Clip 6 - 3 November 2017 - Law 22

Too much at once?

If ever you were tempted to believe that refereeing was easy, have a look at this.

The Sharks are attacking the Western Province goal line in the Currie Cup final. Tyler Paul drives at the line, but is brought to ground by JD Schickerling. The ball comes back to the Sharks and Louis Schreuder passes to Jean-Luc du Preez who initially goes straight ahead but then comes to the right where Chris van Zyl and Dyllin Leyds tackle him. Dan van Zyl picks up the ball and plunges over the gaol-line. The referee awards the try.

There are some features of the action that may be worth recording and even examining.

i. When Schickerling brings Paul to ground he has him by the neck, certainly above the shoulders.
ii. At this tackle on Paul, Dan du Preez goes slightly ahead of the tackle, grabs Van Zyl by the collar and pulls him out of the way.
iii. The referee announces that Western Province are offside and plays advantage.
iv. At the tackle on Jean-Luc du Preez there is no ruck formed.
v. At the tackle on Jean-Luc du Preez, Ross Geldenhuys grabs Leyds by the scruff of the neck and pulls him away thrusting him forcefully to ground
vi. Then Dan du Preez gets up to ground the ball over the line.
The referee awards a try.

In this speedy moment, the referee is, apparently, required to observe and digest/process. That said, it is a placer where an assistant and a TMO could help him. He did not consult the TMO but took the obvious on beard - that Dan du Preez, on his feet with the ball, had grounded the ball over the Western Province line and awarded the try.

The assistant referee and the TMO still had the power to draw the referee's attention to other possibilities, which could have taken in
Schickerling's high tackle which was penalisable,
Dan du Preez's playing a man without the ball, which is penalisable,
the offside for which the referee played advantage, which was penalisable,
Geldenhuys's playing a man without the ball, which is penalisable,
whether Dan du Preez was still on the ground (a knee is enough) when he picked up the ball. That alone is extremely difficult to determine even with replays and slow-motion.

The assistant referee and the TMO did not intervene and the try stood. advert