Bath vs Saracens

JuDS


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Last play of the 1st half and Saracens about 5m-10m out from the Bath try line.
Ruck formed and Luke Pearce has called 'use it'. Bath counter ruck. I count to about 10-11 secs from the time Luke has called 'use it' before Saracens play away and score try with the last play of the half to go in 12-0 up.
They eventually win 15-12!
Luke is normally very good at getting the ball played away after calling 'use it'. Not on this occasion and a decisive score in the match.
 

Phil E


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Last play of the 1st half and Saracens about 5m-10m out from the Bath try line.
Ruck formed and Luke Pearce has called 'use it'. Bath counter ruck. I count to about 10-11 secs from the time Luke has called 'use it' before Saracens play away and score try with the last play of the half to go in 12-0 up.
They eventually win 15-12!
Luke is normally very good at getting the ball played away after calling 'use it'. Not on this occasion and a decisive score in the match.

Is there a question in there or are you just having a go at the ref?
Sounds like a dynamic situation, and which of us hasn't said something only for the situation to change seconds later?
Use it is called when the ball is available to be played, if there is a counter ruck that might no longer be the case?
 

JuDS


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Is there a question in there or are you just having a go at the ref?
Sounds like a dynamic situation, and which of us hasn't said something only for the situation to change seconds later?
Use it is called when the ball is available to be played, if there is a counter ruck that might no longer be the case?
I'm not having 'a go at the ref', I'm highlighting the fact, that he is normally good at ensuring the ball is played away within the 'use it' time.
In my view it was an error. Irrespective of what the opposition do when 'use it' is called the team have 5 seconds to play it.
On this occasion it had a decisive impact.
It is possible to raise these issues without being seen as having 'a go at the ref'.
We all make errors when reffing and if raised correctly can be discussed and we can all learn from it.
 

didds

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Phil's qustion is what was forming in my mind...

scenario:

red have a ruck ball at the base.
ref calls use it
as he does so blue coubter ruck and have the ball at THEIR base...

so now..

1) is red's use it still valid so if > seconds lapse its now a scrum to blue?
2) does the use it now apply to blue already ?
3) if red has to play it can red now come offside to do so?
4) does blue get a fresh use it call?

If red now counter ruck again such that their ball is now back on their side
4) is the initial red use it call still ticking?
5) does a new red use it call happen?

And wrt blue had a blue use it call been issued before the red counter ruck do queries 1 to 4 now apply to blue/red appropriately instead
Now some fo those scenarios / queries have to be "err... no!" eg #3.

But #1, #5 certainly are very pertinent questions.
 

JuDS


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Phil's qustion is what was forming in my mind...

scenario:

red have a ruck ball at the base.
ref calls use it
as he does so blue coubter ruck and have the ball at THEIR base...

so now..

1) is red's use it still valid so if > seconds lapse its now a scrum to blue?
2) does the use it now apply to blue already ?
3) if red has to play it can red now come offside to do so?
4) does blue get a fresh use it call?

If red now counter ruck again such that their ball is now back on their side
4) is the initial red use it call still ticking?
5) does a new red use it call happen?

And wrt blue had a blue use it call been issued before the red counter ruck do queries 1 to 4 now apply to blue/red appropriately instead
Now some fo those scenarios / queries have to be "err... no!" eg #3.

But #1, #5 certainly are very pertinent questions.
Interesting......!!
Rightly or wrongly, I would say a new 'use it' would apply to blue, the team who counter rucked and won the turnover.
Again, rightly or wrongly! I would call 'use it' again if the team who had lost possession regained it a second time.
From the occasions a counter ruck has been won, in my experience, the ball is swiftly moved away, and the team previously in possession do not have players available to contest again.
 

Dickie E


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Its difficult to comment without seeing it.

So Saracens have possession at back of ruck. Ref calls "use it". Bath counter-ruck but unsuccessfully and Saracens still maintain possession.

How much did the counter-ruck disrupt the Saracens SH? If at all, then I'd restart the "use it" once it had all settled down.

It's hard to describe a score as "decisive" when made 40+ minutes before the end of the game.
 

BikingBud


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In a game of such poor quality any score is decisive.

It must be galling to watch 2 teams who clearly do not want to play rugby, (apart from the late addition of Theo Dan) you can try and speed up the game but if neither team want to play anything other than kick tennis then you can only prompt so many times. Perhaps more free kicks would add some urgency but I doubt it.

Contrast that with Quins v Saints where both teams were ambitious and aggressive wanting to run the ball and win rather than not lose.
 

JuDS


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Its difficult to comment without seeing it.

So Saracens have possession at back of ruck. Ref calls "use it". Bath counter-ruck but unsuccessfully and Saracens still maintain possession.

How much did the counter-ruck disrupt the Saracens SH? If at all, then I'd restart the "use it" once it had all settled down.

It's hard to describe a score as "decisive" when made 40+ minutes before the end of the game.
Is the ruck different to a maul regarding the 'use it' call? We allow the opposition to disrupt the maul and try to prevent the ball being played after 'use it' has been called. If not played after the 5 sec call we give a scrum to the opposition.
Should the opposition not be allowed to contest at the ruck after 'use it'?
I understand the score was the last play of the 1st half, but when that made the score 0-12 and they ended up winning by only 3 points (12-15) it certainly had an effect....
 

Volun-selected


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We call use it because the ball is available and needs to be played. If anything happens in that 5s that stops the ability to play then I’d reset my countdown until the ball is available again - if it had been an ongoing struggle.

If red carry in, go to ground and blue is fighting like hell to drive them back and I think they have a chance I’m going to allow a longer contest and stop my internal use it clock if blue are stay on their feet and look like they are or have a good chance of driving over.

If red goes to ground and blue make a token effort or backs off then I’m going to call use it asap and then tell blue to leave it if they start coming in. They’ve had their chance for now.
 

JuDS


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We call use it because the ball is available and needs to be played. If anything happens in that 5s that stops the ability to play then I’d reset my countdown until the ball is available again - if it had been an ongoing struggle.

If red carry in, go to ground and blue is fighting like hell to drive them back and I think they have a chance I’m going to allow a longer contest and stop my internal use it clock if blue are stay on their feet and look like they are or have a good chance of driving over.

If red goes to ground and blue make a token effort or backs off then I’m going to call use it asap and then tell blue to leave it if they start coming in. They’ve had their chance for now.
I understand that. This was introduced to speed up the game at the top level, especially. So if the ball is available to be played and they fuss and fart around, allowing the defence to spoil the ball by contesting the ruck, why shouldn't the defence be rewarded by being awarded a scrum if the ball is not played within the designated time?
 

Volun-selected


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I understand that. This was introduced to speed up the game at the top level, especially. So if the ball is available to be played and they fuss and fart around, allowing the defence to spoil the ball by contesting the ruck, why shouldn't the defence be rewarded by being awarded a scrum if the ball is not played within the designated time?
I guess it’s a trade off because we want to encourage a contest for the ball and also to keep the game moving, but generally the laws reward the team in possession.

Tackle, ball on ground, either fight for it or reset defense. Attackers faf around its a turnover scrum; attackers keep fafing around and it soon becomes a PK for time wasting.
 

Decorily

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If red goes to ground and blue make a token effort or backs off then I’m going to call use it asap and then tell blue to leave it if they start coming in. They’ve had their chance for now.
Why prevent a legal contest by Blue just because you've called 'use it'?
 

smeagol


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Why prevent a legal contest by Blue just because you've called 'use it'?
This - the 'use it' law does not say anything about the defense not being allowed to counter-ruck once the call is made. As long as it is legal, I see no issue with the defense trying to disrupt the attacking 9 in this way.
 

didds

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I guess it’s a trade off because we want to encourage a contest for the ball
There's the rub. 30 years of changed ruck laws has created a mess at these elite levels where the ruxck is rarely anything like a contest - its a joke that the game is platyed by players on their feet and rucks are for players bound on their feet over the ball etc et c.
rucks lets face it are just a pile of bodies with abll magically appearing somehow from beneath them. the defending side rarely wins a ruck ball lets face it ( its not entirely unusual of course but its not even 5%. more like 1%. im not including jackling here of course cos jacklers cant be in a ruck when they get hands on)
 

BikingBud


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Is the ruck different to a maul regarding the 'use it' call? We allow the opposition to disrupt the maul and try to prevent the ball being played after 'use it' has been called. If not played after the 5 sec call we give a scrum to the opposition.
Should the opposition not be allowed to contest at the ruck after 'use it'?
I understand the score was the last play of the 1st half, but when that made the score 0-12 and they ended up winning by only 3 points (12-15) it certainly had an effect....
I'd love to see teams being given the opportunity to compete for the ruck!

However as observed by @didds this just doesn't occur, players in from offside, not thorough the gate, flopping on top and sealing off are all regarded as "legal".

We seem to have inherited this phrase and skill jackle/r from the southern hemisphere where applying laws as written can not be allowed, or appear, to inhibit the game.

All my emphasis but:

15 Ruck
  1. Principle
    The purpose of a ruck is to allow players to compete for the ball which is on the ground.

Forming a ruck
  1. A ruck can take place only in the field of play.
  2. 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.
  3. Players involved in all stages of the ruck must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips. Sanction: Free-kick.
If players want to compete for the ball, stay on your feet, solid and strong position directly over the ball and "LIFT".

If you want to lift then you must be above the ball, not leant into it as this is a drag.

Perhaps more free kicks for head below hips and then:

During a ruck
  1. Possession may be won either by rucking or by pushing the opposing team off the ball.
  2. Once a ruck has formed, no player may handle the ball unless they were able to get their hands on the ball before the ruck formed and stay on their feet.
  3. Players must endeavour to remain on their feet throughout the ruck.
  4. All players in a ruck must be caught in or bound to it and not just alongside it.
  5. Players may play the ball with their feet, provided they do so in a safe manner.
  6. Players on the ground must attempt to move away from the ball and must not play the ball in the ruck or as it emerges.
  7. Players must not:
    1. Pick the ball up with their legs.
    2. Intentionally collapse a ruck or jump on top of it.
    3. Intentionally step on another player.
    4. Fall onto, or over, the emerging ball while it is on the ground near to the ruck.
    5. Kick, or attempt to kick, the ball out of a ruck.
    6. Sanction: Penalty
Where we should expect many more penalties, people will complain that the refs are ruining the game and I think we already have by allowing this to occur under a cloud of misplaced consideration of materiality.

People will always spout guff about how it might impact the game by allowing more blockers in the back field but good teams will always work out how to break down defences, narrow or wide, flat or rush defence what we need is to encourage tactical decision makers to adapt and make decisions, not play by rote.
 

Dickie E


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There's the rub. 30 years of changed ruck laws has created a mess at these elite levels where the ruxck is rarely anything like a contest - its a joke that the game is platyed by players on their feet and rucks are for players bound on their feet over the ball etc et c.
rucks lets face it are just a pile of bodies with abll magically appearing somehow from beneath them. the defending side rarely wins a ruck ball lets face it ( its not entirely unusual of course but its not even 5%. more like 1%. im not including jackling here of course cos jacklers cant be in a ruck when they get hands on)
If it was 1% then you'd see 99 phases of play in a row which never happens. I reckon its more like 10% which is what the PTB want. If it was any more than that the ball carrying team would be disinclined to take the ball into contact and we go back to aerial ping pong
 

Shelflife


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I remember the scenario that the OP is talking about, Luke calls use it, Bath counter ruck.

For me the ball is available and Saracens have ample opportunity to use use it, they delay and Bath counter ruck disrupting the ruck area.

Id happily give a turnover scrum, I was surprised given Luke's attitude to fast ball that he didn't as it was clearly way more than 5secs.

Personally I think that refs should call use it as soon as a team start creating the caterpillar and the SH should not be allowed to touch it with their hands unless they are taking the ball out. I'd also penalize the little head bob they all do in order to try and win a pen .
 
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