Monday, December 19, 2016
Naulia Dawai’s last-minute try secured a dramatic 20-18 victory for Connacht over Wasps in Galway on Saturday, but the circumstances that led to it have caused controversy over new World Rugby directives.
The Fijian back row, making his first start for the Irish province, touched down after a driving maul from a penalty line-out proved unstoppable for the struggling Wasps defence.
However, the line-out according to current World Rugby Law 5.7 (e)*, and contrary to replacement referee Mathieu Raynal’s final decision, should not have taken place as normal time had run out.
Raynal had come on for Jérôme Garcès who pulled up with a hamstring injury late in the game and appeared to understand the current law. He then changed his mind when Connacht captain John Muldoon asked about the “new directive”, thus allowing his team to kick to touch and complete the line-out with the 80 minutes clearly elapsed.
The new directive, which allows teams to do this is due to be rolled out in the southern hemisphere on January 1st and the northern hemisphere on August 1st.
Both Muldoon and Raynal appeared not to understand this, thus creating the confusing spectacle.
EPCR released a statement which accepted Raynal’s mistake but maintained the result of the match.
Have the new directives been poorly communicated to officials and teams or should they know better?
* World Rugby Law 5.7 (e): If time expires and the ball is not dead, or an awarded scrum or lineout has not been completed, the referee allows play to continue until the next time that the ball becomes dead. The ball becomes dead when the referee would have awarded a scrum, lineout, an option to the non-infringing team, drop out or after a conversion or successful penalty kick at goal. If a scrum has to be reset, the scrum has not been completed. If time expires and a mark, free kick or penalty kick is then awarded, the referee allows play to continue.
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Posted in See it to Believe it