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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:03 pm 
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Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Said it in the Samoa game and Wales did a good job of it today - congrats to both.

Lazy runners at rucks - AWJ was brilliant today at it. So England would get some go forward, AWJ would pick any player in particular, just as an example, he would put that supporting player coming in to the floor but then he wouldn't retreat/cut across/make life very difficult for any england player to get near the ruck. Whilst he does this, another player comes in and competes for the ball and the player who's gone to ground is isolated.

I'm sure other teams do it, I'm sure England do it and my one eyedness frankly is missing it but it's so cynical to watch that it kills the game and enjoyment for me. It needs to be met as blatant blocking of an opposition player and award either a penalty/yellow card offense. It's never, ever been policed.


Last edited by Wendigo7 on Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:09 pm 
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I think they need to bring back rucking.

If a player is on the wrong side, he/she gets a shoeing. Shouldn't be there.

It would probably result in more scrum restarts, but would attract more forwards into the ruck, releasing space out wide for attacking rugby.

The ruck is a joke nowadays.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:41 pm 
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iarmhiman wrote:
I think they need to bring back rucking.

If a player is on the wrong side, he/she gets a shoeing. Shouldn't be there.

It would probably result in more scrum restarts, but would attract more forwards into the ruck, releasing space out wide for attacking rugby.

The ruck is a joke nowadays.


There was a conversation in here last week about truck and trailer mauls and I went looking for the exact Laws regarding binding... it's worth a look. If refs whistled to the letter of the Laws regarding binding alone I reckon we'd see an almost revolutionary cleaning up of the ruck and the game in general.

Firstly, the definition of a ruck...

http://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=15
Quote:
A player must bind onto a team-mate or an opposition player. The bind must precede or be simultaneous with contact with any other part of the body.


and the definition of binding...

http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=2
Quote:
Binding: Grasping another player’s body firmly between the shoulders and the hips with the whole arm in contact from hand to shoulder.


The first 3 points in the definition of a ruck are illuminating...

Quote:
A ruck can take place only in the field of play.
A ruck is formed when at least one player from each team are in contact, on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground.
Players involved in all stages of the ruck must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips. Sanction: Free-kick.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:02 pm 
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My only issue with Garces calling people for ruck infringements - and it's happened in other games I've watched recently so not just an issue with him - is consistency.

Aside from the truly blatant - which is rare unless your name happens to be Dan Cole - it become an arbitrary call because it's the one time he's called it amongst many, many infringements. Some will say a number will be 'immaterial' but given that all teams at this level are aiming for ruck recycling / slowing down by a matter of a second or two, someone who's off his feet / disrupted from the side / etc IS affecting the flow of play.

I know what refereeing to the letter of the law will mean: more penalties and/or a less intense game. Since World Rugby loves Law Trials, I'd like to see strict policing and a few things to encourage players to counter ruck (because I know that strict policing made players avoid rucking in the ITM a couple of seasons ago).

1. If an attacking player enters the breakdown area - a square around the bodies on the ground - he's fair for a clearout. Such players NOT allowed to bind to bodies on the ground as they are effectively out of the game.

2. Remove the gate. Allow cleanouts from a 45 degree angle, so long as the player doing so binds and drives - NOT collapses. Ban croc-rolls.

3. Anyone flying in with no bind or clearing out / sealing downward penalised BUT if someone or group rucks straight with such dominance that the opposition falls, then play on. (I think ITM refs were pinging anyone off their feet, ignoring that a strong cleanout against a passive opponent will result in them going to ground.)




Feel free to nitpick that apart. We'll sort this out and pass on our findings to World Rugby. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:10 pm 
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Nieghorn wrote:
My only issue with Garces calling people for ruck infringements - and it's happened in other games I've watched recently so not just an issue with him - is consistency.

Aside from the truly blatant - which is rare unless your name happens to be Dan Cole - it become an arbitrary call because it's the one time he's called it amongst many, many infringements. Some will say a number will be 'immaterial' but given that all teams at this level are aiming for ruck recycling / slowing down by a matter of a second or two, someone who's off his feet / disrupted from the side / etc IS affecting the flow of play.

I know what refereeing to the letter of the law will mean: more penalties and/or a less intense game. Since World Rugby loves Law Trials, I'd like to see strict policing and a few things to encourage players to counter ruck (because I know that strict policing made players avoid rucking in the ITM a couple of seasons ago).

1. If an attacking player enters the breakdown area - a square around the bodies on the ground - he's fair for a clearout. Such players NOT allowed to bind to bodies on the ground as they are effectively out of the game.

2. Remove the gate. Allow cleanouts from a 45 degree angle, so long as the player doing so binds and drives - NOT collapses. Ban croc-rolls.

3. Anyone flying in with no bind or clearing out / sealing downward penalised BUT if someone or group rucks straight with such dominance that the opposition falls, then play on. (I think ITM refs were pinging anyone off their feet, ignoring that a strong cleanout against a passive opponent will result in them going to ground.)




Feel free to nitpick that apart. We'll sort this out and pass on our findings to World Rugby. :D


Not sure about No. 1 but on board with 2 and 3.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:11 pm 
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The other one that I hate that has minor, but still significant, material implications are obstructions by dummy runners and flankers breaking from the scrum.

Navidi had one today where he broke off just before the ball was out, Richie-style, and aimed for one of the England centres like he was an NFL blocker.

With all the out-the-back plays these days, you see a lot of forwards obstructing players who would have been in better defensive positions had they not had their pursuit lines thrown-off.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Also - Refs should do what they state they will do.

Case in point is feeding at the scrum. All teams do this - they throw it in straight but it'll be the scrum half putting it in at his own hooker's feet. Or, in some cases the scrum half puts it in crooked and the ref decides play on because he doesn't want the hassle.

No, give the free kick/penalty for not straight feed into the scrum like we were told you were going to do. They aren't really enforcing it at all.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:16 pm 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
Also - Refs should do what they state they will do.

Case in point is feeding at the scrum. All teams do this - they throw it in straight but it'll be the scrum half putting it in at his own hooker's feet. Or, in some cases the scrum half puts it in crooked and the ref decides play on because he doesn't want the hassle.

No, give the free kick/penalty for not straight feed into the scrum like we were told you were going to do. They aren't really enforcing it at all.



Did you watch the women's game? There were some England scrums that went like clockwork. Whatever the signal, the ball was fed straight into a foot that was perfectly sweeping back. And Wales were giving no quarter, either.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:21 pm 
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Nieghorn wrote:
Wendigo7 wrote:
Also - Refs should do what they state they will do.

Case in point is feeding at the scrum. All teams do this - they throw it in straight but it'll be the scrum half putting it in at his own hooker's feet. Or, in some cases the scrum half puts it in crooked and the ref decides play on because he doesn't want the hassle.

No, give the free kick/penalty for not straight feed into the scrum like we were told you were going to do. They aren't really enforcing it at all.



Did you watch the women's game? There were some England scrums that went like clockwork. Whatever the signal, the ball was fed straight into a foot that was perfectly sweeping back. And Wales were giving no quarter, either.

I saw the game Nieg, it was a good coaching clinic wasn't it?

My worry with it in the men's game is.. there's more at stake generally. That's a harsh but fair assessment right now. With that in mind ref's just let things go and the cheating gets worse and worse and the style of play gets poorer over time. No - enforce the laws and if we have periods where teams are whistled off the park to stop them cheating, whoever that is, I'm absolutely fine by that. Ping them off the field and make them play properly. Army is also right, bring back rucking to discourage cynical play on the opposition side of the ruck.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:50 pm 
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I have two.

Firstly - knock-ons. 90% of refs blow for a knock-on in the event of any handling error at all. It isn't a knock-on if the ball doesn't travel forwards, but this is universally ignored.

Secondly (though I'm not entirely sure about the actual position of the laws on this): the rolling maul practice of holding the ball at the very back with half a dozen players in front of it. Preventing a fair contest for the ball is nothing more than formalised obstruction, but you see it in every game.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:01 am 
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blindcider wrote:
Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?



This one is massively frustrating. You must release ASAP or you get pinged and if a second player thinks he wasn’t held and jumps on him to “complete” the tackle risks getting pinged for going off his feet. The answer seems simple- if there is any kind of attempted tackle and the player hits the deck, he must reale the ball and get to his feet before continuing.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 am 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
Nieghorn wrote:
Wendigo7 wrote:
Also - Refs should do what they state they will do.

Case in point is feeding at the scrum. All teams do this - they throw it in straight but it'll be the scrum half putting it in at his own hooker's feet. Or, in some cases the scrum half puts it in crooked and the ref decides play on because he doesn't want the hassle.

No, give the free kick/penalty for not straight feed into the scrum like we were told you were going to do. They aren't really enforcing it at all.



Did you watch the women's game? There were some England scrums that went like clockwork. Whatever the signal, the ball was fed straight into a foot that was perfectly sweeping back. And Wales were giving no quarter, either.

I saw the game Nieg, it was a good coaching clinic wasn't it?

My worry with it in the men's game is.. there's more at stake generally. That's a harsh but fair assessment right now. With that in mind ref's just let things go and the cheating gets worse and worse and the style of play gets poorer over time. No - enforce the laws and if we have periods where teams are whistled off the park to stop them cheating, whoever that is, I'm absolutely fine by that. Ping them off the field and make them play properly. Army is also right, bring back rucking to discourage cynical play on the opposition side of the ruck.



Completely agree with your points, but World Rugby will never allow 'rucking' back in. They want the game to expand and can't afford to lose people who didn't grow up with this ...

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:03 am 
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Doc Rob wrote:
I have two.

Firstly - knock-ons. 90% of refs blow for a knock-on in the event of any handling error at all. It isn't a knock-on if the ball doesn't travel forwards, but this is universally ignored.

Secondly (though I'm not entirely sure about the actual position of the laws on this): the rolling maul practice of holding the ball at the very back with half a dozen players in front of it. Preventing a fair contest for the ball is nothing more than formalised obstruction, but you see it in every game.



Agreed


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:06 am 
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Id like to add the practice of holding up players to get the maul call, then once called, the team who held it up will always instantly sack the maul immediately to win the scrum. This illegal act of taking down of the maul is always ignored


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:10 am 
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I’ll also add that when playing advantage, for example from a knock on a second worse offence such as the offending player holding on to the ball on the floor is often ignored and ref returns to the original knock on saying no advantage. There was advantage - the player held on to the. All on the floor with players on their feet contesting and the pen should be awarded.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:13 am 
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It annoys me when a player is being held up for a maul, only for the ref to say release, tackle complete, his knee touched the ground. Surely more of the body should be touching the ground before tackle complete is called. Also as mentioned in the OP the grey line in holding on after a tackle and release when tackled, the number of times I have seen a tackled player jump up and continue and the ref calls not held. :x


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:01 am 
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cubby boi wrote:
blindcider wrote:
Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?



This one is massively frustrating. You must release ASAP or you get pinged and if a second player thinks he wasn’t held and jumps on him to “complete” the tackle risks getting pinged for going off his feet. The answer seems simple- if there is any kind of attempted tackle and the player hits the deck, he must reale the ball and get to his feet before continuing.


A bit of creative stealing from rugby league could help here.

Re whether a tackle is broken:

Where the player in possession is brought to the ground, a
tackle is not effective if the hold on the player in possession
is broken before he is grounded. Before allowing play to
proceed, referees should be sure in their own minds that the
tackle was indeed broken otherwise the tackler who, playing
in the true spirit of the game, releases the tackled player
immediately he is brought to the ground, may be unfairly
penalised.


Re another tackler responding to a broken tackle where the ball-carrier is on the ground:

A player in possession is tackled:
...
when he is lying on the ground and an opponent
places a hand on him.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:41 am 
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cubby boi wrote:
Id like to add the practice of holding up players to get the maul call, then once called, the team who held it up will always instantly sack the maul immediately to win the scrum. This illegal act of taking down of the maul is always ignored


Exactly. The choke tackle, where it’s the defenders who actually bring down the maul, yet get handed the ball.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:35 am 
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cubby boi wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
I have two.

Firstly - knock-ons. 90% of refs blow for a knock-on in the event of any handling error at all. It isn't a knock-on if the ball doesn't travel forwards, but this is universally ignored.

Secondly (though I'm not entirely sure about the actual position of the laws on this): the rolling maul practice of holding the ball at the very back with half a dozen players in front of it. Preventing a fair contest for the ball is nothing more than formalised obstruction, but you see it in every game.



Agreed


Also agreed; particularly when the ball is ripped. Surely, by definition, the last contact was from the defending team when the ball was ripped, so how can the attacking player have knocked it forward?

There are loads of bits about the maul that are hugely annoying. I also don't know the laws on this, but secondary breakaway mauls seem even worse. Massive obstruction going on with off the ball holding all over the place by the players who don't break off in the secondary maul.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:36 am 
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Yourmother wrote:
cubby boi wrote:
Id like to add the practice of holding up players to get the maul call, then once called, the team who held it up will always instantly sack the maul immediately to win the scrum. This illegal act of taking down of the maul is always ignored


Exactly. The choke tackle, where it’s the defenders who actually bring down the maul, yet get handed the ball.


Isn't it legal because it's a tackle, they have hold of the man with the ball. I thought it was only collapsing when you bring down a man who does not have possession of the ball within the maul?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:43 am 
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Nope, only the ball carrier in a maul is permitted to try and go to ground.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:11 am 
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Jay Cee Gee wrote:
Nope, only the ball carrier in a maul is permitted to try and go to ground.


Yet only Glen Jackson has ever called it as such, once.

Players in general are freely allowed to 'sack' mauls if there get their hands on the ball carrier.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:25 am 
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It's amazing how all these things that the Lions indulged in were lauded in June but now are grinding your collective gears. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:31 am 
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Toro wrote:
It's amazing how all these things that the Lions indulged in were lauded in June but now are grinding your collective gears. :P

The thread title should be 'Rugby Law annoyances/ frustrations' as it's the same law book.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:33 am 
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cubby boi wrote:
blindcider wrote:
Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?



This one is massively frustrating. You must release ASAP or you get pinged and if a second player thinks he wasn’t held and jumps on him to “complete” the tackle risks getting pinged for going off his feet. The answer seems simple- if there is any kind of attempted tackle and the player hits the deck, he must reale the ball and get to his feet before continuing.

Agreed, and no crawling or leg pumping in the ruck by the tackled player either.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:45 am 
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Lets face it the whole game is becoming utterly frustrating and barely worth watching. Watching teams go through 40 phases of possession in the muddle of the field to make 5 yards is common place and not exactly entertainment. The pro game is slowly killing itself.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:27 pm 
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BlackMac wrote:
Lets face it the whole game is becoming utterly frustrating and barely worth watching. Watching teams go through 40 phases of possession in the muddle of the field to make 5 yards is common place and not exactly entertainment. The pro game is slowly killing itself.


I'm in this boat. I've only watched the two England games thusfar and in years past used to make an effort to watch every one. When I used to DL games that I missed, I'd look at the score to see if it was worth my time / bandwidth. Yesterday's certainly wouldn't have been worth it.

I think, simply, attack hasn't caught up to - and may have even regressed in skill and ability to read the game - the advances made in defence / individual defending.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:32 am 
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I have another one after today - ridiculously long penalty advantages. Allowing 7 or 8 phases of play whilst retaining an advantage is just stupid. It’s also hard on the defending team, who are essentially on a hiding to nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:29 am 
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Doc Rob wrote:
I have another one after today - ridiculously long penalty advantages. Allowing 7 or 8 phases of play whilst retaining an advantage is just stupid. It’s also hard on the defending team, who are essentially on a hiding to nothing.


I agree on that. The advantage law must be clearly up to be consistent. It's bollocks right now.

As your point on Mauls, I disagree. The ball can't be put to the back unless the maul is called first. I recall one lineout with England some years ago when they put the ball to the back quickly and the other team were not in contact, the ref called them on it. The maul law is fine. Otherwise a ruck and a scrum could also be called formalised obstruction.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:36 am 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
Nieghorn wrote:
Wendigo7 wrote:
Also - Refs should do what they state they will do.

Case in point is feeding at the scrum. All teams do this - they throw it in straight but it'll be the scrum half putting it in at his own hooker's feet. Or, in some cases the scrum half puts it in crooked and the ref decides play on because he doesn't want the hassle.

No, give the free kick/penalty for not straight feed into the scrum like we were told you were going to do. They aren't really enforcing it at all.



Did you watch the women's game? There were some England scrums that went like clockwork. Whatever the signal, the ball was fed straight into a foot that was perfectly sweeping back. And Wales were giving no quarter, either.

I saw the game Nieg, it was a good coaching clinic wasn't it?

My worry with it in the men's game is.. there's more at stake generally. That's a harsh but fair assessment right now. With that in mind ref's just let things go and the cheating gets worse and worse and the style of play gets poorer over time. No - enforce the laws and if we have periods where teams are whistled off the park to stop them cheating, whoever that is, I'm absolutely fine by that. Ping them off the field and make them play properly. Army is also right, bring back rucking to discourage cynical play on the opposition side of the ruck.


I think the issue is, refs allowed cheating in the men's game for so long, especially around rucks that it's near impossible to police without World Rugby making some sort of universal clampdown a priority and heavily enforced and the willingness to go a few years with huge numbers of cards. The women's game doesn't suffer for a few reasons, one the laws are enforced more strictly IMO, offside lines for example and they are more likely to get yellow cards for it. Consistency is the key. Take scrums for example, regardless of the problems they are far better today then say 5 years before the "crouch, bind and set" routine.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:20 am 
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Doc Rob wrote:
I have another one after today - ridiculously long penalty advantages. Allowing 7 or 8 phases of play whilst retaining an advantage is just stupid. It’s also hard on the defending team, who are essentially on a hiding to nothing.


If that's a penalty advantage your example seems very light compared to what we have seen over the years in terms of penalty advantage in the red zone. It's frustrating to have to defend for long periods knowing that the best you're gonna get for it is a penalty against you but if there was only type of limit on this it would only ever be exploited by the defending team, and be very unfair to the attacking team.

I think they way they play both knock-on and penalty advantages now are spot on. The advantage law is vital to the flow of rugby and the suggestion of putting limits on it will only encourage intentional infringements. If you don't wanna defend multiple phases under penalty advantage don't infringe.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:41 am 
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What a great thread. Very interesting.

I played when you were given a right good shoeing in a ruck. There were serious attempts to take my kidneys out.

I don't think we could return to those days. My medical history is fairly spectacular though thankfully not life threatening and I can get by.

The players these days are so much bigger, heavier and stronger. I played when the hooker was about 5ft 6 and weighed about 14 stone.

I have a surgeon friend who used to be the England osteo. He's very concerned about the state of the game in terms of serious injury.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:40 am 
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Yourmother wrote:
cubby boi wrote:
Id like to add the practice of holding up players to get the maul call, then once called, the team who held it up will always instantly sack the maul immediately to win the scrum. This illegal act of taking down of the maul is always ignored


Exactly. The choke tackle, where it’s the defenders who actually bring down the maul, yet get handed the ball.


While this is often the case and should definitely be penalised when blatant, there are a couple of issues with it.

1. Often times it is the 'tackled' player that brings it down - he's been trying like fudge to get to ground all along and as soon as the ref calls maul the defending players simply stop trying to hold him up. This is not the same as sacking a maul.

2. There's the issue of expediency. Having to go through the whole static once, static twice and then calling it unplayable is time consuming when it is often completely obvious that that ball is never coming out of that maul.

I've seen it called once, and to be fair it should be called more often, but its not as ubiquitous as you guys are suggesting.


Great OP & thread by the way :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:40 am 
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Toro wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
I have another one after today - ridiculously long penalty advantages. Allowing 7 or 8 phases of play whilst retaining an advantage is just stupid. It’s also hard on the defending team, who are essentially on a hiding to nothing.


If that's a penalty advantage your example seems very light compared to what we have seen over the years in terms of penalty advantage in the red zone. It's frustrating to have to defend for long periods knowing that the best you're gonna get for it is a penalty against you but if there was only type of limit on this it would only ever be exploited by the defending team, and be very unfair to the attacking team.

I think they way they play both knock-on and penalty advantages now are spot on. The advantage law is vital to the flow of rugby and the suggestion of putting limits on it will only encourage intentional infringements. If you don't wanna defend multiple phases under penalty advantage don't infringe.


I’m not saying that there should be a strict time limit. I don’t actually even think that a penalty advantage should expire. You should always get the opportunity to kick for goal or touch, or of a scrum. But surely the whole point of a penalty advantage is to make sure the side who have it do not miss the chance to score a try. It is usually pretty clear within a phase or two whether the play has any real go-forward or not. What we tend to see now is that a penalty is given, and the game continues as normal for what seems like a minute or more, but with one side having a charmed life because they know the ref will always pull them back for the penalty eventually. There were a couple of incidences yesterday when the advantage continued for so long that the other team managed to win the ball back, at which point play was obviously stopped.

All I’m asking for is that the advantage should only last long enough for the ref to tell a try is not going to be scored imminently.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:01 am 
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cubby boi wrote:
blindcider wrote:
Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?



This one is massively frustrating. You must release ASAP or you get pinged and if a second player thinks he wasn’t held and jumps on him to “complete” the tackle risks getting pinged for going off his feet. The answer seems simple- if there is any kind of attempted tackle and the player hits the deck, he must reale the ball and get to his feet before continuing.


Worse than that, the second player in can get penalized for going off his feet if he completes the tackle that the ref has decided is already complete, but he's equally (or more) likely to get pinged for not releasing if he goes for the ball and the ref deems him an assistant tackler because the tackle hadn't been completed. You genuinely never know which way the ref is going to go - it is one of the most random areas of the game. And I'd go all out and say that any player on the floor - whatever the circumstances - is out of the game and cannot play the ball. If he was in possession, he must release the ball before getting to his feet, regardless of whether he had been tackled and brought to ground, tap-tackled, tripped over his own feet, or gone to ground after competing for a high ball.

That way there's less subjectivity involved and it's not up to the ref to decide whether or not a tackle has been completed.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:06 am 
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Doc Rob wrote:
Toro wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
I have another one after today - ridiculously long penalty advantages. Allowing 7 or 8 phases of play whilst retaining an advantage is just stupid. It’s also hard on the defending team, who are essentially on a hiding to nothing.


If that's a penalty advantage your example seems very light compared to what we have seen over the years in terms of penalty advantage in the red zone. It's frustrating to have to defend for long periods knowing that the best you're gonna get for it is a penalty against you but if there was only type of limit on this it would only ever be exploited by the defending team, and be very unfair to the attacking team.

I think they way they play both knock-on and penalty advantages now are spot on. The advantage law is vital to the flow of rugby and the suggestion of putting limits on it will only encourage intentional infringements. If you don't wanna defend multiple phases under penalty advantage don't infringe.


I’m not saying that there should be a strict time limit. I don’t actually even think that a penalty advantage should expire. You should always get the opportunity to kick for goal or touch, or of a scrum. But surely the whole point of a penalty advantage is to make sure the side who have it do not miss the chance to score a try. It is usually pretty clear within a phase or two whether the play has any real go-forward or not. What we tend to see now is that a penalty is given, and the game continues as normal for what seems like a minute or more, but with one side having a charmed life because they know the ref will always pull them back for the penalty eventually. There were a couple of incidences yesterday when the advantage continued for so long that the other team managed to win the ball back, at which point play was obviously stopped.

All I’m asking for is that the advantage should only last long enough for the ref to tell a try is not going to be scored imminently.


Yup. And for fear of handing the advantage to the defending side, I would balance that with a directive to be a bit freer with cards for offences in the red zone.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:09 am 
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4071 wrote:
cubby boi wrote:
blindcider wrote:
Firstly this thread isn't directed at a specific incident or match or referee. Its hopefully to start a conversation about the laws of the game. I don't blame players for pushing the limits as long as they aren't engaging in dangerous play either. I also understand how tough it is to referee a game of amateur rugby let alone an intense international, what I do find difficult to watch is when refs seem inconsistent to both sides.

Secondly - these are mainly things that I find slow the games down or difficult to watch, there are too many grey or subjective areas in parts of the game. Backchat and gamesmanship I am not a fan of but they don't often change how the game is played.

Offside lines - One of my biggest frustrations, it cuts down the space for the attacking team leads to negative rugby as the attacking side has fewer options. England seem to push this more than some other teams but as the refs don't penalise it very often all of the teams encroach more and more.

Completed Tackles - This is a long term bug bear of mine and is not a recent interpretation. I hate the grey area between tackler releasing and being pinged for holding on and the attacker getting up and playing on. Simplify it if the tackler has hold of the tackled player when any body part between ankle and shoulder hits the ground then the tackle has been completed and the tackled player has to release the ball. Stockdale had one for Ireland early on that I would have called as a completed tackle and so did Lawes for England.

Attacking players at rucks - Sometimes it seems that attacking players can act with impunity at rucks, flying in at all angles and of their feet, whereas defenders get much less leeway. Good to see Garces punish this a couple of times. The other one that annoys me is when attacking players not part of the ruck/tackle grab/push players and deliberately get in the way of the defenders. AWJ did this a few times today and so did Toner but Parisse is a master at this. Its a cheap way of making holes around the corner and never gets pinged but sometimes its well beyond the ruck and so ridiculously obvious.

Play on at downed scrums - Ok so I don't want to see reset after reset either but if a side is going backwards and drops the scrum then they need to be penalised. Its far easier to defend as a back if you aren't going backwards. Play on is only acceptable for me if the ball is immediately available otherwise it is just giving the advantage to the defending side.

Lineout lines have been an issue this tournament with the refs giving loads of chat and nonsense about maintaining the gap and then immediately ignoring it. Why make a big song and dance about a gap if you then allow the teams to close it?

So what annoys you as a spectator laws wise? Where can WR seriously improve the game as a spectator by simplifying, changing or enforcing the laws as they stand?



This one is massively frustrating. You must release ASAP or you get pinged and if a second player thinks he wasn’t held and jumps on him to “complete” the tackle risks getting pinged for going off his feet. The answer seems simple- if there is any kind of attempted tackle and the player hits the deck, he must reale the ball and get to his feet before continuing.


Worse than that, the second player in can get penalized for going off his feet if he completes the tackle that the ref has decided is already complete, but he's equally (or more) likely to get pinged for not releasing if he goes for the ball and the ref deems him an assistant tackler because the tackle hadn't been completed. You genuinely never know which way the ref is going to go - it is one of the most random areas of the game. And I'd go all out and say that any player on the floor - whatever the circumstances - is out of the game and cannot play the ball. If he was in possession, he must release the ball before getting to his feet, regardless of whether he had been tackled and brought to ground, tap-tackled, tripped over his own feet, or gone to ground after competing for a high ball.

That way there's less subjectivity involved and it's not up to the ref to decide whether or not a tackle has been completed.


As someone else has said - copy the law from league so that it fits union. We already have the knee touching the floor determining that a choke tackle has to end, so it's illogical for a player to be able to crawl or roll for a further couple of metres just because they're not held.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:48 am 
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4071 wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
I’m not saying that there should be a strict time limit. I don’t actually even think that a penalty advantage should expire. You should always get the opportunity to kick for goal or touch, or of a scrum. But surely the whole point of a penalty advantage is to make sure the side who have it do not miss the chance to score a try. It is usually pretty clear within a phase or two whether the play has any real go-forward or not. What we tend to see now is that a penalty is given, and the game continues as normal for what seems like a minute or more, but with one side having a charmed life because they know the ref will always pull them back for the penalty eventually. There were a couple of incidences yesterday when the advantage continued for so long that the other team managed to win the ball back, at which point play was obviously stopped.

All I’m asking for is that the advantage should only last long enough for the ref to tell a try is not going to be scored imminently.


Yup. And for fear of handing the advantage to the defending side, I would balance that with a directive to be a bit freer with cards for offences in the red zone.


Sounds like both of you need to read the advantage law and gain a better understanding of why it exists. You propose something without suggesting how it could possibly be written into the law book. You're suggesting there shouldn't be a time limit yet you are, if a try can be scored after 20 phases how could you tell it's not going to be scored after 7 or 8? It they started interpreting it the way you are saying, teams would at least know that under penalty advantage they would only have to defend a certain amount of phases more and play would be brought back, hence killing the advantage that maintaining possession in phase play gives to the attacking team.

I'm certainly well against the even looser use of yellow cards in the game. x( x( x(


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:00 pm 
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They’re suggesting that if the attacking team aren’t clearly making rapid progress towards the try line, the ref awards the penalty. At the moment he will let the attacking team play on through multiple phases in much the same part of the pitch until they lose the ball, then give the penalty.

So it’s not calling advantage over, just giving the penalty faster if not a lot is happening.

To me the advantage law is about two things; firstly, not denying everyone the enjoyment of seeing some really good bit of play by awarding the penalty when there’s a fantastic opportunity open to the attacking team, and secondly encouraging the attacking team to play on rather than collapse in a heap when some foul play occurs. It’s not so much about giving the attacking team an opportunity to play on through multiple phases in the hope that a line break happens several phases down the line whilst keeping the penalty in reserve if it doesn’t.


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