By Thomas Corbet
11 Feb 24 at 1:39 p.m.
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More to his advantage than against Ireland, Gaël Fickou was close to scoring a first try duringScotland – France in the 6 Nations Tournament 2024 before being taken back by a tackle by Duhan Van der Merwe. A tackle that the Blues considered irregular, but not sanctioned by referee Nic Berry.
There is no shortage of controversies after Scotland – France, and with them the points of arbitration and settlement to be clarified. Undoubtedly less controversial than the heated end of the match, it is a tackle by winger Duhan Van der Merwe on Gaël Fickou in the first period which also gets people talking.
Duhan Van der Merve tackles Gaël Fickou above the shoulders
We are a quarter of an hour into the game when Matthieu Jalibert puts Gaël Fickou in the gap with a nice cross pass. Unable to serve Louis Bielle-Biarrey, the center of the XV of France decides to keep and is caught a few meters from the line by Van der Merwe, an arm of the Scottish winger passing over the shoulder of the Racingman.
To the great astonishment of the Blues supporters and the players, referee Nic Berry then decided not to sanction. The ball is then intercepted by the same Duhan Van der Merwe who clears his side.
High tackles, what the regulation
One might think, at first glance, that the tackle was indeed punishable under law 9. 13 which states that a player “must not make a tackle early, delayed or in a dangerous manner. A dangerous tackle includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the shoulder line even if the tackle began below the shoulder line. »
Except that a directive from World Rugby dating from 2021, in the event of a “seat belt” tackle (seat belt tackle), instructs referees not to penalize if the neck or head is not affected. In other words, if the tackle is not dangerous, as is the case in this case.
Furthermore, no player having come to position himself above the ball after the tackle made on Fickou, no offside line was created, and Van der Merwe was not penalized for his position either. moment to intercept Lucu’s pass under law 14.10.
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