Munster coach Johann van Graan has called for stricter sanctions on players lifting the protective padding around posts to prevent their opponents from scoring.
According to Irish site The 42, the former Bok assistant coach’s comments came after Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman lifted the post pads on his own tryline, as Munster’s forward pack approached with multiple pick-and-drives.
World Rugby laws stipulate a try is scored when ‘an attacking player is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal area, against the opponents’ goal post or its surrounding padding’.
The former Vodacom Bulls prop was reprimanded by referee Marius Mitrea, who was informed of the incident by stand-in Munster captain Jack O’Donoghue. Edinburgh and Schoeman, in particular, were fortunate to be let off with just a warning by the Italian official, with the move eventually ending in a try for Munster flank Tommy O’Donnell.
This is insane. Mitrea says “drop it”, Schoeman ignores him and Mitrea just… plays on.
Incredibly dangerous play and dangerous, irresponsible refereeing. pic.twitter.com/7HZOFhWb0t
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) November 30, 2019
Van Graan noted that such an incident could lead to serious injury for players, while also emphasising the importance of upholding the values of the game.
‘In my view you can’t touch the goalposts,’ said Van Graan. ‘It is the safety of the game. You can’t pull that up; there’s been another incident in world rugby where that was a yellow and straight penalty try.
‘We have got to keep with the values of the game. I’m not going to comment further on it but safety is paramount. If somebody hits the goalposts there and something happens to them … really frustrating.’
Edinburgh secured a narrow 18-16 win over Munster, who suffered their first home loss in the PRO14 for almost two years.
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