After some enjoyable morning banter (not to mention plenty of painstaking analysis of very poor video footage) we are in agreement. The Sharks’ first try on Saturday was scored by none other than Marcell Coetzee!
The 49th-minute score came from a textbook line-out drive. Fred Zeilinga had kicked a penalty to tough 5m from the Waratahs’ line, with Bismarck du Plessis delivering a lovely throw to Willem Alberts at the front of the lineout. The Sharks’ forwards piled in behind Alberts and drove over the line, with ref Mike Fraser on the spot and happy to award the try without any further consultation.
The only problem was, nobody knew who had actually scored it. The commentators initially credited it to Bismarck du Plessis, then quickly changed their minds and decided it was Ryan Kankowski who had scored it, based on his position at the front of the phalanx. A review of the evidence was rather inconclusive, though. Supersport had cut away to a shot of Tahs coach Michel Cheika being restrained from marching onto the field and as such there was no close up shot of the lineout having taken place at all – with only a high, wide angle shot showing Alberts transferring the ball to an unidentified player.
Looking at the pile of bodies after fact, we could clearly see that neither Kankowski, nor du Plessis had carried the ball over the line. Further viewings ruled out Alberts, Jannie du Plessis and Jean Deysel, leading to either Stephan Lewies or Coetzee by process of elimination.
The Sharks and SANZAR have this morning agreed that the try was scored by Coetzee and the records will be amended to reflect that.
I have to add, though, that I am unable to change the scoring on JustRugby’s Fantasy League, so the try there will stay against Kankowski’s name, since that was what was in the official SA Rugby match report at the time the scores were calculated. Tough break, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.Tweet