Clip 1 - 12 February 2018 - Law 13

"You must let him up. You played him on the ground."

In a Sevens match between England and South Africa in Hamilton, New Zealand, Rosko Speckman of South Africa kicks a long way downfield and races after his kick. Dan Norton of England gets to the rolling ball first and falls on it. Speckman arrives, stays on his feet and bends down to try to get the ball. The referee penalises Speckman saying: "You must let him get to his feet. You played him on the ground."

The game is played only by players who are on their feet.

1. Players, who go to ground to gather the ball or who go to ground with the ball, must immediately:
Get up with the ball; or
Play (but not kick) the ball; or
Release the ball.
Sanction: Penalty.

That is what Norton was allowed to do. He tried to get to his feet but even without doing to he could have played the ball or, simply, released the ball.

Speckman is also bound by law.

Law 13.4 Players on their feet and without the ball must not fall on or over players on the ground who have the ball or who are near it. Sanction: Penalty.

Speckman did not fall on Norton.

The law, which has had lots of recent attention, still does not say that Speckman was obliged, under pain of penalty, to let Norton get to his feet before playing him or the ball he cleaved to. advert