Clip 5 – 3 April 2019 - Law 9

Damian Willemse of the Stormers passes to his wing Dillyn Leyds who is close to the touchline on his left. He sprints ahead but Sonny Bill Williams of the Blues rushes across in defence and tackles Leyds into touch.

Williams's right arm is high on Leyds' right shoulder. The referee briefly consults his assistant and allows the lineout to take place.

The commentator talks about the tackle starting on the "point of the shoulder". He also speaks about a "grey area". Read the law and try to apply the grey area theory to this tackle.

Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.
Sanction: Penalty

Williams's right arm is certainly above the line of Leyds' shoulder. That means that Williams should have been penalised. The tackle does not have to be around the neck or head for it to be penalisable - just above the line of the shoulders. And if it "slips up", it is still penalisable.

Williams should have been penalised. advert