Clip 1 - 21 August 2019 - Law 9

Argentina are putting the ball through short phases which are not advancing. Marcos Kremer has the ball and is tackled by Schalk Brits and Vincent Koch. He falls to ground and a tackle-ruck forms.

The ball come back to the waiting scrumhalf, Felipe Ezcurra of Argentina. Ezcurra looks down at the ball, picks it up and is turning to pass it to his left when Siya Kolisi of South Africa bursts through and tackles him. The referee, who was close to the action, penalises Kolisi, saying: "He didn't have the ball yet and you tackled him. He must pick the ball up."

The replay makes it obvious that Ezcurra did pick the ball up and did have the ball when Kolisi tackled him.

If you look at the much preached principle of "clear and obvious", this is clearly and obviously wrong and a breach of the sound advice to referees.

Play should have gone on.

The pity of this sort of decision is that it adds to the uncertainty which even top players experience at the tackle.

Art best this decision must have been based on guesswork because it is not what happened. Guesswork is dangerous for referees; in fact guessing and getting it wrong is worse than "missing" an infringement.

A wise old referee, Jimmy Smith-Belton, used to preach: "Watch the game, believe what you see and act accordingly." advert