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Monday Aug 6, 2018

Elton Jantjies try line blunder in the final he'll be keen to forget

Elton Jantjies try line blunder in the final he'll be keen to forget
18
Comments

On Saturday we saw a similar story to last year, only a different location. Unfortunately for Elton Jantjies and the Lions, they’ve now lost their third consecutive Super Rugby final, and didn’t ever look close to changing that. 

While Crusaders’ play-maker Richie Mo’unga looked like a bonafide superstar and claimed Man of the Match honours, Jantjies will be struggling to put the match far into the rear view.

With about 29 minutes gone, Jantjies kicked the ball aimlessly before Mo’unga launched a well-placed kick behind the Lions, all the way down to the Crusaders try line.

With the ball dying just shy of breaking the plane, Jantjies was deemed to have broken the plane himself after lifting and placing the ball in the in-goal area.

Referee Angus Garder was quick to the spot and knew the interpretation exactly, stating: “He’s taken the ball across the line, so that’s a scrum.”

Gardner went on a moment later: “You’ve taken it across the plane. Let me explain. So, the ball’s gotta cross the plane. Because Elton is standing into in-goal and picks it up, he’s deemed to have taken it across the plane. That’s the new law.”

Crusaders were then awarded the five metre scrum.

Undoubtedly, Jantjies has been a fine player for the Lions with several highlights to his name, but moments like this have surely become all too commonplace and equally frustrating for fans as well. 

Quote of the year

The first part of this quote from him earlier in the week makes for amusing reading: “We’re definitely going to make mistakes, but that’s what this team stands for.

“When we make them, we fix them. The past few weeks we’ve made them in the first 10 minutes and many people feel that it’s a poor start but we don’t see it that way. There are still 70 minutes left.”

This strategy can only get you into trouble with an opponent the calibre of the Crusaders. And while it’s certainly a noble thought, maybe striving to eliminate mistakes altogether is the championship formula. 

Crusaders were just too clinical and made every mistake count. 

Sadly for Jantjies, there would be one more moment of disappointment as he later came within what appeared to be one inch from scoring a try under the posts. The TMO had a look and said he came up just short.

The Crusaders went on to win their ninth title and second in a row by the score of 37-18

18 Comments

  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Good point. If he'd just touched it down it would have been fine as it had touched the line. The law needs to be clarified because this distinction makes it look crap. The law doesn't distinguish in goal and in field to account for the line itself, so I think Jantjes was hard done by.

    Reply
  •  ruckinmaul
    ruckinmaul

    Last year mate, the same time they change the ruck entry for a tackler.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    Thanks for the law reference. Appears it was changed in May 2018 so very recent. https://laws.worldrugby.org/amends

    Reply
  •  cryath888
    cryath888

    Change of law, I think beginning of last season. Makes more sense to me.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    OK, sure, no worries. My last reply was probably a little grumpy, I guess, but I actually see what you are saying, and that seems to be exactly what the ref has ruled, so all good.

    Reply

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  • Genuinely not trying to be unhelpful here, but I don't understand the confusion. - The Laws clearly state that a ball is carried back if it is in the field of play, is picked up by a defender and is then touched down. - Most of (probably all of) of the ball was outside the in-goal area in the field of play when Jantjies picked it up. - The Laws do not state that part of the ball being in the in-goal (including on the line) means the part that is in the field of play doesn't count. This is, as you rightly note, different to the Laws regarding the touchline. - Therefore: 1. the ball was still in the field of play; 2. Jantjies picked it up and therefore 3. he carried it back. It's not a case of knowing better - the Laws seem pretty clear on this point.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    OK, you clearly just didn't get my point and just stuck with your line of thought. But yeah I did assume the ball is either in-goal or in the field of play and not both. The same way it's in touch when it touches the touch line even if 90% of the ball are technically still in the field of play. Also you were not able to name a single law backing up your view. But you seem very confident about your theory, and I simply didn't know (which is why i asked the question in the first place), so I'll just assume you know better, so I guess you are right. Thanks for clarifying.

    Reply

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  • It's not whether the ball was moving. It's whether the ball was still in the field of play (as opposed to in-goal) at the moment Jantjies touched it.

    Reply

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  • You appear to be trying to treat the field of play and the in-goal area as mutually exclusive (i.e., the ball can only be in one or the other). This is incorrect and is not supported by the laws. Moreover, as I pointed out, the rules regarding scoring a try and a defender carrying it back are not the same. They don't even use the same wording. There is no "inconsistency" between two rules that aren't even attempting to do the same thing. - You cited Law 22.14 regarding carrying the ball back. It clearly states that "If a player, who is in in-goal, catches or picks up a ball that is still in the field of play, that player has taken the ball into in-goal." - In this case, it is not clear that the ball was touching the line when Jantjies picked it up, but for argument's sake, let's assume that the ball was on the line. Does that mean that the ball is no longer "in the field of play". No. Obviously not. A ball that is on the line is partly in the in-goal area, and partly in the field of play. Only once the whole of the ball is on or over the try line is the ball no longer "in the field of play". - Therefore the only question the ref needs to ask himself is: "When Jantjies picked up the ball, was it in the field of play?". The answer is clearly "Yes". Most of (probably all of) of the ball was outside the in-goal area in the field of play. Accordingly, applying Law 22.14, Jantjies carried it back. 5m scrum is the correct call. Regarding making the ball dead by touching it down against the base of the post, that didn't happen in this case, so I don't see how it is relevant. It would require a completely different set of facts.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    When was the law/interpretation changed that if the ball was still moving, what Jantjies did would have been a 22? I must have missed that update.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    So for you the ball was clearly in front of the line and did not touch it when he picked it up? That's what I thought wasn't conclusive from the video.

