Nigel Owens explains law after bizarre headed assist in NRL
Before anyone thinks that the Canberra Raiders might have found a loophole in the laws of rugby union and league this weekend, Nigel Owens has some bad news for you.
It came as the Raiders played the Melbourne Storm in the NRL, with Jordan Rapana racing to dive on a loose ball and score in the corner. However, instead of the ball coming off a teammate’s foot, the ball actually came off the head of teammate Sebastian Kris in one of the strangest assists you’ll ever see.
Take a look at the try:
— NRL (@NRL) September 10, 2022
Former referee Owens was quizzed on social media soon after the try was scored by former Wales international Lee Jarvis as to whether heading the ball like this was illegal.
Owens provided the bad news for plenty of players that it is actually a knock on in either code if the player intentionally heads the ball, but it is not if it is accidental. This was clearly not intentional from Kris which is why the try stood.
No mate not if it’s a deliberate act. If the ball comes off your head then play on. But if you deliberately head it then it is not allowed
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) September 10, 2022
Tries have been scored before though after a player has headed a ball instead of gathering it with their hands- it is actually called a falcon is some parts. But what is key is that they have not intentionally thrown the ball onto their head. What is classified as a knock on is throwing the ball onto your head, just like this try: