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Sona Taumalolo fend like right hook

Rayno Benjamin's sneaky trip gets yellow

Jerry Collins Haka the day before crash

All Blacks fined for waterboy Messam

RWC Players to Watch: Anthony Watson

New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Midweek Madness - Ben John scores a bizarre Ospreys try

Dan Biggar scored 18 points as the Ospreys beat Treviso 28-3 in their RaboDirect Pro12 meeting at the Liberty Stadium. Rookie Ben John got on the scoresheet for his first Ospreys try, but it came about in the most bizarre of circumstances.

Just before halftime Ospreys were denied in the corner thanks to a great covering tackle, but a moment of madness from Treviso's Tommaso Iannone then gifted them a try.

Iannone took a quick thrown-in, which led to Tobias Botes fluffing his clearance kick, and the ball landing in the hands of grateful winger John, who snapped it up and dotted down.

"I dived for the corner and went into touch and I haven't seen it back so I don't know how close I was to the line," he said. "I got back up and the ball was at my feet so as a first try, I'll take that.

"I knew my left foot was in the air so I just jumped on it. Then I got up and looked around and everyone was celebrating. I didn't really know what was going on," said the 22-year old, who normally plays centre but was moved to the wing due to Ospreys injury problems.

"It was brilliant to get on the scoreboard and get a try. It means a lot just to put the jersey on in any position. That's a huge achievement. I was lucky enough to play against Treviso in the Heineken Cup so I've had a lot of firsts this year. That was a nice one to add to the collection."

Other tries were scored by Biggar and Rhys Webb, but John's was certainly the strangest. 

You can see more of the weird and wonderful in our See it to Believe it section

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:58 am | View Comments (40)

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 40 comments

matt April 17, 2013 4:22 pm

There are so many things wrong with this that I don't really know where to start.
My in depth understanding of the rules is not the best so correct me if I'm wrong
To my knowledge if the referee blocks a defender, play is supposed to be stopped and the team in possession gets a scrum?
Then the pass from 12 to 13 had to be forward, it's hard to tell from the angle given, but I would be amazed to find it was legal.
Then the ref definitely blows his whistle at 29 seconds, which I thought prevented a quick lineout from being taken?
Are quick lineouts allowed in the dead ball area? I thought they had to be taken from within the field of play.
And finally, is there any way that you can say his left foot is in the air? The quality of my stream wasnt great, so I didnt have the clearest picture, but it looked to me like he was stood straddling the touch line.

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Mighty Rubble April 22, 2013 2:33 pm

His foot was definitely in touch when he catches the ball. A far as I'm aware line-outs can't be taken in the dead ball area so the referee should have brought play back. I don't think Iannone was taking the line-out anyway, I think he thought it would be a 22-metre drop and was giving it to his kicker.

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KJW April 17, 2013 4:29 pm

Law 19.2 - Quick Throw-in

Current Law
For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the place where the ball went into touch and the players goal line.

Law Variation Trial
For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player’s goal line.

To me the player throwing in was past his goal line and hence the quick throw could not be taken. Law error by the TMO. Correct action should have been taking the lineout on the 5m line, defending team to throw.

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cheyanqui April 17, 2013 5:44 pm

KJW -- spot on, sorry I duplicated your point below.

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matt April 17, 2013 5:52 pm

Just to follow from your 1st point below, I am somewhat inclined to say that if Treviso broke the rules and it didn't work out for them, then tough luck. Having said that, I'm pretty sure that proper implementation of 'tough luck' is not a part of the official refereeing guidance, so he's still got it wrong.

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matt April 17, 2013 5:51 pm

Cheers for the answer, that was what I thought, the ref has had a shocker

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LuckyCanuk April 17, 2013 5:03 pm

Bad TMO call - quick line was ok, but player caught the ball (ergo was in possession) while foot in touch. Scrum Ospreys at 5m.

Would have been try if Ben John had palmed the ball into a downward pressure in goal...

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cheyanqui April 17, 2013 5:43 pm

Wrong on so many counts:

1st) LAW 19.2 -- QUICK THROW-IN -- (b) For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the place where the ball went into touch and the player’s GOAL LINE.
<< Quick throw was taken between the goal line and the dead ball line, so not a valid lineout throw. Should be whistled, and then either make Treviso take a proper, set lineout, or ping them under 19.7 (Incorrect throw in), and give Ospreys choice of scrum or lineout>>

2nd) Law 22.4(g) Player in touch or touch-in-goal. If an attacking player is in touch or in touch-in-goal, the player can score a try by grounding the ball in the opponents’ in-goal provided the player is not carrying the ball.
<< The correct interpretation of this Law is that if ball is already on the ground in-goal, the player in touch can simply ground it. But if the ball is in the air, it does not apply, as the player spends some moment of time “carrying” the ball, in touch. As he was already in touch when he played it, you look to the fact Treviso last played the ball. The ball left the goal area, so it should be lineout 5m to Ospreys>>

3rd) Game mgmt. – the referee simply asked the TMO, “Try yes or no”.

