Clip 4 - 29 November 2017 - Law 10

Try? No try! And unedifying behaviour.

From a line-out, Australia go right Will Genia passes to Bernard Foley who passes to Kurtley Beale. Beale gives a quick inside pass to Marika Koroibete, a right wing who has come from the left. Koroibete cuts clean through the English defeats and heads for the try-line. As he is tackled by Jonny May with help from Sam Simmonds, Koroibete gets the ball to Foley who races on till Ben Youngs brings him down. The ball comes back form the tackle/ruck to Genia who gives to Koroibete on his right. Koroibete brushes past Owen Farrell and has Stephen Moore attached to him as Chris Robshaw of England d tries to stop him. Koroibete is down over the line with Robshaw clinging to him and heroically trying to stop the big win from grounding the ball. Koroibete may well have grounded the ball.

After consulting his assistant, the referee consults the TMO, asking about the grounding and the possibility of Ro shaw's being offside.

After many replays the referee is confident that Robshaw was onside and now turns his attention to the Koroibete-Moore tandem.

Her eventually decides that Moore was in front of Koroibete and that he impeded Robshaw's attempt to get a clean tackle on Koroibete.

Law 10.1 Obstruction
(b) Running in front of a ball-carrier. A player must not intentionally move or stand in front of a team-mate carrying the ball thereby preventing opponents from tackling the current ball carrier or the opportunity to tackle potential ball carriers when they gain possession.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Is Moore in front of Koroibete?

Definitions
Ball carrier: A player carrying the ball.
Beyond, behind or in front of a position: Means with both feet, except where the context makes that inappropriate.

Moore's feet are in front of Koroibete's feet. Moore is in front of Robshaw.
Moore is between Robshaw and Koroibete.
Robshaw got to Koroibete, but not with as much impetus and freedom as he would have had if Moore had not been in the way.

The referee penalised Moore for obstruction.

There was no point in examining the grounding which came after the obstruction Which is probably just as well.

*The sad part of what happened was the behaviour of Owen Farrell who had made a feeble attempt to stop Koroibete. He then flung his arms wide like an opera singer and shouted instructions to the referee. And he kept on doing it.

That was right outside of the laws and spirit of rugby football. In fact the referee would have been entitled to penalise him.

Imagine the furore if the referee had done so and penalised England five metres from their line.

The calm way the referee dealt with Farrell was excellent and in sharp contrast to Farrell's wild behaviour.

**Contrary to popular belief, captains do not have a right to question a referee. And certainly captains have no right disagree with the referee or argue with him. The referee is entitled to the respect of the players and to their acceptance of his decisions.

It has more and more become a part of referee's management of a match for their to be co-operation with the captains. 

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