Vereniki Goneva denied a potential try for 'game value offence' against Saracens

Newcastle Falcons winger Vereniki Goneva
Newcastle Falcons winger Vereniki Goneva

The opening week of the Gallagher Premiership was no short of action. An action packed Saturday saw Gloucester, Harlequins, Wasps and Exeter Chiefs register victory but the focus was without doubt on the game at Kingston Park where Saracens completed a 21-32 win but not without a moment of scare from Vereniki Goneva.

By the 56th minute the difference between the two teams was just three points that was stretched to eight following a second try from Alex Lewington but with less than a quarter left in the game, Goneva fielded Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell’s failed drop goal attempt behind his own line that would have resulted in a 22 drop out.

The 34-year-old then ran the length of the pitch to catch Saracens amused to eventually touchdown but referee Ian Tempest called the play back and awarded a 22 drop out despite the fact that Goneva did not originally touch the ball down behind Newcastle's line.

In his ruling, the Tempest said the act of Goneva was a 'game value offence' and he shouldn't have dummied the ball at the first place.

The decision did create a jolt in the social media and among the pundits as they believed such a ruling could curb innovation in the game while few questioned on why did Tempest not opt for a TMO nor award a penalty to follow his action as he appeared confused.

The game eventually saw Saracens complete a 21-32 victory to begin their title defence on a winning note.


Premiership Rugby 2018/19 - Points Table