Clip 3 – 25 April 2019 - Law 14

As time runs out, the Sunwolves attack the Hurricanes. Jason Emery of the Sunwolves charges ahead but is tackled by Ngani Laumape. A pile of bodies settles on the tackle and the referee penalises the Hurricanes.

Fumiaki Tanaka of the Sunwolves quickly gets the ball, taps correctly with great concentration and darts ahead. He does not get far ahead of the tackle area when he stumbles against TJ Perenara's legs. Hurricanes descend on Tanaka.

When Tanaka makes contact with Perenara, the referee exonerates Perenara, saying: "He was tripped."

The hand that did the tripping belonged to Jamie Henry of the Sunwolves. Henry had entered the tackle area very much from the side, had tried to lift Perenara from the tackle area and had fallen beyond it. As Perenara backed away from the tackle area, Henry grabbed Perenara's ankle. That caused the trip.

Play goes on.

Should play have gone on?

Let's overlook Henry's side-entry, When he grabbed Perenara's ankle, Henry had infringed at least two laws.

i. Law 14.8 (d) Other players must not play the ball or attempt to tackle an opponent while on the ground near the tackle.
ii. Law 9.14 A player must not tackle an opponent who is not in possession of the ball.

For both infringements, the sanction is a penalty.

Then, willy-nilly, Perenara had impeded Tanaka's 10-metre allowance.

The other Hurricanes, Sam Henwood amongst them, may well not have been back 10 metres before advancing to Tanaka.

Law 20: Opposing team at a penalty or free-kick

  • 12 When a penalty or free-kick is awarded, the opposing team must immediately retreat 10 metres towards their own goal line or until they have reached their goal line if that is closer.
  • 13 Even if the penalty or free-kick is taken quickly and the kicker’s team is playing the ball, opposing players must keep retreating the necessary distance. They may not take part in the game until they have done so.
  • 14 If it is taken so quickly that opponents have no opportunity to retreat, they will not be sanctioned for this. However, they may not take part in the game until they have retreated 10 metres from the mark or until a team-mate who was 10 metres from the mark has moved in front of them.

But really Henry is the one who should have been penalised. The Hurricanes would have liked that. 

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