Harlequins Northampton - did Danny Care dodge the 2nd Yellow Card

CrouchTPEngage


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Lots on the social-media already but I came here to figure out what experienced refs thought about that incident.

(trying to search for a link to video but cannot find for now will edit and repost when found)

Northampton line break, Quins sprinting backwards, there is a tackle. Care running back, pushes a supporting Saints player in the back. Care then comes from his own side at the tackle area but appears to dive over the tackled player and onto ball ( debatable here if Mitchell had actually lifted the ball first then Care could tackle him).
The poor optics came from Mr Dickson who blew a hard whistle (indicating a penalty offence), right hand moved to his right hip pocket ( presumably for a yellow-card).
He then seemed to change his mind and issue only a PK for the push. The expected yellow card did not emerge from his pocket. The unfortunate optics came from the fact the Care had already has 1 yellow in the first half so another yellow meant he'd be off.

Lots of debate on the wisdom of assigning Mr Dickson to this game ( he used to play 9 for Quins). Did he get put into a terrible position in that any controversial decision would automatically trigger questions on his partiality ?
 

Phil E


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The RFU have issued a statement.
Cant find it at the moment though.
 

BikingBud


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Addressing the push off the ball on Ramm from Care, Hull explained with the following bullet points:
  • Ramm overran potential ruck, running an offload line. If a ruck had been formed, he’d have entered from the side.
  • Dickson assessed the situation, lack of potential offload from Augustus. Deemed a penalty kick was sufficient.
Hull added on the tackle on Mitchell:
  • No ruck formed, only a tackle. Care comes into the tackle only space while onside.
  • Mitchell is in possession of the ball, Dickson confirms this with the TMO.
  • Nothing illegal with this action/incident.
Finally, addressing Dickson initially going to his pocket, Hull concluded:
  • Dickson initially thought that ruck had been formed and Care had cynically played the 9 while off feet.
  • Had a doubt it was tackle only so removed his hand from his pocket to fully assess the situation.
  • Once all the information gathered, he deemed PK only for Care for the push on Ramm.
Through my lens Care, took out a player, it was off the ball and was cynical and designed to slow down/prevent Saints from sustaining an attack from 7/8 m out and with Quins defence scattered. Other elements are trying to limit the damage.

As a first offence I have no doubt it would have been yellow!

Care knows he was lucky:

Screenshot 2024-04-29 at 15.05.51.png

Quins know they were lucky hence he was pulled off immediately
 

Jz558


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Interestingly the referee's first reaction was to go to his pocket and then remove it. Looked a yellow card to me but, we all make mistakes. I dont buy the Dickson/Quins bias (and I'm a Saints supporter)
 

Shelflife


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I don't buy the quins bias but putting Dickson into a game like that unnecessarily is simple putting Dickson into an awkward situation that he cant win from.

As for the incident in question, Care pushes a supporting player out of the way and as a result it means that the saints player cant support the tackled player, as its quick ball that's a YC for me, Care then dives over the tackled player who was handing the ball to the arriving SH and kills the ball , that's a YC for me as well.

Dickson blows for the original push and reaches for the card, he spots that its Care and realizes that it will be a RC. Dickson bottles the decision not because its a Quins player but because he doesn't want to YC a player on a YC.

This highlights the issues with fast tracking ex players into professional refereeing, they simply don't have the experience built up that Refs who have come through the ranks and they get caught out in situations like this. You cant buy experience and these are the types of decisions that you learn at underage and lower level games as you come up through the ranks.
 

Volun-selected


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Dickson blows for the original push and reaches for the card, he spots that its Care and realizes that it will be a RC. Dickson bottles the decision not because its a Quins player but because he doesn't want to YC a player on a YC.
Did he have the option for a TMO review? I wonder if he was concerned that he wasn’t 100% sure and knew a RC would have a significant impact so talked himself out of it?
If he’d gone “I just need to see that again since it’s a potential card” he could have bought himself some time/wriggleroom.
 

DocP


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TMO was brought in but, for me, all the discussions seemed to be explaining why he wasn't issueing a YC. That felt off to me and not balanced. Felt like they were telling the TV audiance why a YC wasn't forthcoming but the pictures on the screen told a different story
 

Zebra1922


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It doesn’t look great to go towards your pocket then stop, but im sire we’ve all done something similar, for example we move the whistle to our mouth but then don’t blow for a penalty.

Sometimes we have an automatic reaction whilst our brain catches up, doesn’t have to be anything to do with protecting a certain player, more just time to process amending the gut reaction decision.
 

Decorily

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It doesn’t look great to go towards your pocket then stop, but im sire we’ve all done something similar, for example we move the whistle to our mouth but then don’t blow for a penalty.

Sometimes we have an automatic reaction whilst our brain catches up, doesn’t have to be anything to do with protecting a certain player, more just time to process amending the gut reaction decision.
Indeed I have often , as you say, moved the whistle to/toward my mouth and then not proceeded to blow for whatever reason ( often a dynamic ruck has changed to favour the non offending team or suchlike). I also have often been conscious that in doing so that players, coaches or spectators who witnessed the move may not be aware why I didn't blow and consider that I 'bottled it' or whatever!
 

BikingBud


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In some circumstances it is that you apply advantage where you might have thought it was unlikely to occur, sometimes it occurs just before you peep, sometimes just after, sometimes not at all.
 

Dickie E


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I knew a ref who used to pull out a red handkerchief to blow his nose at select moments 😃
 
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