Period of Advantage

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
279
Post Likes
30
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Penalty advantage being played for offence committed by defending team around 22m line.

Attacking side have 2 phases and then drop ball with only the goal line to beat.

Referee comes back for advantage!

If the ball is coughed up due to poor skills or handling then has sufficient advantage been played?
 

Volun-selected


Referees in America
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
109
Post Likes
33
Location
United States
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Have you called “advantage over”?

If you haven’t seen the team gain an actual advantage then they’re still in that freebie zone when they mess up. If so, law 2c says we stop and come back to the first infringement.

The law just has the “non-offending team commits an infringement before they have gained an advantage” - nothing about them being competent.
 

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
279
Post Likes
30
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
From the definitions:

Advantage: A clear and real tactical or territorial benefit arising after an infringement by the opposition.

Law7 Advantage - Principle - If a team gains an advantage following an infringement by their opponents, the referee may allow play to continue in an effort to keep the game flowing.
  1. Advantage:
    1. May be tactical. The non-offending team is free to play the ball as they wish. - So tactical? -Yes, beaten the defenders.
    2. May be territorial. Play has moved towards the offending team’s dead-ball line. - Territorial? - Yes, virtual walk in to score a try.
    3. May be a combination of tactical and territorial. - Yes
    4. Must be clear and real. A mere opportunity to gain an advantage is not sufficient. - Was it? - Yes absolutely. But butchered.
However, Advantage is over when: 2,a - The referee deems that the non-offending team has gained an advantage. The referee allows play to continue.

Was "advantage over" called? - Not sure but I suppose even the ref expected the score so may have been pre-empting blowing for the try. But where does it say "advantage over" has to be called?

Seems very much cake and eat it.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,391
Post Likes
1,651
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Well, after 2 phases following a scrum-outcome advantage I'd be likely calling advantage over irrespective of the dropped ball.

However, I'm not keen on the "If the ball is coughed up due to poor skills or handling" being a reason for advantage over. You'll see quite a "knock on both ways" call by the referee during a game. If you apply the "the ball is coughed up due to poor skills or handling" thought, who will get the scrum feed?
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
609
Post Likes
132
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
My L2 coach always said "the non-offending team during scrum advantage should get the opportunity to play the ball as if they had a scrum". While I know what he meant (a clear/clean opportunity at a ruck without significant counter ruck pressure) I always wondered how many "letter of the law" referees this confused and expected the other team to be back 5-10m.
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
609
Post Likes
132
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Well, after 2 phases following a scrum-outcome advantage I'd be likely calling advantage over irrespective of the dropped ball.

However, I'm not keen on the "If the ball is coughed up due to poor skills or handling" being a reason for advantage over. You'll see quite a "knock on both ways" call by the referee during a game. If you apply the "the ball is coughed up due to poor skills or handling" thought, who will get the scrum feed?
"Sorry Blue, I know you only knocked on when you tried to pick up Red's knock on but it's your skill error, scrum here, red feed." Pretty sure your car might have some new decoration after the match.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
19,690
Post Likes
2,235
Advantage had not been achieved before the knock on (if it had been, then the ref would have called adv over)
So I don't see how advantage is then achieved by the knock on ? They are now in a worse position.
 

Ciaran Trainor


Referees in England
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
2,630
Post Likes
232
Location
Walney Island
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
Just call and indicate, penalty advantge. Any thing like described in 22 area I would always come back for first offence. If you have 4 or 5 phases of going nowhere just blow loudly and say "you're going nowhere guys, we're coming back for the first offence".
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
15,469
Post Likes
1,771
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
As Jarrod said, think about what they would have got if you hadn't played advantage?
A Penalty on the 22m would yield a kick at goal or at the very least a lineout in the corner.
If they haven't got the equivalent of that, then they haven't gained an advantage, so bring it back for the penalty.
Whether they drop it or not is irrelevant.
 

Volun-selected


Referees in America
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
109
Post Likes
33
Location
United States
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Was "advantage over" called? - Not sure but I suppose even the ref expected the score so may have been pre-empting blowing for the try. But where does it say "advantage over" has to be called?

Seems very much cake and eat it.
You don’t have to call it - we only have to let play continue. I normally try to call over just so the players know it’s back to normal - and sometimes they‘ll mess up after I’ve just decided advantage over but still taking the breath to call it out. In that case and they turnover then it’s play on.

I should have been clearer in my response and said - have you as the ref determined advantage to be over based on the laws? Have they gained a “clear and real” advantage? If you have and they spill the ball then you treat it as you would in normal play. If you have not determined a clear gain and are still playing advantage when the spill it, then you bring them back to the first offense.

As for cake and eat it - no more so than reminding players who is the sole judge of fact and law during a match :) ...Though given there is no prescriptive description in the laws of clear and real advantage then it’s on our own judgement so we need to manage it so it never seems that we’re hiding behind it. As long as we remain personally consistent in how we apply advantage in a match then the teams will soon adapt to us.
 

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
279
Post Likes
30
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
This is not me refereeing this was a European Cup game at the weekend.

Not a minor knock on or forward pass.

The professional player was in free space and only had to keep hold of the ball while he crossed the line and dotted it down. But he lost control.

Ref went back, they kicked into corner and try from the line out maul.

But my point remains surely if they have a clear run in to score and drop it they had clear, real, tactical and territorial advantage but squandered it.

