Advantage doesn’t excuse foul play

Volun-selected


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Last game I reffed, U18 boys, White were trailing by a couple of points in the last minute when they won a scrum about 15m out from Red goal line. All players know this is the last play and White keep possession and peel off and attack. Red in desperation to win the ball managed to win a turnover but spill it forward where it was scooped up by White. I called ‘advantage, just scrum’. White BC then runs straight into Red trying to burst through but is brought down.

Desperate to maintain possession, one of the White pack piles in to clear out and dives in with no binding. Not sure he made head contact, but it was enough for me to consider it both off feet in the ruck and foul play for charging into the ruck. I blow up for penalty to Red. The teams know we are past time so Red tap back and then hoof the ball into touch. A disappointing end to the game, but it is what it is. Or so I thought...

… until White’s coach runs on asking what happened. I explain, to which he, genuinely baffled, calls out that the advantage ended with the second offense and so I should have reset back for the scrum based on 7.2.c
The non-offending team commits an infringement before they have gained an advantage. The referee stops the game and applies the sanction for the first infringement. If either or both infringements are for foul play, the referee applies the appropriate sanction(s) for the offence(s);

His belief is that the offense ended the advantage and I should have come back for the scrum. My take is that the foul play is the greater offense so when I stop the game I have to apply the penalty, and that takes priority away from white and so Red won possession.

His response was that “but it wouldn’t have happened except for advantage so you should have come back…” I said I believe otherwise and we parted with him walking away, shaking his head, and genuinely confused.

If it hadn’t been a penalty offense by White I would have ended advantage and returned for the scrum but to me by committing a penalty offense they lost their advantage. Conversely, if it had been a penalty advantage I would have pulled them back for the first offense and they would kept possession - but for scrum advantage when I end the advantage to apply the subsequent sanctions, the penalty essentially overrides the scrum so Red got the possession back.

Was that the right call?
 

smeagol


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7.2.c

The non-offending team commits an infringement before they have gained an advantage. The referee stops the game and applies the sanction for the first infringement. If either or both infringements are for foul play, the referee applies the appropriate sanction(s) for the offence(s)


I read this as the foul play negating advantage, so I'd say you got it right.
 

Stu10

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I agree the with the position that advantage does not permit subsequent foul play, especially dangerous play, and I feel confident that I've seen this many times at elite level, though I can't think of an example right now. I also agree law 7.2.c is the one to look at. One of the more experienced people here can give better insight.
 

crossref


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Desperate to maintain possession, one of the White pack piles in to clear out and dives in with no binding. Not sure he made head contact, but it was enough for me to consider it both off feet in the ruck and foul play for charging into the ruck. I blow up for penalty to Red

So if the offence is off feet, then no advantage and back for a scrum.
If the offence is dangerous charging then I agree PK to red

You were there and you saw it .. but just from your description it didnt really sound like nailed on foul play (you didn't sell it to me anyway) Would it have been better to treat it as off feet ?
 

Jarrod Burton


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Last game I reffed, U18 boys, White were trailing by a couple of points in the last minute when they won a scrum about 15m out from Red goal line. All players know this is the last play and White keep possession and peel off and attack. Red in desperation to win the ball managed to win a turnover but spill it forward where it was scooped up by White. I called ‘advantage, just scrum’. White BC then runs straight into Red trying to burst through but is brought down.

...

Was that the right call?

Why would you have gone back for the scrum if that was the last play?

In normal time the FP would have overridden the scrum advantage for mine - but only if its nailed on FP. For the off feet I'd only be sanctioning PK - meaning back to the scrum - where a dangerous charge deserves a reversal and maybe a YC/RC depending on point of contact.
 

didds

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is this a case of "manage it" and...

* call advantage over, scrum back
* but now to also deal with the Foul play, so its a PK etc.
In a similar way that if the ball was dead waiting for a scrum set up, and one centre punched the other you wouldn't just ignore it - you'd deal with the foul play and award a PK and ignore the scrum you were waiting to set up?

didds
 

Stu10

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Great pick-up by Jarrod... which ever way you cut this, White Coach has nothing to complain about... being last play, the only way this phase ends is a try, a penalty or FK to white, or final whistle. White did not score, red did not commit a PK/FK offence, so game over at this point. In terms of game management it may have been easier to call white off feet, no advantage from knock-on, no scrum because full-time. Your call on whether it deserved a penalty... unless red need to run the length and chase a try because they need a point difference for league position, the game is done.
 

Marc Wakeham


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"...but it was enough for me to consider it both off feet in the ruck and foul play for charging into the ruck..." That's good enough for your action to be justified.

Had you said "...it was enough for me to consider it off feet in the ruck..." It would be back for the scrum. However as time was up before the scrum it's game over anyway.

Either way the white team coach is not getting a second bite at the cherry.
 
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