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chopper15
23-12-07, 09:12
Waspsv Bristol 23 Dec. Andrew Small ref.

Penalty, Yes, but a pen. try when the ball wasn't even put into the collapsing scrum?

Emmet Murphy
23-12-07, 10:12
For me a PT should not be awarded for repeated infringements - the ref has cards in his pocket for that & I felt that Andrew Small should have gone to his cards and not award a PT

OB..
23-12-07, 12:12
A previous attempt at a pushover try was stopped by Bristol collapsing the scrum. That may provide the "probable" element.

It was clear that Bristol were prepared to commit all sorts of foul play in order to prevent the try. Would 3 points and a card have been acceptable to them?! Tricky.

Mat 04
23-12-07, 12:12
Wasnt there a similar scenario a few weeks ago with Llanelli Scarlets against some team? I didn't see the game, but if as OB says Bristol collapsed pushover attempt previously, then whether the ball is in the scrum is irrelevant in my eyes

Emmet Murphy
23-12-07, 13:12
I understand the argument; I just think that in law it is difficult to justify. If the referee did award the PT because of the cumulative effect of all three scrums going down in quick succession then I believe he is not applying the laws correctly because it does not mention anywhere in the lawbook that a PT should be used for repeated infringements. The appropriate sanctions for repeated infiringements are a YC and then if it happens again a RC. The threat of a red card - immediately following one of the Front Row being binned - would surely stop the defending team collapsing it.

Whether or not a try probably would have been scored but for foul play will always be open to interpretation and debate - it is always subjective and Andrew Small was the closest person to it last night and I'm not trying to argue that there was not enough probabality. What I'm saying is that, for a PT to be justified in law in this situation, he would have needed to see something different, something that made a try more probable, on the third occasion the scrum went down. The question I would ask him is why did he not award a PT the first time the scrum went down - what was different the third time?

Davet
23-12-07, 13:12
Emmett.

I entirely agree. Youir point about the difference on this occasion to previous ones is spot on.

The referee is the best judge of probability, but I think this case was simply one where patience ran out.

What Bristol's preference was is clearly neither here nor there, and a PT is not awarded on the basis purely of how deliberate and cynical the infringment is. If you want that to be the case then lobby the iRB. Currently it is awarded based on the sole issue is the probability of a try being scored but for foul play - and since the ball was not even in the scrum then it's very difficult to make that case.

I agree, in this instance a card would have been the sanction in line with Law.

Padster
23-12-07, 13:12
I was most impressed with Andrew Small and thought it was a positive and correct decision. Bristol were deliberately infringing as Wasps were on top in the scrummage and obviously thought Wasps would probably score so took a calculated risk of only getting a penalty plus a yellow card. As the whole front row went to ground it made it difficult to single out someone for a YC. A professional approach that will have the purists in apoplexy but this is business.
Well done Mr Small as it sends a signal to teams about the risks of infringing in the way Bristol did.

beckett50
23-12-07, 15:12
Agree with Padster on this

Thought Andrew was spot-on with his decision, especially as he had already - at the scrum before the FK reminded the Bristol pack to think about where they were.

That should have left them in no doubt about the escalation that could - and did - happen:D

OB..
23-12-07, 16:12
If the referee did award the PT because of the cumulative effect of all three scrums going down in quick succession then I believe he is not applying the laws correctly because it does not mention anywhere in the lawbook that a PT should be used for repeated infringements.
10.3 REPEATED INFRINGEMENTS
[...]
(b)Repeated infringements by the team. When differentplayers of the same team repeatedly commit the same offence, the referee must decide whether or not this amounts to repeated infringement. If it does, the referee gives a general warning to the team and if they then repeat the offence, the referee cautions and temporarily suspends the guilty player(s) for a period of 10 minutes playing time. If a player of that same team then repeats the offence the referee sends off the guilty player(s).
Penalty: Penalty Kick
A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored.

[my emphasis]

The argument would now seem to be that he should have carded somebody as well as awarding the penalty try.



I thought it was a valid pragmatic decision.

Gareth-Lee Smith
23-12-07, 17:12
I'm enjoying the discussion, but I'm afraid I didn't see the match

Emmet Murphy
23-12-07, 17:12
10.3 REPEATED INFRINGEMENTS
[...]
(b)Repeated infringements by the team. When different players of the same team repeatedly commit the same offence, the referee must decide whether or not this amounts to repeated infringement. If it does, the referee gives a general warning to the team and if they then repeat the offence, the referee cautions and temporarily suspends the guilty player(s) for a period of 10 minutes playing time. If a player of that same team then repeats the offence the referee sends off the guilty player(s).

A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored.

