Springboks Star’s Controversial Challenge Cup Final Tackle Sparks Debate

Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth’s try-saving tackle in the Challenge Cup final has divided experts, with former England winger Ugo Monye arguing it should have been penalized. The incident has sparked a heated debate among rugby enthusiasts, highlighting the challenges of interpreting the laws of the game.

Springboks Star Etzebeth’s Controversial Challenge Cup Final Tackle Divides Experts

Former England winger Ugo Monye has expressed his belief that Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth should have been shown a yellow card for his try-saving tackle during the Challenge Cup final against Gloucester at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday.

In the opening 10 minutes, Gloucester centre Chris Harris looked poised to score, but Etzebeth’s sliding intervention dislodged the ball from Harris’ grasp, leading to a Sharks scrum. Referee Mathieu Raynal deemed Etzebeth’s actions legal, but Monye, speaking on TNT Sports, disagreed.

“I think this should be a penalty try and a yellow card,” Monye stated. “Etzebeth goes off his feet, knee slides in the field of play, you just can’t do that. If it was over the try line and he made that tackle, fair enough, but within the field of play, you cannot just go off your feet to make that tackle. He’s just knee-slid into a tackle situation.”

However, the Sharks lock could argue that he was in-goal and within his rights as per Law 21.12, which states that a player is considered to be in-goal if any part of them is behind the try line, provided they are not in touch or on the dead-ball line.

Etzebeth’s crucial intervention proved pivotal, as the Sharks went on to claim a 36-22 victory, securing their first international competition title and a spot in next season’s Champions Cup.

The incident has sparked debate among rugby union enthusiasts, with opinions divided on whether Etzebeth’s actions warranted a yellow card or were within the laws of the game.

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