Clip 2 - 25 October 2019 - Law 11

The Welsh Try

The score is 19-13 to France and Wales are strongly on the attack but prop Dillon Lewis is found to have knocked on and France are awarded a scrum five metres from their line, at a time when lock Vahaamahina was absent. Wales get a shove on and the scrum disintegrates. Charles Ollivon, the French flank who is packing at No.8, gets possession of the ball but Tomos Williams (21), the Wales substitute scrumhalf, rips the ball from Ollivon's grasp. The ball flies up in the air and is then caught by Justin Cupric (7) of Wales who heads for the goal-line. (22) of France stops him at the line but Ross Moriarty (20) of Wales picks up the ball and grounds it on the line.

The referee has seen the grounding and so his onfield decision is a try but he consults the TMO to see whether the ball went forward when Williams ripped it from Ollivon. They get a bird's eye view and a side view. They come to the decision that the ball had not clearly gone forward from Williams's hands and so the try is awarded.

In Didier Mené's (from L'Equipe paper) view it was a valid try. He writes: "I watched the action on the video and from what the referee, Mr Peyper, said there is no obvious evidence of [a forward pass]. So, he gives the try. Law 11.5b states that there is no knock-on when a player deliberately pulls the ball from an opponent's hands and the ball leaves the ball-carrier's hands and goes forward. What's more, here, the Welsh ripper [Williams] and the receiver [Tipuric] are at the same level. My opinion is that the try is valid. In the same situation, I would have awarded it."

Law 11 The ball is not knocked-on, and play continues, if:
b. A player rips or knocks the ball from an opponent and the ball goes forward from the opponent’s hand or arm.

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