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ExHookah
18-12-05, 16:12
Watching the Wasps vs Llanelli match. Mr. Lewis (who I think is an excellent referee BTW) was playing [penalty] advantage to Wasps, and then Llanelli infringed again at the subsequent ruck with another penalty offense.

Mr. Lewis offered Wasps a choice of the penalty in front of the posts (the original offense) or a penalty closer to the sidelines (the new offense). So essentially Wasps had a choice of an easy 3 point kick, or a good position to chip to the corner for an attacking lineout.

This seems to be a very good use of the advantage law, but I'd never seen that interpretation before. This is not a criticism at all, I just had not seen the advantage law played like this before.

(FWIW it looks like Wasps are running away with this match now, so it's not a match changing decision)

Fabio
18-12-05, 17:12
I have done something similar once. There was a knock on (and advantage) for Greens near touchline and around their attacking 22, and right after that the player who had knocked it on kicked to touch. I offered to the captain the option for line-out or scrum, and they promptly chose the line-out. I was not sure (well, still am not) if that was correct, but either team seemed to have any issues about it and the game moved on...

Any thoughts?

Mike Whittaker
19-12-05, 00:12
It all sounds highly equable but is it correct in law?

I would dig out law book but it is late and I have had a long weekend!!

Expert analysis awaited... :)

Deeps
19-12-05, 01:12
What do you mean long weekend! We were all convinced your end of the bar was going to pivot upwards if you hadn't stuck to your duty and leaned on it for so long.

OB..
19-12-05, 01:12
I cannot find anything in the laws to cover the situation. Therefore Equity applies. Offering the option seems a Good Idea.

Meeting next Tuesday - I may get the opportunity to ask some top refs. This is not going to be a particularly unusual situation.

Simon Thomas
19-12-05, 12:12
I agree that Lewis had an excellent game - as incidentally so did Wasps without Dawson (a hint for 6 Nations England selections perhaps ?)

I admit I would have gone back to the kick in front of posts. But Lewis' interpretation of non-accrued advantage and so offer the highest benefit penalty to non-offending team - and leave them to decide which they want, was excellent.

Very much in 'spirit of laws' (we shouldn't always focus on 'letter of laws') and very equitable.

Mike Whittaker
19-12-05, 13:12
What do you mean long weekend! We were all convinced your end of the bar was going to pivot upwards if you hadn't stuck to your duty and leaned on it for so long.

Just because I never made it as far as your pitch yesterday but preferred to watch a quality game on a pitch nearer the clubhouse... In retrospect perhaps I should have watched your game and been able to enlighten all our friends here????

Incidentally did I tell you all about two TJs I saw on Saturday who also frequent this board. Just hope the assessor did his job and put them straight!! (only kidding... they will soon learn how to do it)

Deeps
19-12-05, 15:12
Just because I never made it as far as your pitch yesterday but preferred to watch a quality game on a pitch nearer the clubhouse... In retrospect perhaps I should have watched your game and been able to enlighten all our friends here????

Well my pitch was uphill a bit I suppose and a veritable camel ride away from the club house. My U17 game was quite feisty (once the home side turned up 4 minutes after KO time), albeit low scoring with the result hanging on a last minute penalty attempt from 10 metres out. Although the game was well contested, the skills were not present and the game was dominated by a series of unstructured mauls requiring quite a lot of management.

I was disappointed that one player offered his foot to ruck a player on the floor and even admitted it after I had stopped him. Then his coach was unhappy after I sin binned the captain/scrum half for repeatedly feeding in the scrum. His take afterwards was that a yellow card was not appropriate for that type of offence, believing that I should have carried on with free kicks. I assured him that I believed it was appropriate for a notified repeated offence of any kind.

You may still be able to watch it as a Club video was made and I can always use constructive advice, particularly when my cards for the day are likely to be fairly negative.

OB..
19-12-05, 16:12
As an alternative you could choose to penalise the offending scrum half under Law 10.2 (a) Intentionally Offending before proceeding to Law 10.3 (a) Repeatedly Offending.

However once you had warned the captain, your actual decision was perfectly legitimate.

Simon Thomas
19-12-05, 16:12
Thanks for your kind words about the TJ work on Saturday Mike, and we had an excellent discussion with the assessor afterwards.
In a 97-0 match, he accepted that there were very few material offences to send in, and that our signals were so discrete that he (like you) maybe missed some !
I thought our flag timings on the numerous succesful conversions were well synchronised.

didds
19-12-05, 19:12
Then his coach was unhappy after I sin binned the captain/scrum half for repeatedly feeding in the scrum. His take afterwards was that a yellow card was not appropriate for that type of offence, believing that I should have carried on with free kicks. I assured him that I believed it was appropriate for a notified repeated offence of any kind.

Deeps - IMO you were 100% correct. The coach is a pillock.

maybe he should spend sometime coaching his SH how to put the ball in straight(ish ;-) and perhaps more pertinently his hooker to HOOK! And all his players to play to the ref!

didds

Mike Whittaker
20-12-05, 00:12
Thanks for your kind words about the TJ work on Saturday Mike, and we had an excellent discussion with the assessor afterwards.
In a 97-0 match, he accepted that there were very few material offences to send in, and that our signals were so discrete that he (like you) maybe missed some !
I thought our flag timings on the numerous succesful conversions were well synchronised.

Would agree that apart from signalling when the conversions were taken and when the ball went into touch you had little reason to be signalling within the context of that game. What you did was a true model of synchronisity and discretion. Seriously though I think many were pleased that the player attitude in unusual circumstances was such that you had a relaxing time.

GazMaz
20-12-05, 09:12
The only thing we have to be a little wary of is that we don't go down the road of playing advantage until the team can or can possibly score.
Just a comment of course:D

Bryan
20-12-05, 11:12
I think we need to look at this from 2 different scenarios, as both have their own consequences:

I. Where advantage is played from a penalty 15m out in front of the posts, and then while the referee is playing advantage the offending team commits a further infringement 5m from both the try-line and the touch-line whereby advantage is not gained and the whistle is blown immediately.

II. Where the attacking team commits a knock-on and the ball goes into touch parallel too where the knock-on was committed.

Scenario I
In the case mentioned by Nick, I think Mr. Lewis was incorrect in his decision, no matter how equitable it might be. The Law seems quite hazy in its description of the law, but recognizes this with:


Law 8.1 (a) The referee is sole judge of whether or not a team has gained an advantage. The referee has wide discretion when making decisions. [my emphasis]

Now, there are two parts of the Law that were key in me deciding that this was the incorrect decision:


Law 8.5 (a) If there is more than one infringement by the same team the referee applies the advantage Law.
Law 8.2 …If the non-offending team does not gain an advantage, the referee blows the whistle and brings play back to the place of infringement.

The way I see it, when the offending team committed a 2nd offence, this became the “new” place of infringement. The real question is therefore whether there can be more than ONE place of infringement with reference to Law 8.2. If yes, then certainly the referee has the discretion to choose which place this would be, and being the equitable fellow would consult with the non-offending captain, as Mr. Lewis did on the weekend. Otherwise the place of infringement becomes the most recent occurrence, therefore play should be brought back to the 2nd infringement without the option to returning to the offence 15m back in front of the posts.

That being said, I then wonder what would happen if a referee played advantage for a team being offside at a ruck, and then subsequently one of the offending players high tackled the Number 10 who was standing 10m back with no advantage being gained. Where would you mark the penalty- where the high-tackle occurred, or where the players were offside at a ruck? In a match situation, I would probably mark it at the place of the high tackle (seeing as the offending player would probably be binned and after dealing with that I'd be so focussed on getting it right that I'd forget about the offiside), though in hindsight it may well me at the place where the players were offside.

Scenario II

Again, has advantage really been gained? Certainly territorial advantage has not been gained if the ball goes directly into touch, so we now need to consider whether tactical advantage has been gained. Has the non-offending team been allowed to “play the ball as they wish”? Personally I don’t think they’ve been able to play the ball at all if it goes straight into touch! Therefore, even if the non-offending team is winning every line-out but losing every scrum, advantage has NOT been gained and the referee must return to the original infringement i.e. the scrum 5m in from the touchline.

That’s my 2 cents worth. I really struggled to think about this one hence my “late” reply, but this is what I’ve come up with so far.

-Bryan

Davet
20-12-05, 14:12
Bryan - I think you are getting too bogged down. As you point out (and indeed emphasise) the Law give wide discretion to the referee in deciding if advantage has been gained.

That wide discretion can surely include - when the ball is otherwise dead - asking the captain which of two potential decisions HE prefers.

Then the ref, having used his wide discretion can either indicate the new place or the original place. If advantage is over then the mark is at the place of the second offence. If advantage is not over then the mark is at the place of the first offence.

The captain simply needs to say whare he wants the mark - the ref can then call either "no advantage" or "advantage over" to suit.

I'm not advocating this as a matter of course, but when the options are pretty equal in the refs eyes then why not?

SimonSmith
20-12-05, 14:12
I. Where advantage is played from a penalty 15m out in front of the posts, and then while the referee is playing advantage the offending team commits a further infringement 5m from both the try-line and the touch-line whereby advantage is not gained and the whistle is blown immediately.

II. Where the attacking team commits a knock-on and the ball goes into touch parallel too where the knock-on was committed.

Scenario I
In the case mentioned by Nick, I think Mr. Lewis was incorrect in his decision, no matter how equitable it might be. The Law seems quite hazy in its description of the law, but recognizes this with:



Now, there are two parts of the Law that were key in me deciding that this was the incorrect decision:



The way I see it, when the offending team committed a 2nd offence, this became the “new” place of infringement.

Not as convinced as you. You can make the argument that it only becomes the new place of infringment IF enough advantage has accrued from the first offence.

The way I look at it is like this: penalties are there to penalize! If the offending side knows that they have given away a VERY kickable penalty, under your scenario they could well be tempted to give away another one in a less kickable position!

tim White
20-12-05, 18:12
This sounds like another can of worms opening, give the penalty in front of the posts and let the captain decide what to do with it. If he has strong views on which penalty he would prefer I have no doubt he will be screaming, and pointing, to alert you to this. A protracted discussion could easily ensue with his team mates and leaving the ref looking a little ineffective/foolish.

At all other times you decide which is most advantageous, and carry on with the game.

OB..
20-12-05, 19:12
Why would there be a protracted discussion? It is the captain's job to make a decision. Let him make it.

OB..
20-12-05, 23:12
It was a somewhat festive meeting this evening - free beer, nibbles and a fun quiz. I sounded out one or two people and the reaction was "I've never had to decide that", followed by a long pause. However after a short discussion, they all agreed that giving the captain the choice was the only equitable thing to do.

Of course tomorrow, in the clear light of day, they may all decide they had been bamboozled by my powers of oratory :eek: :D

Mike Whittaker
21-12-05, 00:12
Thought it was up to the referee to make the decision as to whether the non offending team had gained a material advantage. Are we really going to start letting the players make the choice...?? Slippery slide this one...:)

OB..
21-12-05, 01:12
The referee decides when advantage is over. However in this case the advantage is not over. I don't see a problem.

Davet
21-12-05, 13:12
Thought it was up to the referee to make the decision as to whether the non offending team had gained a material advantage. Are we really going to start letting the players make the choice...?? Slippery slide this one...:)

Not as a matter of course, but if I have not yet called "advantage over" and we get a second offence then I see no issue with asking which of the two the innocent party want to take.

If I have called advantage over then the issue does not arise.

robertti
21-12-05, 16:12
I think I have raised on a scenario similar to this in another forum on this website about a similar issue and the consensus then was no, the team should not be able to choose.

The similar scenario is this. A referee plays a penalty advantage to a team and, seeing the have an advantage, the non-offending team chips the ball down the touchline. The defending team reaches the ball first and runs it out into touch. Now I know alot of you will say, hang on, the referee should have blown his whistle BEFORE the defender ran the ball into touch - but clearly in the modern game these would happen so quickly that the referee would not always have time to do that. So this raises another question, can the non-offending team choose to have the penalty further back or the attacking lineout further down the field?

Of course there are laws which allow for the team to choose where the penalty will be eg: Late Charging of a Kicker.
But there is no reference to this situation, and this thread's scenario in the laws.

I know equity makes it seem like we should give the attacking team the advantage. But practically can we really do it without bogging down the game. In reality, there are numerous, numerous occasions throughout a game where this would happen. If we were to ask the captain on each occasion - this would slow down the game immensley - the captain might need to be called from the fullback position, might want to have a 20 minute discussion with his team, or may be injured and not available to be asked.

It is for this reason that I think we should not give teams the choice; and it is definitely the norm that I see in top class matches and in the community rugby I referee.

Mike Whittaker
21-12-05, 20:12
Not as a matter of course, but if I have not yet called "advantage over" and we get a second offence then I see no issue with asking which of the two the innocent party want to take.

If I have called advantage over then the issue does not arise.


As long as you are consistent in this... which would appear to conflict with 'not as a matter of course'. Take care Davet :)

Davet
21-12-05, 23:12
Mike - I take your point.

But I always feel that the standard operating procedures as laid down from on high are for guidance in cases of doubt. When the ref is sure of waht the right answer is then he is best advised to act on it!