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Friday, November 25, 2011

Matthew Morgan salvages a draw for Ospreys against Treviso

Here is a quick look at the Heineken Cup game between Treviso and Ospreys that ended in a 26-26 draw thanks to a late penalty from young Matthew Morgan. The game also included a few great tries, and a very soft looking yellow card decision.

The home side looked as though they were on course for a famous upset but were undone by the long range penalty from 19 year old Morgan, who is already showing signs of being a future Welsh rugby great.

Tommaso Benvenuti was yellow carded after he picked up and dumped Shane Williams in yet another example of a controversial tip tackle decision. On first look it was dangerous as Williams' legs faced skyward, but Benvenut then looked to control it, bringing him to ground safely.

Williams himself said that the result was disappointing for the Ospreys in a 'strange' game of rugby.

"Discipline in the first-half was quite poor - little, silly penalties that kind of takes the wind out of your sails at times. It was very frustrating and, of course, the tries that we conceded were all from our mistakes.

"We got out of jail in the end, but we're disappointed we didn't put that game to bed. But it's never easy to come to Treviso. They are a side that's progressing each year," he added.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the Morgan kick, some great tries, and that yellow card.

Posted at 9:39 am | 29 comments

Viewing 29 comments

Gallego November 25, 2011 1:09 pm

At 1:05, they should have asked for the free kick, silly of them to actually jump for the ball.

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stroudos November 25, 2011 1:24 pm

Some nice rugby there, particularly from Treviso in fact.

Bit ambivalent about the Benvenuti tackle. I reckon it must be hard tackling people like Williams and Clerc - you go in for a big hit and probably get surprised at how light they are and how easily they pop up into the air. I think the action of the tackle is Benvenuti is actually directing Williams head-first towards the turf and the safe landing was as much thanks to Williams doing a bit of a mid-air sit-up to protect himself as it was to the adjustment by Benvenuti to slow his descent.

Overall, it's clear that Benvenuti has taken responsibility for bringing the man to ground safely. And as far as I understand it, that's precisely what you're required to do. So in my opinion there should have been no punishment at all, let alone yellow card. Looked worse in real time though and I bet from the ref's vantage point it probably looked worse still.


BTW, Ryan Jones seems to be playing second row now then. Or has that been going on for a while already?

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Johnny03 November 25, 2011 6:24 pm

law says if legs go over hips yellow card, but tbh was a top hit and is so shit atm that big hits and tackles are been punished, soon players will be to worried to put in the tackles

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ItalianRef November 25, 2011 6:38 pm

That is not correct.
Law 10.4 (j) states that

"lifting a player from the ground and DROPPING or DRIVING that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground sus that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play"


meaning: when you tackle a player and lift him over the horizontal line you should take care that he lands safely and not on his head, neck or shoulders

As for this episode, I believe Benvenuti did his best to accompany Williams safely to the ground but the fortunate landing is the merit of the Welsh players (n°13, by going for the ball he twists Williams so that he does not land head first - check video @ 2:04).

Penalty deserved. Yellow card well deserved.

I would have awarded the same sanction to the Welshman in the RWC semifinal, although the Welshman did not accompany the Frenchman to the ground...

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Pretzel November 25, 2011 10:55 pm

It's funny that you say "Penalty deserved. Yellow card well deserved."

Most people would read those laws and think whilst a penalty and yellow are following the laws, they are still a bit over the top...

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Fettsack November 25, 2011 1:41 pm

Hard to decide for the Benvenuti tackle. Seems like a yellow on the first look, so understandable decision from the ref. He does bring him slowly down when he realises he's gone too far. So maybe no yellow. A penalty must be awarded at least.

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Tex15 November 25, 2011 2:10 pm

Got to agree with the previous posts about the Benvenuti tackle. At first I thought oh dear definitely a yellow (maybe a red by today's standards) but then watching the replay it is clear he was brought down safely so I thought just a penalty and no more.

As a fairly big fullback 6'2 96+kgs, I have also found it quite difficult when tackling small players. Occasionally if you are in a very good tackling position and go for a hard hit they are just too light and it is almost impossible to prevent them getting tilted in the air.

