Australia v England Swain/Hill RC

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Ok, I'll start this one. It's created a fair buzz in the refereeing circle that I'm part of and I'm interested in some other views.

Taking Swains headbutt on Hill as the level of impact required for for a RC, why wasn't:
- Hill RC for the deliberate hair pull in the maul which results in the head butt given that deliberate hair pulls in the women's game will be a RC, or
- Hill RC/YC or even penalised for the arguably higher impact, two handed open palm strike to Swain's face right in front of the referee?

Both can be seen here Brisbane Times
 

Ciaran Trainor


Referees in England
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
2,641
Post Likes
241
Location
Walney Island
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
Surely Hill will get cited and receive a ban also.
Did anyone hear Eddie Jones' interview blaming the ref for evening it up? Pretty embarrassing that.
England were poor and deserved to lose.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,809
Post Likes
1,220
I think whatever was right/wrong etc, the RC for the head impact with force brings into question the YC from WB in the premiership final.

As I said in that thread it just shows they are making it up as they go along
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Surely Hill will get cited and receive a ban also.
Both Hill and the AB's Scott Barrett (late cleanout, from the side of the ruck with direct contact to the head of the nine) missed out on being cited.

Barrett's was arguably the worse of the two.
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I think whatever was right/wrong etc, the RC for the head impact with force brings into question the YC from WB in the premiership final.

As I said in that thread it just shows they are making it up as they go along
I felt that the Aus/Eng referee was guessing half the time and only catching the second or third incident - maybe it was the first time in front of a big, loud crowd with a high stress level and that impacted his head space. There was a ruck near the Aus line, where (I thought) white came in from the side, Gold then got their hands on the ball after a ruck had formed and then white got pinged for holding on.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,418
Post Likes
1,663
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Barrett's was arguably the worse of the two.
how Barrett missed getting cited is a mystery to me. Not only was it direct contact to the head with force, he came from an offside position. With his track record of foul play at the breakdown, he is becoming the modern day Bakkies Botha.
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
how Barrett missed getting cited is a mystery to me. Not only was it direct contact to the head with force, he came from an offside position. With his track record of foul play at the breakdown, he is becoming the modern day Bakkies Botha.
I can't believe that it wasn't a card on field given the proximity of the referee. I think professional level referees are relying on replays too much to make a decision on YC/RC in foul play rather than being the judge. I suspect its all related to their coaching/review process and they would rather rely on technology to make high impact decisions rather than their eyes in case they get a bad mark in review.

Heaps of NZers in their media claiming that it was a fair contest on the 9 and the lack of citing shows that there was nothing in it.
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
194
Post Likes
60
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Ok, I'll start this one. It's created a fair buzz in the refereeing circle that I'm part of and I'm interested in some other views.

Taking Swains headbutt on Hill as the level of impact required for for a RC, why wasn't:
- Hill RC for the deliberate hair pull in the maul which results in the head butt given that deliberate hair pulls in the women's game will be a RC, or
- Hill RC/YC or even penalised for the arguably higher impact, two handed open palm strike to Swain's face right in front of the referee?

Both can be seen here Brisbane Times
I don't think the level of impact of the headbutt is relevant... it was intentional and there is no place in the game for it - no choice but red card.

Regarding the hair pull, I'm not convinced it is a red card offense in this instance, but there are certainly more extreme cases, though it would not be outrageous in this instance. The hairpulling seemed comparable to a lot of the handbags going on, IMHO.

However, I agree that Hill should have been sitting on the naughty chair for 10 minutes for the two handed open palm strike. Couldn't have argued if that was a red.
Both Hill and the AB's Scott Barrett (late cleanout, from the side of the ruck with direct contact to the head of the nine) missed out on being cited.

Barrett's was arguably the worse of the two.
Barrett is a clear red in my book... in at the side, off the ball, direct shoulder to head, no arms.
I felt that the Aus/Eng referee was guessing half the time and only catching the second or third incident - maybe it was the first time in front of a big, loud crowd with a high stress level and that impacted his head space. There was a ruck near the Aus line, where (I thought) white came in from the side, Gold then got their hands on the ball after a ruck had formed and then white got pinged for holding on.
I was screaming at the TV for hands in the ruck there!

I also think it should have been a yellow card when Smith made a break down the right and got tackled by Porecki about 10m from the Aus tryline, and Porecki held the ball in and totally killed all of the attacking momentum a quick recycle would have been a certain try.

Aside from all that, England were very poor in the second half, though I was happy to see more running and less kicking. We missed Curry in the second half, having a clear drop-off competing with the jackal... I think we need to always have Curry, Underhill or Earl on the pitch at all times. Also felt that Smith's ability to dance through a prem defensive line is significantly mitigated by an international-level defence.
 

Zebra1922


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
688
Post Likes
207
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
OK, Swain is a clear RC. It doesnt matter the provocation, a headbutt is a RC.

Hill, the hair pull I am happy with yellow, but I’m also happy if WR decide hair pulling is always a Red. Until that time it’s at least a yellow and sometimes a red depending on context.

Hill open palm strike I’m not sure about. Should have been picked up by the officials, the referee was right in front of it and even if he missed it thats what the TMO is for. I can agree with YC (low degree of force) or RC (deliberate strike to the head).
 

Ian_Cook


Referees in New Zealand
Staff member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
13,639
Post Likes
1,703
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Hill's strike to the face was a red card. It would have resolved the whole issue had the ref taken action then. Pulling hair should be a RC also.
This. Who here remembers Chris Ashton getting four weeks for pulling Alesana Tuilagi's hair (Northants v Leicester) a few years back?
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I don't think the level of impact of the headbutt is relevant... it was intentional and there is no place in the game for it - no choice but red card.
I was using the level of force from the headbutt as a line in the sand on the force required to give a RC for a strike. The Law book also doesn't separate striking with the head from striking with the arms, both are covered in one portion of 9.12 so they should be held at the same level of "seriousness".
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,418
Post Likes
1,663
Current Referee grade:
Level 2

if we follow Wayne's advice in the youtube clip:

was there head contact? Yes
was it foul play? Yes
what was the degree of danger? Low
=> PK

There is a stigma around the the "Liverpool kiss" concept that should be excluded from our decision making
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
194
Post Likes
60
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
@Jarrod Burton you make a fair point that the law book does not differentiate they types of contact (I even did a search myself earlier this week to check if headbutting was specifically addressed, not surprised to find nothing).

I think Jarrod's point aligns with the point @Dickie E is making, that we should not treat a head butt differently to any other strike according to the laws.

I agree with both of you regarding the laws as they are written. However, IMHO, I do think rugby needs to maintain a good image, especially at professional level, and I don't think it is wrong to allow this to influence decision making. There is no place for punching/boxing on the rugby pitch or face slaps (though, lets be honest, as a spectator its fun to watch the handbags come out), but I think general spectator acceptance of unruly behaviour shifts if a player headbutts or a nut-punch, for example, and I think these actions bring the game into greater disrepute compared to players trading blows like you might see in a boxing ring. However, the focus here is on the action rather than the force, which doesn't fit with the head contact framework. People generally know the difference between fighting versus being a thug, though the laws are blind to this difference.

I accept my thinking doesn't strictly align with the laws, and others will totally disagree with me (which is fine), but I just wanted to share my thoughts into the discussion.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
19,734
Post Likes
2,248
two weeks for Swain -- in one of the oddest judgements ever

Having reviewed all the evident, the committee upheld the red card under Law 9.12.

On that basis, the committee deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of six weeks given the provocation before the incident, low degree of force exerted by the player and that no injury was caused to the victim. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

Having acknowledged mitigating factors, including the player’s acknowledgement of foul play, clean disciplinary record, conduct at the hearing and expression of remorse, the committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent of three weeks.

The committee further determined that given the above off-field mitigating factors and that a three-week sanction would be wholly disproportionate given the level and nature of the offence, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week, resulting in a sanction to weeks.

never seen anything like that before

 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
194
Post Likes
60
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
The committee determine to throw out the framework and just give a sanction that they thought was right... what's the point of having a framework?

It seems the mitigating factors were applied twice, first to apply a 50% mitigation, and then again to remove an additional week :confused:
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
644
Post Likes
144
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
The committee determine to throw out the framework and just give a sanction that they thought was right... what's the point of having a framework?

It seems the mitigating factors were applied twice, first to apply a 50% mitigation, and then again to remove an additional week :confused:
Maybe the committee thought that there was a level of injustice in the citing system given what happened in the match? I think many people would argue that if the referee applied the head contact framework during the match Hill would be sitting in the dock as well.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,809
Post Likes
1,220
Meh.

Red card for crass stupidity will do for me.

didds
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
194
Post Likes
60
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Maybe the committee thought that there was a level of injustice in the citing system given what happened in the match? I think many people would argue that if the referee applied the head contact framework during the match Hill would be sitting in the dock as well.
I am somewhat surprised Hill was not cited too for the strike to the face.
 
Top