Clip 1 - 21 October 2014 - Law 19

Slowing play down.

At a scrum, the referee freekicks the Sharks and Warren Whiteley of the Golden Lions takes a quick tap and move the ball to attack. Jaco van der Walt grubbers the ball ahead but André Esterhuizen of the Sharks gets to the ball first. He is grabbed by Lionel Mapoe and Jaco Kriel who shove Esterhuizen into touch. Kriel on his feet tries to get the ball from Esterhuizen who hangs on. Kriel certainly want to play quickly. By the time Kriel has the ball the possibility of a quick throw-in is gone, but the referee then penalises Esterhuizen.

Law 19.2 (i) If a player carrying the ball is forced into touch, that player must release the ball to an opposition player so that there can be a quick throw-in.
Sanction: Penalty kick on 15-metre line

Esterhuizen did not release the ball so Kriel so that there could be a quick throw-in.

The referee was right to penalise.

The referee also used a yellow card to send Esterhuizen to the sin bin.

(a) Intentionally Offending. A player must not intentionally infringe any Law of the Game, or play unfairly. The player who intentionally offends must be either admonished, or cautioned that a send off will result if the offence or a similar offence is committed, or sent off.
Sanction: Penalty kick
A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored. A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off.

Esterhuizen clearly was offending and he was doing it with the intention of preventing a quick throw-in - intentionally in other words.

The referee had three courses of action:

send off.

admonishment = warning
caution = yellow card, i.e. sin-binning
send off = red card.

The referee chose the middle one as has become the norm in South Africa.

The commentator's comments on Esterhuizen's options are of extremely dubious morality. The end simply does not justify the means. advert