Toulouse v Castres: your decision?

irishref


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Interesting scenario arose in the first half of Toulouse v Castres tonight.

Toulouse winger kicks forward (grubber, not in the air) and chases the ball which travels into the Castres 22. He somehow manages to be sliding on his knees on the wet surface when the next contact with the ball is made:

The next contact is the same winger and the ball hits his thigh (ball has not been touched by anyone else after the kick) before bouncing forward off his thigh into the in-goal.

There is a Toulouse support runner who is in front of the ball when the thigh contact is made, and the same support runner dots down to "score" the try.

Referee does not allow the try and gives: a 5m scrum for a knock-on. Your thoughts?
 

colesy


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Based on that description, I would have thought the Toulouse support runner was offside.
 

Ian_Cook


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Offside. No try is the correct call.

[LAWS]LAW 11 DEFINITIONS
In general play a player is offside if the player is in front of a team-mate who is
carrying the ball, or in front of a team-mate who last played the ball.[/LAWS]


irishref
If you are going to suggest that since the ball touched the player by bouncing off his thigh, he didn't actually play it....

[LAWS]General Definitions, page 7
Played: The ball is played when it is touched by a player.[/LAWS]
 
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L'irlandais

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Toby Flood starts at 10 for Stade. :holysheep:

35 minutes of play on the clock : Black 15 kicks ahead for himself to collect. The ball goes forward off his knee as he struggles with the defender for position/possesion. Black14 then touches down in the opposition's in-goal area. The AR alerts the Ref to the "knock-on" & the try is not allowed. The giant screens replayed the action moments later, suggest that Black14 was (ever so slightly) off side. So right decision, as Ian said, but poorly handled by both match officials ; who seemed so sure of themselves (when calling it a "Knock-on" which it clearly wasn't!) on the spur of the moment. They could have asked the video ref, but choose not to. (Paraphrased from "RugbyRama" live blog)
 
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MrQeu

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Both the AR and the ref were in poor position to make a spot on decision on the knock-on. Play was so close to the in-goal that it merited letting it play and then ask for the TMO.

As for the offside, Canal+ images showed Huget? (or was him Médard?) to be on-line with the play but I'd say it was quite difficult to determine if it was onside or offside. Depending on the replay I was inclined to one or the other.

On the other hand, the YC+RC late in the game were well merited.
 

Ian_Cook


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I haven't seen the action was going purely on what the OP described.
 

MrQeu

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I know. I was just adding some info and my POV.

Had the ref asked for TMO and then called PK for offside, I wouldn't complain as it seemed a 50-50 call depending on the angle of replay. But it was no knock-on and neither the ref nor the AR were in line with the play but (IIRC) 4-7 meters back, making it quite difficult for them to be sure.

I'm no fan of asking for TMO's help every time a score is made, but I think this was the real opportunity to let the play develop and then review. Play was so fast that I thought the whistle was for awarding the try rather than the knock-on.
 

irishref


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Hi guys,

Wasn't meaning to suggest anything by the post, just tried my best to describe a situation as I watched the game live. I am interested in the referee's knock-on call, since the ball did not touch hand or arm.
 

Guyseep


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Without the benefit of a TMO or instant replay it takes a brave ref to sometimes not call a knock on when to many on the field and the sidelines it looks a lot line one.

I had an incident that while it was the right call got me into a lengthy debate with one of the coaches.
Red team is playing into the sun when Blue team kicks a high up and under that doesn't go very far. Red 15 has the sun in his eyes so as he goes to shield his eyes and then catch it the ball hits his stomach/thigh but definitely doesn't touch his arms or hands at all. ( I was standing a few meters away). The ball rebounds off him and goes a good 15 meters forward. Everyone stops expecting me to blow my whistle but I say "play on, no knock on". Red 15 races forward, scoops up the ball and scores.

Blue coach was livid, even after I explained the call and showed hime the knock on law he was insistent that it should have been called a knock on. Other refs even said they would have called it a knock on because they wouldnt have wanted to deal with the backlash.
 

crossref


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I had an incident that while it was the right call got me into a lengthy debate with one of the coaches.
Red team is playing into the sun when Blue team kicks a high up and under that doesn't go very far. Red 15 has the sun in his eyes so as he goes to shield his eyes and then catch it the ball hits his stomach/thigh but definitely doesn't touch his arms or hands at all. ( I was standing a few meters away). The ball rebounds off him and goes a good 15 meters forward. Everyone stops expecting me to blow my whistle but I say "play on, no knock on". Red 15 races forward, scoops up the ball and scores.

Blue coach was livid, even after I explained the call and showed hime the knock on law he was insistent that it should have been called a knock on. Other refs even said they would have called it a knock on because they wouldnt have wanted to deal with the backlash.

