Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

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Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 01 May 2017, 2:19 pm



An interesting piece of analysis of the final 10 minutes of France vs Wales in the 6N in the blog post below, where 3 of the 11 offences spotted by the author were actually pinged

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/why-professional-rugby-is-impossible-to-referee/

The overall conclusion is an interesting one - thoughts?

"Given the number of offences by each side that are ignored by the officials, we can easily see how supporters end up feeling their team has been hard done by and then blame the referee.

There isn’t an easy solution to the problem. The 3 possibilities are:

i) coaches and players back off and stop offending so frequently – which isn’t likely to happen given the win at all costs of modern rugby

ii) the officials start to penalise more offences

iii) we move towards the american football model of officiating, with a number of officials looking at different types of offences at any time"

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by tigertattie on Mon 01 May 2017, 2:59 pm

oh good grief this is a horrible horrible conundrum!

At first thought I think we do need to go down the route of having multiple officials like in NFL. The only issue is though is that the game will become 4 hours long like in NFL with the number of stoppages.

No one wants that!

I'm a great believer in getting rugby free flowing and to have a little stoppages as possible. I'm also a great believer in self policing.

The reason I'm for self policing is that refs just lets so many infringements go now in order to let the game carry on, that either these ignored offenses need either removed from the game, or you let players sort it out there and then.

I'm absolutely sick of the sight of nearly every single pro or international team going off their feet at the breakdown. Why are they doing this? Because they're getting away with it! Either have the ref enforce the rule or bring back good old fashioned rucking the man out! If you're doing a Ritchie McCaw and you're on the the wrong side of the ball then you should expect to be trampled on! Simple as that!

This only sorts one issue out though. There's so many unpenalised offenses in top flight rugby now that I don't have the answer to this! If I did, I'd be working for World Rugby!
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by wayne on Mon 01 May 2017, 5:12 pm

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:

An interesting piece of analysis of the final 10 minutes of France vs Wales in the 6N in the blog post below, where 3 of the 11 offences spotted by the author were actually pinged

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/why-professional-rugby-is-impossible-to-referee/

The overall conclusion is an interesting one - thoughts?

"Given the number of offences by each side that are ignored by the officials, we can easily see how supporters end up feeling their team has been hard done by and then blame the referee.

There isn’t an easy solution to the problem. The 3 possibilities are:

i) coaches and players back off and stop offending so frequently – which isn’t likely to happen given the win at all costs of modern rugby

ii) the officials start to penalise more offences

iii) we move towards the american football model of officiating, with a number of officials looking at different types of offences at any time"

Pete thanks for that interesting piece, and with my Welsh cap on, the first offence committed was Slimani binding on and pulling down Rob Evans, so it should have been a Welsh penalty Yahoo Can we now have our extra 4 points Very Happy

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by robbo277 on Mon 01 May 2017, 7:09 pm

There has to be an element of materiality to the event. In which case, pinging 3 of the 11 events may be a fair return. I'll have to settle down and read the article later.

I despise the blame the ref culture. You can have an objective look at a referee's performance in the context of a game, but unless you're genuinely levelling accusations of bias against a referee, then blame should lie at the team's door first.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Gwlad on Mon 01 May 2017, 7:18 pm

Doesn't appear to be for Nigel Owens.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by robbo277 on Mon 01 May 2017, 8:03 pm

Owens is a very good communicator (preventing offences makes for a better game than pinging offences) and has good judgement of what offences he needs to ping (what would seriously impact the game). Therefore fewer of his decisions (including the decision not to go to the whistle) can be spoken out about.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Gwlad on Mon 01 May 2017, 9:22 pm

Owens believes less is more and as you say he pings when he feels that it is really necessary. There is far too much ego in rugby refs nowadays like Barnes and Rolland and one feels they often want to influence the outcome of games. Walsh was a case in point but it was a pleasure to watch him ref England though.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Poorfour on Mon 01 May 2017, 9:48 pm

One of the things they talk about when training refs is materiality. Realistically, if you look at any breakdown or scrum you could find half a dozen things to penalise. If you actually acted on all of them, the game would become unplayable and unwatchable.

So it becomes a question of continually making judgements about what is making a difference. Is one team getting an unfair advantage from what they are doing? If so, you blow. If no, let it go.

Different refs draw the line in different places. Owens let's more go than most - which three or four years ago led to him making some bad technical decisions that I felt impaired his effectiveness as a ref. Barnes is more of a stickler - though admits that he doesn't see everything - and errs more towards not letting things go.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:20 am

tigertattie wrote:
I'm absolutely sick of the sight of nearly every single pro or international team going off their feet at the breakdown. Why are they doing this? Because they're getting away with it! Either have the ref enforce the rule or bring back good old fashioned rucking the man out! If you're doing a Ritchie McCaw and you're on the the wrong side of the ball then you should expect to be trampled on! Simple as that!

Yep, it's impossible to compete at the breakdown so 15+ phases is common. Anytime you compete you just get clattered by people flying at you.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:36 am

Poorfour wrote:One of the things they talk about when training refs is materiality. Realistically, if you look at any breakdown or scrum you could find half a dozen things to penalise. If you actually acted on all of them, the game would become unplayable and unwatchable.

So it becomes a question of continually making judgements about what is making a difference. Is one team getting an unfair advantage from what they are doing? If so, you blow. If no, let it go.

Different refs draw the line in different places. Owens let's more go than most - which three or four years ago led to him making some bad technical decisions that I felt impaired his effectiveness as a ref. Barnes is more of a stickler - though admits that he doesn't see everything - and errs more towards not letting things go.

The problem is Barnes sees things that aren't there and seems to get lost at scrum time and the breakdown, the problem with being a stickler is you then need to see everything because quite often things get skewed

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:43 am

Doesn't help players are now deploying football tactics of play acting to win penalties, Munster were awful the other day a small gust of wind would blow them over.
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 02 May 2017, 10:09 am

This is why I dont like Barnes. In every game there are lots of infringements that go unpunished because at most rucks there are a few technical fouls that could be penalised but generally arent because otherwise the game would be stopped every minute.

However, Barnes tends to pick the fouls he wants to penalise rather than taking a consistent approach between the two sides. As such he tends to drive the game in the direction he wants it to go in.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 02 May 2017, 10:31 am

Barnes is a good Ref.

But I guess its easy to blame the guy in the middle when your team loses though, Football mentality is creeping into our game and it needs to stop.
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 10:49 am

TightHEAD wrote:Barnes is a good Ref.

But I guess its easy to blame the guy in the middle when your team loses though, Football mentality is creeping into our game and it needs to stop.  

It's getting a bit like that. Once fans believe (rightly or wrongly) that a ref has "screwed" them then they notice every 50:50 call the other way going forward. So you wind up with the Irish & NZers hating on Barnes, the French hating on Owens, the English hating on Walsh, etc etc.
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 11:21 am

TightHEAD wrote:Barnes is a good Ref.

But I guess its easy to blame the guy in the middle when your team loses though, Football mentality is creeping into our game and it needs to stop.  

Not only is it nothing to do with who is playing he is just a poor ref, watching Wasps/Quins on Friday night myself and plenty of other neutrals were frustrated watching what was a good game just because of his continual guessing games at the scrum and breakdown. One minute he was allowing a contest at the breakdown then a few minutes later he wasn't, they say players need to play to a refs interpretation but when it continually changes how can you?

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Poorfour on Tue 02 May 2017, 12:12 pm

marty2086 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Barnes is a good Ref.

But I guess its easy to blame the guy in the middle when your team loses though, Football mentality is creeping into our game and it needs to stop.  

Not only is it nothing to do with who is playing he is just a poor ref, watching Wasps/Quins on Friday night myself and plenty of other neutrals were frustrated watching what was a good game just because of his continual guessing games at the scrum and breakdown. One minute he was allowing a contest at the breakdown then a few minutes later he wasn't, they say players need to play to a refs interpretation but when it continually changes how can you?

I can understand the frustration, but I don't think that makes him a bad ref. He penalises what he sees and I can't think of any examples where I have seen him penalise or call out something without justification.

My main frustration is that I think in the scrum in particular he tries to monitor multiple things at once and as a result sometimes misses more important things at the expense of less important things. He does occasional "meet the ref" talks for Quins and used to use a video of a sequence of scrums between Quins and Leicester that resulted in two yellow cards for Quins - one of which he admits on replay was unjustified because he had missed some illegality by Leicester while focusing on the Quins tighthead, who was in trouble.

I think the best scrum (and breakdown) refs develop a sequential approach in which they check specific points in the order that they affect things (e.g. in the scrum, bind before body angle before who went up and who went down), and I don't think Barnes does that.

But whatever he is doing is clearly acceptable to the AP, ECC and WR ref assessors.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 12:30 pm

Sorry Pourfour Ive seen him get plenty wrong, at scrum time it really is a lottery and maybe the problem is as you suggest he is seeing something small while the real infringement is missed. I've seen numerous scrums brought down in front of him and he gets it wrong, including a prop binding on the arm. I've also seen too many occasions of players getting over the ball at a tackle and not being cleared out and either being told to release or get penalised even though they maybe got it given in their favour 5 mins earlier, not to mention if the tackled player hasn't released the ball that's the first offence. He's not the only one guilty of it. He does it with more confidence/arrogance than most though which is irritating but can also mask the errors.

You say you haven't seen him give anything without justification, I think his sending Hartley off in the AP final was without justification and I normally revel in delight at seeing him sent off


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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by miaow on Tue 02 May 2017, 1:16 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:This is why I dont like Barnes. In every game there are lots of infringements that go unpunished because at most rucks there are a few technical fouls that could be penalised but generally arent because otherwise the game would be stopped every minute.

However, Barnes tends to pick the fouls he wants to penalise rather than taking a consistent approach between the two sides. As such he tends to drive the game in the direction he wants it to go in.

Generally, I agree with that, and that's certainly true of Barnes for most of his career.

What I found interesting was the way he refereed the Wales Ireland game this Six Nations. It was- for want of a better word- very un-Barnes like, in that he did let a lot go, and seemed to be making a conscious decision to err on the side of playing on, rather than becoming and overbearing presence on the match.

Now, you can ask, why was this? Could it be that both teams were 'clean' and accurate, Ireland particularly so, and didn't give Barnes much to penalise? Largely true. Was it that Barnes is aware how he's perceived in Ireland, and as such wanted to be a bit less whistle-happy to avoid any claims of ruining the game/bias? Possibly, it's impossible to say if that influenced his approach. Could it perhaps be that the manner in which he refereed is how the Lions and New Zealand will be reffed this Summer?

To me, it's probably a mixture of the first and last there. Poite and Garces are notable too in that they've become a bit more stand offish in their role in games.

Whether it's a WR directive or not, it's generally a good thing in that the players are deciding the game through skill/accuracy/tactics/luck, and 'playing' the ref goes back to what it should be; a part of the game, yes, but not a main focus.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 02 May 2017, 1:24 pm

miaow wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:This is why I dont like Barnes. In every game there are lots of infringements that go unpunished because at most rucks there are a few technical fouls that could be penalised but generally arent because otherwise the game would be stopped every minute.

However, Barnes tends to pick the fouls he wants to penalise rather than taking a consistent approach between the two sides. As such he tends to drive the game in the direction he wants it to go in.

Generally, I agree with that, and that's certainly true of Barnes for most of his career.

What I found interesting was the way he refereed the Wales Ireland game this Six Nations. It was- for want of a better word- very un-Barnes like, in that he did let a lot go, and seemed to be making a conscious decision to err on the side of playing on, rather than becoming and overbearing presence on the match.

Now, you can ask, why was this? Could it be that both teams were 'clean' and accurate, Ireland particularly so, and didn't give Barnes much to penalise? Largely true. Was it that Barnes is aware how he's perceived in Ireland, and as such wanted to be a bit less whistle-happy to avoid any claims of ruining the game/bias? Possibly, it's impossible to say if that influenced his approach. Could it perhaps be that the manner in which he refereed is how the Lions and New Zealand will be reffed this Summer?

To me, it's probably a mixture of the first and last there. Poite and Garces are notable too in that they've become a bit more stand offish in their role in games.

Whether it's a WR directive or not, it's generally a good thing in that the players are deciding the game through skill/accuracy/tactics/luck, and 'playing' the ref goes back to what it should be; a part of the game, yes, but not a main focus.

It was one of his better games.

A good ref should be fairly anonymous IMO. That's one of the things that annoys me about Owens too. He likes a bit of attention a little too much these days.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 May 2017, 1:27 pm

I see it the opposite way on TV with the link to what the ref says. He should be communicating well and often and if he is you're going to notice at home.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Tue 02 May 2017, 1:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I see it the opposite way on TV with the link to what the ref says. He should be communicating well and often and if he is you're going to notice at home.

Yeah but you are a fairly contrary character at the best of times.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 May 2017, 1:32 pm

Yup. I am that. It's a good point though nonetheless. If you don't notice the ref you're watching at the ground or without sound. And even then what you really mean is you're agreeing with the ref on that day.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 2:23 pm

If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:13 pm

But going back to this:

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:The 3 possibilities are:

i) coaches and players back off and stop offending so frequently – which isn’t likely to happen given the win at all costs of modern rugby

ii) the officials start to penalise more offences

iii) we move towards the american football model of officiating, with a number of officials looking at different types of offences at any time"


Maybe it's a combination of i) and ii) - maybe players need encouragement to self-police. It'll mean matches are more stop-start for a while, but if we accept that players will always push the boundaries to see what they can get away with, then they'll adjust fairly quickly once they learn that what used to be permissible / overlooked will now be penalised - at least, more often than before.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:18 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:But going back to this:

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:The 3 possibilities are:

i) coaches and players back off and stop offending so frequently – which isn’t likely to happen given the win at all costs of modern rugby

ii) the officials start to penalise more offences

iii) we move towards the american football model of officiating, with a number of officials looking at different types of offences at any time"


Maybe it's a combination of i) and ii) - maybe players need encouragement to self-police. It'll mean matches are more stop-start for a while, but if we accept that players will always push the boundaries to see what they can get away with, then they'll adjust fairly quickly once they learn that what used to be permissible / overlooked will now be penalised - at least, more often than before.

That's not a bad idea. Unfortunately they tried that on high tackles, but as players started to adjust those the refs also lightened up on their card issuance, negating a lot of the gain
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:21 pm

It would need consistency and perseverance, and there's enough pressure on referees as it is. But the alternative is to allow players to push the limits further and further - which they will, it's human nature.

N.B. I haven't read the article yet.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:30 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It would need consistency and perseverance, and there's enough pressure on referees as it is. But the alternative is to allow players to push the limits further and further - which they will, it's human nature.

N.B. I haven't read the article yet.

OK

(I read the article. I drew the line at re-watching the last 10 minutes of the France vs Wales match though. Once was bad enough)
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:33 pm

It's not as if it had been a good game until that point either.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:39 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

This is a very good point. It would be frustrating at first if it was strictly enforced because there would be a penalty called at almost every ruck, but it would die down fairly quickly I would imagine for the reasons you have given.

I guess it is similar with the scrum feed. It just isn't officiated because people want the scrum to be completed.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 3:44 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

This is a very good point. It would be frustrating at first if it was strictly enforced because there would be a penalty called at almost every ruck, but it would die down fairly quickly I would imagine for the reasons you have given.

I guess it is similar with the scrum feed. It just isn't officiated because people want the scrum to be completed.

I read some comments by Colin Meads on the '71 tour the other day. The same guy reffed all 4 matches, and Carwyn James had gotten into his head re. Sid Going and squint feeds, to the point where Going was putting the ball under the Lions' feet & still getting pinged. IIRC similar happened to Going on one SA tour
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 4:02 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

This is a very good point. It would be frustrating at first if it was strictly enforced because there would be a penalty called at almost every ruck, but it would die down fairly quickly I would imagine for the reasons you have given.

I guess it is similar with the scrum feed. It just isn't officiated because people want the scrum to be completed.

Aren't they trialling a new offside line in NZ where you have to be a yard further back at rucks now?

Not sure who saw the Ospreys/Ulster match on Saturday but there was actually an occasion when I think it was Mujati was standing level with Paul Marshall when he took the ball from the ruck. When Marshall went to run to his left, he saw the Ospreys player and turned back on himself and John Lacey didn't give anything

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 4:07 pm

I remember Dai Watkins talking about the 1966 tour to New Zealand, where they had a New Zealander as referee for the Test matches. The referee spoke to the Lions beforehand and assured them that he'd be impartial. Minutes into the first Test he blew for a scrum, and Watkins asked whose put-in it was, to which the referee replied, 'it's ours, whose to you blydi think it is?'

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 02 May 2017, 4:09 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

This is a very good point. It would be frustrating at first if it was strictly enforced because there would be a penalty called at almost every ruck, but it would die down fairly quickly I would imagine for the reasons you have given.

I guess it is similar with the scrum feed. It just isn't officiated because people want the scrum to be completed.

Aren't they trialling a new offside line in NZ where you have to be a yard further back at rucks now?

Not sure who saw the Ospreys/Ulster match on Saturday but there was actually an occasion when I think it was Mujati was standing level with Paul Marshall when he took the ball from the ruck. When Marshall went to run to his left, he saw the Ospreys player and turned back on himself and John Lacey didn't give anything

This is where assistant referees have to help out. The referee has enough on his plate at the ruck.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 4:17 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:If referees (and assistant referees) started cracking down on players being offside at rucks, I'd be happy. It's not hard to spot. It wouldn't buy players loads more time on the ball, but as Paul Daniels used to say, every second counts.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it, and it doesn't mean they won't stop doing it if it's costing them three points, if not more, at a time.

