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Charging down of conversions

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doctor_grey
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Charging down of conversions Empty Charging down of conversions

Post by dummy_half Mon 12 Feb 2024, 3:10 pm

Prior to the RWC quarter final, I don't remember when I last saw a conversion attempt charged down, and now we've had two in the space of a few months, both of which I would say were somewhat controversial.

Law 8.14, relating to players on the opposing team to a conversion: All players retire to their goal line and do not overstep that line until the kicker moves in any direction to begin their approach to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.

In both instances (Ramos v SA, Ford this week), there is not doubt that the kicker moves but the question is whether it was to begin their approach to the kick. My recollection is that Ramos has a bit of an 'on the spot' stutter and a movement of his upper body before he starts to approach the ball, and that Kolbe started his charge down as Ramos was making these stutter steps - as this is the trigger to Ramos's approach to the ball, I this it's reasonable by the wording of the Law to say that this was 'to begin their approach...' Others may well disagree, and consider that it should only be when Ramos starts to move forwards towards the ball.

Ford's step to the side and pause is less clear cut, but for me (and I did occasionally kick goals), I wouldn't say that was truly 'to begin their approach...' It's a difficult one for the refs to call though, as some kickers start their approach with a bit of a sideways shuffle before immediately continuing to move forwards, or with a somewhat looping approach, and others such as Owen Farrell take half a pace backwards as their trigger movement, which clearly IS beginning their approach.

Time for a clarifiaction of the Laws? And if so, how, as clearly there are kickers who start their approach to the kick other than by moving towards the ball, and should be subject to being charged down.

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Post by Unclear Mon 12 Feb 2024, 3:40 pm

I think the law is fine as it stands, and players should just be more aware of the potential for a charge down. Probably just as well Biggar and Sexton have retired as they both seemed to have all sorts of starts/hesitations etc.

Ford got caught out trying to run down the clock so my sympathy is limited. I also think the shot clock is a good idea and was amazed it didn't catch Sexton out as he always took an age over kicking.

It is noticeable that teams are sending out attempts at charge downs much more regularly since Kolbe(?) showed it could be done.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 12 Feb 2024, 3:51 pm

Yup. Fine as it is. We saw Farrell get charged a couple of times want to say am Aus series as his approach begins with a step backwards. If Ford felt he aligned incorrectly all he had to do was ask the ref to reset. His own fault.

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Post by mountain man Mon 12 Feb 2024, 4:00 pm

To be honest, a lot of fuss over nothing. He and everyone else will now know what to do and not to do if they didn't already.
If it was in 80th minute and kick to decide the result then maybe more would be made of it but as it is so what.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 12 Feb 2024, 4:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup. Fine as it is. We saw Farrell get charged a couple of times want to say am Aus series as his approach begins with a step backwards. If Ford felt he aligned incorrectly all he had to do was ask the ref to reset. His own fault.

That was a practical option before the introduction of the shot clock, but now it isn't, as Farrell learned to his cost.

The shot clock model isn't fully mature. We also saw Marcus Smith miss a kick for a draw a few Prem games back because Luke Pearce (IIRC) stopped the clock for a TMO review after Smith had set up and then didn't reset the shot clock when he restarted the game clock, so Smith had had his prep disrupted for an external reason but wasn't allowed a reset.

I'd expect some tidying up of the laws in this area before RWC 2027. The core ideas are good but the edge cases are wonky.
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Post by doctor_grey Mon 12 Feb 2024, 9:11 pm

Of all players shouldn't the people whose job it is to kick at goal know the laws?

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Post by Margin_Walker Tue 13 Feb 2024, 6:27 am

doctor_grey wrote:Of all players shouldn't the people whose job it is to kick at goal know the laws?

He probably does know the laws, but was a bit miffed being charged down when not actually beginning his approach to kick.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 13 Feb 2024, 9:45 am

The problem is that everyone got used to being allowed to do increasingly elaborate kicking routines without interruptions. Technically, if he's going through the same movements every time he kicks, it's hard to argue he's not in his approach once he moves.

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Post by Margin_Walker Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:00 am

For me there's no law mandating standing statue still at the end of your run up, and not being allowed to fidget at all. If he'd been beginning his approach, he'd have been kicking the ball (or about to) by the time they got there. In the event he didn't even know he was being charged until they were on top of him. This was different to the Ramos RWC charge down for me where the movement was the start of his approach.

I can understand Wales charging, but think it should have been reset. It's just a badly worded law imo.

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Post by mountain man Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:02 am

One thing that occurs is apparently it's all to do with approach(?). So if kicker sets ball, steps back then stops as if ready to kick but then takes another step backwards can opposition players charge? Ford was caught out as he took step sideways so does same apply if a kicker takes another step back? As I said in earlier post, it's a fuss over nothing for me but it's something that occurred.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:08 am

I believe so, Mountain man.  I believe it's something like: set ball on tee, get in position, do your pre-shot routines and rituals (squatting, fidgeting, doing hair, shifting around (Biggar), doing creepy side-eyes at the goal (Farrell), etc.), and then when they're still/set any next movement is the initiation of the start of their kick, whether it be backwards, sideways, forwards, etc.  And the opposition can begin the charge down when this movement is initiated.


Last edited by TAFKA The Oracle on Tue 13 Feb 2024, 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Heaf Tue 13 Feb 2024, 11:15 am

Just goes to show how another law is poorly worded ... Ford clearly hadn't begun his approach as he stepped sideways and stood still and approach means 'move towards' ...

I think Crowley? in the Ireland match inadvertently took a risk in one conversion based on the 'Ford interpretation' as he did a little foot shuffle after getting into position but before starting his approach - luckily no-one charged that one (not that it would have made a difference).

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