6 Nations - The Referees

Auld-Yin

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#1
OK, after this afternoon there is only Super Saturday to finish off the 6Ns season,

During this time we have had some good reasoned debate, and some comments from the_guru :) (Sorry, couldn't help myself), about the teams and the games. However, during the debate there have been very many mentions of what appears to be the poor standard of refereeing and LMF from some.

Will it be George Clancy or perhaps Steve Walsh who are best/worst but let's hear your views.

So, new question(s):

Who has been the best (most consistent) ref
Who has been the worst (least consistent) ref

And supplementary question: what Law(sub law etc) would you like to see replaced or actually applied by the refs.

Over to you................................
 
#2
Adopt the RL method of using video evidence which allows them to analyse more than just 'the act of scoring'. If the winger's foot was in touch 10 yards out - no try, if the pass to the try scorer was forward - no try, if the scorer collected the ball off his feet 10 yards out and didn't knock on - try awarded.
 

Auld-Yin

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#3
I hear what you are saying SF and I remember well the incident you refer to, but there is a danger here of making the poor referees come to decisions (OK along with the TMO) about how far back the video goes to see if the try is OK

This could end up with the same problems of advantage being played. Yesterday the ref saw fit to play the advantage for ages yet in Scotland's first game the ref struck off the advantage very quickly, even though Scotland did not gain from the so called advantage. His call, no comeback, but no consistency throughout the competition.

Is this a case of opening up another area for diapute?
 
#4
For me worst ref has been Barnes,technically a good referee,(as in applies laws to the letter) but, to me he has no real idea of what playing the game involves, and penalises players for stupid things beyond players control,but there are a few refs that I feel are like that anyway, most not on IRB A panel luckily.

Ok another ref is one I just don't like when he is in charge and that is Mr A.Rolland,again IMO inconsistent and worries too much about technical laws rather than players and game play, which is even worse in my view as he was an national player for Ireland.
 
#5
In my opinion, and this has happened only a couple of times, (namely by Mr Walsh who did himself no credit), more use should be made of the Southern Hemi refs. Jonathon Kaplan is the best ref in the world, and just happens to be a South African too.

OK, so neutral refs have been used ofcourse, but as was seen in the World cup, refs can have an agenda into favouring one team that in the long runwill benefit their own country.
 

Auld-Yin

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#6
Another thing that gets my goat about refs (well some of them) is that they think their job is to teach the players the Laws of the game whereas it is their role to umpire the game in the spirit of those Laws.

Where this seems to manifest itself most is when a referee who spent all of his playing career as far from the scrum as possible spends a long time trying to educate front row forwards.

a. educating a front row member is an impossible task :)
b. it is not the refs job. Call the play and explain your decision - end of.

Now I know that all front rows are totally comprised of angels who never do any wrong, well that is what they always claim, but they should be left to their job, penalised where necessary and the game moves on.
 
#7
The IRB need to stop trying to over-regulate as in the case of the "crouch-touch-lose will to live- engage" and "you must gently lower the 18 stone lump to the ground".

Give the referees discretion to let game flow, only use citing for offences the officials do not see and stop making the game too complex for your average legally trained hooker!
 

oldbaldy

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#8
Strangest thing for me is when there is a ruck, the side who haven't won the ball all disengage and so only one side have the ball at their feet. The defending side then line as if there is still a ruck.
 
#9
Strangest thing for me is when there is a ruck, the side who haven't won the ball all disengage and so only one side have the ball at their feet. The defending side then line as if there is still a ruck.
As a very junior level referee and a coach, I believe that when this happens the ruck is over and someone can nip round and nick it. When I say his to more experienced referees they all say they would not allow it but cannot give me the law that forbids it!
 
#10
Correct feed at scrum time. I say this as a hooker aswell, but I prefer having something to do at the scrum other than winding up thick props!
 
#11
Time wasting in break down situations, not only rucks but feeding the scrum too.
OK, so you're trying to run the clock down, but do please get the **** on with it.
Dickson is the worst infringer I have seen in ages and needs to been pe'ed for it more.
 

oldbaldy

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#12
Strangest thing for me is when there is a ruck, the side who haven't won the ball all disengage and so only one side have the ball at their feet. The defending side then line as if there is still a ruck.
As a very junior level referee and a coach, I believe that when this happens the ruck is over and someone can nip round and nick it. When I say his to more experienced referees they all say they would not allow it but cannot give me the law that forbids it!
Agreed. Needs a top player to do it & then have the IRB try to explain why it's not allowed.
 
#13
Agreed. Needs a top player to do it & then have the IRB try to explain why it's not allowed.
The cynic in me says that as soon as someone does it to the Irish in a big game, the IRB will write a law to prevent it.
 
#14
The referees have all been reasonably consistent just that some have been better than others on the day. I can understand the referee telling the front rows how he wants them engaged because, believe it or not, there are different interpretations of how the front rows should be both bound and come together. I knew referees who would penalise binding on the arm if the scrum collapsed but not if it didn't.

This is now a professional game and there is millions in sponsorship and merchandise to be made. If a referee awards a try that turns out not to be one then he could possibly effect World rankings. If he has any doubt whatsoever then he should refer it to the TMO. We like to pretend it's still a sport but it isn't, it's a business now.

If there was one thing I would change it would be to revert back to the old ruck and maul. It was far better when the whole pack was involved and platforms were set up and the ball secured. All this virtually unopposed stuff just makes it so much more difficult to know where exactly to come into the ruck or maul and is probably why so many players are caught off side.

There is an annoying trend to constantly speed the pace of the game up "for the spectators". Why? Most people who follow Rugby know the laws and are ex-players or enthusiasts. A full ruck and maul are part and parcel of the game and make an amusing spectacle in their own right. If you just want to see tries scored then watch Rugby League but if you want to see 15 players working together in harmony and fighting battles of attrition then watch the Great Game.
 
#15
If you just want to see tries scored then watch Rugby League but if you want to see 15 players working together in harmony and fighting battles of attrition then watch the Great Game.
poetry.
 

Auld-Yin

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#16
Great post MiT, but the logic of your last sentence is unfortunately wiped out by your second paragraph! :(
 
#17
Strangest thing for me is when there is a ruck, the side who haven't won the ball all disengage and so only one side have the ball at their feet. The defending side then line as if there is still a ruck.
16.6 SUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK

A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.
So you can't just run round as the ruck is still active, however you can walk over the top and any player (off his feet) who tries to stop you should be penalised. There have been a couple of instances of very effective counter rucking as the attacking team has been expecting the defenders to abandon the ruck and await the next phase of the attack. The England U20 hooker was noticeably proficient at spotting and exploit opportunities to do that against Scotland.
 
#18
I agree with what Markintime said. I also agree with those who have criticised feeding at the scrum. It really grips my shit.

I coach at under 11 level. My team played at a tournament yesterday which was a joy to watch. Every ruck and maul was fully contested. Rucks were counter rucked and counter-counter rucked. Bags of commitment and energy all round.

On refs, I think that on the whole the game is well served. I was at the Wales v Italy game and my 11 year old felt that Clancy was of Italian parentage. My head was telling me that Wales were making errors that they shouldn't have made, but my heart was whispering to me that perhaps Clancy wasn't having his best game. Haven't seen the match again, and of course haven't seen the inevitable punditry. But what was the general view, was it just Wales's errors, or was Clancy perhaps also not at 100%?
 
#19
In 'the good old days', good or bad, the Ref was called Sir and his word was law. (I'll add at this point that I am a qualified but now lapsed, ARU Ref).

The TMO - I don't like it. At the highest levels of the game, the Touch Judges are also Qualified Referees; I really believe that if all three officials are doing their jobs properly, the game would flow quite nicely.

As for bad Laws:
Accidential Knock ons: I think if a knock on is minor, clearly accidential and of 'no advantage', then play should continue.
Scrum time: Now that we use a 'clock' to keep the time rather than the Referee's wrist watch and memory, I think the clock should be stopped from the time the Ref signals a scrum until the time the ball is thrown in. I think the pundits said after yesterdays match that over 16 minutes of the game were used up scrummaging.
Putting the ball in to the scrum: Arrrgghh! Why why why.....? FFS, put it in straight. Enough said.
Slow ball off the back of a Ruck The 'unopposed' nature of some Rucks is, I'm sure, at the root of this abomination. If the ball is visible, then it should be played, or the Ref should simply declare 'the ball is out' after a few seconds. There was far too much hanging around in the England France match, as an example, whilst the scrum half faffed about.
 

Auld-Yin

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#20
So you can't just run round as the ruck is still active, however you can walk over the top and any player (off his feet) who tries to stop you should be penalised. There have been a couple of instances of very effective counter rucking as the attacking team has been expecting the defenders to abandon the ruck and await the next phase of the attack. The England U20 hooker was noticeably proficient at spotting and exploit opportunities to do that against Scotland.

The French have been good at launching the leg over the ruck also which I think is a good thing. It makes the opposition play the ball and not just set up a set-piece play. As mentioned above though it often becomes difficult for players to enter the fray without incurring a penalty for being exactly 180 degrees behind the rear foot of a ruck which does not have any of his own team binding to enable him to have a rear foot to judge his entry, thus incurring a penalty.

Here is another thought, which is maybe moving away from the referees question but more to the last element of my first post. I would like to see the awarding of penalties and what can be done with them reviewed. OK a team deliberately allows a penalty against them to stop play, but do all penalties have to be attempts at the posts?

Could there be a non-scoring penalty whereby the team given the penalty has to go for touch or some other play? I realise that these options are there for the team taking the penalty but if this were imposed as a non-scoring penalty it may make the game less of one where the big kickers rule the roost. France nearly did it yesterday with the boot. Morally who has won a game - the team that went over 3 times for a try or the team that went over once maybe but followed up with good kicking?

It may be confusing in a game that already has different interpretations on the Laws applied by different rugby codes i.e. north & south hemispheres, but we could have a scenario where there are 3 kicking types of penalty

Free kick - as it stands
Non-scoring free kick (can't go for 3 points between the posts)
Scoring free kick (allowed to go for 3 points)

Thoughts?
 

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