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.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: ELVs, rugby internationals, rugby referees
I have spent the last 72 hours picking my way through some seemingly obscure rulings in the IRB rugby laws.
At the same time I have watched four internationals and refereed two games of rugby, plus fielded a couple of refereeing questions.
My conclusion is this. We need rugby referees and we need to look after them.
A ”rare beast”? They are rare because of the abuse they receive and thus many are leaving the game. And they are beasts for lots of the connatations you would care to put about them, some good, some because we feel sorry for them and some because they are by no means perfect.
Forget the “bias”, the incompetent, the outmoded and the “non scrum” expert charges. This is why we need to protect the rare beast:
1. The ELVs are different in different parts of the world. How hard is that for an international referee!
2. The interpretations of the ELVs are changing every couple of weeks.
3. The definitions of the breakdown are blurred.
4. The law enforcers are confused, so what hope the players.
5. Too many ignorant people make sweeping remarks when they have poor knowledge and understanding of the game.
6. The error count for players in the game is much bigger than the error count of most referees. The onus is on the referee though should he make even one mistake. Unfair?