Clip 4 - 13 March 2017 - Law 22

The on-field decision.

The Reds attack the Sharks' line. Scrumhalf Nick Frisby passes a perfect pass to centre Samu Kerevi who despite being tackled by Curwin Bosch and the attentions of Thomas du Toit stretches out and grounds the ball over the goal line.

The referee consults this assistant about the grounding. The assistant believes that it was a try but that it should be referred to the TMO, which the referee does.

The referee first tells the TMO that the 'onfield decision' is that it is a try but that he would like the TMO to check it.

This is in line with the new instructions on the procedure of referral to the TMO. There must first be a statement of the referee's decision. In the case of a try, it is in fact no different from the old second question which started by saying: "I believe a try has been scored..."

That earlier procedure may have been open to debate and this one is but the TMO now needs "compelling" evidence to disagree with the referee.

He may not have agreed that Kerevi was not holding the ball when it went to ground but that may not have been compelling.

It does seem highly unlikely that Kerevi could be considered holding the ball and the old "Try/No Try" might well have produced a different result.

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.

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