Clip 1 - 31 March 2017 - Law 22

Scoring a try i.

Law 22.3 BALL GROUNDED BY AN ATTACKING PLAYER
Try. When an attacking player who is on-side is first to ground the ball in the opponents' in-goal, the player scores a try.

Law 22.1 GROUNDING THE BALL
There are two ways a player can ground the ball:
(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.

holding the ball.

The Cheetahs attack the Sunwolves. After a tackle, Clinton Swart of the Cheetahs picks up the ball and darts towards the line. As Derek Carpenter of the Sunwolves, tackles him, Swart reaches out in an attempt to ground the ball for a try.

The referee and his assistant discuss the incident to reach an 'onfield decision', that is a decision which they would have given if there had been no TMO. It is at present a requirement that the referee presents an onfield decision to the TMO, which the TMO is allowed to disagree with if there is "compelling evidence' to do so. In this case the TMO advises against awarding a try.

Look at the ball. Swart's hand and his forearm as he attempts to ground the ball. The law requires the player to be 'holding' the ball. Swart's fingertoips are on top of the ball and his forearm is on top of the ball. If the ball had been a cup and he attempted to hold it in that fashion, the cup would immediately fall and shatter.

Swart was not holding the ball.
So he did not ground the ball as the law required.
So it was no try.

So the match officials have got it right when they decide against awarding a try.

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