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'You just can't do that' - Claims of foul play levelled at Etzebeth

By Ian Cameron
Eben Etzebeth of the Sharks prepares to lead his team out of the tunnel during the EPCR Challenge Cup Final match between Gloucester Rugby and Hollywoodbets Sharks at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 24, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby pundit Ugo Monye has claimed Eben Etzebeth should have been yellow carded during the Challenge Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the Sharks emerged victorious over Gloucester 36-22.

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The former Harlequin winger told TNT Sports at half-time Etzebeth should have been sin-binned and Gloucester awarded a penalty try for his tackle on Chris Harris early in the first half.

The incident occurred when Harris was attempting to reach to score, only to be thwarted by Etzebeth, who appeared to slide into the tackle with his knees, saving a sure try.

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Monye did not hold back in his assessment: “I think this should be a penalty try and a yellow card. Chris Harris is so near… initially, I thought this was brilliant…Etzebeth goes off his feet and knee slides in the field of play. You just can’t do that.

“If he had made that from over the try line, then fair enough. Within the field of play you just can’t go off your feet. He just knee slid into a tackle situation.”

Monye’s comments might spark debate among rugby fans but ultimately the Sharks were by some distance the best of the two sides.

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While some might agree with Monye, many others will think it was simply a brilliant bit of defending from the towering second-row.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Ethan Hooker, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Nthuthuko Mchuni, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Lappies Labuschagne, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Eduan Keyter

Date: Friday, May 24
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Kick-off: 20.00 (21.00 SA time; 19.00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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Comments

28 Comments
T
Turlough 27 days ago

World Rugby Standard Rules:

  1. A player on the ground in the field of play, without the ball is out of the game and must:
  2. Allow opponents who are not on the ground to play or gain possession of the ball.
  3. Not play the ball.
  4. Not tackle or attempt to tackle an opponentSanction: Penalty.
Etzebeth prevented the try by illegally playing the ball on the ground breaking Law 13.2 or 13.1 depending on if you define his action as trying to tackle or trying to play the ball.
It should have been a penalty try. Monye is correct.

j
jeremy 27 days ago

Unfortunately Ugo is actually correct. Any action by Etzebeth once he is off his feet in the field of play is illegal.
Too often we see players off their feet doing stuff and getting away with it

G
Gordon 27 days ago

Dispossessing yes, tackling no. You cannot tackle a player who is prone on the ground but you can play the ball.

K
Karl 28 days ago

Can someone please tell Monye that he’s complete 🔔🔚?

D
Dan 28 days ago

Foul play by Eben Etzebeth? Surely not.

N
Nool 28 days ago

Ugo this is rugby mate. Stop talking nonsense

L
Lutz 28 days ago

Get real! The fact that his knees didn't make contact with the player negates your opinion. Maybe he should have waved the player in, like a traffic officer at a blocked intersection?

W
Wesley 28 days ago

Seriously? Why even entertain this. Trust me. No debate amongst rugby fans. We’re smarter than that. Nothing wrong here. Great defense. Move on.

S
Stuart 29 days ago

Did anyone catch the elbow to the back of the head of the sharks player 36min 28sec in just before the aerial challenge? I watched it live and I thought I saw it and the sharks player drop. Every camera shot was then zoomed it for the aerial contest. Was it just my imagination or was it just a bad camera angle.

N
Neale 29 days ago

Brit pundit - sees Springbok cries FOUL PLAY.

It's becoming tiresomely BORING.

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