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ChrisR
02-08-17, 23:08
This clip is from the U-20s.

https://youtu.be/YnbjeJsaavk?t=158

Green 13 is onside and a legitimate receiver but his dummy run takes him on a collision course with the Blue defender. Green 14 fills into the channel nicely, makes a great run and is awarded the try.

The factors here are:

1. Clearly Green 13 impedes Blue from making the tackle.
2. Green 13 makes no attempt to avoid Blue.
3. At the point of collision Green 13 is well in front of Green 14 and is as such offside.

I think this is a clear case of deliberate obstruction and the try should be disallowed and a possible YC. Wrong? Too harsh? I abhor this tactic and want to see it stop.

Not Kurt Weaver
03-08-17, 03:08
"A brilliant solo individual effort from Jack Kelley" or "Carey" is what the commentators cheers. I just do not think the commentators were high school football players and are personally familiar with a grid iron blocking

I think it is simple obstruction, but my guess others will find it the norm and ok.

Ian_Cook
03-08-17, 05:08
In this case, it looks like Scotland appear to be using a drifting/sliding defence. The Blue player (7?) has spotted Green 13 cutting back and decided not to slide with his team-mates. In so doing, he has created a hole for Green 14 to run through. Had he continued to drift, he would have been in a better position to tackle Green 14.

IMO, this is a well executed dummy run move by Green, and not obstruction. If a defender chooses to commit to a player who turns out to be a dummy runner (which is what Blue 7 does) and that results in him being out of position and missing his tackle on the ball carrier, that is his defensive mistake. In fact, he gets in the way of a team-mate (Blue 10?) who would have had Green 13 covered anyway. If I was coaching that team, I would have a word with Blue 7 about trusting his team-mates to do their jobs.

In the scenario where Blue 7 continued to drift, and Green 13 ran into him, then that would be obstruction.

A defender who misreads his opponents attacking strategy should not be expecting an obstruction call from the referee as some sort of "Get out of Jail Free Card".

Dickie E
03-08-17, 05:08
this is obstruction for me. The blue defender (I think either #10 or #20) only has eyes for the Green ball carrier (#14). Green #13 crashes into him and takes him out of the game.

Ian_Cook
03-08-17, 06:08
this is obstruction for me. The blue defender (I think either #10 or #20) only has eyes for the Green ball carrier (#14). Green #13 crashes into him and takes him out of the game.

The Blue defender is 20. First he is looking at Green 22 (white scrumcap), then he looks at Green 13 and stops sliding across; why would stop drifting if he was watching Green 14? You don't stop drifting and watch the opposing ball carrier running across at 45 °). He didn't need to stop because Blue 1 (white headband) had Green 13 covered.

Dickie E
03-08-17, 07:08
why would stop drifting if he was watching Green 14?

he was bracing for impact

ChrisR
03-08-17, 09:08
We can debate the proficiency of Blue but the Blue defender has targeted Green 14 and is well placed to make that tackle until he gets clobbered by Green 13.

I applaud deceptive play, dummies and decoy runs but Green 13 is watching the Blue defender all the way and braces for impact. To me this is an intentional blocking run. Once Green is ahead of the ball carrier it's his responsibility to not interfere.

Paule23
03-08-17, 10:08
I've watched this a few times. First thoughts (and if I'm honest how I would likely have refereed it, even i I had seen what happened!) would be play on. After a few watches, my main issue would be green 13 being ahead of the ball when he impacts the opposition player, it is very nearly excellent holding of the defender to create a gap, but in reality I think as he is ahead of the ball carrier and his impact prevents a drift, it is just marginally obstruction. I can understand why this wasn't penalised, it's quick and to me it's maybe marginal.

With the beauty of lots of replays we can say obstruction. Real time in the game? It's certainly not a clanger by the officials.

L'irlandais
03-08-17, 10:08
I agree with Paule23. (I detest this strategy of deliberately going ahead of the ball-carrier.). The deep pass is a planned move. green 13 knows it is coming. The referee is positioned in the defensive line and was following the ball, i am not sure he spotted the "obstruction" which occurred within 5 mètres of him.

Anyway this year's U20 outfit were not a patch on last year's Irish squad. While (Green14) Kelly's try brought Ireland back to within 2 points, (20-22) they ultimately lost the match. (28-32) Conceding 5 tries, thru' poor defense and numerous missed tackles from, you guessed it, Green 13. Perhaps he would do better to forget the gamesmanship and concentrate a bit more on the basics, like tackling. So even if you feel it was an oversight by the match referee, at least it didn't affect the outcome of the game.

ChrisR
03-08-17, 11:08
I agree that the replays let us better analyse the play but this one jumped out at me the first time I watched it in real time. I have WiFi for the whole month so I'm really enjoying watching the U-20 matches. There is some splendid rugby in the hi-lights.

One of the hardest things to coach in rugby is to have players not watch the ball so as to better see developing threats and opportunities. I think this facility is just as important for referees. It's why off-sides doesn't get enforced at rucks etc. etc.

Simon Thomas
03-08-17, 13:08
I saw no offence in first run through at normal speed, but then with slow mo and repeat watching I see green 13 ahead of the ball (a deliberate ploy off a deep 9 to 10 pass), and then execute a block to create a half gap - poor tackling and getting each others' way made it the whole gap.
The Scottish defenders were suckered and none of them were experienced enough to make the referee think twice, as we would see probably with some arm waving at Premiership / Super League levels.

