An interpretation of the game that has long been discussed and debated, challenges in the air regularly cause controversy based on what does and does not constitute dangerous play. Australian referee Angus Gardner joined Fox Sports in an attempt to shed light on how officials police these incidents.
We’ve all reacted to refereeing decisions with confusion, disagreement and even frustration at some point during a rugby match.
While not always clear cut, Gardner explains similar in-the-air challenges on a case-by-case basis to give an idea of how he comes to a decision on whether to play on, give a penalty or show a yellow card.
It’s a fascinating look into the mind of a referee and reassuring that Gardner acknowledges that in most cases, there is a lack of intent from the offending players.
He looks to identify good contests while trying to clamp down on reckless play in the best way possible.
The examples of getting it right, and wrong, are definitely worth seeing, as is the consistency of the ruling. So whether you are watching Super Rugby or 6 Nations action this coming weekend, keep an eye on how the refs approach these sort of incidents.