Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chris Ashton scores sneaky try from pinpoint Owen Farrell cross kick

Winger Chris Ashton scored twice as Saracens beat Edinburgh 40-7 to earn themselves a home Heineken Cup quarter-final. As with some other fixtures over the weekend, the falling snow didn't affect the try scoring too much, as the home side crossed five times.

Ashton picked up his first in the 27th minute when a well placed chip through from Richard Wigglesworth sat up nicely for the England winger to dot down. His second was all the more impressive though, and came about through some deception, quick thinking, and fantastic skill.

As Edinburgh waited for the penalty kick at goal to be lined up, Ashton collected Owen Farrell's well placed kick and dived over in the corner.

"It was a difficult day for wingers but two touches, two tries – I'd take that every time," he said.

Sarcens director of rugby Mark McCall said it was great to see Ashton score in such conditions.

"The second try was fantastic.. Ashy and Owen just saw each other and they pulled it off. We can appreciate just how difficult it was out there and we said after the game that the conditions were as bad as it gets, with the ball like a bar of soap," McCall said.

There was a hint of controversy in it though as while Saracens hadn't indicated that they were going for goal, the kicking tee had come on to the field, causing the Edinburgh players to relax.

"For their second try, the tee was on the pitch and if the tee's on the pitch they have to kick at goal," said Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley.

"The only reasons the guy next to Farrell can be on the pitch are if there's an injury or he's bringing the tee out and I suspect that that shouldn't have been a try. It would have made our lives a bit easier as well because momentum is a big thing in rugby matches.

"In fairness, it would have been hard to deny Saracens either way because they were by far the better side and they deserved to get the bonus point. So you can argue the toss about their second try but they still scored five tries so they deserved their luck on the day," he added.

Do you think the try should have been disallowed, or were Edinburgh simply caught napping?

Posted at 4:11 pm | 30 comments

Posted in Great Tries

Viewing 30 comments

jeppy89 January 23, 2013 8:37 pm

Nice take, if they dont call posts and the referee doesnt indicate posts, pretty sure thats fair game.

tee is misleading granted, but i was taught play the whistle. chin up.

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cheyanqui January 23, 2013 8:48 pm

Terrible game management from the referee IMHO.

The referee stops the game to chat with the opposing captain, and then awards the mark (by digging his heel into the pitch), and then asks the Sarries captain what he would like to do. If he's committed to asking the question, he should have committed to waiting the response.

In addition, the water bearer (tee carrier too) is on the field. I've seen some referees do the opposite -- FORCE the captain to kick for posts if the tee comes onto the pitch.

He should have either kept his mouth shut, or not made the mark until he got an answer from the captain.

That aside, good play by Sarries.

Jeppy -- you're right about awarding posts or not, in terms of the letter of the law. My point is that the referee mis-managed the situation.

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HAF January 23, 2013 8:50 pm

As a referee, if you want to use such trickery and deception, do NOT involve the referee. If you do, you will likely give up a turnover scrum.

The captain never made an indication, and did not involve the referee, I'd allow it.

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Reality January 23, 2013 9:12 pm

Eh, if the referee calls time off, does he not have to call time on before the game can restart? And if, with time still seemingly off, he starts talking to the opposition captain, then it's not very fair on the opposition defence if they get caught off guard.

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Stanners January 23, 2013 9:13 pm

Also as a referee, I'm gonna have to disagree with HAF, that should not be allowed, a kick at goal is signalled by one of two actions... the captain or kicker telling the referee, OR the tee entering the field of play (Law 9, if anyone is interested).
I agree with cheyanqui, poor management. If the referee is talking to captains, no matter from which side, play should be stopped, it should have been disallowed and called back - whichever way you look at it...

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Pedro January 23, 2013 9:21 pm

Thanks for posting refs! Great insight. Does make you wonder who hold the power then. Waterboy wired up to the coach in the stands gets the call and runs on to the pitch- decision made. Sure the players will cotton on to this now too and be telling the ref if the water/tee-boy is on the pitch...

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Tc January 23, 2013 9:49 pm

I'm afraid I have to disagree, the mark is given. You don't have to ask for permission to kick for touch, only to have a shot at goal. If Farrell had kicked for touch no one would think it was an issue. The only difference is that the ball remained in play. That's foolish of the defensive side and not the fault of either the ref or Farrell

I remember years ago in 7s after a faulty restart, you could without answering the referee set a scrum without engaging the opposition on half way and strike the ball. Not sure if you can do it now?

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HAF January 23, 2013 10:32 pm

And Stanners, the actual law is 21.4(b).

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Stanners January 23, 2013 10:42 pm

so it is, I was looking at the conversion section... briefly forgot it was a penalty.

