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Picking up the ball?

Player A tackles the opposing ball carrier (B). His teammate (C) is there to step over the tackled player from an onside position and when Player B attempts to present the ball he reaches down to pickup the placed ball while remaining on his feet. Player B trys to retain the ball because none of his teammates are there to ruck over or pick up the ball. Player C gets called for hands in a ruck. Why? I thought if on my feet and coming through the gate the ball is fair game.
I can see only 2 proper/legal ways to get the ball if what I did was a penalty. Option 1 is to step over and kick the ball clear, risking a call for dangerous play, and hoping for the lucky bounce. Option 2 is to step over the carrier AND the ball and hope a teammate is there to pick up or ruck over behind me. Basically, ignoring the ball in plain site and not pick it up. I get it if there are other opposing players (other than the carrier) so a ruck is formed but not the way it happened.
What is the right play?

This is only a tackle situation, as long as you come from behind through the gate, on your feet, you can play the ball. In effect the scrum half!

Surely if the tackled player was bound in the tackle he has to release the ball, so the way I would ref this was to award a penelty to the defending team. This is how I would read this as explained.

Hi Kevin,

The only circumstances that [C] could get penalised is if a ruck has been created (see definition) and your player has put his hands into it to secure the ball. The best referees communicate quickly and clearly "ruck-hands away" or something similar.  The referee will have to deem the ruck 'over' or the ball not in the ruck if you're to pick it up.

The key is to coach correct techniques, but also to coach players to adapt and work within the 'interpretation' of the referee they have in charge of their game as at the lower levels of the game unexpert refereeing is rife - BUT there isn't a game without them.

Sounds to me like ref got that one wrong, but he was still right cos he had the whistle !

 

ps.... Ref's often make mistakes ............I was once informed that I'd punched a player three times "for no reason", wheras I thought him sticking his fingers up my nose was 'a bloody good reason'     : )   

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