I would interpret that as meaning that the sanctions for repeated infringements are a YC and then a RC and if one of those infringements denys a probable try then a PT should be awarded in addition to the card. I think that, in terms of the law, Small's decision was incorrect: it says "Offence", not "Offences" ... so each scrum collapse needs to be looked at individually - ie that third collapased scrum would still have needed something additional in terms of denying a probable try that the previous two did not. At each scrum collapse the ref should ask himself 'Would a try have probabaly been scored had the defenders not collapsed it?' If he thinks 'No' then award a PK. If the attackers opt for a scrum and it goes down again, he should ask himself the same question again based on that second scrum collapse alone - and so on. I do not think that particular law was intended to justify a PT for repeated infringements only.

I thought it was a valid pragmatic decision.

I think pragmatic is a good word to use. Bristol were offending repeatedly and clearly some sanction needed to be applied. I think that Small should have gone to his cards and not under the posts. Out of interest, to those who have agreed with the decision - why would you not opt for a YC to one of the Bristol FRs instead?

I also think that having a PT on offer (so to speak) surely gives the attacking team more of a reason to collapse it themselves. If both teams believe that the referee will primarily resort to his cards then the attacking team will know they will have to actually score a try to get their five/seven points. Yes - they may still take it down to try and get the defenders down to 14 ... but that won't necessarily give them any points - a PT will.

Davet
23-12-07, 18:12
One offence or multiple is not the point.

The ONLY requirement for awarding a PT si would the try PROBABLY have been scored, but for the foul play.

How, before the ball is put in, can probability be assessed? there are far too many variables to think about. Certainly at the time of the collapse there was NO probability of a try, the ball was dead.

Maybe it would have become probable later, who knows... we didn't get to that point.

FlipFlop
23-12-07, 20:12
Lets all remember though..
1) Safety
2) Equity
3) Law

And I think the PT was justified under Equity, which comes above law.

Bris clearly hadn't got the hit and position they wanted for the scrum, so collapsed it, looking for the reset. They had collapsed several others in the previous 5 minutes or so, and had been warned.

So perhaps not justifiable in law, but a very sensible decision.

Dickie E
23-12-07, 22:12
I side with the "no PT" view for the reasons mentioned.

I don't really understand this equity concept but it sounds like a recipe for anarchy to me if FF is right. Referees applying undefined moral codes.

"This team was really hard-done-by last week. I'll give 'em a leg up this week. Equity, you know."

Davet
23-12-07, 23:12
And I think the PT was justified under Equity, which comes above law.

And what precisley does equity mean?

Surely if it means anything it means being scrupulously fair to both sides - not favouring one above the other. It's not a carte blanche to apply some subjective interpretation of which side "deserves" what.

Account Deleted
24-12-07, 00:12
I would go for a PT being acceptable but "why no card?"

Reasoning with repeated offences of any time a reasonable assumption is that the side (in this case Bristol) have reasoned the only way to stop the try is to go down. So in a sense they have called the "guilty" verdict themselves.
What might have happened? Well just like a high tackle you don't say "what if, instead of the high tackle, he had correctly tackle the player?" you just take the the tackle out of the equation. Same here for me.

Dixie
24-12-07, 09:12
Bristol were deliberately infringing as Wasps were on top in the scrummage and obviously thought Wasps would probably score so took a calculated risk of only getting a penalty plus a yellow card.
Padster, I would argue that Bris felt wasps might POSSIBLY score, so took the action they did.

I tend towards the "No PT" side - though I agree that in the context of the match, the decision probably saved the game from that point on. If memory serves, there were multiple 5m scrums and neither side scored a pushover or back-row try directly from any of them. To therefore argue that it is "probable" that a try would have been scored from this particular one seems plain wrong - a simple misunderstanding of the concept of probability - though it was clearly possible.

It also raises the question - what sort of nexus or direct linkage does there have to be between the potential try and the scrum, in order for any PT for a scrum offence to be acceptable? Everyone knows we refs are supposed to be omniscient, so if we can look ahead in time and find that from the scrum, 15 phases will follow inside the 5m zone, followed by a try, is there sufficient linkage between the scrum and the try to award a PT at the scrum offence? Or do we require a pushover try or Big Lol driving over from a pickup at the base?

chopper15
24-12-07, 10:12
Surely 'possibly' and 'probably' don't come into it until the ball is put in!?

Suprised little has been made of that!

Will.Q
24-12-07, 10:12
Somebody earlier mentioned used the sanctions of YC and RC. How though, does the ref do that if he doesn't know whom is the main culprit? I also didn't see the match so I cannot comment. However, if all three of the FR were taking the scrum down, how does he deal with that? Three YC's, one to each of the FR? He has to do something and I think making a calculated guess on the biggest offender is wrong - so surely all 3 have to go? If he did that, then he's got a nightmare on his hands with FR replacements etc and likely non-contested scrums, which falls right into Bristol's hands, given that they appear to of got murdered in the scrums.

I don't see what other option the ref had here. Interestingly, did he call the FR row over with the captain after the 1st or 2nd scrum went down and have stern words about what they were doing?

Emmet Murphy
24-12-07, 10:12
Surely 'possibly' and 'probably' don't come into it until the ball is put in!?

Suprised little has been made of that!

I think the referee's interpretation of probable included all three scrums together. I think that's a false argument however because the law requires us to look at each incident individually when considering a PT.

Will Q - I take your point but I don't think that's sufficient reason to award a PT. If he isn't 100% certain which player initiated the collapse then he needs to go with his gut instinct and card the player he thinks initiated the collapse. He does have the option to card all three but I don't think that's very realistic.

Will.Q
24-12-07, 11:12
I think the referee's interpretation of probable included all three scrums together. I think that's a false argument however because the law requires us to look at each incident individually when considering a PT.

Will Q - I take your point but I don't think that's sufficient reason to award a PT. If he isn't 100% certain which player initiated the collapse then he needs to go with his gut instinct and card the player he thinks initiated the collapse. He does have the option to card all three but I don't think that's very realistic.


Emmet - but if he cannot see, is it fair to guess in such a coldron situation of such importance? I know sometimes we take a guess at who engaged early on a scrum for free-kick offence, but this is entirely different, given the importance of the moment, situation, game and league. Just think, if it was the tight head pulling his man down, but he binned the loose head, the lucy then came back on, got another yellow and saw red, he could get a ban, when all he should've got is 10 minutes for the second yellow. All that, for guess-work? Not my way I'm afraid mate.
Also - what if he didn't have a gut instinct? On Sat in the match I reffed a guy went over in the corner but I was quite far away and there was doubt about whether his foot was in touch. I was happy with the grounding but had absolutely no gut instinct at all on whether his foot was in or out of touch - I just didn't know. Do people think I took a guess because I had no gut instinct?
I'm going to take the view here that the ref on the day is a lot more experienced than me, knows the game better than me, knows the game better than all the players and spectators in the ground on the day that disagreed with him and made the right call. I'm guessing he made this call as he didn't know who was responsible, as it was likely all three, and it wasn't logistically right to bin all three either.
That's my view anyway. But this is what makes the game so great - opinion and debate.

Emmet Murphy
24-12-07, 11:12
Emmet - but if he cannot see, is it fair to guess in such a coldron situation of such importance? I know sometimes we take a guess at who engaged early on a scrum for free-kick offence, but this is entirely different, given the importance of the moment, situation, game and league. Just think, if it was the tight head pulling his man down, but he binned the loose head, the lucy then came back on, got another yellow and saw red, he could get a ban, when all he should've got is 10 minutes for the second yellow. All that, for guess-work? Not my way I'm afraid mate.
I think if there's that much uncertainty involved then I'd argue against even a penalty, never mind a penalty try! If he is sure enough they have brought it down to give the oppo seven points then he should be able to pick out at least one offender to show a card to.



Also - what if he didn't have a gut instinct? On Sat in the match I reffed a guy went over in the corner but I was quite far away and there was doubt about whether his foot was in touch. I was happy with the grounding but had absolutely no gut instinct at all on whether his foot was in or out of touch - I just didn't know. Do people think I took a guess because I had no gut instinct?The law is very clear about what course of action to take here - scrum 5m attacking ball. In the situation with the collapsed scrums it is far more open to interpretation and debate!

Will.Q
24-12-07, 11:12
As it happens, I calmly took the touch judge to one side (he was the defending teams touch judge) and asked him if the players foot went into touch or into touch-in-goal. I reminded him that he didn't signal it. He said the foot remained in-field, so I awarded the try.

The scrum one is a difficult one. Emmet - what would you have done? Which of the FR would you have carded?

OB..
24-12-07, 11:12
I think the referee's interpretation of probable included all three scrums together. I think that's a false argument however because the law requires us to look at each incident individually when considering a PT.
Law 10.3 (b) quoted above refers to repeating "the offence". Clearly the reference is generic, so the part about "the offence" preventing a probable try can take the context into account. In this case, Bristol had already collapsed a scrum that was going backwards for a possible/probable try and got the benefit of the doubt. Just how long do they get that?

The case for a penalty try is certainly arguable. I think awarding it was also equitable. Bristol got what they deserved.

chopper15
24-12-07, 11:12
A top div. westcountry team (?!??!!) not so long ago, aggravated by YC/injury, 'arranged' for a front rower to be 'injured' so's an uncontested scrum would be imposed.

When you get streetwise coaches of this calibre as in this recent Bristol game, isn't it about time a consensus on ref. procedure be established?

A persuasive case for encouraging 'hypethotical thread discussion' on this learned site I would've thought - with OB et.al. summarising the consensus at the end ?!?!!

Davet
24-12-07, 11:12
If the ball was in the scrum, and Bristol collapsed it as they were being shoved backwards then a PT is spot on.

But my arguement is that until the scrum has started then it is impossible to say what would happen. How can you award a PT when the ball is dead?



