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Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

And how many scrums ever even finish at the top level? Seems maybe one out of the five to ten that happen. The rest of the time the scrum collapses and the referee awards one side of the other a penalty. The way I see it, the team without the put-in doesn't want the scrum to finish, because all the forwards are in the scrum, not lined up across the pitch ready to tackle anyone with the ball. So, why not collapse, especially is the scrum is on the opposition's side of the halfway line, and hope the referee calls it on the side putting in the ball? Otherwise, a finished scrum could mean the ball gets out to the backs with only the opposing backs to beat to gain ground, or possibly score, with forwards running after play. Funny, it used to work that way with mauls and rucks, before defenders stopped contesting them!

4 Hours, 11 Minutes ago

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

Crooked feeds seem to be normal in the UK Premier matches that are now being televised in the USA. I don't believe I've seen one scrum half put the ball in between both hookers' feet in any game I've watched so far this September.

4 Hours, 16 Minutes ago

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

Forward passes can only be done in a black jersey as well! I'm still fuming over November 2013 in Ireland.

4 Hours, 19 Minutes ago

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

It's for BOTH teams! Neither team can have lineout participants jump before the ball leaves the thrower's hand(s). As a referee, I'd say about every other game I call this infraction. Usually it's on the very first lineout. If both teams do it simultaneously, and believe me it's happened, again usually on the very first lineout of the match, I warn both teams, and allow a do-over. I rarely see a second offence.

4 Hours, 20 Minutes ago

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

The law if very simple to understand: a player in the lineout can't jump before the ball leaves the thrower's hand(s). I call this when I see it, and believe me, it's only women's teams who don't complain. It's sad that it isn't called, but then again, who releases the ball immediately when tackled? Tackled players hang on to the ball as they roll once or twice over, twist or turn themselves around to face their own players while on the ground holding the ball while doing so. So, referees call some things, and let other things go. Nothing new there! I've watched a few of these premiership games from the UK recently on NBC Sports Channel here in the US (thankfully rugby on a regular basis can be seen on regular cable TV here, as it was in the late 90's on the now defunct International Channel!). Feeding the second row by the halfback in a scrum is criminally allowed by refs, but then again, in the last game I saw, Leicester v Bath, I believe one scrum was ever finished, as a penalty was called on all the others, usually for collapsing, and even on the one in which the ball was heeled out, a penalty was called because advantage was played until the flyhalf got tackled, and play whistled back for some infringement on the side of the scrum. The more I watch rugby, the more I wish the old laws came back: ban lifting, get rid of the referee calling cadence to set a scrum. Anyone can watch old games on YouTube and find out that when forwards went at it before this referee calling nonsense, there were few collapsed scrums. It's worse now with the referee getting to "set" the scrum!

4 Hours, 25 Minutes ago

Explanation and feedback on the new law trials in place in New Zealand

More points inflation? Keep the try at 5. I do like the 2 point penalty, and it's long overdue, but let's be fair and allow 3 for a dropped penalty goal attempt as opposed to 2 points for the easier placed kick. That would really bring about some interesting decisions by the captain: go for the easier 2 or the harder to make 3. Just from watching 7s it's obvious that a dropped kick isn't automatic in the least, as it has become somewhat for placed kicks.
Regarding the ruck, there needs to be more counter-rucking. I don't see any value in watching games in which rucks are not contested by the team on defense, resulting in countless phases of rucks after rucks. Eventually there's a penalty for holding on, or for offside by the defense, or handling, or a knock on, and just maybe a player punches through or dodges a tackle and actually gains some ground, but there's just too many phases and not enough real open play in many games. Perhaps a law change is needed to encourage contested rucks, but I don't see that with these law changes necessarily. I would think that reverting back to not allowing the player in the halfback position to reach in, but wait for a ball to be heeled back or placed/pushed back, could indeed encourage more counter-rucking. If a player in the halfback position can't reach in, either the tackled player is going to release the ball sooner, perhaps before even being taken to the ground all the way, or if taken to the ground and then releasing, a real contest of defenders and offensive players using their feet to heel could commence, and perhaps the mid-field gets uncluttered because that "line of defenders" wouldn't get set up.

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Fiji brush aside Great Britain to take Gold in first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens

I'm glad New Zealand didn't win the gold in either competition. They win way too much. It's great to see other nations winning. I'm still fuming that New Zealand "beat" Ireland in 2013. When one nation comes to dominate a sport all the time it isn't fun to watch from a spectator's standpoint. Believe me, as an American, I'm not always rooting for my nation in some of these Olympic competitions. It didn't bother me one bit that Sweden beat America in that women's soccer match. I was glad to see another nation win and advance. I was rooting for Australia to beat America in basketball a few days back as well.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Australia's Women claim historic Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics

Okay, so I guess it's okay to comment on 'looks.' Great Britain won the gold for that.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Fiji brush aside Great Britain to take Gold in first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens

Fiji was just too physical for the British side. Big guys who can run fast: nothing beats it. In 15's someone with size and speed can be stopped, like Lomu against France in 1999, and he scored a try in that match nonetheless. 7's is just too wide open. The British, though, had some chances and bad passes equal tries in the other direction.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area the rugby competition did get mentioned on the biggest sports radio station several times during the week, even the morning show's host mentioning he saw the Fiji match. In particular, the woman co-host mentioned that it was the team that Jerrod Hayne did not make!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Australia's Women claim historic Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics

I saw some of the women's matches on NBC Sports and CNBC and MSNBC. I did leave the TV set briefly, but I do not believe the Haka was shown prior to the kickoff. Love it that Australia beat New Zealand. I could also take to heart that the New Zealand player, Portia Woodman, who committed the intentional knock on that led to her yellow card, really took the loss personally at the end of the match.
It's too bad that Great Britain didn't do well in that semi final. So, it's on to the men's competition, and great that Japan beat New Zealand today!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago