand or arm and goes forward, and the ball touches the ground or another player before the original player can catch it.
Forward: Towards the opposition’s dead-ball line.

It would seem that the ball in this instance does not go forward at all. If it does no go forward it is not a knock-on, however poor the handling may be.

It would take a long stretch of the imagination to suggest that this ball went forward from Janse van Vuuren's hands.

Way back, before Janse van Vuuren was born, there was a wise piece of Law - in Law 17 then which dealt with Knock-on or Throw-forward.

A pass, throw or knock-on should not be adjudged an infringement unless it is clearly so under the law. If there is any doubt, play should be allowed to proceed.

any doubt is not much doubt.

This piece of law is no longer in the Laws of the Game but it is probably contained in the "clear and obvious' precaution to referee in making any stoppage decision. It's not in the law but is certainly preached to referees in season and out of season.

It does occur in the TMO's protocol - twice in fact.

2.5 In reviewing the potential offence the TMO must use the criterion on each occasion that the infringement must be clear and obvious if he is to advise the referee not to award a try. If there is any doubt as to whether an offence has occurred or not the TMO must advise that an offence has not occurred.

3.4 In reviewing the potential offence the TMO must use the criterion on each occasion that the infringement must be clear and obvious and that but for the infringement a try would probably have been scored if he is to advise the referee to award a penalty try. If there is any doubt that a try would be scored the TMO must advise the award of an appropriate sanction in accordance with Law.

What's good for the TMO is good for the referee.
 

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