New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams was sent to the sin bin last weekend against France when he mixed up his rules and swatted the ball over the dead ball line in a try saving move.
Adjudged to have prevented Yoann Huget from claiming the ball and dotting down for a try, match referee Angus Gardner promptly sent Williams for a ten minute stint on the sidelines and awarded France a penalty try.
While most agreed with the yellow card, many insisted that Huget was never going to beat Williams to the ball and therefore a penalty try should not have been awarded.
What caused the incident to make the headlines was the fact that the All Black employed a move straight out of the Rugby League playbook rather than simply catching the cross-field kick.
Instead, the 32-year-old swatted the ball over the dead ball line and while this is fair game in Rugby League, in the union code, such a move is not permitted.
Now, as the All Blacks prepared for their clash with Scotland at the weekend, Williams has revealed he received an apology from referee Angus Gardner.
Reported by Stuff, Williams recalls his moment of madness.
“I remember laying on the ground and I looked up at Jimbo (Damian McKenzie) and said, ‘gee bro, am I allowed to do that?’ He looked at me and just shook his head.
“It was an honest mistake, just like the ref sending me off was an honest mistake. He came out afterwards and said that he shouldn’t have sent me off. The penalty [try] was awarded, and he said he made that mistake by sending me off.”
Since the incident, the dynamic centre has admitted to brushing up on the rules.
“It is what it is, that’s footy. But I have certainly been looking up the rulebook.”
Williams will get a chance to apply the freshly revised rules in Murrayfield on Saturday, when the touring world champions take on Scotland at 5:15pm.