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A truly baffling decision

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 8 Mar 2010 at 14:01
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Should Paul Marks have awarded the Sharks a penalty try on Saturday? Let’s debate the issue.

I’ve had a look at this one again and to my mind, the evidence was pretty clear. Stefan Terblanche and Ryan Kankowski, on the edge of the 22, with a 2-on-1 situation against Kurtley Beale. Terblanche floats the pass to Kanko – who had a clear run-in to the try line with nary a defender in sight – and Beale reaches out with an open hand to swat the ball away. The ref blows for an intentional knock down and send Beale to the bin. He awards the Sharks a penalty.

Now I’ve read a few reports in which Beale protests his innocence and swears blind that he was trying to catch the ball, honest. Problem is, regardless of what he was trying to do, there is no way he could physically ever have hoped to catch that ball, unless he had the sort amazing powers that would allow him to catch with the tip of his finger. Beale was never in with a shot of catching it and regardless if what the intention may have been, the result was an intentional knock down, in contravention of the laws.

Now heading back to the law book, we’re told that the referee should award a penalty try in a situation where a try would most likely have been scored but for foul play. The ref clearly ruled foul play, otherwise he would not have binned Beale and awarded the penalty. I would love him to explain what process of logic he used to determine that the act did not prevent a try from being scored? Aside from stupid arguments about Kanko pulling his hammie on the way to the line, the decision is, to my mind, indefensible.

Marks had only two options here. Option one was to take no action, if he had decided that Beale did not intentionally knock the ball down. Option two was to ward a penalty try. Although I feel option one would have been incorrect, at least it is internally consistent and not at odds with itself. The decision that Marks made, to award a penalty and card the player, yet somehow not award the penalty try, was simply nonsensical.


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