Clip 6 - 22 February 2017 - Law 15

Coming in the side?

From a tackle/ruck, Ben Youngs of England passes James Haskell. Immediately Ken Owens of Wales grabs Haskell by the ankle. Also present is Sam Warburton of Wales who puts hands on Haskell. Haskell and Owens go to ground. Warburton falls across Haskell and with his left hand/arm shoots the ball out to his side.

The referee penalises Warburton, giving the signal for a side entry by way of explanation.

The tackler was Owens. Warburton assisted in the tackler - the "tackler assist" in referee shorthand. That means that Warburton falls into the category of other players, who do not have the tackler's dispensation to play "from any direction".

Law 15.6 (d) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal line.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Furthermore when Warburton plays the ball with his left hand/arm, he is not on his feet.

Law 15.6 Other players
(a) After a tackle, all other players must be on their feet when they play the ball. Players are on their feet if no other part of their body is supported by the ground or players on the ground.
Sanction: Penalty kick

There was good reason to penalise Warburton, as Warburton himself acknowledged.

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