Clip 2 - 20 June 2018 - Law 14

With time running out, The All Blacks, with a huge lead, attack the French line. Flank Ardie Savea picks up the ball and barges ahead.

Prop Cyril Baille (17) grabs Savea's ankle. Savea lurches on and French No.8 Fabien Sanconnie tries to bring him down from above. Savea goes onto this knees, the ball still in his possession.

The ball is still Savea's possession when he powers to the line, where the referee awards a try. Baptiste Serin, the French replacement scrumhalf, makes a gesture to consult the TMO but the referee stands by his decision.

Law Definition
A tackle occurs when the ball-carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground.

Is Savea brought to ground?


  • For a tackle to occur, the ball-carrier is held and brought to ground by one or more opponents.
  • Being brought to ground means that the ball-carrier is lying, sitting or has at least one knee on the ground or on another player who is on the ground.
  • Being held means that a tackler must continue holding the ball-carrier until the ball-carrier is on the ground.
  1. Savea has both knees on the ground.
  2. Baille is hanging onto Savea's lower leg.
  3. Sanconnie is holding onto Savea's back,
  4. Savea is tackled.

As a tackled player, there are do's and don'ts for Savea.

Law 14.5: Tackled players must immediately:

  • Make the ball available so that play can continue by releasing, passing or pushing the ball in any direction except forward. They may place the ball in any direction.
  • Move away from the ball or get up.
  • Ensure that they do not lie on, over or near the ball to prevent opposition players from gaining possession of it.

Sanction: Penalty

Savea is allowed to release, pass, push or place the ball.

  1. He does none of those things.
  2. He gets up with the ball, which is not one of the actions he is allowed
  3. He was certainly penalisable.

It was not Serin's place to make the suggestion but if the referee had consulted the TMO, the try may well not have been awarded. advert