Bristol got what they deserved

Quite possibly. But is that relevant?

beckett50
24-12-07, 12:12
it says "Offence", not "Offences" ... so each scrum collapse needs to be looked at individually - ie that third collapased scrum would still have needed something additional in terms of denying a probable try that the previous two did not.

emmet, you are incorrect in this assumption - as I have recently found out:wow:

Each scrum collapse is taken as a single infringement. It doesn't matter if there is a different player - from the same team - responsible. At this level - and indeed from L6 up - that is how it is viewed. Came as a shock to me last week in my L6 assessment when I was advised this is how it is ;)

So, on that basis AS was spot on.

Emmet Murphy
24-12-07, 12:12
Will Q - good decision there with the foot not in touch. I know from experience those calls can be tricky!

As for who I would have carded - I don't honestly know but if I was sure the defenders were bringing it down I'd have found one of them to put in the bin and then followed that up by taking the other two and their captain away from the attackers and warned them about a RC.

OB - I completely agree that context needs to be taken into account but I do not think that context should extend to previous phases of the match. The context should only apply to that one phase; if more than one offence occurs during that one phase then that might strengthen the probability of a try being scored.

I believe that the way that the law is written does not allow for offences at previous phases to be included: the sanctions for repeated infringements in 10.3b are listed in the main body of text - warning; YC; RC. The Penalty Try bit is not contained withion that. It is written in a seperate paragraph underneath which I interpret as meaning it should only be used in addition to those repeated infringement sanctions should one of the offences deny a probable try.

Emmet Murphy
24-12-07, 12:12
Each scrum collapse is taken as a single infringement. It doesn't matter if there is a different player - from the same team - responsible. At this level - and indeed from L6 up - that is how it is viewed. Came as a shock to me last week in my L6 assessment when I was advised this is how it is ;)Beckett - maybe I've misinterpreted you but that seems to be exactly what I'm arguing ... they are all single infringements which need to be judged as potential PTs singularly and not collectively. The law stipulates we should warn, then YC, then RC for repeated infringements. If one of those infringements denys a probable try then you award a PT.

OB..
24-12-07, 13:12
Bristol got what they deserved

Quite possibly. But is that relevant?
The full quotation was "The case for a penalty try is certainly arguable. I think awarding it was also equitable. Bristol got what they deserved."

Will.Q
24-12-07, 13:12
I'm trying to get my head around this. Emmet - if you found a reason to sack one of the FR's to the bin, then spoke with the remaining 2 FR players and skipper and warned about RC, then, at next scrum, the exact same thing happens - what do you do? Do you find a reason to RC one of the other FR players?

OB..
24-12-07, 13:12
OB - I completely agree that context needs to be taken into account but I do not think that context should extend to previous phases of the match. The context should only apply to that one phase; if more than one offence occurs during that one phase then that might strengthen the probability of a try being scored.
If you are saying that one scrum = one phase, then I disagree. Repeated infringement necessarily covers more than one offence - sequentially, not simultaneously. There was a series of scrums, latterly taken instead of penalties.

I start from the point of view that an experienced top level referee knows more about this sort of situation than me. He has probably met it before many times, and knows what is expected by his assessors and coaches.

Yes, they do sometimes get it wrong, but I do not accept that this is a clear-cut such situation.


I believe that the way that the law is written does not allow for offences at previous phases to be included: the sanctions for repeated infringements in 10.3b are listed in the main body of text - warning; YC; RC. The Penalty Try bit is not contained withion that. It is written in a seperate paragraph underneath which I interpret as meaning it should only be used in addition to those repeated infringement sanctions should one of the offences deny a probable try.
These are options. They do not have to be used in that order. It is not uncommon to award a penalty try without awarding a card.
You have interpreted the law as you think best. That is not the only viable interpretation, and apparently is not the one Andrew Small used.

FlipFlop
24-12-07, 14:12
We come back to the main question, which isn't was it the right decision in law, but was it a FAIR decision?

This is because our remit is SAFETY, EQUITY, LAW (in that order).

So was his decision safety related (possibly - to try and stop more collapses), so it complies there, but so would other decisions.

Was his decision Fair? I think the consensus on here is that it was a fair outcome.

Justifiable in law? Possibly, possibly not, but actually irrelevant, as the fairness test has been met.

The laws are a framework, for us to use to get a safe and fair game (quote from WB, and several other GP refs). I think AS got this spot on.

chopper15
24-12-07, 15:12
Waspsv Bristol 23 Dec. Andrew Small ref.
Penalty, Yes, but a pen. try when the ball wasn't even put into the collapsing scrum?

Ref; FlipFlop; We come back to the main question, which isn't was it the right decision in law, but was it a FAIR decision?




Hows about my original ques.? Some of you are praising Andrew Small for his actions when the 'probability' of a PT didn't even arise.

To you fence sitters; was he justified or not in his decision? And will you be doing/recommending it?

Will.Q
24-12-07, 15:12
I didn't see the match. However, from what I've read, I personally would've given a penalty Wasps and issued a YC, if I could've clearly identified the main culprit. Problem then though is that Wasps could've elected for a scrum as a penalty option... Nightmare...

Davet
24-12-07, 16:12
The question about this PT is not to do with repeat offending, yes that can give rise to a PT - the Law is quite clear.

Nor is it an issue of fairness - what makes giving a PT outside the rule of Law "fair". Should a decision be basd on such a notion of fairness rather than Law then the side to which it is awarded are surely gaining an unfair advantage from misapplication of Law? Fair is fair to both sides equally.

The questions resolve very simply
1) was there foul play?
2) did that foul play prevent a probable try?

If we assume the answer to 1 is "YES", then we are left looking at Q2.

If we have a dead ball situation, and no quick restart is possible (unlike say impeding a tap penalty 5m from the line) then how can we judge probability?

Those who argue in favour of a PT must be saying that had the scrum been started then the probability is that a try would have been scored.

My contention is simply that until we see which way the scrum goes then we can't say.

I don't believe it is analagous to the high tackle on a player about to go over for a try. In that case the offender takes himself out of the play, and the ref's decision would be based on whether another, second, potential tackler, would have been well placed to prevent the score. If not, then PT. In this case we have a dead ball, and no idea what would happen next. The Wasps scrum was on top, but had not been wholly dominant, and had on occasion been pushed back themselves. We needed to see the ball go in, and then judge what is probable.

The arguement is one of principle; how much judgement can we make from a dead ball situation?

FlipFlop
24-12-07, 16:12
Ref; FlipFlop; We come back to the main question, which isn't was it the right decision in law, but was it a FAIR decision?




Hows about my original ques.? Some of you are praising Andrew Small for his actions when the 'probability' of a PT didn't even arise.

To you fence sitters; was he justified or not in his decision? And will you be doing/recommending it?

My post was an answer to your question.

But if you want it a different way - Bristol were continually infringing to try and prevent a try. If they hadn't been doing so, a try would probably have come. AS finally got fed up, and awarded the PT. This was a FAIR outcome. Equity comes above law - hence the justification is that it was a Fair decision (within the contect of that particular game), not a legal one. It probably did more towards helping the rest of the game have a low penalty count than a card would have done.

As you have rightly pointed out lots of times, there are (many) inconsistencies in the law book, so it is used as a framework to get a FAIR game of rugby.

Emmet Murphy
24-12-07, 20:12
I'm trying to get my head around this. Emmet - if you found a reason to sack one of the FR's to the bin, then spoke with the remaining 2 FR players and skipper and warned about RC, then, at next scrum, the exact same thing happens - what do you do? Do you find a reason to RC one of the other FR players?You send off the player who initiated it - your reason is repeated infringements by his team. Repeated infringements by the team very clearly allows you to RC a player - even if the guy you're sending off has just walked on as a FR replacement for the guy who made way after the YC - it's a team offence so after the YC be very explicit and make that crystal clear when they are being warned. If they are stupid enough to then try and call your bluff then follow it through.



Repeated infringement necessarily covers more than one offence - sequentially, not simultaneously. There was a series of scrums, latterly taken instead of penalties.
I agree. Each scrum was from a new/seperate penalty - it was not the same scrum being reset. We had several similar offences from Bristol in quick succession at different scrums. My argument about offences occuring simultaneoulsy was meant as a means of possibly increasing the likelihood of a probable try being denied: I didn't mean it should add to the repeated infringements.

So what we're left with is a series of successive penalties conceded by the defending side near their own line. I believe that it is more appropriate to use your cards to deal with these repeated infringements and - if any one of them denies a probable try - then award a PT.


I start from the point of view that an experienced top level referee knows more about this sort of situation than me. He has probably met it before many times, and knows what is expected by his assessors and coaches.

Yes, they do sometimes get it wrong, but I do not accept that this is a clear-cut such situation.
Again - I agree! It's not necessarily what I'm arguing towards though - I think that Small's is a considered interpretation of the laws that is accepted and used at the top level - I'm really wondering if that is appropriate at lower level rugby. As we all know too well there are many aspects of the laws which are interpreted and refereeed very differently between the grass roots and elite levels (and rightly so). That his coaches and assessors expect him to award a PT in those circumstances does not necessarily make it an appropriate course of action in a match I'm likely to referee.



These are options. They do not have to be used in that order. It is not uncommon to award a penalty try without awarding a card.
You have interpreted the law as you think best. That is not the only viable interpretation, and apparently is not the one Andrew Small used.
I agree with all of that and - again - the question is about interpretation. I just think at grass roots rugby it is better to align your interpretation more closely to the laws.


The question about this PT is not to do with repeat offending, yes that can give rise to a PT - the Law is quite clear.
I think the argument about repeated infringements is central to this question because that is the only way a PT can be even slightly justifiable! Small did warn the Bristol FR after the first/second collapse so I think it is fair to assume he awarded the PT taking into account the two previous collapses. What I'm arguing is that - in law at least - he should have gone to his cards and only gone under the posts if one of those collapsed scrums denied a probable try.

Padster
24-12-07, 21:12
I still agree totally with AS giving the penalty try as it is reasonable to assume that at the top level things rarely happen by accident and Wasps would probably have scored a try. Bristol were hoping to give up at most 3 points.

I also agree with Emmet in that I would find such an award of a PT difficult at the level I referee.

Dickie E
24-12-07, 22:12
I think the ref was a bit soft.

As soon as the knock-on (or whatever) occurred he should have awarded the PT. After all, he should have known that the defending team would probably collapse the scrum which probably would prevent the attacking team from scoring a try.

Dickie E
26-12-07, 02:12
how the SA ref site sees it:

http://www.sareferees.co.za/referees_news/story_241207153558.php

didds
26-12-07, 11:12
the law as she is wrote aside... this is not a unique occurrence at this level. It should not be a surprise that refs - at this level - award PTs for repeated scrum collapse infringements in the red zone. As OB often opined nothing happens by accident at these levels. As I am sure lucy would concur, collapses before the ball has come in could be indicative that one (or more) front rowers feels they are in a weak position such that they are compromised when and if the ball does come in. Collapsing for the reset at this juncture provides a chance to remedy this.

Furthermore, what of the argument that if collapsing a scrum before the ball is in can never lead to a PT, a side under pressure with a narrow lead could then use collapsed scrums w/out feed as a way to run the clock down. "Worst case" scenario for them is YCs until they have run out of ST&E FRs so the scrum becomes uncontested (albeit maybe 3 men down by now!)... and maybe that could now be job done.

I am not saying that the laws do support such action, neither am I saying such a PT decision is right... but I am struggling to retain any equity if sides can collapse with impunity before the ball comes in.

didds

Dickie E
26-12-07, 22:12
... nothing happens by accident at these levels.



I see this assertion every now & again and wonder at it.

If nothing happens by accident what are the scrums for? :confused:

Even (especially?) at the elite level, players push themselves beyond the boundaries of their competence and make ... mistakes.

God knows, I've been watching the English cricket team long enough to have seen this spades :p

OB..
26-12-07, 22:12
Dickie E - don't take it too literally. It is merely asserting the difference between top and bottom levels. If something illegal gives a team an advantage at top level, is was probably deliberate. At the bottom it was probably incompetence.

Dixie
27-12-07, 15:12
Even (especially?) at the elite level, players push themselves beyond the boundaries of their competence and make ... mistakes.

God knows, I've been watching the English cricket team long enough to have seen this in spades :p
Dickie - you've let your imagination run away with you. English cricket team; elite level. Contradiction in terms, surely?

FlipFlop
27-12-07, 17:12
Even (especially?) at the elite level, players push themselves beyond the boundaries of their competence

The Aussie front row? :D

Dickie E
27-12-07, 22:12
I'm sure that the last international front row that required uncontested scrums was England :p

FlipFlop
28-12-07, 00:12
I'm sure that the last international front row that required uncontested scrums was England :p

But was that due to an actual injury, or YC's? Or fake injuries and incompetence? :rolleyes:

Do the Aussies train on a scrum machine with a motor on it, so they can practise running backwards in scrum formation? :p :D

Davet
28-12-07, 16:12
But the Bristol scrum had given as good as it had got. Not 5 minutes earlier they had pushed the Wasps scrum back.

And as the South African refs site so astutely observes, the ball was dead.

In what way was the assumption that Wasps would score if the scrum went ahead justified?

OB..
28-12-07, 19:12
The South African article also astutely observes :
"The attack lasted some seven minutes, longer in fact, for the clock stopped for injuries. In that time there were five five-metre scrums which included four resets. Four times the scrum collapsed, the fourth time dramatically. Adding to the drama there was a free kick, then a penalty, then another penalty and then a penalty try. "

Whatever had happened 5 minutes earlier, at this particular point of the match Bristol were the team under severe pressure.

My impression was that they were only too happy to run the risk of a card if it prevented a try. Since collapsing the scrum is dangerous, and referees have been successfully sued for not dealing with it, there is a limit to how far the referee can allow that to continue. I am not privy to the instructions given to elite referees under such circumstances.

The cynical view would be that the last collapse was deliberately designed to try and take away the option of a penalty try from the referee. In Equity I think Bristol deserved what they got, and Equity is ranked higher than Law. To me that means that if the law does not satisfactorily cover a point, then the referee can make what seems to him to be a fair judgement under the circumstances. The laws are intended to ensure that a team cannot benefit by deliberate cheating.

Clearly you can award a penalty try when there are repeated infringements. Are you allowed to "tot up" the probabilities? The term "the offence" can either be singular, or collective. For repeated infringements the latter makes sense.

If the referee had carded a player, the probability is that the collapses would have continued until a second card was issued, at which point uncontested scrums would have denied Wasps a pushover try.

I have absolutely no doubt that Bristol got what they deserved. I think there is enough flexibility in the law to allow it. However I would love to know what the assessor and coach said afterwards. It was certainly a Critical Incident, and a difficult one.

Emmet Murphy
28-12-07, 19:12
The referee's biggest single mistake was with the second scrum; the ball was at the Wasps 8's feet and was under control and moving forward. Bristol took it down 2-3m from the line and he awarded a PK only to Wasps. Personally I think he went under the posts the next time because he knew that he got that one wrong. Equitable? Probably (no pun intended!). Correct in law? Absolutely not.

chopper15
28-12-07, 20:12
[QUOTE=OB..;35034]

Clearly you can award a penalty try when there are repeated infringements. Are you allowed to "tot up" the probabilities? The term "the offence" can either be singular, or collective. For repeated infringements the latter makes sense.

QUOTE]

OB, I go back to my original query when I started this thread '...a pen. try when the ball wasn't even put into the collapsing scrum?'

Surely the only simple answer to that query, after having read all these excellent threads, has got to be, No?

OB..
28-12-07, 23:12
Do you start with the game or with the laws? The laws have to make sense of the game, not the other way round.

chopper15
29-12-07, 00:12
Do you start with the game or with the laws? The laws have to make sense of the game, not the other way round.

The way they're draughted, surely OB, the game must have to make sense of the laws . . . 'policed' by you refs?

Dickie E
29-12-07, 01:12
I suspect Emmett has got it right. It was an 'even up' by the ref.

2 questions:

1. have you, as a ref, ever made a decision that you knew was wrong as soon as you made it?

2. if 'yes' to 1 above, have you ever sought to 'correct' that decision by a subsequent & intentional 'wrong' decision to balance the card?

Surely, the Equity concept would require that you do so !! :eek:

SimonSmith
29-12-07, 02:12
Yes.
And No. I apologize, but never ever "make up"

PeterH
29-12-07, 08:12
ditto with simon

Davet
29-12-07, 11:12
The laws have to make sense of the game, not the other way round


It's the Laws that make the game what it is, if they were different the game would be dfferent.

What you say implies that the Laws should change to reflect the way the game is played; rather than the game be played according to the Laws.

The poblem of course is that some will seek to play to the Laws, others will seek to change them by playing to the Laws they wish to have. Not all who seek change will seek the same change. I think this is a recipe for chaos and confusion.

OB..
29-12-07, 12:12
1. have you, as a ref, ever made a decision that you knew was wrong as soon as you made it?
In my very first game I allowed a try just as I realised the ball had been stolen by hand in the preceding ruck (while I was thinking offside).


2. if 'yes' to 1 above, have you ever sought to 'correct' that decision by a subsequent & intentional 'wrong' decision to balance the card?
No, never.


Surely, the Equity concept would require that you do so !! :eek:
Not in my book.

OB..
29-12-07, 12:12
It's the Laws that make the game what it is, if they were different the game would be dfferent.
The problem arises when the laws are contradictory, ambiguous, insufficient, etc.
Does anybody enforce Law 6.B.5 (d) Exception 1?
Does anybody penalise a non-dangerous hand-off under Law 10.4 (f)?


What you say implies that the Laws should change to reflect the way the game is played; rather than the game be played according to the Laws.
The definition of a throw-forward certainly needs re-wording. Law 19 is a mess.
However Law 16.3 (f) should be rigorously enforced for safety reasons, even though that is not what many players want.


The poblem of course is that some will seek to play to the Laws, others will seek to change them by playing to the Laws they wish to have. Not all who seek change will seek the same change. I think this is a recipe for chaos and confusion.
We already have a little of this. It is probably inevitable. Similarly players will always be prepared to cheat if the perceived benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Referees have to make sense of the laws as best they can. The laws are only black and white in print, not in meaning.

Dickie E
29-12-07, 12:12
I

Not in my book.

Why not? Surely Equity is all about giving both sides an equal chance to win the game. If the ref has made a mistake that favours one side and he knows it, why shouldn't he balance the ledger?

Davet
29-12-07, 14:12
Referees have to make sense of the laws as best they can. The laws are only black and white in print, not in meaning.

Agreed entirely. I have argued before that a little cloudiness in wording is not necessarily a bad thing, and the referee can referee according to the level and temper of the game.

It is all a matter of degree, and we will doubtless have disagreement.

For me the PT in question was a step too far, if the ball was in play then I could justify the PT, but when it is dead I find that too big a stretch.

You justify it on the grounds that the Law is weak when it comes to preventing the collapse prior to put in. I agree, after all, technically the front-row binding provisions only apply from the start to the end of the scrum - ie between ball going in and then emerging. Prior to the start, if the front rows fail to engage and remain steady then the sanction is actually a free kick, not a penalty.

OB..
29-12-07, 18:12
They replayed the incident at the start of this afternoon's match, and you could hear the ref say "All three front row going down". I am cynical enought to suspect that was deliberate, and in my book it rates as dangerous play. A penalty and 3 cards would have been original!

However we have have well and truly aired the issues now, and I think we have some measure of understanding, if not exactly agreement. That'll do for for me. Good discussion.

OB..
29-12-07, 18:12
Why not? Surely Equity is all about giving both sides an equal chance to win the game. If the ref has made a mistake that favours one side and he knows it, why shouldn't he balance the ledger?
Mistakes are inevitable. Deliberately being wrong is not.

Legal: Law 6.A.4 (a) [...] The referee must apply fairly all the Laws of the Game in every match.

Pragmatic: The referee is not God. How can he be sure that the consequences of his two errors will be the same?

Ethical: Equity works in the gaps and magins of the law - not to blatantly over-ride it.

Old Chinese proverb: Two Wongs do not make a (Chris) White.

Dickie E
29-12-07, 22:12
Ethical: Equity works in the gaps and magins of the law - not to blatantly over-ride it.[/FONT]



I can live with that BUT it then implies that Law is 2. and Equity is 3. - not t'other way around.

OB..
29-12-07, 22:12
Just as the laws of the land are supposed to implement Justice, the laws of rugby are intended to implement Equity.

The Courts of Chancery were set up to remedy the defects in the law by applying the principles of equity. In rugby the referee has to do it, but deliberately making a wrong decision is not right the way to achieve it.

chopper15
31-12-07, 12:12
However we have have well and truly aired the issues now, and I think we have some measure of understanding, if not exactly agreement. That'll do for for me. Good discussion.



Good discussion and your comment noted OB, but just as a foot-note does anyone know how long ago the requirement for the continued hold with the loose arm was imposed on the scrum?

Collapsing scrums seem to be a regular occurence now .

If my memory still serves me adequately, thro' the 50s and early 60s I would often step in from 2nd row to prop and we would nearly always shove with hand on thigh, and a collapsing scrum would be saved with hands flat to the ground.

OB..
31-12-07, 13:12
It was changed in 2001.

chopper15
31-12-07, 14:12
It was changed in 2001.

Great pity I would've thought. . .. and with little or no thought of safety?

What on earth were they thinking to justify that imposition?

A separate thread perhaps considering the problems and not particularly successful results in removing the threat of injury?

Padster
31-12-07, 20:12
If props bind and push completely legally then the chances of any collapse are greatly reduced.

It is rare to see experienced props do anything completely legally though
:D :D :D :D :D

chopper15
31-12-07, 21:12
If props bind and push completely legally then the chances of any collapse are greatly reduced.

It is rare to see experienced props do anything completely legally though
:D :D :D :D :D



The major concern at the ELV stage had to be that of removing the threat of injury caused by a collapsing scrum!

So, what did they do? They impose a strict binding procedure which not only increases the risk of injury by removing the use of a supporting arm, but result in more collapses and time wasting.


Surely I'm not the only one to think this?

Emmet Murphy
31-12-07, 23:12
It is rare to see experienced props do anything completely legally though
:D :D :D :D :DTrue - but that has as much to do with the incredibly prescriptive laws as much as anything else

SimonSmith
07-03-08, 13:03
And to resurrect teh thread. Here's the latest missive from USA Rugby or repeated infringements and penalty tries:

"USA RUGBY
Laws Sub-Committee

Repeated Infringements and Penalty Tries
March 07

An incident in an International Match led the IRB to issue a directive on this subject to their panel of referees.

Penalty tries and repeated infringements are two distinct issues. Repeated infringements do not automatically trigger penalty tries, regardless of where and when they occur. It is incorrect application for a referee to threaten “the next one’s a penalty try” or to award a penalty try because of repeated infringements.

A penalty try is awarded if:
Law 9.A.1
Penalty Try. If a player would probably have
scored a try but for foul play by an opponent,
a penalty try is awarded between the goal posts

Law 10.2 (a), 10.2 (b), 10.3 (b)
A penalty try must be awarded if the offense prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored.

The key words are would probably…been scored and the offense. What this means is that the specific offense must have prevented the probable try.

A series of similar offenses by a team or by an individual becomes persistent or repeated based on several possible factors:
• Time span in which the offenses occurred
• Place on the field in which the offenses occurred
• Offenses by one player

What this means is that an offense can be a repeated infringement without reaching the standard of a penalty try even if the offenses occurred very close to the goal line. Repeated infringement is foul play, and is covered in Law 10. However it does not per se mean that the standard for a penalty try has been met.

To award a penalty try, the individual offense must (by itself) have prevented a probable try. This is true whether it is a singular occurrence or part of a pattern leading to a referee determination of repeated.

The referee, therefore, must make two separate judgments. First, has this pattern reached the point of persistent offending? And second, did this particular offense prevent a try? These judgments are independent of each other. An offense may be repeated without leading to a penalty try. And an offense may result in a penalty try without being part of a larger pattern."

Dickie E
07-03-08, 23:03
A good & accurate summary