KSA Shark ©

Official word on THAT scrum

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 21 Apr 2009 at 21:50
Tagged with : , , , , ,

After the reward of a 22m drop out for the Crusaders after walking away from a scrum against the Sharks there was some spirited discussion on Sharksworld. SA Rugby Referees this week feature that incident and give their views.

View the clip of the incident here.

 Would you have awarded a penalty try in this case?

The Sharks opt for a scrum for a free kick – a scrum five metres from the Crusaders’ line.

The Sharks win the ball in the scrum and immediately start pushing the scrum forward. As they do so the Crusaders pack rapidly disintegrates while the Sharks keep pushing straight ahead in their formation. When their front row crosses the line all the Crusaders’ forwards are behind them.

As the ball crosses the line Ryan Kankowski of the Sharks tries to ground it and so do Michael Paterson and Bronson Murray of the Crusaders.

The referee refers the matter to the television match official, saying: “I need to know if a try has been scored and if there was an infringement in goal by the scrum team not being bound. in which case we need a penalty try.”

The TMO came back to him and said: “There was no touchdown by the Black team [Sharks] but do you need info on the scrum before when the ball reached the goal line?”

Referee: “No, it was over.”

TMO: “The scrum was over.” (It is not clear if he was agreeing or repeating what had been said to him.”

Referee: “The ball was over, grounded, no offside at the scrum.”

TMO: “Nothing.”

Referee: “It’ll be a 22.”

If this is right, there will never again be a push-over try in rugby.

Forget the left flank Paterson who was unbound from the start of the scrum but everybody else left the scrum. All eight Crusaders left the scrum before it was over.

That is an infringement.

They stood up in the scrum. That’s an infringement. In fact there is a multitude of scrum infringement.

It is right that when the ball crossed the goal-line, the scrum was over and there was then no offside line at the scrum, but the two Crusaders who approached the ball were behind the scrum and therefore offside. They became liable to penalty when they moved forward to play the ball before it reached the goal-line. This forward movement enabled them to ground the ball before Kankowski. Their offside had an effect.

But was the it still a scrum?

(a) The ball comes out. When the ball comes out of the scrum in any direction except the tunnel, the scrum ends.
(b) Scrum in the in-goal. A scrum cannot take place in the in-goal. When the ball in a scrum is on or over the goal line, the scrum ends and an attacker or a defender may legally ground the ball for a try or a touch down.

The scrum was not over because some players left it, because the ball had not come out. The scrum was over when the ball went into in-goal, but by then there had been many infringements.

Those infringements deserved to be penalised – not the reward of a drop-out.

Penalty try?

Law 10.2 A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored. A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off.

Foul play?

Foul play is anything a person does within the playing enclosure that is against the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game. It includes obstruction, unfair play, repeated infringements, dangerous play and misconduct which is prejudicial to the game.

What the Crusaders did was against the letter and spirit of the law all right.

Would the Sharks probably have scored a try?

Should the penalty try have been awarded?


And if it had been award nobody would have quibbled with the decision.

Perhaps the problem was in the conversation between referee and TMO. They may just have had a wire or two crossed.


  • “I need to know if a try has been scored and if there was an infringement in goal by the scrum team not being bound. in which case we need a penalty try.”

    important bit in bold. 🙁

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.04.09 21:52:18 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Great explanation.

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.04.09 22:05:57 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Say what you like a ref’s job is a difficult one and I admire them for doing it. Great explanation, but just goes to show how difficult their job is, as in the end it comes down to their interpretation which is where half the problems occur, there are so many situations that can be unclear

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.04.09 07:10:33 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @Whindy (Comment 3) :

    great explanation yes, I would have loved it if they had a personal comment from Lawrence as well though.

    It would have been just that little bit better if we could have had a comment from the horses mouth, so to speak, ragarding the decision.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.04.09 07:24:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : I think he is still kicking himself for not awarding the try, and this is where the TMO stuffs everything up because refs no longer go with their gut they are to scared to make a call(quite rightly) and refer anything. How many Refs award a try anymore??

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.04.09 07:28:35 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 5) :

    I would be a great supporter of allowing the referee to view the footage (bigscreen or small screen in goal) and then make his own decision.

    No discussions with anyone other than the Director to ask for the required angles he needs.

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.04.09 07:32:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) :

    one ref, One mind (well in most cases), no chance of getting yours wires crossed.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.04.09 07:32:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) :I agree, plus if you want to experiment with the laws make them simpler, not subject to ref’s interpretation. Clear cut Laws would help make the game simpler to ref and everybody would be happy?