As Jarrod said, think about what they would have got if you hadn't played advantage?
A Penalty on the 22m would yield a kick at goal or at the very least a lineout in the corner.
If they haven't got the equivalent of that, then they haven't gained an advantage, so bring it back for the penalty.
Whether they drop it or not is irrelevant.
They did have the equivalent of that penalty, a clear run in, much better than having to complete a line out and compete a maul for a push over or depend upon their kicker slotting from the wide on the 22m.

No it's not irrelevant, it fundamental to the discussion. How long would you allow? How many phases do you give them to conjure up a try scoring opportunity? Or do you consider they must score otherwise there is no advantage?

Don't get me wrong I feel advantage is the best law in the book but advantage does not mean they are entitled to score else we may as well give penalty tries left, right and centre.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,391
Post Likes
1,651
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
But my point remains surely if they have a clear run in to score and drop it they had clear, real, tactical and territorial advantage but squandered it.
No, they had the OPPORTUNITY for clear, real, tactical and territorial advantage ... which they then squandered
 

Zebra1922


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
683
Post Likes
199
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
This is not me refereeing this was a European Cup game at the weekend.

Not a minor knock on or forward pass.

The professional player was in free space and only had to keep hold of the ball while he crossed the line and dotted it down. But he lost control.

Ref went back, they kicked into corner and try from the line out maul.

But my point remains surely if they have a clear run in to score and drop it they had clear, real, tactical and territorial advantage but squandered it.


They did have the equivalent of that penalty, a clear run in, much better than having to complete a line out and compete a maul for a push over or depend upon their kicker slotting from the wide on the 22m.

No it's not irrelevant, it fundamental to the discussion. How long would you allow? How many phases do you give them to conjure up a try scoring opportunity? Or do you consider they must score otherwise there is no advantage?

Don't get me wrong I feel advantage is the best law in the book but advantage does not mean they are entitled to score else we may as well give penalty tries left, right and centre.
It is very situational. You have to receive tactical and/or territorial advantage, and what constitutes an advantage will depend on whether it is a penalty advantage or scrum advantage.

In the scenario you mention, assuming this was a scrum advantage, I’d probably have called advantage over one they have free use of the ball around the gain line. If the ball is moving amongst the backs and they have a break, I’ll call advantage over.

If this was a penalty advantage, and the penalty was in kicking range (this will vary depending on grade!) I’m really looking for points or we go back for the penalty. The important thing here is how long do you let the advantage go on for? I’m not a big fan of 15-20 phase advantage, if they‘re not gaining after a few phases I’m coming back for the penalty. it’s unlikely I will call advantage over if they don’t score, I’ll come back for the penalty as unless they score they haven't’ gained the advantage they would have from the penalty.
 

Jz558


ELRA/Club Referee
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
312
Post Likes
84
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I think BikingBud raises a good point and one that never really gets satisfactorily answered. Essentialy for a penalty advantage in the 22 we are saying that if the attacking side dont come away with points from the advantage we go back for the penalty even when the act of scoring a try, which they fluff, is easier than kicking the penalty.

As an aside, which game was this so I can take a look?
 

number11


Referees in Wales
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Messages
17
Post Likes
5
Current Referee grade:
Level 1
How is tactical and territorial advantage defined?

Team moves the ball forward 10 meters - territorial advantage?

Team spins the ball down the line to an unmarked winger - tactical? Advantage over?
 

ianh5979


Referees in England
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
450
Post Likes
37
How is tactical and territorial advantage defined?

Team moves the ball forward 10 meters - territorial advantage?

Team spins the ball down the line to an unmarked winger - tactical? Advantage over?
on a scrum advantage for me yes to both
 

Balones

Referee Advisor / Assessor
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
1,180
Post Likes
318
The only way advantage is defined is when the referee says so.
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
168
Post Likes
49
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
I think BikingBud raises a good point and one that never really gets satisfactorily answered. Essentialy for a penalty advantage in the 22 we are saying that if the attacking side dont come away with points from the advantage we go back for the penalty even when the act of scoring a try, which they fluff, is easier than kicking the penalty.

As an aside, which game was this so I can take a look?

This appears to be true at elite level.
 

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
279
Post Likes
30
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I think BikingBud raises a good point and one that never really gets satisfactorily answered. Essentialy for a penalty advantage in the 22 we are saying that if the attacking side dont come away with points from the advantage we go back for the penalty even when the act of scoring a try, which they fluff, is easier than kicking the penalty.

As an aside, which game was this so I can take a look?
It was Quins v Castres - Fri evening, times from game clock

@58:50 - Castres line out on Quins 22m, ball caught by Castres >Maul
@58:59 - Penalty advantage - Quins 7 in the side
@59:16 - Castres break from maul and tackled.
@59:22 - pick and go > tackled.
@59:25 - pick and go > tackled.
@59.33 - wider pass, right to left, to 10 and then passed again,
@59:40 - tackled, ball worked back inside, left to right. 3 phases.
@60:01 -pass 9>10, right to left. 10 jinks inside Marler when outside Quins 5m defensive line, all cover beaten.
@60:04 - drops ball before line - ref comes back for 7 in the side!
Healey comments: "brilliance followed by baloney!"

So my apologies, roughly 10 phases and over 1 min of play.

No further penalties, no new advantage, yet plenty of offensive pressure, enough to create a line break with a clear run in of ~ 7m

Is that piece of string long enough?
 
Last edited:

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
279
Post Likes
30
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
The only way advantage is defined is when the referee says so.
But that decision making process, as for all those we make, is based upon understanding and normalisation of what we see the great and good do when we watch the showcase game.

And we know they are not always working to the same principles or framework we are.
 
Top