Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby News, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: fair play, French rugby, learning the game of rugby, Rugby Refereeing, Sebastien Chabal
Read this article first.
TV pundit and former Lions hooker, Brian Moore decided to learn to referee and managed to pull a muscle in his first game. He was definitely a poacher turned gamekeeper. But he was brave enough to put himself in the firing line. Perhaps he might have tried it as a player…I wonder whether he would have played differently.
Now, the naughty Sebastien Chabal is to referee some games himself. My first thought was that few would argue with his decisions. Well, for the first five minutes anyway. After that, he will find that the referee is only a human and will be prone to mistakes. Many a referee will tell you that they may make fewer mistakes than any player on the pitch yet they will be picked up on the smallest error.
A lion in the lions’ den. Will there be tears? I don’t think so, but I do believe that Sea Bass may be a little more careful in what he says in the future.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Refereeing, Rugby Team Management | Tags: management, planning, rugby subs, winning games
Make sure you have done the easiest methods of winning games first, before sweating over the hard stuff.
1. Referees return
Straight after the game, always thank the referee AND do so enthusiatically. Make him want to come back to referee your team. This positive attitude will reflect well on your team and you. Referees want to work with positive teams and will give them the leeway to play and act positively. Build this over the seasons.
2. Plan your substitutions and injury replacements
In the heat of the game, an injury can cause untold disruption if there is not clear plan. It only takes a couple of minutes before the game to write out the possible substitutions and replacements.
3. Remind the players about the first minute of the game
You know what you are doing with your own kick off. You should also know what to do with a kick off receipt. These are the last words to the players before they take the pitch: what we do for the first moments of the game. It takes a minute to remind them and that focus can set the tone for the whole game.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: Gary Gold, laws, lineout, mauls, Springbok
Here is a good review of the law interpretations at the lineout from Gary Gold, Springbok assistant coach.
See his website at www.rugbyiq.com.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: kicks, laws of the game, lineouts, mauling, Paddy O'Brien, rucking, scrums
Writing in this month’s International Rugby Coaching, Paddy O’Brien, the IRB referee supremo, believes that rugby will be back to its old ways of a fairer contest.
He identifies five areas where he has got his referees to work harder at applying the law:
1. The maul at the lineout: no blocking.
2. Offside at the ruck.
3. Rolling away from the tackled played and/or releasing him to play the ball.
4. Better scrum engagement.
5. Keeping onside from the kicks.
Early evidence suggests that there is more space for attacking teams, but they are still adapting to the new regimes. Referees too are making a slight transition. The laws are not new, just being more heavily emphasised.
As Paddy says, one metre or one second of extra space and time can make all the difference in the game of rugby.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing, Rugby Training | Tags: breakdown, laws, Richie McCaw, rucks, rugby laws, tackle area
Richie McCaw is apparently keen to clear up the roles in the breakdown. It will be interesting to see if this works out. He plays hard and as close to the law as he can. That’s his right to do so until he is penalised.
Here is a good article on what he is saying from Planet Rugby:
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw hopes referees will be consistent in their application of the new breakdown laws during the upcoming Super 14 season.
The All Blacks skipper and flanker has long been a master in one of the most troublesome areas of the game, but is looking forward to the new emphasis on favouring the side in possession.
“It’s going to reward players who are really accurate. Perhaps when players are almost on their feet, or getting up there’s a wee bit of grey area there and some refs would allow you (to play the ball) and some wouldn’t,” he said.
“They’ve said they’re going to be pretty strict on it so unless someone who is really accurate gets in and contests the ball, the team with it will keep it and be able to play.
“It’s all good in theory it will just be interesting to see how it goes.
“Technically, it would require the ball carrier to do everything right, and that should allow some good rugby to be played.
“Teams that are really accurate and figure that out how to get their breakdown right will be the ones that do pretty well.”
But McCaw also warned that teams will not be afraid to play a tighter game when the situation demands it, although he does hope to see plenty of positive intent when the season begins on February 12.
“There’s times when that’s not possible (running the ball) but you have got to have other things up your sleeve. I think if all teams have that sort of attitude and I know all the guys in teams around New Zealand certainly want to play like that,” he said.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, rugby defence, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: attacking the gain line, Dan Carter, dangerous play, high tackle
Few will have escaped the news that Dan Carter has been cited for a high tackle on Welsh replacement scrum half, Martin Roberts.
Roberts was pretty circumspect about the incident afterwards, unlike his coaches, who railed against the referees decision. Anyone who knows Roberts will not be surprised by his comments. He is a bright player, who thinks deeply about the game.
As for Carter, he continues to be masterful on the pitch. From a coaching point of view, he attacks the gain line. He does this in two ways. First, he sometimes runs at it. Starting flat he accelerates at angles so defenders have to go with him or the defenders either side of him.
Second, he pushes the ball around the field from boot or hand, but always into dangerous places. It is rare that either Carter or the next All Black player who touches the ball is not causing peril for the defence.
Though not as destructive as Jonny Wilkinson, Carter is a fine tackler. Which makes the tackle on Roberts all the more interesting. He went high. There is no doubt that he was aiming at the ball. In the speed of the game, as Roberts dipped slightly, the arm slid over the ball and hit the head.
Dan Carter is not a dirty player. But he did tackle too high. It should have been a yellow card because it was a significant intervention. In the speed of the game, the referee missed it. It was in the middle of the pitch, so the touch judges missed it.
