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Nations cup final pen: Ruck or not? Please help

Teechah

Academy Player
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Sep 29, 2019
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Hi folks

Can someone help me? The final penalty in the England France nations cup came when Itoje grabbed the ball in what appeared to me to be a ruck.
Now, the player who arrives after a ruck has formed cannot put his hands in. General opinion seems to be that the ruck had definitely formed and the ref made a bad call.
BUT...was it actually a ruck? and is it still a ruck if there is no opposition player?
This is what happened.

  1. Daly attempts the tackle but the French player isn't held and gets to his feet...(no ruck)
  2. Curry tries to strip the ball and hold up player...fails and immediately leaves the area (ruck or no ruck?)
  3. Itoje waits until Curry exits (there are three French players around the the ball) and then moves in to grab the ball.
So my questions are
Did Curry complete the tackle?
If Curry did not complete the tackle was a ruck ever formed?
If so...is it still a ruck if there all opposition players have left the breakdown?
Should Itoje have been penalised for hands in the ruck?
If it's not a ruck, should it have been play on and just a turnover?

I've tried reading the laws but am still unclear. It'd be interesting to see what others think.
 

duncanb

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My take was French support players sealing off and that was the pen .
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Watching that bit again, one of the other French players is on his knees and immediately puts his body over the ball with his elbows on the ground. That is "sealing off" as there is no way he clear him out, no way to get the ball and he is not on his feet so not in the ruck. That was what the penalty was for.

Also "general opinion" is to always claim England are crap and only win with the help of the ref. That accusation has been thrown at us in every game this tournament and it's ridiculous. Too many people with anti-English chips on their shoulder desperately looking for excuses. Yes we get some decisions our way, we also get some against us. As many "neutral" viewers in most of these games actually support whoever England is playing, they see all the mistakes that hurt their side but very few that hurt England.
 

Teechah

Academy Player
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Sep 29, 2019
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Yes gents, thank you. I've watched it again and it's clear 22 was off his feet and sealing off.
I misunderstood the pen...I thought it was for not releasing the ball.
And you're right about general opinion.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Yes gents, thank you. I've watched it again and it's clear 22 was off his feet and sealing off.
I misunderstood the pen...I thought it was for not releasing the ball.
And you're right about general opinion.
Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to accuse you of that at all, just that it's very rarely the common consensus is that we are in the right for anything.
 

Mikey12

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Nov 1, 2020
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It was a little harsh but the right call, France only had Raka and two small defenders in support. Curry tried to rip the ball and the French replacement 9 I think was trying to give him a quick hug. Curry slipped backwards knocking the 9 to his knees and he dived over Raka to stop Itoje, sealing off in the process. Itoje was very clever using his long limbs to grab over top and show the ref he had been blocked from making a steal. When you watch it back in slow motion the Frenchman had little chance of getting back to his feet. I think it was more an indication of just how tired the French team were by then that two English forwards got there but no French, they were out on their feet. Phenomenal effort by the French team but, in the end the conditioning of the English team showed in that extra 15 minutes. There was only going to be one winner for me after the 80.
 
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