ChrisR
03-08-17, 13:08
Perhaps falling backwards, screaming and holding a body part might have sold it. Then, I don't like that either.

OB..
03-08-17, 15:08
At what point does 13's play become illegal? When 22 passes, 13 is not in front of him (though any pass to him would probably have been forward). When the pass goes behind him he is technically going to be offside, and then has an obligation to avoid impacting play. What he can't do is just disappear.

The ploy had the desired effect of confusing the Scots defence, just like a dummy pass can sucker an opponent into tackling a man without the ball. I agree that 13 does not seem to make any effort to avoid crashing into a defender, but was that really more significant than the defensive alignment error?

ChrisR
03-08-17, 19:08
Was it such a defensive alignment error?

Blue defender is focused on Green 14, not on the decoy Green 13, and is well positioned to make that tackle when Green 13 collides with him.

Furthermore, Green 13 is not looking for the ball but running straight at Blue and doesn't make any attempt to avoid him. I read intent all over this.

ctrainor
03-08-17, 20:08
Obstruction all day long, too much of this creeping into the game.

Ian_Cook
04-08-17, 08:08
At what point does 13's play become illegal? When 22 passes, 13 is not in front of him (though any pass to him would probably have been forward). When the pass goes behind him he is technically going to be offside, and then has an obligation to avoid impacting play. What he can't do is just disappear.

The ploy had the desired effect of confusing the Scots defence, just like a dummy pass can sucker an opponent into tackling a man without the ball. I agree that 13 does not seem to make any effort to avoid crashing into a defender, but was that really more significant than the defensive alignment error?

Blue 20 starts by watching the passer, then he stops sliding when he sees Green 13 on the cut back and lines him up fully expecting that player to receive a flat pass... this is clear and obvious and plain for all to see. At no time do I see the Blue (20) make any attempt to line up Green 14 until he has already been suckered by the dummy run and its too late by then.

It is also clear to me that Blue 20 was not turned toward Green 14 and heading that way, he was stopped dead... as OBs says, Green 13 cannot be expected to just vanish into thin air...

For mine, this is play on all day, every day, and twice on Sunday

People who complain about "front running" and wanting it to be always illegal have probably never played the game, and most certainly have never coached a backline. If they got their way, then players and coaches might as well give up trying to run trick plays in the backline altogether. Dummy runners running behind the ball carrier might have worked fine in the good old days when the game was played at walking pace, but in the high-speed modern game, they will fool no-one, and the ball carrier will get utterly nailed.

ChrisR
04-08-17, 10:08
. . this is clear and obvious and plain for all to see.

There are two things that are C & O:

1. One event, multiple interpretations. I see Blue 20 watching the passer then picking up Green 14. He doesn't even see Green 13 until the collision. If there's no collision then Blue 20 makes the tackle.

2. Green 13 violates Law 10.1 Obstruction.

(b) Running in front of a ball carrier. A player must not intentionally move or stand in front of
a team-mate carrying the ball thereby preventing opponents from tackling the current ball
carrier or the opportunity to tackle potential ball carriers when they gain possession.
Sanction: Penalty kick

My complaint is not with "front running" as a deception but as a means of obstruction.

Front running is in vogue but is mostly poorly executed. To be effective the runner needs to change the defenders line (or make him hesitate) to open up the space. This won't happen if the runner is too far ahead of the intended receiver, isn't a threat to to get the ball and so lets the defenders read the ploy and adjust. I agree that dummy runs in front of the receiver can be highly effective when well executed.

One drawback of front running is that the runners aren't in support of the ball. As soon as the ball goes behind them they are out of play so if the ploy doesn't work it gives up numbers.

Ian_Cook
04-08-17, 12:08
I see Blue 20 watching the passer then picking up Green 14. He doesn't even see Green 13 until the collision. If there's no collision then Blue 20 makes the tackle.

And I see Blue 20 watching the passer then picking up Green 13. He doesn't even see Green 14.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xf2vkt8au1ziny5/Obstruction-Playon.png?dl=1

At the moment of the collision, Blue 20 is 5-6 metres away from the ball carrier and no chance of tackling him.


Front running is in vogue but is mostly poorly executed. To be effective the runner needs to change the defenders line (or make him hesitate) to open up the space. This won't happen if the runner is too far ahead of the intended receiver.

I see this from entirely the opposite viewpoint. The dummy runner needs to well ahead of the ball carrier; far enough that it becomes immaterial if he gets in the way of an opponent because that opponent is too far away from the ball carrier to be a potential tackler. If the dummy runner is only, say, 1-2 metres in front of the the ball carrier, he will almost certainly obstruct someone.

For a drift defence to work, everyone has to do their job properly and trust that their team-mates will do theirs. That didn't happen here... Blue 20 stops drifting (thereby opening a gap and buggering up his team's defensive alignment) and tries to cover Green 13 who was already covered by the Blue defender with the white headband. If instead, he does his job properly, and continues to drift, he will nail Green 14 just inside the 22m. As it was, he almost did, but it was not the collision with Green 13 which caused him to be late; he shouldn't have even been there to collide with him.

ChrisR
04-08-17, 13:08
As can be seen from the still the referee's view is blocked by another Blue so we can let him off the hook (unless someone wishes to comment on his positioning).