He should not be banned. It was a mistake at the time which should have been punished.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: parents, refereeing, respect
I don’t referee every week. Perhaps every couple of weeks plus some practice games.
Normally it is my son’s team, who are Under 10s, and the other week, a Welsh Women’s training game.
Every referee in rugby gets thanked after the game. Perhaps through gritted teeth, but at least there is some thanks. Wayne Barnes, one of the RFUs international referees, told me that it is good to discuss the game afterwards in a friendly manner over a beer. It is a sort of soothing process because not everyone agrees with your decisions.
I am not battle hardened as a referee. I am sensitive to my mistakes. However 16+ years of refereeing kids’ rugby (plus basketball, football, netball and hockey) have taught me to remain fair, not try to even up decisions and referee what YOU see, not what others tell you.
The two other Under 10s coaches for my team and I are bias. The trouble is we are bias to the other teams. I suppose it is because we are either teachers, or an ex teacher in my case.
And that’s why it is a thankless task. Because during the game we don’t try to give our team any quarter, and perhaps are a little less stringent on the opposition. So when a mindless parent or over excited coach shouts something about our decisions, it is very frustrating. No amount of “thanks” at the end can prevent the heart racing a little when you hear dissention from the sidelines.
Here is a great video from the FA to watch on the matter.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: IRB Laws, maul, maul laws, mauling
Here are the guidelines set out by the IRB from their website.
An excellent link,
it shows videos of what is happening at the maul.
Here is another video from the IRB to look at as well.
In summary from their PDF:
The maul must be formed so that the opposition can contest the maul at the formation; this includes
the formation of the maul at a lineout and from a maul formed after kick-offs or restart kicks. (Match
Officials were instructed to apply this from May 2009 – a DVD was circulated to all match elite match
officials and Referee Managers.) Mauls from open play should be refereed in the same way as mauls
formed at lineouts or from restart kicks.
A player may have both hands on the ball and be bound into the maul by other players involved in the
If a player takes the ball in a formed maul and detaches whilst the players in the maul continue going
forward, they are obstructing the opposition if that player continues moving forward using the players
in front as a shield.
If the ball carrying team in the maul is moved backwards at or immediately after the formation, Law 17
(d) and (e) should apply :
“(d) When a maul has stopped moving forward for more than five seconds, but the ball is being moved
and the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. If it does not emerge
within a reasonable time, a scrum is ordered.
(e) When a maul has stopped moving forward it may start moving forward again providing it does so
within 5 seconds. If the maul stops moving forward a second time and if the ball is being moved and
the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. If it does not emerge
within a reasonable time, a scrum is ordered.”
If the maul is moved backwards, match officials currently do not apply Law 17 (d) at the maul formation. If they did so
it would only allow one more movement forward and it may encourage the non-ball-carrying side to commit to the maul
at its formation.
Match officials also permit mauls to move sideways and do not apply 17 (d) and (e). Strict application may assist.
If the referee says “use it” the ball must be used and restarting the maul is not an option.
The concern about ‘truck and trailer’ is not about the ball being one or two players back from the ball
carrier when the maul is moving forward, as that replicates a scrum. The concern is about the player
‘hanging’ on the back of the maul. Strict application of the definition of a bind may assist in resolving
“Binding. Grasping firmly another player’s body between shoulders and the hips with the whole arm in
contact from hand to shoulder”.
If the ball carrier player does not bind in this way, the maul is considered to be over match officials insist the ball is
used. If the player rejoins and binds on the players in front, the team should be penalised for obstruction. This may
encourage players to bind appropriately.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: ELVs, laws of rugby, losing games, rugby referees
First, before I even start, we need to remember we are all in this together. Without each constituent part of the game, we would not be able to even venture onto the pitch.
Does that mean that refereees should be free of criticism? Of course not, and I don’t know many who would say otherwise. On the other hand there is a time and place for criticism, just as there is with the players.
I feel a certain amount of pity for referees at the moment. The new season in the Northern Hemisphere is almost upon us and watching the New Zealand club competition, I see plenty of interpretation.
There are new laws in place, and emphasis on others. The referees at all levels are under pressure to get these areas correct AND the normal laws of the game whilst the players and coaches are conspiring to outwit both the opposition and the referee.
In fact some referees will admit that some laws will be refereed hard in the first few months and then things will revert to the old ways.
That is not the only problem. Speaking to some coaches over the weekend, referees at the lower level are not so well informed. So whilst the coach and team might be playing to the current rulings, the poor old (and young) referee is struggling to cope with the old set of laws.
I suppose patience is a particularly useful virtue. It is a tough dish to swallow when you are losing a spicy game to some rotten decisions.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Refereeing, Rugby Team Management | Tags: Gethin Jenkins, Lions, Paul Wallace, rugby referees, scrum, selection, South Africa, winning the breakdown
There are two issues in world rugby that most vex coaches at the top level: the breakdown and the scrum.
Each referee interprets the breakdown differently. Many commentators say that referees “guess” the infringements at the scrum engagement.
Therefore you need to pick a team that will win the game given what the referee will do, and not necessarily what the opposition will do.
The Lions have picked a front row that will scrummage, but not destroy the South Africans. What is the point of destroying a scrum if the referee ignores this and resets the scrum every time.
They have picked a pack that will get to the breakdown quickly, so there is less chance of the ball being stolen.
So though the likes of Gethin Jenkins (loosehead) and Wallace (openside) have been on great form, their selection meets those criteria perfectly.