It's in your mind. If it's a player coming to your attention, he's stood out from the crowd so you note his incremental offences. Warning after two in relatively quick succession (say within 5 minutes), third is a card.
More difficult is the team offending - but it's almost always at a breakdown, and you've still only got to count to three. Don't agonise over the precise offence; call it killing the ball, and the first was the guy who flopped over the back of the ruck just after kick-off; the second was the tackler who failed to roll away; and the third is the player who pulled in the #9 as he was reaching for the ball. That's when you warn the skipper - pointing theatrically to the locations of the three offences, and indicating No More to all and sundry. So when the player on the ground next sticks his legs out to interfere with the pass, no-one's surprised at the card you issue.
I understand what Dixie is saying and that is relatively easy to act upon. But Dickie has a point about following the flow of the game and such.
Throughout the match, does anyone keep track of penalties?
And ddjamo must have never refereed a match to just reply that he counts them. My guess is he doesn't even keep track of the score, he just remembers it.
In the game AndyScott had with 11 penalties, he could have had 3 YC's for repeat offences. I could have a game with 30 penalties and no yellows.
How you deal with it is up to you. I do not expect refs to have an accurate count overall - all that really matters is noting the sort of trend that should lead to cards. If you are missing significant trends it may hold back your progress. If you are picking them up, well done.O.B. I'd expect you to count them (as has every assessor I've had) - you have a clipboard and pen for that reason ! I've never seen a ref mark down penalty decisions on a card etc so either they are remembering them in their head or not counting. If they are remembering them in their head and can accurately match your score at the end of the match, then they are better than I am.
I still don't know what good it does you though. As a tool for an assessor, I can understand its worth "5 penalties in 10 mins in the second half, all within the 22, and no yellow ? please explain. "
I too would expect to be able to point out a succession of penalties to a skipper as I'm looking for trends within the game am I marking them down or counting them, no.