Clip 3 – 27 June 2018 - Law 14

Kevin Gourdon, France's No.8, charges ahead and makes some ground till New Zealand scrumhalf TJ Perenara tackles him by the ankles.

Gourdon falls to ground with Perenara behind him and holding his ankles. Perenara jumps to his feet, lifts his arms in the air to show release, bends down and grabs the ball.

He wins a turnover for his side. But instead of doing something worthwhile he is penalised and shown a yellow card, his ticket for 10 minutes in the sin bin. The referee says that Perenara played the ball from the wrong side of the tackle.

The commentator notes that Perenara made a good tackle, that he got to his feet and that a ruck had not been formed.

What Perenara did was certainly a tackle.


  • 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.

That Perenara released Gourdon and got to his feet to play the ball were all good.

Law 14 - Tacklers must:

  • Immediately release the ball and the ball-carrier after both players go to ground.
  • Immediately move away from the tackled player and from the ball or get up.
  • Be on their feet before attempting to play the ball.
  • Allow the tackled player to release or play the ball.
  • Allow the tackled player to move away from the ball.

Sanction: Penalty

Perenara did all of that.

But the law has changed recently. The tackler - and Perenara fits the definition of a tackler - was allowed to play the ball from "any direction". Not anymore.

Law 14.6

  • Tacklers may play the ball from the direction of their own goal-line provided they have complied with the above responsibilities and a ruck has not formed

Sanction: Penalty

Perenara was playing the ball from the direction of the French goal-line. He was moving to the ball back towards his line, not away from it.

To play the ball legally, Perenara would have had to get up and run to the front of Gourdon and approached the ball from there.

The yellow card was the result of accumulated New Zealand infringements in that part of the field. advert