Question marks were being raised regarding the legality of both Willem Alberts and Bismarck du Plessis's tries las Saturday at Ellis Park.But should that be the case?
On Willem Alberts try,the IRB rule book article 20.7b & c under the heading "When the scrum begins" says:
1.What must happen if the ball is not played by a front-row player and it emerges from behind the foot of a far prop?
Answer: It must be thrown in again. 2.If the scrum half throws in the ball and it comes out at either end of the tunnel, the ball must be thrown in again unless a free kick or penalty has been awarded. Answer: It must be thrown in again or a penalty/free kick given. So according to the rule book it seems that England's scrum half,Ben Youngs, should've been allowed by referee Alain Rolland and his assistant Steve Walsh to re-take his put in at the scrum. A feed from Ben Youngs that was never hooked at all and blindside flanker Tom Johnson that had no time to control the ball meant a reset. A ball not played by any of England's front rowers begs such answers to enormity of such incompetent refereeing one might argue. Instead Willem Alberts was allowed to gather a "loose ball" as it were and ran it in as a try for the Boks.So say that if you look carefully then you'll see an English hand in the scrum that is touching the passing ball.Did you spot that too? What would you have made of it all had the reverse of it happened to the Boks instead? But that's not the only thing some rugby pundits in England were so unhappy about. Bismarck du Plessis's powerfully raw strength when pushing over three English defenders to score his try also appears to be dubious. But was it? First impression says that it looked like a certain try,but looking at it again as in the case with TMO's, it appears that Bismarck's momentum took his right arm slipping over the ball and the try line instead of the ball itself touching the white chalk. What do you make of that? Poor refereeing by Allan Rolland or just silly mistakes by England? Are these incidents just poor refereeing on the part of "elite" match officials that the IRB just can't seem to solve? Has the watching rugby public had enough of these second guesses and inconsistency by referees that it now has become more a matter of anger than just the obvious bewilderment here and there? England are no match for the fearsome forward power of the South African forwards,but you have to wonder if their tour gets hampered more and more, two weeks in a row now, by inconsistency of match officials. South Africa's all-round game so far have been sublime. Under Heyneke Meyer,the Boks are showing a near complete brand of powerful rugby that comes with pace,intelligence and genius at the forefront. So far the Southern Hemisphere rugby nations across the board have magnified their supremacy over their Northern counterparts. For the record: Last Saturday game at Ellis Park was a great test match, it was magical and kept you on the edge of your seat kinda stuff and, on the balance of play,the Springboks deserved our win. Sharks players getting the man of the match for two weeks in a row now is nice.Next week in PE for England it has become more like "out of the frying pan, into the fire" when facing the Boks again.Can England's tenacity and fighting spirit get their backs of the canvas to fight another day?Lets see!Bring it on I'll say. References: 1.The Daily Mail Newspaper. 2.The Telegraph Newspaper. 3.Skysports.com/rugby union.
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