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Matt April 18, 2013 12:05 pm

That law 22.4(g) is fascinating; a really obscure one that I've never heard of before. Can't really think of that many situations where it would apply, given the requirement that the player is "not carrying the ball". I suppose it might allow a player chasing a grubber kick to run off the field and touch the ball down from in touch?

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EatMyRugbyShorts April 18, 2013 2:13 pm

I remember seeing this law come into play - think it was 3/4 years ago in a European game - can't recall the teams unfortunately.

Exactly the 'chasing a grubber kick' scenario described. Attacking winger was chasing a kick through running shoulder to shoulder with a defender. Ball crossed the try line right near the corner flag - winger & defender dived for the ball (now in the in-goal area) - attacker touched the ball down with his inside hand while his outside hand was on the ground in touch. TMO awarded the try.

Fairly sure the commentators saying at the time he's in touch, its no try and the TMO's given the try in error. However they later apologised and referred to this law explaining that as the player just touched the ball down it was a try, however if he'd held onto the ball he would've been classed as in-touch and hence no try.

Maybe someone else can add to/correct my memory of this.

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Mark April 18, 2013 5:40 pm

Was it Glasgow vs Saracens with Richard Haughton scoring the try?

I remember seeing it on the site years ago and being amazed that the rules allowed it! I can't recall but I think whether or not the ball was still moving might have had something to do with the ruling too?

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EatMyRugbyShorts April 20, 2013 1:21 am

That's the one - cracking spot there Mark - didn't realise it was on the site (link:

Sure there was some further commentary/studio discussion on the incident not shown in the clip as its the reason I know this strange law exists.

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cheyanqui April 18, 2013 2:48 pm

the other similar application:

when your opponent has kicked the ball into your in-goal and it's approaching the dead ball line.

if you are in touch (with a leg, let's say) and ground it directly, it's a 22m dropout.

if you catch it in the air whilst in touch, it's a 22m dropout or scrum at the kick

I've seen on TV several occasions where a defender stood in touch and grounded the ball, only to find out it was still a 22m.

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Ando April 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Agree, didn't think you could take a quick throw from behind your goal line...

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guest April 17, 2013 7:03 pm

wasn't he just placing the ball for a corner kick?

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Calon Lan April 17, 2013 7:19 pm

More than anything, what I can't understand is why the hell would Iannone WANT to take that quickly from there with all those players standing around?

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Tc April 18, 2013 1:06 am

The only reason I can think of is if you are struggling with your own lineout and risk losing possession so close to the line, it may be a better solution to get the ball in quick and clear. Didn't see the game, so don't know if there was any context to it?

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alasdairduncan3 April 17, 2013 7:32 pm

1:56 there's a good second and a half (in slow mo) where his left foot IS in touch whilst the ball is in his hands. There can be no question that the TMO made the wrong decision here.

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alasdairduncan3 April 17, 2013 7:34 pm

(when i say slow mo, i mean expertly double tapping the space bar)

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No9scrum April 17, 2013 7:59 pm

I totally agree. his left foot is on the ground over the line when he catches it, clear as day! Shocking descision by the man upstairs

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Citing Commissioner April 17, 2013 8:34 pm

What's the point in having a TMO who doesn't know the laws. It's seriously pathetic.

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Reality April 17, 2013 10:02 pm

A cynic would say that that TMO is absolutely crap. As it happens, I'm a cynic, so...that TMO is absolutely crap.

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ItalianRef April 17, 2013 10:24 pm

A lot of errors in this situation.
first of all you can't take a quick lineout by in-goal touch area, the referee should have managed the situation in two different ways:

1/ Lucky - one option for Treviso: repeat the lineout 5 mt from Goal line

2/ a so called "learning-by-doing" option: treviso tried to get a unfair advantage by taking the Quick Line Out so scurm-lineout option to Ospreys

In my humble opinion, as a Treviso supporter, the second options would have been the optimal

However The biggest mistake has been done by the TMO. Even if the referee asked "try yes or no" the right answer was only one: NO TRY, because the left foot of black player was clearly in touch, (in field of play) so the referee has to decide between the 2 options I mentioned before.

Sorry for my bad english, I'm trying to improve it by partecipate in forums about my favourite sport ;)

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mpm April 17, 2013 11:20 pm

Taking a lineout in the wrong sport isn't a penalty, so the only option is to retake it. Treviso can't be penalised for doing this.

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DanKnapp April 18, 2013 9:48 am

Hey man, don't worry about your English, it's really clear.

You must be really proud of the way the Italian team has improved over the past few years?

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matt April 18, 2013 1:33 pm

Good on you, your English is far better than anything else I can do

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KJW April 18, 2013 2:05 pm

No Problem with your English!

