View Full Version : If it looks like a knock on it is a knock on

23-08-16, 19:08
During the Super Rugby season we saw a number of knock on tries given by the TMOs because there wasn't "clear and obvious separation", often due to camera angles. The "worst" was Dillyn Leyds's try

But there were others, which I cannot specifically remember.

From commentary during the SA vs Pumas test it seems the instruction went out that "If it looks like a knock on it is a knock on" resulting in Lionel Mapoe's "try" being denied by the TMO. I haven't been able to trace a specific Law Clarification or instruction or a video of Mapoe's "try" but he dived over losing control but the ball remained in contact with his body. A try would have been given during Super Rugby but not with the new instructions

"If it looks like a knock on it is a knock on" Good thing or bad thing?

23-08-16, 22:08
The video you link to distinctly has the ball moving forwards no faster than the ball-dropper towards the camera behind the dead-ball line.

I can live with any interpretation of the laws that is consistent. I'm happy to work with whatever instructions from above, all the more so if it leads to a free-flowing fun for all (players and spectators) alike.

As a grass-roots referee, there have been a few scores which I have awarded which I was not 100% sure of, in similar circumstances to the video you linked to except that at best there was a potentially biased parent. Not once has a parent said "it looks like a knock on" though, in games where there are not even TJs but enough of a crowd.

My personal opinion is to whistle as little as possible. If patterns emerge they can be managed. Players want to play, rather than have an over-officious referee. That makes it harder for the elite to balance their act - I would hope that a To4 refereeing an international is held to higher standards than me - but to me it isn't good/bad, but rather that the amateur players want to be ref'd "in the same way" as the pros.

But under the principle of consistency, it does seem that if momentum passes are clearly acceptable in law, it makes sense to have kinda-fumbles acceptable as long as there is "a grounding" as opposed to a massive knock-on.

24-08-16, 10:08
But monnetum passes aren't "ignoring" something as "a bit forward" ? Its an acceptance of the laws of physics allied to the direction of the ball relative to the passer.

A knock on is a knock on.


24-08-16, 10:08
I think it's a good thing.

If you or I are refereeing we'd say it's not a C & O try, so no try (and in such cases, a knock on is usually the cause), rather than no C & O knock on, so give the try.

The former sits far more easily with me and frankly, had the try in the clip not been given, nobody would be talking about it.

If I were to award such a try on Saturday, I'd expect the lose the confidence of the players and have everyone else loudly questioning my competence (though I guess a TMO doesn't have to worry about players' confidence), whereas I don't think anyone could honestly say calling a knock on would be a poor decision.

24-08-16, 11:08
"If it looks like a knock on it is a knock on" Good thing or bad thing?

out on the park, with no video-ref and no ARs then this is exactly right. You don't want to be in a situation where 30 players think you have missed an obvious knock on (or worse, deliberately ignored it for spurious reasons they don't understand)

in the pro-game, with a video ref : No the video ref shouldn't rely on rules-of-thumb like that. He has the Laws