Springboks coach takes responsibility for water carrier-touch judge incident

Springboks water carrier

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has taken responsibility for an incident between a South African water carrier and a touch judge.

Referee Matthew Carley threatened to send off a Springboks water carrier during South Africa’s win against New Zealand, after appealing to an assistant referee for a 50:22.

South Africa’s Willie Le Roux had achieved what he and the Springboks’ backroom staff thought was a 50:22, which wasn’t awarded as they had brought the ball back into their own half before the full-back drilled the ball out over the sideline in New Zealand’s 22.

Nienabaer was speaking after the game and admitted that he asked the team’s water carrier to challenge the referee on his decision. He mistakenly believed that New Zealand were incorrectly awarded the lineout.

Springboks boss Jacques Nienaber accepts responsibility over water carrier incident.

“We thought it was a 50:22. We got it wrong at the top. The ruck was inside New Zealand’s half and it was two passes back and then we kicked the 50:22,” Nienaber said, via Stuff.

“It’s a new concept for us. It’s not something that we have played, and it’s a rule that changed. We played the British and Irish Lions, the last game was the seventh of August and the next game was Argentina and this law was part of it.

“I’ll put my hand on up and say we got it wrong, and we asked him to challenge. We were so sure, but then we looked back at the video and saw that we got it completely wrong.

“Like I say, my fault. I thought it was a 50:22. Where we kicked the ball was our half, and it went out in their 22, but we passed it back [into our half].”

The new 50:22 rule.

The new rule states that if a player kicks the ball from within their own half and the ball bounces and goes over the touchline inside the opposition 22, that the team who kicked the ball will get the throw-in at the lineout.

The rule was first used in Super Rugby AU, and is now being trialled by World Rugby on a global scale this season, with all club and international sides now getting to grips with it.

The idea behind the rule is to create more space for teams with the ball to attack, as defending teams will be more likely to have players in the backfield to try to prevent a 50:22, which takes them out of the defensive line.

While Le Roux was unsuccessful in his 50:22 attempt against New Zealand, South Africa’s Frans Steyn used the new rule to great effect later on to grant his side possession deep with the All Blacks’ territory.

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