This is a very good point. It would be frustrating at first if it was strictly enforced because there would be a penalty called at almost every ruck, but it would die down fairly quickly I would imagine for the reasons you have given.

I guess it is similar with the scrum feed. It just isn't officiated because people want the scrum to be completed.

Aren't they trialling a new offside line in NZ where you have to be a yard further back at rucks now?

Not sure who saw the Ospreys/Ulster match on Saturday but there was actually an occasion when I think it was Mujati was standing level with Paul Marshall when he took the ball from the ruck. When Marshall went to run to his left, he saw the Ospreys player and turned back on himself and John Lacey didn't give anything

They tried that in last year's NPC (along with a couple of other tweaks). Complete disaster, they were abandoned mid-comp
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:00 pm

Surely the responsibility is with the players ? They should be going out onto the field to play by the laws, not to break them. This is all down to how the players are coached, cheating is cheating. Not binding in the scrum, that is cheating. Holding onto the ball at the ruck, that is cheating, not driving straight in a scrum, that is cheating, crocked feeds into the scrum, that is cheating, I could go on.

When players intentionally take to the field and start cheating, the game falls into anarchy. Have a go at the refs all you want, but the players and the coaches should shoulder the blame. I would only blame a ref when he is obviously not taking notice of any of these offences or only pinging one team for them.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Surely the responsibility is with the players ? They should be going out onto the field to play by the laws, not to break them. This is all down to how the players are coached, cheating is cheating. Not binding in the scrum, that is cheating. Holding onto the ball at the ruck, that is cheating, not driving straight in a scrum, that is cheating, crocked feeds into the scrum, that is cheating, I could go on.

When players intentionally take to the field and start cheating, the game falls into anarchy. Have a go at the refs all you want, but the players and the coaches should shoulder the blame. I would only blame a ref when he is obviously not taking notice of any of these offences or only pinging one team for them.

No its not cheating, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you don't realise what you are doing and instinct takes over its not cheating

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by hugehandoff on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:12 pm

We all need to know where the boundaries are. If that is clear then you know how far you can go. Works for kids, adults, pets. Therefore, if the ref, and any assistant refs, blew for every infringement we would have a period where the games would be unwatchable. But continue with this and maybe the desire to win and to be successful would result in sides having to play by the rules? This might even lead to a more watchable game? As soon as refs have to use their own judgement as to what offences to penalise or not, for the sake of allowing a game to flow, then players will push the boundaries all day long. To make this work all refs would have to do it and we would all probably give up watching rugby for a year until the teams adjusted to it.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:12 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Surely the responsibility is with the players ? They should be going out onto the field to play by the laws, not to break them. This is all down to how the players are coached, cheating is cheating. Not binding in the scrum, that is cheating. Holding onto the ball at the ruck, that is cheating, not driving straight in a scrum, that is cheating, crocked feeds into the scrum, that is cheating, I could go on.

When players intentionally take to the field and start cheating, the game falls into anarchy. Have a go at the refs all you want, but the players and the coaches should shoulder the blame. I would only blame a ref when he is obviously not taking notice of any of these offences or only pinging one team for them.

No its not cheating, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you don't realise what you are doing and instinct takes over its not cheating

I think you mean "It's not always cheating" Rory. Wink

An Irish mate went along to a referees' symposium in London during the 6N, hosted by Barnes and featuring a few other international refs including Jackson & Gardener. Apparently they all considered reffing matches in the SH easier as the ball tended to be tied up in rucks/mauls less meaning there was less time spent having to consider who was (materially) cheating, while the emphasis on scrums as a platform to restart the game rather than a dominance exercise/penalty-winning opportunity also made things easier.

(Jackson also got a few laughs by suggesting the crowds were easier on refs down-under, then asking Barnes if he agreed ...)
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:33 pm

That's Marty. I'm Rory. And yes, I agree that it is cheating but of course players will try to push the boundaries. If you're an openside flanker you make a career out of it for goodness sake.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Poorfour on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:37 pm

I agree with Marty (though we'll have to agree to disagree on specific refs).

The Laws are not clear cut.

In particular, they are open to interpretation in a number of critical areas. What does it mean to say that a tackled player must "immediately" place the ball? Or that the tackler must "immediately" release and move away? How big is the gap between holding on long enough to complete the tackle (and avoid a "not held" call) and holding on too long and getting pinged?

Different refs interpret in different ways, and allow different degrees of leeway. Richie McCaw used to say that he aimed to give away two penalties per game - any more and he wasn't effectively responding to the ref, any less and he wasn't testing the boundaries enough.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 02 May 2017, 5:39 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:That's Marty. I'm Rory. And yes, I agree that it is cheating but of course players will try to push the boundaries. If you're an openside flanker you make a career out of it for goodness sake.

Doh

Sorry
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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 02 May 2017, 7:02 pm

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:That's Marty. I'm Rory. And yes, I agree that it is cheating but of course players will try to push the boundaries. If you're an openside flanker you make a career out of it for goodness sake.

Doh

Sorry

Haha no need to apologise sir. OK

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:06 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:That's Marty. I'm Rory. And yes, I agree that it is cheating but of course players will try to push the boundaries. If you're an openside flanker you make a career out of it for goodness sake.

Doh

Sorry

Haha no need to apologise sir. OK

Says you, I much better looking so Im offended Whistle

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:18 pm

I wouldn't deny it for a second Marty! There is a reason why I'm suited to forums.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 03 May 2017, 8:48 am

marty2086 wrote:No its not cheating, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you don't realise what you are doing and instinct takes over its not cheating

OMG, is this guy for real ?

picard

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Scottrf on Wed 03 May 2017, 8:53 am

hugehandoff wrote:We all need to know where the boundaries are. If that is clear then you know how far you can go. Works for kids, adults, pets. Therefore, if the ref, and any assistant refs, blew for every infringement we would have a period where the games would be unwatchable. But continue with this and maybe the desire to win and to be successful would result in sides having to play by the rules? This might even lead to a more watchable game? As soon as refs have to use their own judgement as to what offences to penalise or not, for the sake of allowing a game to flow, then players will push the boundaries all day long. To make this work all refs would have to do it and we would all probably give up watching rugby for a year until the teams adjusted to it.  

Impossible. There's always a boundary between legal and illegal so whatever parameters you set there will be cases on the edge.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:00 am

Ref's miss things, they're human....they make mistakes. It's more the constant scrutinising and complaining that annoys me more than the actual mistakes, especially on here. There tends to be less discussion about the actual rugby and more on the ref's mistakes on a lot of match threads.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:35 am

Players should take the field to play rugby to the laws of the game, that is what they are there for, the  refs are already on a thankless job when players base their game on pushing the boundaries of the laws.

Now whether they are being coached to do this or not, cheating is cheating, and no matter what a certain member on here thinks, you cannot cheat by accident.

If the teams took the field to play rugby fairly and squarely you would get a much better product than what we are getting now. The refs are not good enough to keep a handle on all the mischief during a match. You had to feel sorry for Wayne Barnes during the France V Wales game this year, France were obviously cheating by bringing another prop on, and if you asked Wayne Barnes privately I bet he would agree as well, but what was he to do ? Then that is when the anarchy started.

If the mindsets of all the people involved with pro rugby changed, and players were educated that pushing the laws is not acceptable, then we would all have a better sport to watch/play.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by beshocked on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:37 am

No I don't think it's impossible - just needs to be some consistency.

Personally I think as long as a ref gets most of the calls correct then there is no issue.

Each fan is going to have different views on refs. Worst performance from TMO and ref I've seen was the 2013-14 AP final. It genuinely felt like 17 vs 15. In a big game to repeatedly the big 50-50 to 1 team - it's still baffling to me. Getting try after try chalked off but the opposition gets 2 tries that shouldn't have been awarded, just incredible.

On a Yes or No try for no clear grounding to be awarded a try - never seen it since, worst piece of officiating I've seen.

Referees and TMOs must be held accountable for poor performances just as players are.

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Re: Is reffing at the top level becoming impossible?

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:46 am

beshocked wrote:
Each fan is going to have different views on refs. Worst performance from TMO and ref I've seen was the 2013-14 AP final. It genuinely felt like 17 vs 15. In a big game to repeatedly the big 50-50 to 1 team - it's still baffling to me.  Getting try after try chalked off but the opposition gets 2 tries that shouldn't have been awarded, just incredible.

On a Yes or No try for no clear grounding to be awarded a try - never seen it since, worst piece of officiating I've seen.

Referees and TMOs must be held accountable for poor performances just as players are.

The fact that your team was involved and lost, makes you a biased participant in any discussion on the officiating.

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