Big Dai is a Level 10+1 Rugby Union referee for the London Society. After playing for many years in the Social side of a leading national club, he started refereeing a few seasons ago. He recounts his adventures trooping around South West London to give the ungrateful a game of weekend rugby.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
What is a Forward Pass?
Monday, 26 September 2011
Argies vs Sweaties
I've just watched the game and I think Barnes called it right, look at these two stills, the back foot of the ruck is just ahead of the 5m line. I've tried to pause the action just as scrum-half Lawson moves his hands, ruck over, ball out. Contepomi (no12) is pretty much where he needs to be as the ball starts moving, a foot over at most and well within the boundary of human error. He is very fast off the mark which is what is deceptive, but the speed of the scrum half's service is ponderous and telegraphs to the Argies what is going to happen.
Some referees would have pulled Contepomi up for what happen but Barnes was right, albeit more from luck than judgement but I guess he isn't that fond of deep fried Mars bars anyway. Wayne Barnes didn't cost Scotland the game, it was their complete inability to create tries.
Assessed in the Sun
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Monday, 19 September 2011
Rain, Shine and telling the Time
One of the lesser used Laws is 11.4 OFFSIDE UNDER THE 10-METRE LAW; Red 10 fields a kick and hoists an up and under, instead of going 30-40m upfield, it goes up and down. Black 12 fields it 5m forward but every player around him is off-side and can't tackle him.
The scrummage was tricky all afternoon, there was an early penalty for not driving straight, but Black were complaining about Red not taking the hit when I penalised them for driving early. This was a tough one to spot, something the Black prop gave me tips on in the bar later; its all in the foot work. A new prop in the second half caused me huge problems, he simply refused to bind. He started on the tight head and after a reset conceded a penalty then moved to the loose head where the same thing occurred. At this level, I am going to coach and re-set first, make it clear what I want and then penalise. I'm comfortable that was the correct course as the prop in question was returning after many years out. He got the message in the end but for safety's sake penalising someone without correcting their technique isn't going to benefit them. On Saturday in a level 10 league game it will be straight to penalties and potentially a card if he fails to comply.
After avoiding any rain all last season, the weather managed pay-back but despite that, it managed to be a great afternoon of rugby, open, clean and with a great spirit, which fits in with my philosophy.
JP Doyle deals with difficulty
Rugby Club Bars #10
A great community club, three sides playing at home so there was plenty of life in the bar. Referees always like it when the bar staff know to give you a pint or two without asking for payment. The field captain didn't seem keen to talk but there was plenty of convivial chat with the team captain. A good pint of Green King IPA
The World of Rugby Referees
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
We would all agree that the ITV RWC commentary is rubbish, even worse than Stuart Barnes. Whilst watching the match, I’ve taken to listening to John Taylor and Brian Moore on TalkSport. Love him or hate him as a player, his analysis is informed and passionate. As far as referees are concerned the ‘informed’ element is only half baked. I know he has done the ELRA ref course but he hasn’t had pitch time and is lacking in continuous professional development.
His bug-bare for the World Cup is referees giving warning to captains after a number of penalties. “Is that a final warning, or what?”, “will the next penalty be a yellow or not?”. He believes the ref communication is not being specific enough. He is probably right, but that is the point, the referee doesn’t want to restrict himself. The sanction of a card is game management tool, the treat is as effective as its use. When to use a card isn’t always black and white, a succession of penalties in mid-field is not the same as one or two 10m out from the goal line. In this regard the referee does not want to make a promise it would be inappropriate to keep.
Lets consider after 20 mins, Blue are under the cosh, four to five penalties have been conceded and two successful kicks have been made. The ref is going to give an warning, if he makes it specific then he is duty bound to yellow card someone; what ever. Next thing, Blue are on the Red 5m line, attacking and there is crossing, a penalty offense, but the referee has ‘promised’ a YC, the Red captain is expecting but it is hardly fair. The open warning gives the referee flexibility to judge a suitable sanction; in this case, Red clear their lines with a kick. If Blue kill the ball 10m out from their own goal-line then the referee still has the option to go straight to his pocket.
Another case might involve what I think of as the time-fade of warnings. The same 20 mins from Blue and a warning from the ref. The warning works and Blue’s discipline improves, its 15 mins until they give away another mid-field offence, Red has concede two or three penalties in this time. Blue’s compliance with the warning is rewarded by no card, they’ve listened and co-operated. The card can still come if they revert to form but for the time being they retain 15 men. Again if the specific warning was issued then the Red captain will expect the card. If the offence is in the red-zone and/or is cynical or dangerous, then the ref still has the flexibility to go to his pocket.
Issuing specific, open ended threats of a card binds the referee and reduces his option for delivering a fair game for all players. The use of cards is always there for the referee but needs to be contextualised.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
World Cup Thoughts
Its a policy of this blog not to comment on the performance of top referees, no matter how bad they appear to be, they still know more about this game than me.
The big controversy in week one is the Hook penalty that TV cameras showed going between the posts. As a Welshman I would love it to have made it, but I doubt very much if it did. You can’t see it cross in front of the right post, it probably past outside and above the post. The two assistants referees were the best placed to judge and they seemed in no doubt as to if it made it. One dimensional TV pictures don’t tell the full story. I am sure it was Barnesy that referred to the TMO for a drop goal, a couple of years back. He knows it is available and he was happy to trust his view point and his ARs.
Courtney Laws was banned for two games for dropping a knee on an Argentine prop. Personally, I thought he deserved a card for the late tackle on the Argy no12 who left the field as a consequence. Rugby is a rough game but players have a duty of care to fellow players, Laws was at best reckless and that, in itself, deserves sanction. A two game ban is well below the threshold for kneeing an opponent.
Back from the Summer
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Exclusive! Martyn Thomas' Phone Hacked
Lets say we sweep this under the carpet until after the RWC, after all the 1st Class tickets and hotels are booked. Once I've enjoyed my RFU jaunt down to the colonies, I'll go quietly. No expensive legal fees and bad press, you understand? Just as we discussed at the East India? "