Clip 3 - 19 April 2017 - Law 22

The try, the conversion, the TMO, No Try.

In the last minute of the match between the Bulls and the Sunwolves, the Sunwolves are bashing at the Bulls' line and Liaki Moli of the Sunwolves picks up the ball and spins over the line as Tiaan Schoeman, Adriaan Strauss and Ivan van Zyl try to stop him. The ball is grounded and the referee, who is in an excellent position awards the try. Jumpei Ogura places the ball on the tee and kicks his conversion attempt which is wide.

The conversion kick is important.

TMO protocol. 2.1 If, after a team in possession of the ball has touched the ball down in their opponents' in-goal area (including after a try is awarded and before the conversion is struck), any of the match officials (including the TMO) have a view that there was a potential infringement, within the list of offences before the ball was carried into in-goal by the team that touched the ball down, they may suggest that the referee refers the matter to the TMO for review.

The conversion attempt ends any opportunity for the non-scoring try to have a review of the matter. Amongst others, the TMO may no longer suggest a review.

But it happens in this case.

The referee's communications system was not working and his assistants are able to explain to him that the TMO had tried to contact him to review the scoring of the try and did so before the conversion attempt was made. This is explained to the Sunwolves and the TMO organised replays.

The assistant referee says to the Sunwolves' captain, Ed Quirk: "I can commit to you that the call came through before the kick." Quirk accepts this and walks away.

On the replay it is clear that Moli was not holding the ball when it came in contact with the ground.

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.

Moli's left hand was in contact with the ball but he was not holding it.

This is not new law but law being correctly applied. It's not about control but about holding the ball. The ball had slipped from Moli's grasp.

And so the referee declared that a try had not been scored.

Pity that in this age a communications system goes on the blink.
 

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