Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan says the Lions were entitled to take the quick restart that caught the Vodacom Bulls off-guard at Ellis Park last Saturday.
The Lions were able to regain possession in the last minute and win a penalty, from which they scored the match-winning try.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies said the Lions, according to rugby's laws, should have used the same ball that was used by Jacque-Louis Potgieter to kick his sixth penalty goal that gave the Bulls an 18-15 lead.
'We should have secured possession at the last restart, but the Lions used another ball which may have caused us to lose concentration,' Spies told Netwerk24. 'I didn’t have time to ask the referee [Jaco van Heerden] about it.'
However, Kaplan, writing on ratetheref.co.za, said the Lions had not broken any laws.
'I have cleared this with the powers that be and there is nothing in the law to prevent a team from taking a quick restart – provided it doesn’t give them an unfair advantage, ie contrary to the spirit of the game. Where Spies may have erred is that the law does directly refer to the [22m] dropout, which is obviously different to the restart.'
Kaplan added that there was also no issue with a different ball being used for a restart, citing another two examples of when that had been the case.
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