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If the ball leaves the hand just before hitting the ground then there is no "grounding". But if it leaves the hand and goes straight down then bounces back, there is no knock-on either. Pretty hard to tell from the video whether he slams it straight down or slightly forward .. if anything it looks to go sideways and then bounce backwards, which is no knock-on.
3 Years, 2 Days ago
From the IRB Laws website.
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.
(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.
I understand (a) to mean that if the player is already holding the ball then he/she only needs to make some sort of contact between the ball and the ground, no pressure required.
But (b) says that if the ball is lying on the ground in-goal then there must be downward pressure ("the player presses down on it"). Otherwise a player would never be able to gather up a ball in-goal and run in closer to the posts.
RD alludes to the interference with the halfback right at the start of the play, which is sometimes penalised but I can't find the law relating to this. Maybe the fact that the player was still bound when he grabbed the halfback's arm, is the problem. Anybody know?
The gridiron-style "grounding" could only be sorted out by a clear slo-mo replay. I don't see how either the ref or assistant could be sure so I suppose they gave the benefit of the doubt to the attacking side.
The cover defender should also get a warning about the attempted trip but that's not a big deal.
3 Years, 2 Days ago