Why Marc Sneyd penalty ‘assist’ for Salford Red Devils team-mate was disallowed

Aaron Bower
Marc Sneyd Salford Red Devils Alamy

Salford Red Devils half-back Marc Sneyd

Salford Red Devils were victorious on Sunday afternoon against St Helens – but they were disallowed a try in a hugely controversial moment midway through the contest.

Marc Sneyd was once again the centre of attention for the Red Devils as he put on another masterclass with the boot. And it was Sneyd’s moment of invention during the game which had everyone talking.

Sneyd lined up a penalty goal and appeared to skew it badly, before the ball fell into the arms of the chasing Chris Atkin, who grounded the ball for a try – but the try was disallowed by the match official.

Why? Because it was deemed to be a contravention of one of the game’s laws – and Sneyd was effectively accused of misconduct by pretending to kick at goal and deceiving the opposition.

The law states: “It shall be misconduct for a player to pretend to kick at goal from a penalty kick and then deliberately kick it elsewhere.

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“Such misconduct shall incur a penalty. Once having informed the referee of his intention to kick at goal from a penalty award, the kicker shall not do otherwise.”

Effectively, Sneyd was adjudged to have deliberately missed the goal attempt, rather than simply making a mistake and the ball fortuitously falling into the arms of Atkin. Had the match officials deemed that Sneyd had simply missed the kick deliberately, the try could have stood.

Fortunately for Salford, it didn’t matter, and they emerged victorious. And it raised a smile from Paul Rowley post-match.

“The rule is absolutely correct; if he believes he purposely missed the kick it’s not allowed,” he said.

“I think it was page 406 paragraph two, rule 2b in the rule book. Sneydy’s saying it was a mistake – but I don’t think it was if I’m honest! Next time we’ll tell him to aim for the post – and he’ll probably get it! He was great for us again but it was a fantastic team effort.”

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