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Steve Hansen’s surprise take on SBW’s yellow card

By Daniel Gilhooly, Daniel Gilhooly is a Roar Guru

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    Steve Hansen has leapt to the defence of Sonny Bill Williams, whose brain fade during the All Blacks Test win over France has set off another wave of anti-SBW sentiment.

    Williams’ social media critics have pounced on the 32-year-old’s deliberate slapping of the ball over the dead ball line in Paris, resulting in a yellow card and a penalty try.

    Such an action is legitimate in Williams’ former code, rugby league, which explains why Hansen is being lenient.

    He also asked travelling journalists not to fan flames of criticism towards a player who was excellent at the Stade de France aside from his blunder.

    “I reckon you guys need to be a little bit careful how hard you are on him,” Hansen said.

    “Here’s a guy who’s played two codes and in the other code you’re allowed to do it.

    “I watched the English-French (rugby league World Cup) game and they did it about 10 times. I’m thinking, ‘no wonder the poor bugger did it’.”

    Williams switched to rugby union a decade ago after walking out on his Bulldogs NRL contract.

    In the decade since, he has been a rugby union professional aside from two seasons back in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters.

    Hansen preferred to highlight an exceptional performance elsewhere for Williams, who ran good lines on attack and was part of a rock hard defensive effort.

    “He played really well. If he hadn’t had that, you’d all be telling us how good he was.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • November 13th 2017 @ 3:20pm
      R2D2 said | November 13th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

      Eddie would have said something a bit different.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 4:47pm
        HiKa said | November 13th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        Like, “How f***ing stupid!” … Which is exactly what is was.
        I was surprised at a gap in the TV commentators’ knowledge about infringements in a try scoring position. They immediately, correctly, noted that Williams would get a yellow card for deliberately hitting the ball over the dead-ball line. The process for the refs is to then consider what would have happened if the infringing player was not in the play. With the French winger in a fair position to catch the ball, a penalty try was the right call. But then the commentators proceeded to rabbit on about how much taller SBW was than the French winger, so SBW would have caught it rather than the French player. In the refs calculations, SBW wasn’t to be considered. Like a last line defender slapping down a pass, the ref doesn’t consider if they could have made a tackle instead. Was the attacker in a position to catch the ball and put it down over the try line? If yes, then it’s a penalty try.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 4:33pm
      Cuw said | November 13th 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

      am hoping some expert in Rugby Lawes will provide the exact content – based on which that penalty try was awarded.

      has happened before but it was first time i saw a PT given.

      also note – Gardener was happy to move on with a yellow card , only for the TMO to explain the ” Invisible Man ” thingy.

      world rugby shud be concerned – that one of the test reffing panel had no idea of such interpretation.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 7:42pm
        Jacko said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

        And if you look at the replay the french wingers right hand and elbow hit SBW in the head which is supposed to be a minimum YC anyway according to the laws of the game….Not that Im saying that should have happened but with the Ref deciding it was NOT a PT then going and looking extensively at many replays they should have seen the foul play by the French winger

        • November 13th 2017 @ 8:01pm
          Cuw said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

          its funny how refs and TMOs ignore ” all else” when looking at a potential score.

          i think it was last year , when b Barrett scored against Ireland and ran inside the goal he got tackled over the neck by Sexton.

          the ref of the day Peyper and TMO had many looks to see if Barrett grounded the ball or if Sexton managed to get a hand – but not a single word was said of the head hit .

          and no post match citing also…. its funny how these things have no consistency and people think Trump is stupid !!!

          • November 14th 2017 @ 4:30am
            mace22 said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:30am | ! Report

            People don’t think trump is stupid, they know he’s stupid.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 7:14am
            Jerry said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:14am | ! Report

            That’s just the ‘Did you spot the Gorilla’ thing in action.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 4:25am
      mace22 said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:25am | ! Report

      This is all a storm in a tea cup, much ado about nothing, making a mountain out of a mole hill and last of all another beaver hunt.

    • Roar Guru

      November 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
      Hoy said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

      There isn’t much in this really.

      What I find more amazing though is the “invisible man” thing going on… If the player wasn’t there? Sure yellow card for deliberately batting it dead… but in my mind, he was in a position to do something other than that action that would likely have meant a try would not have been scored.

      Look at it a different way… IF a player makes a break, and the fullback coat-hangers him/her short of the line, preventing a try… The fullback gets a card, but it is hardly ever a penalty try… Why not, if we are meant to interpret the illegal action makes that player invisible?

      • November 14th 2017 @ 12:48pm
        Dave_S said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        Agree, the “invisible man” test is not required.

        But for the unlawful action, would a try probably have been scored?

        In cases where the alternative scenario cannot be clearly identified or limited to one thing (fanciful events excluded), the answer has to be “no”.

        The “invisible man” is only relevant if the presence of the contravening player is itself unlawful, eg he’s offside or has failed to leave the field as ordered, and even then it doesn’t require a special test.

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 1:03pm
          PeterK said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          Actually no.

          According to law you can only give a penalty try due to foul play.

          Offside on it’s own does not constitute foul play.

          It may come under fair play 10.2 9(a) intentionally offending or repeatedly offending 10.3 (a).

          Otherwise many many penalty tries would be given for offside (and perhaps should for intentionally offending / repeatedly) when defending near the line.

          I disagree with Hoy on the head high, more peanlty tries have been given for this in the last few years when a head high has stopped a try near the line.

          As it should BTW. In that case you cannot argue that the tackler would have made a legitimate tackle and stopped the try since they chose to go high they thought it the best tackle to make to stop a try. That is sufficient to indicate a try would have probably been scored otherwise.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 1:35pm
            Dave_S said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            Well there you go, thanks Peter, even less reason to resort to the invisible man hypothetical. I had in mind the more egregious intentional offside play.

            Just curious, how many scenarios can you think of that a player’s mere presence/position could be foul play?

    • November 14th 2017 @ 11:11am
      ethan said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

      Exactly. At least he did it in a match where it had no consequence on the result. Better to learn the lesson there as opposed to a WC knockout, Bledisloe decider, etc…

    • Roar Guru

      November 15th 2017 @ 4:11am
      Machpants said | November 15th 2017 @ 4:11am | ! Report

      I tried to find the invisible man bit in the laws but failed, can anyone point me to it?

      • November 15th 2017 @ 1:37pm
        Drongo said | November 15th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

        It is written in invisible ink.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 15th 2017 @ 2:20pm
          piru said | November 15th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          **applause**

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