Clip 2 - 24 November 2017 - Law 15

Position helps.

From a line-out, Jale Vatubua of Fiji goes on a run. He is tackled and brought to ground by the Italian flyhalf Carlo Canna who hangs onto a leg. Vatubua rolls over and gets up with the ball. The referee penalises Vatubua for not releasing the ball in the tackle.

A tackle occurs when the ball-carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground.

When Vatubua and Canna are on the ground, Canna is still holding onto the leg and then lets go. But a tackle has certainly occurred.

Law 15.4 The tackler
(a) When a player tackles an opponent and they both go to ground, the tackler must immediately release the tackled player.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Canna does that.

Law 15.5 The tackled player
(b) A tackled player must immediately pass the ball or release it. That player must also get up or move away from it at once.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Vatubua neither passed nor released the ball, and so he was rightly penalised.

You will have seen this missed but in this case the referee was in an excellent position to see what was happening.

Positioning is so important. advert