A try came from Guillermo Lijtenstein heading the ball forward at the Sydney Sevens


A deliberate header in rugby shouldn’t stand: that’s according to Rugby World’s Secret Ref.

During the Sydney leg of the Sevens World Series, in a match between Uruguay and Spain, a tapped-back kick-off bounced up for los Teros no 9 Guillermo Lijtenstein who decided to header the ball forward. It rolled down the touchline and popped up for Lijtenstein to take it and pass inside to Valentin Grille, who scored.

As you can hear, the commentators loved it.

But our resident former elite match official, the Secret Ref, tells us: “An interesting clip, but I’m not sure I would allow it!

“I think it goes against the spirit of the game. The law is quite clear that you can’t propel the ball forward. It’s like how you can’t run, throw the ball forward over another player and regain it on the other side yourself. You can’t do that. And I think this would come under the same sort of principle, that you’re propelling the ball forward.

“I agree it’s not specifically covered in law. I think if it was in the law book, it would be about six inches thick, thanks to all the things that you can’t do. The catch-all would be something like ‘play be judicial to the spirit of the game’.

“The fact that this ref let it go, I think watch out for a law clarification or something down the line! But whilst it’s not specifically outlawed, I think that most referees would disallow that. As amazing as it was and as entertaining as it was, I think it would be disallowed.

“I’m interested in the thoughts of others on this though…”

So what do you think? Let us know via rugbyworldletters@futurenet.com or on our social channels.

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