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Friday Dec 3, 2021

Head-scratching scenes in Dubai as Springboks benefit from loophole in rugby laws

A bizarre incident occurred during day one of the Dubai sevens which led to a minute-long standoff in front of confused fans.

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Springboks speedster Selvyn Davids took the ball into contact on the halfway line when he was held up by two Japanese players and left to fend for himself.

Two more Japanese players then joined the effort to hold up Davids which resulted in a five-man stalemate in the opening half of the game.

According to the laws if no attacking player joins the contact zone and Davids’ knees don’t touch the ground, then he can hold onto the ball as long as he wants.

This meant the Japanese players needed to either get Davids to ground or carry him towards the touchline in order to win the turnover. However the persistence and strength of the South African meant that the Japanese players were forced to release him and contest for the ball on the ground.

Kudos must go to South Africa for not joining the huddle because this would’ve formed a maul and therefore a turnover given the dominant position of Japanese players.

Once the Japanese withdrew from the situation the Springboks recycled possession and spread the ball wide to score in the corner through CJ Pretorius.

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This try helped South Africa to a dominant 48-0 win in Pool A.

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