Clip 1 – 29 March 2019 - Law 9

The places where things happen are relevant.

On the Lions 22 and near touch, Sylvian Mahuza of the Lions kicks downfield. After he has kicked, Semisi Masirewa of the Sunwolves, knocks him into touch.

The ball lands about 14 metres in from touch and five metres outside the Sunwolves' 22. The referee stops play and he and his assistant agree that Masirewa was guilty of late obstruction.

The Lions are then offered the option of a penalty on their 10-metre line or downfield where the ball landed. They choose the one downfield and the mark of that was given as a little over five metres from touch.

This is vastly inaccurate. The first option should have been on the Lions 22, the second well in from touch about five metres outside the Sunwolves' 22.

"Well in" because the ball landed about 14 metres from touch, not five metres from touch. But that is not all.

Law 9.25: A player must not intentionally charge or obstruct an opponent who has just kicked the ball.
Sanction: Penalty.

The non-offending team chooses to take the penalty either:

  1. At the place of the infringement; or
  2. Where the ball lands or is next played but not nearer than 15 metres from the touchline.

Not nearer than 15 metres from the touchline.

The place where the penalty was given in this case was very wrong. There is little excuse for this as it is not a new law. The principle existed nearly 70 years ago when there were yards instead of metres!

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