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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

George North sets up great try but Gloucester sneak controversional win

Northampton Saints fans were left seething following a controversial ending to one of the most talked about matches of round 3 in the Aviva Premiership, as Gloucester snatched a 26-24 victory with a late penalty goal at Kingsholm.

Gloucester claimed their first win of the season despite looking dead and buried after George North sparked a brilliant Saints counter-attack that ended in a Jamie Elliot sprint for the line. The try of the season candidate seemed to be the match winner, but controversy followed.

A number of players appeared to be in front of the kicker at the restart, but it wasn't picked up and Saints knocked on. With the clock well into injury time, referee Martin Fox awarded a scrum penalty to the hosts, which Billy Twelvetrees duly slotted.

"It is a shame when games are decided by the referee in the last couple of minutes," said Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder. "We were disappointed when we had the change of referee at short notice, but sometimes that happens.

"What we have got to make sure of is that we control what we can control. The refs are out of our hands. My reading of the scrum at the end, particularly the second scrum, was that we had control of the ball, so the reset should have been our put-in. I don't want to say any more, really.

"I have taken my frustration out - I kicked whatever was at the side of the pitch. We came close, we will win some and we will lose some. Clearly, the penalty count didn't go in our favour."

Controversy aside, we saw a fantastic try by Saints as Elliot crossed, and a brilliant bit of play from James Simpson-Daniel to set up young Gloucester lock Elliot Stooke.

Posted by Rugbydump at 5:46 pm | View Comments (15)

Viewing 15 comments

Guest September 24, 2013 8:07 pm

To Jim Mallinder:

"It is a shame when games are decided by the referee in the last couple of minutes,"

You are right. Referees should just come back to their locker room 5 minutes (perhaps 10) before the end of the game and let the two teams referee themselves.

"My reading of the scrum at the end, particularly the second scrum, was that we had control of the ball, so the reset should have been our put-in.":

Have you ever take a look at the Laws of the Game ?

Let me enlighten you on this:

20.4 The team throwing the ball into the scrum
If a scrum collapses or lifts up into the air without sanction a further scrum will be ordered and the team who originally threw in the ball will throw the ball in again.

"I don't want to say any more, really.":


"Clearly, the penalty count didn't go in our favour.":

Why should it go in your favor ?

Ok, refs are not at their best every game (and I am one of them), but I am sorry: there are 31 actors (or 33) on the field and not just one (or 3).

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Guest September 24, 2013 8:10 pm

Fantastic Saints try by the way.

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Richard Church Keen September 24, 2013 8:17 pm

personally, i thought (though i am biased!) that the flanker and scrum half were both offside at the scrum. the flankers spent the entire game breaking early, and they were lucky to only get called for it late in the game. Gloucester, on the day, were the far better team.
Both tries were superb.

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Matt September 26, 2013 12:32 pm

To my eyes (not a Saints supporter or Gloucester supporter) the ball clearly came out the back of the scrum, so the Saints scrum-half was justified in moving up to play the ball. Austin Healey, who was commentating on the highlights I watched, came to the same conclusion.

Granted, before the ball came out, the binding of the Saints back-row was fairly questionable (hands only, rather than a full arm). But, I tend to think that's ok (maybe questionable, but probably not worth penalising most of the time) as long as they remain on-side: while that kind of loose bind gives your flankers much better visibility, it obviously massively reduces their ability to push. If the attacking scrum-half notices, he should call for a second shove.

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will00713 September 24, 2013 9:24 pm

you seem to be missing the point, 5 players were a few meters off side at the restart and the ball was at least a foot out! if u watch the hole match u can see that mr fox performance was appalling.
The match was amazing, the teams were evenly matched Gloucester were perhaps a bit better. but it deserved to be won by a moment of brilliance that happened but mr fox made several big errors which caused a team to lose. this should not happen.

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DanKnapp September 25, 2013 4:34 am

Lots of things shouldn't happen, but do, on a rugby field. The referee trying to get it right but making a mistake isn't the worst. Yes, they made a mistake and possibly that influenced those few minutes, but there had been 77 minutes before that in which player errors and skill dictated the score line. If the referee had made the same mistake in the first minute, it wouldn't have been the same issue.

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kaibishin September 24, 2013 8:08 pm

The last try was dutty wine

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Swing September 24, 2013 8:26 pm

Just read North's article on the beeb saying he needs time to settle in.

God help everyone when he does!

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MisterDavid September 24, 2013 11:20 pm

When Twelvetrees kicked away that piece of possession to North (even in his own 22), you could hear the groan from the home-crowd. Never kick it to North!

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Canadian content September 25, 2013 4:05 am

The welsh Jonah lomu!

Best ball carrier in the world?

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EatMyRugbyShorts September 25, 2013 9:27 am

Cracking try - with 2 mins to go should've decided the outcome of an excellent game.

I'm not normally one to have a go at referees but missing the Gloucester players offside at the following kick-off was a shocker. Wasn't even close - two players were 5 yards in front of the ball and the ref had a clear unobstructed view. The subsequent scrum penalty looks like a 50/50 judgement call to me but the period of play in the Northampton half leading up to the scrum just shouldn't have happened.

Very harsh on Northampton.

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dave September 25, 2013 9:37 pm

go gloucester!

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Reality September 25, 2013 11:09 pm

Considering that Northampton got to a Heineken Cup final on the back of Tongahuia boring in on every scrum and getting a penalty out of it, I think it's a bit rich for Mallinder to complain about scrum penalties.

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