I know that spear tackles can be very dangerous and I agree that players that deliberately drive other players into the ground like a spear deserve punishment, but this automatic sin binning for just lifting a player (accident or not) really needs to be looked at.

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Hry November 25, 2011 2:25 pm

I think the ref got it right in that situation. To me the fact that Williams alighted safely was more to do with the Ospreys outside centre Andrew Bishop holding him up by the shoulder and preventing Benvenuti driving him down. The tackle itself is pretty terrible - look at 2:04, he upends him completely - but Williams was never actually dumped or thrown to the turf thanks to Bishop's efforts. Bishop may have saved Benvenuti from a red there.

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stroudos November 25, 2011 2:39 pm

I'll give you that. It's actually Bishop's involvment that changes Williams's body position isn't it. Don't think Williams would have landed safely without him.

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coops November 25, 2011 3:03 pm

I don't think that's a yellow at all. Regardless of who intervened, he was brought down safely, so I think a penalty tops should be awarded.

But I reckon everyone should keep an eye on Benevenuti - he's a phenomenal young player who could go on to be one of the best centres in the NH. I hope Treviso develop along with him because otherwise other teams will surely come knocking.

I also think the penalty at the end is very harsh on Treviso. The ref pings them for going off their feet, but if you look, they only go down after they've driven the Ospreys player off the ball - they certainly entered the ruck on their feet.

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coops November 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Actually, apologies - just looked again - think the ref pings him for holding on (although he seems to make a variety of signals). Although I disagree with that too a) because the Ospreys player wasn't actually on the ball and b) It was for a split second before he got cleared out

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Full Back November 25, 2011 9:21 pm

agree with you completely on the last penalty, very soft indeed and can't imagine that many refs would have given it had it been the other way around.

As for the yellow I agree with the ref, you just can't lift the legs over the shoulders and call it safe, it's not new, Benvenuti should know better.

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Luxi November 25, 2011 3:39 pm

the 5m line-out at 1:05 should have been a free kick for Treviso, as they called a 4 man line-out but the ospreys comitted 5, (you can see number 4 rushing into it)

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Luxi November 25, 2011 3:43 pm

also the yellow card was utter nonsense, Benvenuti clearly puts him back down with care, Shane williams gets back up instantly, poor decision, imo, the irb and erc are become too soft with these tackles, because, the ref was well positioned, plus the assistant refs should have told him he was responsibly put back down

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Colombes November 25, 2011 6:28 pm

hm, sorry RD, but your paragraph gives more attention to Ospreys deception and their last minute penalty rather to talk about a very entertaining Treviso team. The italian rugby needs a little more support, i think ;)
generally, italian rugby is famous for their powerful forwards game but here, they scored 2 great back tries, and sometimes, it would be great to signal it.
Furthermore, Treviso can be a bit angry with some ref decisions (the last pen was very quick whistled), so ospreys are maybe disappointed, but they are very lucky to go back with this draw

italian federation must reinforce their formation, they have good young lads

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ItalianRef November 25, 2011 7:09 pm

> italian federation must reinforce their formation, they have good young lads

don't worry, for some strange reason we will keep on picking 5th level choices from Samoa, RSA, AUS and above all Argentina.

one wanders why a nation with 60 milion citizens and 300 thousand rugby players in the federation cannot produce decent Internationals... and we've been in the 6N for quite a while now.

I hope the Celtic will help us produce good players and that they make it into the National team. for the moment, enjoy the nice november weather and the hospitality in Treviso :-)

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tm November 25, 2011 8:46 pm

bullshit
was absolutely correct tackle
no intention to hurt
pathetic ref

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IrishRef November 25, 2011 9:24 pm

for all the guys wondering if they're still allowed to make "big hits", I would ask the question what does the tipping action contribute towards the big?

Sure, the big tackle where you drive your opponent backwards is great to see and even better to perform yourself, but spending your energy in lifting and tipping a guy in the air adds nothing to the intensity of the hit.

all it does is put you in a red card situation and, more importantly, the chance of seriously injuring your opponent is very real and apparent.

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Pretzel November 25, 2011 11:26 pm

The penalty kick was good... but wasn't that last penalty a bit... well ambiguous... I mean seeing as there are a fair few international rugby teams which ruck that EXACT way and do not get penalised for it...

