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phillo
24-02-08, 12:02
Scenario - Green vs blue, level 11-12ish. Green attacking lineout on blue 10m. Green knocks on at the line out, advantage called. Blue scrum half passes back to fly half (outside 22) who kicks under no pressure. As he kicks I call advantage over, guess what? Kick goes straight in to touch on the full. Line out to green where blue kicked the ball. Blue slightly aggrieved but accepting of decision.

Advantage can be tactical or territorial.

Question - did the fact that the kicker was able to get the kick away constitute tactical advantage or should I have waited for the ball to land first and see if they could get terratorial?

Replies greatly appreciated.

dave_clark
24-02-08, 13:02
on my ELRA, I was told to ignore tactical advantage to begin with. once you get to a decent enough level where incompetence can be (almost) taken out of the equation, you can start considering tactical advantage. what this level is i didn't ask.

i don't necessarily agree with this, but i'm happy to follow the advice from my society!

Simon Griffiths
24-02-08, 13:02
I think that it is generally accepted that taking the option to kick is advantage over off a scrum advantage. I would temper that though, at lower levels, if I know that the kicker is not any good. Also worth noting if he was under pressure, I might give leeway if he was, as it can hardly be a great tactical victory to attempt a kick under pressure.

Greg Collins
24-02-08, 13:02
I like to think ....

What's the best they could realistically expect to get from the scrum? Possesion, a pass by SH under less pressure (maybe) and a less pressured decision by FH (maybe) But only you can judge what pressure they were under.

Do you want to play advantage to compensate for poor decision making or poor execution. yes maybe but to what degree

My sense is it typical for us newbies to call "advantage over" too early....

Watching too much telly rugby maybe..?

Yesterday I called "Advantage o-b*ll*cks!" as counterattacking side knocked it on. Must learn to internalise my thoughts better! Players enjoyed it though.

OB..
24-02-08, 14:02
I don't see why a player who is a poor kicker should be entitled to two bites at the cherry. If his kick was genuinely a free tactical decision, the advantage is over, even if the kick turned out to be a bad one. He might well have done just the same from a scrum. (Perhaps he already had!).

Greg - awkward, but it will happen again. You had already decided advantage was over, so stick to it. Wry smile, shrug of shoulders maybe.

Davet
24-02-08, 18:02
Advantage must be real, a mere opportunity to take advantage is not sufficient.

Making a free tactical decision is not necessarily an advantage. It may well be, and the higher the level then the more readily I might call advantage over. Down at L11/12 then I would be more inclined to see what actually resulted from the kick.

Advantage implies getting a better result than would be anticipated from awarding the sanction, not merely equal to it...

FlipFlop
24-02-08, 20:02
I always wait until the kick LANDS before calling the advantage over. This has stood me well in managing the game.

I'd say that with kicks, either call the advantage over BEFORE the kick, or wait until it lands. That way you can make a sensible call, and keep all players happy.

With knock on advantages I try and wait until the players have had either a real territorial advantage (doesn't need to be much) or have had the same opportunity to play the ball as from a scrum - secure ruck ball normally. In you scenario the 10 wasn't initially expecting the ball, so the kick would have been more hurried than from the scrum (especially at the lower levels), so was there any advantage? or would they have preferred the scrum?

OB..
24-02-08, 20:02
Advantage implies getting a better result than would be anticipated from awarding the sanction, not merely equal to it...
When we had a training session on this a while back, that was not the conclusion we came to. Equal or better was the idea. Why waste time going back for advantage if you are only expect to get the same result? Why give a kicker a second chance if he had a genuinely free choice?

Phil E
24-02-08, 20:02
8.1 ADVANTAGE IN PRACTICE
(d) Tactical advantage means freedom for the non-offending team to
play the ball as they wish.

I would argue that by kicking the ball they have had the freedom to play the ball as they wish...advantage over.

You give them the opportunity to play the ball as they wish, if they fail to use that opportunity why should you bring it back. They dont get two bites of the cherry.

phillo
24-02-08, 21:02
With knock on advantages I try and wait until the players have had either a real territorial advantage (doesn't need to be much) or have had the same opportunity to play the ball as from a scrum - secure ruck ball normally. In you scenario the 10 wasn't initially expecting the ball, so the kick would have been more hurried than from the scrum (especially at the lower levels), so was there any advantage? or would they have preferred the scrum?

Just to clarify in my scenario there was the knock on at the line out, blue picked it up and a maul formed allowing blue time to secure the ball. The blue fly half then took up a kicking position behind the maul so was clearly expecting to kick from here. Which he did, under little or no pressure.....straight in to touch but only by about a metre. If the ball had landed just in field they would have gained about 50m...but they didn't.

I'm happy that I made a decent call of it. I think if the ball had gone straight to SH who passed to FH who had to kick under pressure from rushing green players then i would have brought it back for the scrum but as I say, there was little or no pressure.

p.s. I'm loving advantage o.....boll***s. Might use that myself.

FlipFlop
24-02-08, 22:02
Philo,

Now I see the situation a bit better. In which case it might have been better to call the advantage over BEFORE the kick, indeed once they had a secure maul ball would be a good time to call it, then it doesn't matter what happens with the kick, as there is no advantage being played.....

Just a thought.

FF

phillo
24-02-08, 22:02
So you're saying that the fact that they gained clean possession was advantage enough? So in that case is advantage over: a. When the sh has possession? b. When the fh has possession? Just wondering in case of fh fumbling or bad pass from sh?

tim White
24-02-08, 22:02
Calling 'Advantage Over' almost always causes a knock-on, it's the eleventh commandment.

Mike Whittaker
24-02-08, 22:02
Advice given to Dave on ELRA sounds reasonable to start with and easier to justify to players etc.

There are no simple answers to tactical advantage, particularly with lower level teams who do not appreciate a tactical advantage when it hits them in the face!! Worry about it after a year's solid reffing and it will become self evident...

FlipFlop
25-02-08, 00:02
So you're saying that the fact that they gained clean possession was advantage enough? So in that case is advantage over: a. When the sh has possession? b. When the fh has possession? Just wondering in case of fh fumbling or bad pass from sh?

Okay - think about it like this:

If they had a scrum, what is the best they could hope for? Clean ball for the scrum half to do as he wants. So if there is a maul/ruck with clean ball to do as they want, they are in the same position as if you awarded the scrum.

So I'd call it over once the ruck/maul is clearly and securely won, and the ball is available to be played by the s/h. This might be after 1 or 2 phases, if the first tackles/rucks/mauls don't give good clean ball. But if it isn't clean by then, and no territorial advantage gained, will call it back for the scrum. If a team is a bad scrummaging side, might given them an extra phase to use the ball.

OB..
25-02-08, 01:02
So you're saying that the fact that they gained clean possession was advantage enough? So in that case is advantage over: a. When the sh has possession? b. When the fh has possession? Just wondering in case of fh fumbling or bad pass from sh?
From a scrum they would reasonably expect to gain possession with a chance to decide their own tactics. I therefore want to see a player with secure possession make a deliberate, unforced tactical decision. If he chooses to kick, he has used the advantage tactically. If the scrum half passes to the fly half who drops it, that is not enough. If the scrum half chooses to kick (emphasis on "chooses"), that is enough.

Agustin
25-02-08, 01:02
A couple of things pop into my head as a former SH and FH:

1. If there is any loss in territory due to the knock-on, I would call back for the scrum. By loss in territory, here, I mean either distance from the opposition's goal line, or distance from the touch line (it's easier to keep the ball in play if I'm kicking from further infield).

2. The SH would likely have cleaner ball from a scrum than from an opposition's knock-on, giving the opposition less time to challenge the FH. This is even more important at lower levels.

3. As a FH, it's easier and better to kick from a scrum than a lineout, for at least two reasons: first, eight of the opposing players are bound and cannot chase or put pressure on the FH; and second, their backs have 10m less of a head start for chasing the kick. In the case of a botched lineout, it is also more frequent for forwards to creep up and apply more pressure to the FH.

As a ref, another thought popped into my head. Consider the following scenarios: black set up an attacking ruck in red's 22m. Black #6, taking a short pass from the base of the ruck, makes gain line and knocks on. Red #9 picks up the ball and passes it to his #10. #10, having heard advantage called, makes one of the following decisions:

a) As in the above example, chooses to kick and botches it, slicing it into touch 5m forward.

b) He chooses to run the ball himself, runs 5m, gets isolated in the tackle, and loses possession.

c) He passes it out and the ball makes it out to the winger, who is tackled into touch, 5m ahead of where the FH was standing.

d) He passes it out and the ball makes it out to the winger, who is isolated in the tackle and loses possession.

It seems, from what I have read here, that most of you would not go back for the scrum in scenario a). What would be your call in b), c), and d)? If there is any difference, why?

Simon Griffiths
25-02-08, 01:02
As some general rules (I'll always play things as I see them, usually making little adaptations here and there for the game in hand). The key thing for me with this situation is that it hasn't been set up, it's a ball bobbles, grab pass and go thing, very unstructured. As such:

a) I would think the 10 was probably not in the most comfortable position going for a kick in open play after a fumble. Come back for the knock on.

b) Come back for the scrum. Likewise off a ruck or maul - no fly half (who deserves to be playing in the TDM role) would do that unless under duress, surely...

c) Advantage over.

d) Advantage over.

As another rule of thumb, I'll call advantage over once the ball's got past the inside centre, provided a pass hasn't been under pressure/poor/wayward and the team haven't been forced much backwards by a strong, aggressive defence.

FlipFlop
25-02-08, 01:02
Agustin,

From what you've said, I'm coming back for all the examples you've given, but c) & d) might be advantage over depending on circumstances.
My arguement was that if a ruck/maul had formed that gave secure, clean ball (similar to a scrum) then I'd call the advantage over before the s/h (or as the s/h, made the pass.

If there was no ruck/maul with clean secure possession then I'm more likely to come back.

Agustin
25-02-08, 15:02
Interesting responses. I'm inclined to agree with both of you, Simon and FlipFlop, because advantage is such a grey area.

On the surface, all four scenarios have these things in common: the FH *chose* a course of action, and his team lost possession 5m ahead of where he received the pass from the SH. However, based on experience, the four scenarios indicate difference in quality of pass from SH, amount of pressure from the defense, etc.

This is why advantage is my favourite part of rugby. It's where the IRB truly demonstrates that it trusts refs to do our job properly.

David J.
25-02-08, 16:02
What I find interesting is that possession at a "contested" scrum is considered (rightfully so) nearly guaranteed. Anyone have statistics on how often a team win possession against the head these days compared to 10 - 15 years ago?

OB..
25-02-08, 17:02
No stats, but at the professional level, the contest seems to be about quality of possession rather than actual possession. Clean heels against the head were always a rarity in my memory.

Mike Whittaker
25-02-08, 20:02
You raise an interesting point David J in that at the less professional levels it is not unknown for there to be a disparity in the ability of the two packs. Indeed if one team is being absolutely hammered up front then the award of a scrum is indeed of less advantage to them than it would be to their opponents.

This, when I am advising etc, is a fascinating situation in which the referee can demonstrate his empathy and management skills. Certainly it is not an area where I would even start to be prescriptive (others may like to have a stab!!) but one where a ref with potential will somehow manage it such that both teams accept his decisions with equanimity...

ex-lucy
01-03-08, 13:03
classic .. from one of the S14 matches y'day ...
line out to red just outside 22m ... blue knock on in line out .. "advantage" ... red 9 passes to 10 ... 10 passes to 12 ...ball now just less than 5m of line of touch.. 12 passes to 13 .. "advantage over" .. red 13 kicks .. blue 13 charges down .. picks up, passes to blue 12 who scores a try...

classic ... poor old ref (Deaker).. i thought it was a good call at the time .. but a split second later .. the ball was charged down and a try resulted.

was it right?

dave_clark
01-03-08, 18:03
without seeing it, i would say yes. tactical advantage gained.

OB..
01-03-08, 20:03
Unless all the passes were under pressure, then they were playing the ball as they wanted. They have the right to mess things up.