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.04.09 07:48:41 by Whindy Reply
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  • The Chiefs incident.

    What no TMO?

    The Chiefs attack. Tanerau Latimer has the ball just in from touch as Hennie Daniller of the Cheetahs grabs him and Corné Uys comes to add his weight. Latimer goes to ground but manages to pass the ball inside to Serge Lilo who slips over for the try to take the score to 18-10.

    Then they start showing the action over from a different angle and in slow motion. There is not much to say about this as clearly Tanerau Latimer was out – from the waist down.

    The assistant referee was further upfield from the action with big Daniller obscuring his view, and of course the action did not happen in slow motion.

    Getting it wrong was understandable and excusable and better than guessing.

    But there was no need to guess. The television match official would have had the view from the other side and in slow motion.

    But were they allowed to use the TMO?

    the IRB’s protocol concerning the use of the TMO says: The TMO must not be requested to provide information on players prior to the ball going into in-goal (except touch in the act of grounding the ball).

    Latimer was not in the act of grounding the ball. Lilo grounded the ball and he was clearly in from touch.

    Whether Latimer was in touch or not was solely the decision of the touch judge and the referee and the touch judge could not see that he was out.

    It’s hard to blame the assistant referee and the referee when all they did was act as they had been told to act.

    It would seem to be a weakness in the use of the TMO if he is to be used at all. This seems tailor made for technology.

    From SA Rugby referees website.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.04.09 07:51:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

    For Villie and Klempie’s attention.

    After this conversation on Saturday. 😉


    Shouldn’t have been a try but even if it was refered to the TMO he would not have been allowed to comment on the feet in touch.

    Conversion missed

    Cheetahs 10 – 18 Chiefs


    Comment 79, posted at 18.04.09 16:33:15 by KSA Shark © Edit

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 79) : Why can’t he comment?

    Comment 81, posted at 18.04.09 16:34:23 by klempie Edit

    @klempie (Comment 81) :

    he can only comment on IN GOAL matters now.

    Comment 84, posted at 18.04.09 16:36:25 by KSA Shark © Edit

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 84) : That is so so shit.

    Comment 86, posted at 18.04.09 16:37:39 by klempie Edit

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 84) : Are you sure about that KSA?

    Comment 95, posted at 18.04.09 16:43:49 by Villie Edit

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 84) : Is this a global or hybrid ELV?

    Comment 98, posted at 18.04.09 16:45:51 by klempie Edit

    @klempie (Comment 98 :

    it used to be the last phase up to scoring the try, I am sure it has changed. Gimme a sec to check.

    Comment 99, posted at 18.04.09 16:45:53 by KSA Shark © Edit
    @Villie (Comment 95) :

    @klempie (Comment 98) :

    Okay no the TMO can still comment on the phase before the try is scored. The PROPOSAL from the ELV meeting a few weeks ago was that it revert to ingoal only, but it hasn’t reverted yet.

    Comment 102, posted at 18.04.09 16:50:58 by KSA Shark © Edit

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 102) : It’s absolutely ludicrous that anyone suggested only in goal. I mean, if the whole world sees the error except for the onfield refs it just puts the game in disrepute.

    Comment 103, posted at 18.04.09 16:55:24 by klempie Edit

    @klempie (Comment 103) : just to clarify by “in goal” I mean the act of scoring the try. It means if he steps in touch while scoring then the TMO can rule on it.

    Comment 104, posted at 18.04.09 17:00:11 by KSA Shark © Edit

    Seem I was right to star with and then got browbeaten into getting ti wrong 🙂 😳

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.04.09 08:06:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Place of a quick throw.

    Lachie Turner of the Waratahs kicks a long way downfield, into the Western Force’s 22 where Drew Mitchell claims and is given a mark. From within his 22, with the referee near him, he kicks a long, long way down the field. The bball goes out near the Waratahs’ 22 and rolls further back behind where the 22-metre line is. There Lote Tuqiri picks up the ball and throws it to Kurtley Beale who kicks into touch on the full.

    The assistant marks the place of the line-out where the ball went out.

    Commentator: “The referee has got that wrong as well, because the point of touch was actually outside the 22. Even though they took the throw inside the 22, they’ve carried it back. The line-out should be two metres inside the Waratahs’ 22. It has been an ordinary performance by the referee.”

    Was the commentator right?