As for the yellow... no yellow for me.. It didn't look intentional to me (not that intent is a huge factor) but I mean "malicious" therefore it appears as if he realised it wasn't going well and slowed it down and lowered him...

But its a fine line I suppose...

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IrishRef November 26, 2011 1:47 am

pretzel

intent is not a factor at all when deciding if dangerous play has occured.
How can you expect an arbitor to read someone's mind?

it's all about effect, not cause.

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Pretzel November 27, 2011 3:16 pm

If you read my comment you will see I mention intent is not a huge factor... i.e not considered....

With regards to "it's all about effect" care to elaborate on that? Because the "effect" of this tackle was zero... the player hopped up straight away and carried on playing...

What happens if you brace yourself and a player runs into your shoulder, you grab his legs and he bounces straight off you and lands on his back whilst you still have his legs in your grasp (and you are still standing)... His legs would be above his shoulders, his shoulders would have hit the ground first... yet you did not lift him... is that a card?

This tackle says to me that Benvenuti made a mistake yet rectified it by placing Williams down carefully...

Now the referee gave a card, that may be due to the fact he did not see it clearly, but honestly it is NOT yellow card worthy! I can forgive the referee for a mistake but it is CLEARLY a mistake!

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IrishRef November 28, 2011 9:57 pm

pretzel. If you lift someone in the tackle and turn their legs over the horizontal, you have committed the crime already. The action of bringing him to ground safely or not is the difference between yellow and red.

A tip tackle - and this can only occur if you as tackler decide to turn your opponent throught the horizontal in the air - is punishable by red or yellow every time.

that's the point. The effect is just that. You are guilty and the only question is the sanction that follows, not if a sanction should be applied.

I'll say here exactly what I said to both teams that I refereed last weekend. One day, rugby players will finally accept that tipping someone through the horizontal has no place in the game and it will be eradicated totally.

Until then, numpties will continue to bemoan red or yellow cards because they simply don't understand what the IRB is trying to achieve.

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Guy November 26, 2011 4:46 am

Well, since you can only see in slow motion that he puts his back into it to get the player back on the ground savely, it is quite understandable that the ref made a mistane on that one. The law says 'dropping or driving' and that did not happen, in my humble opinion...

It also looked like Williams was contemplating on milking it, fortunately he didn't.

Some very good tries by Treviso. People still seem to think of them as a small team from an amateur country. Clearly they've gone completely professional over the past few years.

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GunshowMckenzie November 26, 2011 12:58 pm

It was a potentially very bad tackle, as outlined above Andrew Bishop was the person who really took the force out of it and stopped Williams getting injured. IMO tackles like this are worse than the Warburton world cup one. This was a tip, almost vertical tackle. Obviously he didn't actually take Williams to the ground on his head/neck, so I don't know what the ruling is if he doesn't actually hit the ground in a spear tackle manner.

Why do it? Why not do a big tackle and drive the opposition backwards and put them flat on their back?

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Just Call Me Ehtch November 27, 2011 8:52 am

Matthew Morgan's 0 to 15 metre sprint is without fault, but as saw in the gale against Connacht in Galway last night, he needs to work on his 50m plus sprint, and peg his ears behind and go for it. He could have got in if he backed himself.

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flyingpepper November 27, 2011 12:28 pm

Whilst turning a blind eye to the tackle, mainly because there have been so many arguments recently about the wrong/right decision by ref's regards dump tackles.

So the best thing about this is a great NH games showing some really exciting young players coming up through the ranks which is always good to see

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jackson November 28, 2011 5:01 am

The most important part in that penalty was Benvenuti's awareness and ability to turn a bad situation right just at the end there... obviously Williams lands quite comfortably on his side and thinks nothing of it as he pops right back up. I agree a penalty could well be given here to enforce a POTENTIALLY bad situation, but the card seems harsh given the outcome. The refs seem too focused on the public image of the sport and not so much the action at hand.

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SpencaH November 28, 2011 11:30 am

Forgetting the yellow card for a second.


Great game if a bit weird at times! But it is going a long way to dispel the stigma of Northern Hemisphere rugby being all about drop goals and defence. 26-26 is a cracking scoreline with some cracking tries......NH rugby is on the up.

Be interesting to see how the SH responds..........

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