Clip 2 - 27 May 2016 - Law 22
Control, downward pressure and a try.
This is more about what the commentator said - with great infallibility - and broadcast to the rugby world as about what happened. It is good to get something clear.
The Chiefs attack the Hurricanes and Seta Tamanivalu beats two defenders on his way to the goal-line, but he stumbles and falls and, as he does so, he stretches out his right hand to ground the ball. The referee consults the TMO.
In the meantime the commentator says: "He's not got control of it. He's let it go. You can tell how high the ball has bounced."
The TMO then says: There is no clear and obvious separation and we can award the try."
The referee agrees and awards the try.
Commentator: "I honestly think that's rubbish. You cannot say that you can ground the ball with fingernails. You haven't got control of the ball as you're putting it down with downward pressure over the line."
Let's look at the law.
Law 22.1 GROUNDING THE BALL
There are two ways a player can ground the ball:
(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.
Tamanivalu is holding the ball. He has been holding it as he passed one defender, then two defenders. He is holding it as he stretches out to the line.
The "no clear and obvious separation" that the TMO talks about is between hand and ball. If there had been clear separation between hand and ball, it would mean that Tamanivalu is no longer holding the ball.
The TMO cannot detect a clear and obvious separation and so he recommends that the try be awarded.
NOWHERE IS 'CONTROL' MENTIONED.
NO DOWNWARD PRESSURE IS REQUIRED.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BALL AFTER GROUNDING IS IRRELEVANT.
WHETHER THE COMMENTATOR THINKS ITS RUBBISH OR NOT IS IRRELEVANT.
But the inaccuracy of what he says is relevant. It is not good to broadcast inaccurate information to the world.