    Law 19.1 THROW IN
    (b) When a team causes the ball to be put into that team’s 22. When a defending player plays the ball from outside the 22 and it goes into that player’s 22 or in-goal area without touching an opposition player and then that player or another player from that team kicks the ball directly into touch before it touches an opposition player, or a tackle takes place or a ruck or maul is formed, there is no gain in ground. This applies when a defending player moves back behind the 22 metre line to take a quick throw-in and then the ball is kicked directly into touch.

    The Waratahs did not cause the ball to go into touch where it did or to roll where it rolled. When Tuqiri picked up the ball he did so and he did not put the ball there – Drew did. Tuqiri did move back behind the 22-metre line to take the quick throw-in but not with the ball in his possession.

    The law is not clear in this case but apparently the instruction to referees is that if the line-out would have been outside the 22, as in this case, the ball is deemed to have been taken back if a quick throw-in occurs. Which is what the commentator says.

    But the way he says it!

    When Drew kicked the ball the referee was two metres inside the Western Force 22. The ball went out about one metre outside the Waratahs 22. The distance was about 54 metres from where the referee was standing and there were many players in that area.

    When the kick was taken the assistant referee was bout 10 metres outside the Western Force 22, about 44 metres from where the ball went out. His view of the junction between the 22-metre line and the touchline cannot have been clear enough to make a decision.

    Neither referee not his assistant had the bird’s eye view that the commentator had.

    Perhaps they could have guessed. Mercifully they were honest enough not to guess and then received this arrogant condemnation from a comfortably perched commentator.

    😆 I think it was Kearns. 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.04.09 08:17:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Thats what I been saying all along :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.04.09 11:11:59 by Rahul Reply

  • The ref totally messed that up! Refs are now using TMO as a scapegoat so they don’t have to make tough calls!

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.04.09 11:13:50 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 12) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.04.09 17:26:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Rahul (Comment 13) :

    I’d do the same… 😉

    The Sharks episode is an ‘if only’ Kanko picked the ball up before the line and dived over… the Cheetahs on the other hand is an ‘if only’ that ass. ref that was standing directly over the Chief’s player who had half his body over the line before he placed the ball farkin opened his eyes!

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.04.09 02:31:42 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • We all feel a bit cheated, but it’s the Sharks lack of composure that lost them that game. It’s all over and done and the Sharks need to win the last 3 games convincingly enough that calls like that doesn’t determine the outcome of the campaign

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.04.09 08:52:01 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 16) : I fully agree, we should have won regardless. The Tmo situation does need to be reviewed though. Refs are using it too much for no good reason. Maybe a similar system to the tennis and cricket would be better. The team captain can ask for TMO and Not the ref, and he onlys gets 3 or so wrong calls per match

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.04.09 09:03:39 by Rahul Reply

  • I am not even going to bother saying what I said before…

    The scrum was not over because some players left it, because the ball had not come out. The scrum was over when the ball went into in-goal, but by then there had been many infringements.

    Wrong, I can quote laws that clearly state there has to be at least 5 players bound to a scrum AT ALL TIMES for it to be a scrum.

    Similarly, the front row needs to stay bound AT ALL TIMES for it to be a scrum.

    As soon as the Saders stood up and basically walked away from the scrum it was no longer a scrum.

    What they did was penalisable and possibly even warranted a penalty try but that is not the point.

    The scrum was over and was ended illegally by the Saders.

    What the Crusaders did was against the letter and spirit of the law all right.

    Would the Sharks probably have scored a try?

    Should the penalty try have been awarded?



    Would the Sharks have scored a try if the Crusaders did not walk away from the scrum?

    Who knows?

    The Saders scrum after this incident never disintegrated again and was pretty strong afterwards so to assume that ‘if’ the Saders did not commit the infringement they would have scored is to assume the scrum would have followed its normal cause and the Sharks would have walked over the the try-line with the Crusaders still packed in the scrum.

    I think not.

    And if you look at it from another angle from not perhaps being a certain push-over try what says Kanko would not have knocked the ball if he tried to pick it up?

    I have news for Guru.

    You will almost never see push over tries in the modern game thanks to laws. Players simply have to stand up in the scrum or collapse it leaving the ref no option but to reset it.

    In the clip the Crusaders front row clearly stood up first before they completely disintegrated – he should have blown that infringement as the law states a front row going up is dangerous play.

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.04.09 08:40:19 by Morné Reply
  • To all the Bulls supporters who moan and p$$ about Daniels and Jannie… I have these words to say!!! “Bou ‘n brug en kom daaroor” :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.04.09 09:07:09 by Reds Reply


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