I have to admit : if someone is trying to catch a ball, fails, and it spills forwards then I am going to call a knock on. Judging that the ball happened to miss his arms is too subtle, I reckon all 30 players on the pitch are expecting knock-on
 

4eyesbetter


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If I can be absolutely certain that there were no hands or arms anywhere I don't mind calling play on and selling that to players, but it's got to be 110% nailed on no hesitation. When in doubt, knock-on is clearly the safer decision.
 

didds

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WRT the non-knocked on attempted catch.lets face it - we see this situation if not every game certainly very often . And i'd say that 100% of the time it gets called as a knock on when its clearly not always the case.

Quite where that leaves us I dunno - but there is clearly a "default" interpretation that is difficult to not then uphold.

didds
 

crossref


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If the player deliberately chests it, then fine.

But if he was trying to catch it , then there's got to have been a bit of arm or hand in there, even if you couldn't see from where you are.

In the scenario given, presumably the reason he was able to regather the ball was because everyone else stopped
 

Browner

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WRT the non-knocked on attempted catch.lets face it - we see this situation if not every game certainly very often . And i'd say that 100% of the time it gets called as a knock on when its clearly not always the case.

Quite where that leaves us I dunno - but there is clearly a "default" interpretation that is difficult to not then uphold.

didds
Most catch attempts do involve the arms, but if I'm absolutely clear that a ball hit the upper torso only, then its play on with a prompt loud shout of the same, then everyone knows whats happening.

If players then stop - their error. ( exactly what happened when joubert did the same with his ' no clean catch' for a Mark call)

If captain queries, then reaffirm what the law says because ...

A) applying laws fairly is an expectation of all referees
B) players learn more about laws , and they can educate their peers /children
C) captains respect increases for referees who correctly apply law, compared to those that don't.

Picking and choosing which laws to ignore weakens referee creditability generally

Anyway, all demanders of game flow dont want the whistle blown for scrums, so that'll appease them ..... ( sarc!)
 

MrQeu

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It was a break of the line with the ball being kicked. Something like 3 vs 3 and some pushing and shoving and then go to ground to gather the ball.

Did it look like a knock-on? Well, yes. But the play was 10 meters from the in-goal and the regathered ball by another attacking player was grounded not 2 seconds after. Everybody continued playing and noone stopped... but for the ref. He didn't play advantage because there was no time for advantage.

AR was very brave on his call, but wrong.

If that happened 40 meters from scoring a try or was a grassroots match with no TMO, well, shit happens and everybody can make a mistake. But 10 meters out, wait a second, let the play finish and then ask the TMO for help.

As for the 30 players knowing knock-on... well, Mr Poitrenaud, the one who was trying to regather was immediately telling the ref that the ball hit his knee and ask for the TMO (and his captain telling him to shut up and let the ref ref). But the ref had already called for knock-on, so he couldn't go back.
 
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Rushforth


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One of the factors influencing my decision to become a referee was when an ex-national coach (admittedly of the Dutch national team) insisted that if a ball travels forwards in attempt to catch even if the only contact is with the legs of the player.

I happened to be the TJ (this is years before I'd ever heard the term AR) in the perfect position to see "our" fullback attempt to catch a ball on the run; the action was on about the 15 metre line near me, with the referee back where the previous action was some 50+ yards away.

Obviously at grassroots similar situations happen to me quite often (once or twice per season). I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the player trying to catch IFF (if and only if) they are standing side-on AND their body language doesn't give them away.
 

irishref


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I agree with the no-try decision by the way, for my money the supporting Toulouse player was ahead of the ball when it was thighed forward. I would have given the PK for offside rather than scrum for a knock-on.
 

crossref


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MrQeu:279521 said:
It was a break of the line with the ball being kicked. Something like 3 vs 3 and some pushing and shoving and then go to ground to gather the ball.

Did it look like a knock-on? Well, yes. But the play was 10 meters from the in-goal and the regathered ball by another attacking player was grounded not 2 seconds after. Everybody continued playing and noone stopped... but for the ref. He didn't play advantage because there was no time for advantage.

AR was very brave on his call, but wrong.

If that happened 40 meters from scoring a try or was a grassroots match with no TMO, well, shit happens and everybody can make a mistake. But 10 meters out, wait a second, let the play finish and then ask the TMO for help.

As for the 30 players knowing knock-on... well, Mr Poitrenaud, the one who was trying to regather was immediately telling the ref that the ball hit his knee and ask for the TMO (and his captain telling him to shut up and let the ref ref). But the ref had already called for knock-on, so he couldn't go back.

Of course when there is a TMO everything is different
 

MrQeu

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I've got a copy of the game. I'll try and post the play tonight if possible.
 

L'irlandais

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Incident can be seen 30 seconds into these short highlights : Top 14 - 2ème journée _ Toulouse - Castres (2014-2015). The ref's "knock-on" is shown to be a poor decision. (Watch at about 27 seconds, to see that both ref & AR are trailing behind on this break-away.) The "off-side" is also disputed by the TV commentator.
 
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