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Anonymous7 January 23, 2013 9:22 pm

Edinburgh were caught napping, you should only ever prepare for a pop at goal AFTER it has been indicated by the referee. Seem to remember an Irish player (O'Gara or Horgan, perhaps?) pointing at the sticks then taking a quick tap and diving over for a try.

Having said that, sending the tee-man on is unsporting and certainly ungentlemanly, which is punishable in its own right. Rugby is, after all, "a game for thugs, played by gentlemen", whereas the round ball game is "a game for gentlemen, played by thugs".

On balance, to concede that, I'd be mightily p***ed off (at my own side for not concentrating, as much as anything) but to score it and have it disallowed, probably only mildly put out (assuming that the penalty was to be taken again).

Agree with cheyanqui and Stanners, poorly managed.

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Colin January 23, 2013 9:30 pm

From Law 21.4(b)
"The intention to kick is signaled by the arrival of the kicking tee or sand, or when the player makes a mark on the ground."

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Ix January 23, 2013 10:10 pm

Also speaking as a ref, there's technically nothing wrong with his management here. He stops the game to speak to the opposition skipper, then restarts time once he's finished speaking; from this moment on Edinburgh should have their heads up ready to see what Sarries are going to do. However, as the law book says 'the indication to kick at goal is indicated by the arrival of a kicking tee or stand', and the tee had most definitely arrived. That try should not have stood, although it's the tee carrier's fault more than anything.

On the other hand, fantastic bit of play from both Farrell and Ashton, and given how the scoreline ended up I don't think I'm going to lose any sleep over the lawbreaking that lead to it.

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HAF January 23, 2013 10:29 pm

Stanners, the letter of the law is the *arrival* of the tee. From what I saw, the tee never got to the mark.

Pedro, no. Point me to the law where the coach makes the decision.

Tc, the law in 7s is that for any faulty restart, the non-infringing side is awarded a free kick on the halfway.

As to the "unsporting" nature, would you say the same about quick throw-ins, quick taps, etc?

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Stanners January 23, 2013 10:41 pm

HAF, I would consider the water carrier entering the pitch the arrival of the tee (which has been the case in some recent games I have seen), even then though, said water carrier is next to the mark, so again I wouls say the tee has arrived.

Admittedly, on second viewing the tee is obscured from the referee's view, thus he would let play on... In that situation, the ball is live and the water carrier should not be on the pitch. I would be wondering why he was present in such a situation. However, on second viewing, although the TV feed game clock resumes upon Garces raising his arm at the mark, the clock should start upon the whistle, in the same way that it had been stopped with a whistle. I would in that situation still consider the clock to be off.

In reality, the question in hand of try or no try would vary depending on the referee, and I, like you, can only offer an opinion. Given the clip (which is the first I have seen of the game), I would say the evidence I had seen would point to the try being disallowed. I think it is still down to poor game management between the match officials, and Saracens being their normal ingenuitive selves and pushing the boat out when it comes to interpretation, but I stand by my original instinct.

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HAF January 23, 2013 10:58 pm

I took into consideration the referee not viewing the arrival of the tee. If the referee cannot see it, then at this level I would anticipate the AR on that side of the pitch to say something with the referee over the mic.

As to the purpose of the waterboy, asking the referee to read the mind of the waterboy is asking too much.

To be fair, this is one of those situations that no one can predict will happen.

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cheyanqui January 23, 2013 11:25 pm

I think what happened is that you had the water bearers onto the pitch for the prior play -- players hurt, referee talking to.

Players on the field (ie. opponent) are not clear whether that man is on the field for the purposes of water, injury mgmt, or a tee.

Therefore, the referee should manage the situation and not allow the quick tap (kick). If Sarries have issue with it, I think a referee could easily say "You still have your water man standing right next to me. We'll wait until he comes off"

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brawnybalboa January 23, 2013 11:42 pm

IRB Law 21.4 Penalty and Free Kick Options

b) No delay.
If a kicker indicates to the referee the intention to kick a penalty kick at goal, the kick must be taken within one minute from the time the player indicates the intention to kick at goal. The intention to kick is signalled by the arrival of the kicking tee or sand, or when the player makes a mark on the ground. The player must complete the kick within one minute even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again.

I think the important part of this rule here is in regards to the kicking tee. By arrival of the kicking tee does it mean to the pitch in general? Or to the player? The tee was in the waterboys possession, but he did not appear to attempt to give it to a player (had it behind his back).

Regardless, the referee did not see the tee, and seeing as Saracens had not indicated they were going to kick for goal, Edinburgh should have been wise to the quick penalty. Playing the whistle.

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Ottawa Rugger January 24, 2013 12:54 am

Agreed on the tee. Farrell doesn't have the tee. Neither does Borthwick, and neither does the referee. for that matter. For all we know the water boy may have come on for water but brought the tee along just in case Saracens opted to kick. No one had even "made the mark on the ground" by which I take to mean kneeling down to push in the grass and make a good anchor for the tee, for example. The fact someone/anyone is in possession of the tee while on the pitch seems a somewhat arbitrary definition.

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Willwillrob January 24, 2013 12:07 am

As captain for my youth team I am always told its your penalty to do what you wish in your own time. and they say don't wait for me.

Also a penalty means to me reset the defensive line pronto, turn and face and watch what the player is preparing to do

If you don't do this thats what happens. like stephan Jones against italy a few years ago he noticed that the italians had retreated and turned to face there posts without a shot at goal signalled. he quick tapped and was in at the corner.

just play to the whistle.

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Ronnie Innes January 24, 2013 12:32 am

If it was a penalty there should have been no water carriers on the field so the only reason for the said water carrier to be on the field would to bring on the kicking tee

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Ottawa Rugger January 24, 2013 12:48 am

The ref calls time off before talking to Laidlaw (I think that's Laidlaw) but he doesn't blow his whistle to signal time back on. He does just about everything else though (raises his arm, gives the mark, etc.), so I'd debunk the idea that the ref hadn't indicated time back on.

As for the tee, it may be about when the tee "arrives" but as with most things, it could be up to interpretation. I say the tee wasn't on the grass or in Farrell's hand so I'd also debunk that. I think whether or not the captain has indicated goal is more important. Like most rules in Rugby, it comes down to the ref's interpretation, so the most prudent thing to do in this case was play to the ref.

It's embarrassing to get caught napping like that and Edinburgh might have an argument, but I personally think the try should stand.

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No9scrum January 24, 2013 1:08 am

Im fairly certain that the tee's not supposed to be on the pitch untill the kick is signalled but once its on that shouldn't be a try

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Really January 24, 2013 3:39 pm

Does Ashton actually put it down? He never seems to actually get it down.

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katman January 24, 2013 3:48 pm

This looks totally legit to me. If you want "sneaky", look no further than Ronan O'Gara's score against the Springboks a few years back, when Paul Honiss told John Smit to go and talk to his men, and then let O'Gara tap and score as the Boks were huddled.

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CT January 25, 2013 3:53 am

RD, do you have that Paul Honiss mix up in the Springbok v Ireland game that katman is talking about??

I can't find it and would like to see it again!

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katman January 25, 2013 8:42 am

I can't find a video of it anywhere, but there's plenty of reference to it. This piece sums up what happened:

The biggest talking point arising from the clash with Ireland arrived in the 22nd minute when Honiss awarded the Triple Crown holders a controversial try by Ronan O’Gara which left the Springbok camp fuming.

Ireland were awarded a series of penalties close to South Africa’s line and on the last of these the tourists appeared to have been caught napping when O’Gara elected to tap and go instead of kicking for touch.

But irate Springbok skipper John Smit revealed after the match he had been told by Honiss to inform his players of the reasoning behind the penalty, giving O’Gara the opportunity to strike.

An emotional White was reluctant to discuss the incident in the post-match press conference but now he is even more convinced Honiss got it wrong after reviewing the episode on video.

“We’re not going to make a complaint. You can’t change the result. If you make too much of a fuss about what happened you don’t end up with much credibility, especially if you’ve lost the match,” he said.

“It was a bad decision. After the penalty the referee said ‘time-out’, stopped the clock and told John to talk to his players about his infringement. Then he walked back to the mark and said ’time-on’ to the Irish, but forgot to tell us.

“We were still talking to each other at that point. When we looked up again they had scored. According to the laws of the game everything was done correctly but when the referee says go and talk to your players, you assume it means now."

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Dazza January 25, 2013 1:17 pm

I was at the game, and didn't notice the tee coming on the pitch. But watching the footage again I think the ref is very aware of what's going on. I think Farrell is actually telling him what they're going to do. The way the ref half turns away from him towards the scoring corner indicates that Farrell has told him.

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Colombes January 27, 2013 12:01 pm

don't really know what the exact rules, but as the ref noticed that the tee was "in", i guess the penalty must be kicked as soon as the skipper indicated his choice? but, as the time was off and physios were on the pitch, farrell couldn't played it. so, bad call

on a side note, quite amused by the sky commentators finding this try "extraordinary" as dozens of tries are scored like that, each season. yachvili (in biarritz) use with success this technique 5 or 6 times by year ;)

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browner January 31, 2013 3:41 pm

Referee signalled that the Clock was back on, and the clock restarted so there is no issue there.

The problem was he had stopped the clock, to call the captain and issue a general warning about repeated offences & a 'Yellow card next' threat.

In this instance it is reasonable to allow the captain time enough to communicate this to his players [which Capt was in the process of doing] BEFORE recommencing play.

So, Yes it is IMO a referee error, but he probably makes less errors [in more pressured situations] than any of the players on the pitch ......so cut him some slack everyone !

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