I think Stroudos means competing for the ball after making the tackle. In my playing days (mostly on the wing and at 13) I won quite a few turnovers chasing up kicks or chasing down linebreaks...put in the hit, get to your feet faster than the other guy, and take the ball from him. It's unbelievable how much pressure that can apply (when chasing kicks) or relieve (when defending linebreaks).
The post-game ruling was that Australia could choose to take a win for that game. Australia declined, because finishing second gave them a better draw for the playoffs - effectively avoiding facing NZ in the semis, and instead meeting them in the final.
The Good-Payne incident (sounds very scientific) is a tricky one indeed - had Payne been competing for the ball, almost any contact and outcome would have been considered an accidental part of aerial rugby. Instead, Payne was surprised by a posterior to the proboscis, and was penalized for taking out Goode's legs in a dangerous way, causing him to land horribly. I personally believe that Garcès got it wrong - there was no attempt to tackle so it can't be a dangerous tackle. If Goode hadn't got to the ball first, it would have landed in Payne's arms, so Payne wasn't acting recklessly. I think that incident was a case of Goode had to go up to make sure that Payne didn't get the ball, and Payne couldn't have gotten far enough to field the ball had he jumped. Both players were heading for the ball, doing their best to field it. Stop the play to deal with the injury, and manage the situation by talking to the captains. No penalty, play continues with a scrum to Saracens. »
I read an interesting novel once. It was set in a futuristic world that had a giant computer system that ran games as part of a tournament, including one that the main character played in that simulated American Football (a historical game played by the ancients). In that game, the main character won because the referee (a robot) was programmed to occasionally make a mistake, so as to better replicate the reality of the game as it was played. »