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Midweek Madness - Ben John scores a bizarre Ospreys try

I can forgive the referee on this one...I get the feeling he was unsure about the validity of the whole thing but didn't know the exact law against it.

What I cannot do is forgive the TJ...the referee asked him not once but twice if the line-out was OK. The TJ said yes both times! He's got a very small percentage of the laws to be on top of, and that's one of them. Shocking.

I also agree that the TMO fluffed up. Clearly in touch when he caught the ball.

I propose the following to rectify the situation: the Heineken Cup should hire KJW as the referee, Cheyanqui as the touch judge, and Alasdairduncan3 for TMO!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Bakkies Botha injures Marcos Ayerza with big charge towards tryline

I agree with your first point, but I believe you are mistaken on the second. Botha is not held in the first tackle but he never regains his feet and instead crawls towards the line before two opponents jump on him. The law is pretty clear that if you are not on your feet you are not in the game. Botha should have regained his feet or released the ball, therefore the ref made the correct call.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

I've tried it a few times in touch...it's only ever worked once! If it bounced before being regathered, it would simply be play on. Using the heel is only "illegal" when taking penalties and restarts. It's not a knock-on, any more than it would be if it bounced off someone's forehead (à la Kurtley Beale falcon).

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Anyone else happy to see Yachvili using his feet for something productive?

X-)

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Makes sense...so if in our hypothetical situation the ball is kicked out of hand by striking it with the heel and it goes forward, it's exactly the same as if it was dropped backwards and bounced forwards. Fascinating stuff, and you're right...the discussion is the best part.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Don't get carried away folks. The fact that he struck the ball with his heel here is meaningless. Because the ball was on the ground from the charge-down, the heel is not a kick but not a knock-on but in fact just the same as if he'd slid to gather it and had it bounce off his chest: play on with no offsides.

Of course, it's all elementary because as was pointed out, Yachvili was offside following the charge-down.

That being said, I'm not sure how the ref would proceed in a case where a player deliberately struck the ball with his heel out-of-hand, and it went forward. If it goes backwards it's play on (as if the ball was merely dropped backwards) but I don't think having it go forward off the heel has ever happened anywhere but a backyard.

Anyone feel like getting their national Union to submit a rule clarification to the IRB? Hehe!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Ilai Tinai suspended for five weeks for dangerous tackle against Wales

I think some of the ban length has to do with the number of games missed/impact to the team. In 7s, missing one week means missing at least 4 games whereas in 15s, it's only one.

In addition, I'm going to assume you're referring the the Parisse incident? That is technically a citing for abuse of a match official, which is a very serious offence in most sports (except soccer/football, apparently!). While in my estimation, swearing at a ref is toward the low end of that scale, it's still abuse of an official.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Ilai Tinai suspended for five weeks for dangerous tackle against Wales

I think we can all agree...that should have been a red card. I personally believe Tinai was surprised a bit by the Welsh player's speed and momentum which caused the rotation. It should still be a red card. Everyone watching that knows it.

Come on, IRB. It shouldn't be that hard to get consistency for the obvious ones!

3 Years, 2 Months ago

French referee horrifically breaks leg, collarbone, and sprains ankle

Just to piggy-back on the point HowardTheDuck made, we are seeing more scrum-halves using that space but I don't think that we can effectively prevent it with a rule. What you will start seeing is more and more referees staying further from the breakdown in a safer position.

Speaking as a referee, I know that the safest position generally speaking is what we call "chariot position" - directly behind the ruck, about 3-5 meters behind the halfback. I also know that your ability to accurately referee the breakdown and offsides from that position is pretty limited.

If more referees start standing further off the breakdown, it will get messier. At what point do you balance the potential for harm to the referees against the quality of the game? I think ultimately, referees should continue to position themselves close to the breakdown, but that players should have a duty of care to the referee. After all, the referee is responsible for promoting player safety...that should run both ways.

Long story short - players should avoid running into/around the referee as best they can because it's in the SPIRIT OF THE GAME, not necessarily because someone made a law about it.

All the best and a quick recovery, M. Raynal...my heart goes out to you!

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Midweek Madness - Rob Cook's bizarre goal kicking technique

You think that's bizarre? Have a look at Jamie Soward, from the NRL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbfBBIp3Ybg

Cook is tame by comparison, but both remind me of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w

3 Years, 2 Months ago