    Reply
  •  cryath888
    cryath888

    Actually it's the same the point is around the grounding, in terms of the try the attacker grounds the ball on the goalline in this scenario. If the ball roles to land on the line and the defender grounds it at the same time, then that would be a 22. In the case we have here, the ball briefly touches the goalline and then returns to the field of play (therefore not 'in goal'.) he then takes it in-goal to touch it down therefore taking it into 'in goal' and therefore scrum 5. As Jerome correctly points out, if he grounded the ball when it hit the line then it's a 22 (in the same way as the attacker would score a try). before the law said about moving ball, where as this is much more sensible and about what the player actually does with it. So Ref correct, and player a bit behind the law. Law 21.14.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    OK, well your reasoning surely is in line with the ref's decision. But is there anything about that in any law?? You say, when it comes to carrying back, the question is whether any part of the ball is still in the field of play when picked up. So a ball only touching the line is in the field of play. But at the same time you are saying the ball can be made dead by the defender by touching it down on the line, and not necessarily behind it. That feels very inconsistent. And just to add to the confusion, there's also this law: "If a defending player grounds the ball against a goal post or its surrounding padding, the result is a touch down." So here the ball never has to go behind the goal line, but can still be made dead by a defender. Hooray for rugby laws!!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I guess with the law changes every so often, stuff like this happens.. It is a "blunder" in the sense of it being a balls up, but it's more of a misinterpretation or missed stupid law change.. As Jerome said above, why if the ball sits on the try line, it's not "crossed" the try line. Why not just adopt a carte blanche law for the lines of the game like tennis; I believe on the line regardless of how slight, is classed as in bounds. On the line in rugby for the touch lines is out, regardless of how slight... great stuff.. no one needs to question it, we all know where we stand, On the try line is that a try or not? Yes, ok fine we all know where we stand. Defensive player touches ball down on try line is that ok? "uuhhh, well, no because it has to cross the plane of bullshit prior to being carried at nipple height before being allowed to touch cloth" or some other bollocks. WHY WHY WHY? Does it have to be so f*cking messed about with.

    Reply

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  • As I see it, the test for carrying back is not the same as the test for scoring a try. When scoring a try, it is sufficient for any part of the ball to to be grounded in any part of the in-goal (even if part of the ball is also in the field of play) as long as no part of the ball is in touch. But regarding carrying back, the test is reversed - the question is not whether any part of the ball is in goal, but whether any part of the ball is "still in the field of play". At least part (arguably all) of the ball is clearly still in the field of play when Jantjies picks it up. He therefore carries it back. A slight nuance I see here is where the ball is resting on the try line and is grounded by a defender who has not picked it up. To my mind, that is still a 22 drop out even though part of the ball is in the field of play. But this is consistent with the above, because the defender in that scenario has not picked up the ball, and therefore has not carried it back. Had Jantjies simply pressed down on the ball at the moment it touched the line, it would have been a 22 dropout. But as he picked it up from the field of play and carried it back, the Ref made the correct call in my view.

    Reply
  •  benny
    benny

    I agree, I don't think it was obviously a blunder. Part of the trouble, I believe is that Jantjies positioned himself in goal and looked to the ref to be carrying it back but with his feet in goal, which two years ago, would have been the right thing to do. But the interpretation has changed and the ref assumed it hadn't touched the line. Regardless, if Jantjies thought the ref could be unsighted, he should have forced on the spot it then booted it out just the be certain. Either it was on the line therefore Lions ball or not, therefore a line out further down field.

    Reply
  •  cryath888
    cryath888

    The key point is around when Jantjies does when he touches the ball. If he had ground the ball when it touched the line, then it was 'in-goal'. However at the point he picks the ball up was in the field of play, and as he then grounded it 'in-goal' he is deemed to have taken it in. There is no direct effect for the ball touching the goal-line (as with the 22 yard line) but crossing those lines make a difference when a player acts after that (i.e direct to touch kicks for when it crosses the 22). Touch, touch-in-goal and dead-ball-line all are different in those terms.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    OK, I am still confused. The law says: "If a player, who is in in-goal, catches or picks up a ball that is still in the field of play, that player has taken the ball into in-goal. " So the question must be, was the ball in the field of play when Jantjies picked it up, or was it in-goal, right? As far as I know, to score a try it's enough if the ball only touches the goal line. So according to my logic, the ball touching the goal line means it's in-goal. The ball was really damn close to the line, if not touching it, when Jantjies picked it up, so it didn't seem like a clear and obvious call to me. But maybe I am missing something? Gardner and the commentators talk about the ball having to cross the line..? I think it should be enough to touch it.

    Reply

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Elton Jantjies try line blunder in the final he'll be keen to forget | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos