Carding incidents or not?

Na Madrai


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Level 8 'varsity league match, very local derby - teams share changing facilities, home pitches are adjacent. No idea of league positions because I never look.

Eight minutes from end, away team, White, losing by three points. Players getting very agitated as game coming to an end.

Five metres from Gold try line, ball breaks loose from ruck on White's side. White prop forward attempts to scoop up the ball single handedly, misses and hits onside defender, trying to drop on the ball, in the face leaving a clear scratch immediately under the eye and a second mark above the eye.

Two minutes later, Gold winger makes a superb break and is bundled into touch on White's twenty-two. As he jogs back past White lock, words must have been exchanged. Both players face up to one another. Winger steps back in response to my whistle. Lock steps forward and places his forehead onto winger's forehead. Third player steps in and seperates them.

I was receiving my annual 'MOT' and my watcher/apparaiser/whatever they are called now, disagreed strongly on how to deal with these situations. So, my question is how would the members of this august body have managed them?

NM
 

crossref


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Five metres from Gold try line, ball breaks loose from ruck on White's side. White prop forward attempts to scoop up the ball single handedly, misses and hits onside defender, trying to drop on the ball, in the face leaving a clear scratch immediately under the eye and a second mark above the eye.

you describe the hand hitting face as accidental - so, unless he was reckless - no action
but on the other side

[LAWS]16.4 (e)
A player must not fall on or over the ball as it is coming out of a ruck.
Sanction: Penalty kick[/LAWS]
so PK to White (although that might be a difficult sell..)
 

Jarrod Burton


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Face Scratch - nothing unless reckless.

Diving on the ball - I have to disagree with crossref, no PK for me, since it sounds like its general play and I think the thrust of the rule is aimed at a ruck when the ball is trying to be moved to the back to be played by the 9.

"Headbutt" is a hard one to judge without seeing it - how fast, with force? Anything from YC (since you said 'place' and not a good Liverpool kiss) down to a word depending on the force.
 
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OB..


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From the way you have phrased the description, I would guess that you saw the face contact as accidental and the head contact as trivial, whereas the assessor saw the first as reckless and the second as a clear head butt.

Not having been there, I cannot make a decision of my own, but I must admit the head contact sounds dodgy.
 

Toby Warren


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For both cases you can see a set of cirumstances that lead to any sanction from Red Card to play on.

Be interesting to hear what your MOTer saw/said
 

Dixie


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Without looking at earlier responses:

Players getting very agitated as game coming to an end.

Five metres from Gold try line, ball breaks loose from ruck on White's side. White prop forward attempts to scoop up the ball single handedly, misses and hits onside defender, trying to drop on the ball, in the face leaving a clear scratch immediately under the eye and a second mark above the eye.
The only matter for a referee here is the sentence in orange, which reveals that there is a risk of the game getting away from the ref if he is not careful. In light of that, I think the medics should be brought on if not already there to allow time for things to settle, and for the ref to make plain both to the injured party and his skipper that this was an unfortunate but not illegal incident, and his team are to let it go.

Two minutes later, Gold winger makes a superb break and is bundled into touch on White's twenty-two. As he jogs back past White lock, words must have been exchanged. Both players face up to one another. Winger steps back in response to my whistle. Lock steps forward and places his forehead onto winger's forehead. Third player steps in and separates them.
Orange sentence above still applies, with all its attendant risks. If the discussion had been had with the Gold captain, I'd now be treating that as a warning and would be interested to see whether it had been violated in the space of two minutes. Not clear who said what first, so no clear and obvious Gold naughtiness there. Gold responds to your management, so nothing there either. White lock has been a jerk- but if this happened at 25 minutes it'd be a word in his ear only. I think that is right for this situation also.
 

Simon Thomas


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as a Match Observer (official RFU name this week :biggrin:) I would have liked to see (based on the info you have given) with special thought to time in match, score and raised temper of match, you need to keep control and be quick to defuse any flashpoints :

no PK in the face scratch incident which was accidental but a quick blow and reassuring chat to Gold defender to calm him down first, and explain to both him & White prop you saw it, White prop was going for ball but missed. Scrum Gold.

At 6 minutes to go, Green winger does all you ask but White lock loses discipline - you state head to head NOT a strike headbutt. PK in 15m from where incident occured in touch and severe admonishment to lock & warning to his skipper to get his team's discipline controlled for final 6 minutes. If it was an actual strike with head, then RC to lock.
 

didds

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not read any responses as yet...

1) nothing. accidental as part of a normal - if poorly executed - action.

2) RC white lock headbut. If it WASN'T a headbut (can't really tell from the description) then stern words and a suggestion that next time the interpretation might be different. Could be a double skipper chat too to ensure the message is made.

How did I do?

didds
 

The Fat


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I'm with Simon.
I may consider a quick explanation to green captain as I award PK that it was not a headbutt so no card.
 

ChrisR

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I'm assuming that the first incident was described because it raised the "temper" on the pitch although Jarrod B. makes a good point that Gold was liable for diving on a ball coming out of a ruck.

As to the second incident I'm reluctant to pull out a card because in cases where the underlying cause isn't clear (what did White winger say in passing?) the card can have the opposite effect of what is intended. I agree that White lock's action is borderline retaliation but carding him probably won't ease the tension.

My choice here would be captains and the two players get the "Chill" message and a little time for the skippers to get that message to their teams. The demeanor of the referee can set the tone here.
 

Na Madrai


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Have just read the report written by the advisor and it bears absolutely no resemblance to anything said after the match - these incidents do not even rate a mention!

Anyway, back to the 'cardings'. Being the closing of a very close, hard fought derby match, tempers were beginning to rise on both sides. I had already started to take remedial actions - minimising physical contact in rucks and mauls etc. - but it was important that I nip all inflamatory areas in the bud.

I therefore gave a strict warning to white prop stating that any contact with the eye area must always be dealt with severely and restarted with a penalty to gold. I sold this to both teams amd there were no questions. It would have been a very difficult sell to restart with a penalty to Gold which was my initial thought, as everyones' mind was focused on the 'gauging'. On reflection, I should have gone for the penalty White, I incorrectly took the easy option.

The second incident was clearer. Straight confrontation between two players, one responds positively to my whistle, t'other responds aggressively. Although contact was minimal, it was still forehead to head. Had the Gold winger reacted with a punch, it would have been a straight red for retaliation so, just because there was no reaction, how to deal with aggression? There was now six minutes left, I gave a yellow card removing him from the pitch for the reminder of the game and penalty to Gold. The question I have been asking meself is what would I have done if there had been eleven minutes left in the match? On reflection, I think that as contact was minimal, a yellow card was correct.

Immediately after the match, whilst walking back to the changing rooms, I received my debrief because the observer 'needed to get away before the rush hour traffic!' In respect of these two incidents, a red card was mandatory for any incident of gauging to the eye area and no such incident should ever be considered accidental. The White lock displayed blatent disregard for the referee's authority and connected with his forehead to an opponent's face - a mandatory red card. Perhaps he thought that I was refereeing a showbiz match rather than two teams of youngsters!


NM
 

didds

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Sorry - but from your explanation the cop out you took with the "gouging" was to actually award a PK to anyone. It wasn't a gouge. It was a totally accidental contact in the general eye area that occurred from a totally normal piece of action in an attempt to play the ball.

The firm talking to should have been to the team whinging that there was a gouge - when there hadn't been.

If there is a RFU/IRB edict that any contact with the eye area is a red card I'd be happy to be better appraised - but I would wager if that was the case then there will be a lot more RCs given. Any touch to the head in front of the ears (say) is "the eye" area.

Low body position, tackle from behind, hand knocks the face - RC. Handoff in the face? RC. (Is it Dixie's son that has such a great "Red card hand off" photograph that is occasionally bandied around here?

7 v 9 at full time anyone?

didds
 
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FlipFlop


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Sorry Na Madrai - which is it?

Your first description, or your second. Which is the true story? The first has no red cards, but in the second, you are saying you should have given 2 red cards.

I'm confused with what actually happened.
 

Na Madrai


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In the first incident I restarted with a penalty to Gold for gauging. This was an error and possibly costly as a successful kick to White would have tied the match. The correct decision should have been penalty to White for dropping on loose ball - as stated, the next player to play a ball in this situation must be on their feet and this was my initial reaction.

It was a very tense time in the match - ten minutes left, three points in it, White pressing hard, an eye injury - a recipe for a brawl at the next point of contact! I allowed myself to err on the side of caution and this was the cop out. Both sides bought my decision without question but it was wrong and I fully expected my observer to discuss this.

The second incident I dealt with by use of yellow card - the player would not be returning to the pitch and I considered this sufficient punishment for what was actually just a stupid gesture but one, which, had the player stayed on the pitch could have again led to physical retribution.

The 'mandatory red card for both incidents' statement was made by my observor!

NM

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Browner

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RC'ing all confrontation is a cop out for some, very tight game, last few mins, a player gets all alpha male & sticks his head toward another ..... so what ..... Rugby is a game of confrontation, Most premiership matches would finish 7 v 7 if you removed players from the field for 'fronting up' in such testosterone fuelled ways , why even YC a "stupid gesture", why not just admonish & PK , at that stage of the match it's likely to get more response from his teammates....... but then I wasn't in your shoes, so you get my general support!
 

Simon Thomas


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The 'mandatory red card for both incidents' statement was made by my observor!

NM

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Remember Observer's are graded too and have different levels of experience ! He has given you his opinion and you have yours on what you did at the time and after post-match reflection - in some cases you and your Observer will have to agree to disagree.
 

SimonSmith


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Strikes me the Assessor is right, and wrong, at the same time.

Gouging IS always a red. The incident, as you describe it, wasn't gouging. He may simply have seen it differently. However, by penalizing the 'gouger', you validate his case by saying foul play had taken place.

The headbutt? Seen 'em given, seen 'em not. I'd have to see it live to know if you got it wrong or not.
 
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