You will find your second option is not possible under the laws. If the ball is thrown from the wrong spot or touched by another person then the only option to the referee is a lineout from the correct spot. Unfortunately as much as logic says tat Treviso should have consequences for doing something stupid!

Other point to note is that if this game is under the law variation trials then the referees would have covered this area of law in depth pre-season given the change to where quick throws can be taken!

As a referee you can make excuses for not seeing something or interpreting what you see differently.... there is no valid excuse for law errors! Despite how many laws there are to remember!!

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browner April 18, 2013 5:16 pm

we presume you've never ref'd ?

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KJW April 18, 2013 5:37 pm

Have refereed for 7/8 years..... (Hence I know that my association covered the variations in depth pre-season, and the in goal throw was one of the points looked at!)

And am not saying that I don't make law errors (though my goal each season is not to) but that the only excuse for making them is not spending enough time with the good book!

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Italianref April 18, 2013 6:45 pm

Hey mates,

thanks for your kind replys! ;)I've not been so clear in explaining option n.2, sorry =) As you had stated, in the law there are no other options than repeat the Lineout in the correct place. (I never thought about penalty ;) ) But if the referee had choosen to give Ospreys' option (scrum.lineout), it would have been a mistake for sure, but an "understable" mistake (at least in my opinion). Treviso made a stupid action, but to have been punished by the try (while the score was 9-3) it's too much.

@Danknapp: I'm very proud of Treviso's growth, unfortunately I live (and referee =D) near Milan so I cant follow the team as I would.

PS: If you notice any kind of mistake in my english please give me a feedback ;)

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TisE April 18, 2013 1:44 am

The commentator said he loves things like this, and I think the ref was also pretty excited about being involved in such an unusual incident, he got carried away. Both the ref and the touch judge were in good position to see the incorrect throw-in and the Osprey foot being out, and were looking directly towards them. The TMO especially has no excuse at all, the foot being out was the first thing I (and the commentators) noticed on the replay. John says he knew his foot was in the air! .. but he would say that wouldn't he. I feel there'll be some stern words.

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LuckyCanuk April 18, 2013 2:25 am

Yep - I stand corrected. Lineout was not correctly taken and should have resulted in a reset of lineout at Treviso 5m line, Treviso put in.

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Ottawa Rugger April 18, 2013 3:01 am

I can excuse the inability to recognize that the quick throw in should not have been allowed due to the throw-in being taken behind the Treviso goal line - heck, I didn't even know that. But it's hard to excuse the TMO for not seeing the foot in touch. That was so blatant I noticed it even without reading it any of the comments or the text above the video. I don't think anyone can accuse me of looking for it. How that made it past the TMO is beyond me. That review period was far too short. Such a complicated event should have been given more that the cursory glance it got

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Dazza April 18, 2013 10:07 am

And I thought the refs in the Premiership were bad, but this bloke, and his assistants have played a shocker!

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david potter france April 18, 2013 11:55 am

foot in touch when ball bounced into his hands....NO TRY

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John April 18, 2013 12:32 pm

Without wishing to pour petrol on the flames of controversy, it's interesting that the TMO who apparently failed to notice the incorrectly taken line-out AND the foot in touch was Tony Rowlands, a Welshman.
And a Welsh team benefitted.
Perhaps a neutral would have been equally ignorant of the laws, but at least if a neutral had made the same mistake then ignorance would have been the only accusation that could be thrown at him.

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matt April 18, 2013 1:36 pm

I like your last point. Whether you give any weight to the Welsh connection or not, you would have to say that if there is the potential for accusations of unfair treatment to be made, then you sure as hell make certain you do your job properly.

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EatMyRugbyShorts April 18, 2013 1:44 pm

Just watched the BBC Scrum V highlights of the weekends Rabo action and the studio guests agreed with everything above - can't take a quick lineout in the in-goal area and the scorer's in touch when he gets the ball. Apparently the quick lineout situation also happened during Italy v France in this year's 6 Nations.

Didn't know about the quick lineout rule myself (however I would've expected at least one of the officials to be aware) but the scorer's foot is clearly in touch. The TMO must've had a bet riding on the game or something....

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Gonzoman April 18, 2013 3:25 pm

I can forgive the referee on this one...I get the feeling he was unsure about the validity of the whole thing but didn't know the exact law against it.

What I cannot do is forgive the TJ...the referee asked him not once but twice if the line-out was OK. The TJ said yes both times! He's got a very small percentage of the laws to be on top of, and that's one of them. Shocking.

I also agree that the TMO fluffed up. Clearly in touch when he caught the ball.

I propose the following to rectify the situation: the Heineken Cup should hire KJW as the referee, Cheyanqui as the touch judge, and Alasdairduncan3 for TMO!

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ajs April 21, 2013 1:28 am

What exactly is the rule about the ball touching other people before being played for a quick line-out? Because surely the ball touches two people whilst in touch...not that any more issues with this are needed...

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