Why Welsh moriarty try should have been disallowed?
France was beaten by wales 20-19 in their Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter final in Oita on Sunday, in the last 5 minutes of play by a very controversial try. However, lets not forget the large contribution from Sebastien Vahaamahina red card for an uncalled elbow to the face of Aaron Wainwright.
Wales came back from 13 – 19, securing a place in the semi-finals in the dying minutes with a try from Ross Moriarty in the 74th.
The try however has been heavily discussed and contested, particularly as the referee went to the TMO to check a possible pass forward prior to bringing the ball behind the french line.
The try incident
Tomos Williams, who was weirdly placed in front of Serin (and therefore off side) ripped the ball from the french number 8 which flew into the air to Justin Tipuric, who offloaded to Ross Moriarty who scored.
The ball which was last touched by Williams, travelled forward before landing into Tipuric’s hands (also looking suspiciously off side).
The question to the TMO was “was there a clear forward pass for the field referees not to allow the try”. A couple of angles from the TMO showed that the ball had clearly travelled forward a short distance. Yet the TMO decisio ruled that there had been no clear forward pass.
A forward pass occurs according to Law 11 when a ” player throws or passes the ball forward i.e, if the arms of the player passing the ball move towards the opposing team’s dead ball line”.
Tomos Williams’ ripping arms move behind his head towards the tryline, which means that, as far as the forward rule is concerned, it is a confirmed forward.
Can you a pass forward be called from ripping the ball off?
The rugby Law 11.5b applies. The rule states that: “The ball is not knocked-on, and play continues, if a player rips or knocks the ball from an opponent and the ball goes forward from the opponent’s hand or arm.”
As can be seen, this law only applies if the ball went forward (towards Wales’ tryline) from a French arm, as the law only applies to the player from whom the ball is being ripped. It left Williams’ hands last, so the law does not apply in this instance and it is therefore a forward pass. Earlier in the tournament, a Fiji player ripped off a ball against Georgia. The subsequent decision was concluded as a knock on, as it left the ripping players arm last and went forward to the ground. Since a teammate caught it, it is clearly a forward pass in the case of Wales v France.
Furthermore, Peyper asked the TMO whether the pass was a clear forward, ruling out the the ripping off law.
Finally, as Serin put the ball in the scrum, Williams placed his body in a way that obstructed France no 9 to have access the ball coming out from the scrum. This was a clear off side.
Such an important decision should have really been thought trough and most importantly. Many will question Jaco Peyper’s highly conroversial decision and the TMO. To top it all up and add insult to injury, a picture of Jaco Peyper with Welsh fans was found posted on the internet.