Super 14, Week 2, Incidents

So far we have given statistics of possession for Super 14 and Six Nations, a discussion on scrums and another on advantage, and we have taken incidents from the Six Nations. Two Super 14 touch-line decisions are contained in the Six Nations discussion.

Now we have a few incidents from the Super 14.

1. Dropsy

When the Sharks played the Waratahs there were two drop–outs which did not meet with the referee’s approval. They happened soon after each other.

a. After Peter Hewat missed a kick at goal, the Sharks were to drop out. They threw the ball about a bit and then Frans Steyn dropped out to his right. He dropped the ball onto his instep and nudged it onto the ground and forward for a team-mate to collect.

The referee told him to kick again, because what he had done was not a drop kick.

Law Definitions

Drop Kick – the ball is dropped from the hand or hands to the ground and kicked as it rises from its first bounce.

The sequence of events is ground, foot.

Steyn’s went foot, ground

It was not a drop?

Kick again?



If the ball is kicked by the wrong type of kick, or from the wrong place, the opposing team has two choices:

To have another drop-out, or
To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line and they throw in the ball.

b. Hewat misses yet again. Play is to restart with a drop-out. The ball has flown into the stand behind the posts and a new ball is thrown on with which Steyn immediately drops out, catching the Waratahs unaware.

The referee stops play and gets Steyn to drop out again because of the use of a different ball.

It was the right kick this time and from the right place. Using another ball is fine, but not in such a way as it steals a march on the opponents.

Imagine a kick at goal with the ballboy standing next to the wing at the corner of the 22. Kick missed, drop-out ordered and the wing grabs the ball from the ballboy, drops out briefly, picks up and is off.

That’s palpably not right.

2. Fetcher and up

Two incidents may be relevant:

a. The Crusaders play the Reds. Stephen Moore of the Reds charges and is tackled. Rodney Blake picks up the ball and plunges to ground. Immediately two Crusaders, Johnny Leo’o and Andrew Ellis, fold over Blake like an envelope, hands down grabbing at the ball. They are grabbing the ball when Greg Holmes of the Reds arrives, followed by Mitch Chapman.

When Holmes arrives, the referee calls out: “On his feet. In the air. Play on.”

By the time Holmes arrived, Leo’o already had the ball up off the ground. That meant that there was no ruck. That meant that Leo’o could continue to battle to get the ball back with his hands and Holmes could contest this with his hands in what had become a maul of sorts.

b. The Lions tackle a Highlander and two Lions, Ernst Joubert and Ethienne Reynecke, bend down, hands down, to get the ball. It is much the same scenario as in a. above. They are trying to get the ball when Highlander hooker David Hall arrives. Hall makes contact and falls to the side. By the time Willie Rickards of the Highlanders arrives, Joubert clearly has the ball up in his arms.

The referee penalises Joubert for hands in a ruck. “I called ruck.”

Presumably then when Hall arrived the ball was on the ground and there was for just a fleeting moment a ruck.

Some may well have penalised the Highlander for holding on. Others may have seen this case as much the same as the Leo’o case.

3. No numbers

From a penalty near the half-way line Stephen Larkham of the Brumbies kicks the ball out on the full about 17 metres from the Blues line. Because it was a penalty the Brumbies are to throw in. The Blues line up. The Brumbies stroll to the line-out. The referee says to the Blues

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