Do Not Sell My Personal Information
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Tuesday Sep 12, 2017

Schalk Brits angered at cynical play by Kahn Fotuali'i

Schalk Brits angered at cynical play by Kahn Fotuali'i
18
Comments

Over the weekend, Saracens hooker Schalk Brits was on the receiving end of a controversial penalty, being deliberately struck with a pass as he was attempting to avoid impeding play. The reaction and discussion around it will perhaps draw attention to this glitch in the law.

After making a tackle and then following the play, Brits crouched down to avoid interfering. However, Bath half-back Kahn Fotuali’i passed the ball directly into the crouching Brits for the offside penalty. Brits was very animated in his reaction to the call. 

It makes for an interesting conversation as some would say this was a crafty move from the Bath half-back, well within the letter of the law. Others would argue this type of move is not in the spirit of the law or game.

Unfortunately for Brits and Saracens, Wayne Barnes could not be swayed, as he can be heard saying: “It’s the law”, and “It may be a bad law, but it’s the law.” To which Brits responded: “But it’s cost us three points.”

Indeed, Bath took the chip-shot for three points on their way to a 31-21 win.

Many fans and commentators are frustrated at this type of play. However, perhaps until the law changes or a referee decides to reverse a penatly, expect to see this again in the future.

Credit: Aviva Premiership/I Cameron

18 Comments

  • weejockmcplop
    5:16 PM 03/11/2017

    Absolutely agree with Schalk Brits. Pathetic decision from Barnes especially given he has ignored the Bath no. 3 who is clearly offside at the ruck making no attempt to get onside.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    10:07 PM 15/09/2017

    Give it a rest. I thought Barnes handled the situation well, and he made the correct call. He did well to try and console Brits, and he understood why Brits was annoyed with the decision, even if it was the right one. Brits wanted to fight the entire Bath team at that point, and Barnes made sure it didn't boil over. I thought Barnes was very good explaining the law changes on BT sport a week or 2 ago.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:58 PM 14/09/2017

    "it was more likely that your 9/10 just weren't on your wavelength ;)" Precisely, I could see the try line... albeit about 50m away... but it was my try to be had! I do agree with what you're getting at, but I almost think there has to be some sort of law to say Brits wasn't offside or something... sounds odd I know, but basically Brits makes a tackle, ball is recycled and yards are made... Now Brits is technically offside... if he cannot retreat, then there is something wrong with the game.. he didn't walk offside, he was already offside, so surely there has to be some sort of consideration. I think the issue here is that things are getting tighter and tighter, and the spirit of the game is being lost. Brits strikes me as an old school player, I could be wrong, but sort of player that would go to the defence of an opposition player if he was about to be reprimanded for something he didn't do - I'm sure we've seen videos in the past of players saying "he didn't actually hit me" or something like that... These days are being lost and I find that extremely sad. Seems to me the only way to truly avoid this sort of thing would be for players to make a beeline for touch, then run up the side then rejoin the line - or have a stoppage after each 'down' a la NFL... or just accept that it's a shit thing that will be exploited on the odd occasion...

    Reply
  • im1
    10:32 AM 14/09/2017

    agree its a cheap penalty agree that your last example is something we need to avoid, so need to keep one eye on that agree that Brits took the blind side and was trying his best to not commit an offence. the problem is he was in an offside position and he affected Fotualis decision making, which allowed the Sarries defence to gain an extra yard. Its unfortunate, but if its not punished then will that result in more lazy runners? Its like where a tackler falls on the wrong side and has no chance of rolling away. They weren't trying to commit a penalty and slow the ball down but they have. The emphasis is on the tackler to make sure they can roll away. As long as its consistent then at least teams are treated fairly (which is a slight problem with Owens not penalising Parra in the other example). As much as I think Barnes is a t*at, and I really do, they one thing he does is ref the rules as tightly as possibly, which is very difficult to argue with. Could we change this offence to a scrum for accidental offside at the referee's discretion? Then we would have the same issues as with the last play of the 3rd NZ Lions test. I'm sure that in your example of you own play, rather than you messing up a fantastic move, it was more likely that your 9/10 just weren't on your wavelength ;)

    Reply
  • drg
    6:08 PM 13/09/2017

    I don't care, it's a cheap penalty and in this day and age we're heading into the world of soccer faster than we realise. Rugby is full of situations that get fucked up... I myself have run into the 9-10 channel of my own team and cocked up an apparent fantastic move (yeh bollocks)... so the scrum half had to adjust... but if it's an opposition player then it's just simple to milk it. Brits was retreating on the short side of the field - rather than the obvious large open side, and was not trying to interfere at all. Had Brits been running back along the open side, then sure it's the more obvious side in this situation - but he runs back on the blind side. Next season, the move is, 9 reaches base of the ruck, looks around to see retreating players, runs at them and passes the ball at them because they were in the way... you know it's wrong on all levels.

    Reply
  • colombes
    11:37 AM 13/09/2017

    The problem is not Fotuali'i attempt to gain a cheap penalty, it's his conscience, really. The main problem is how refs judge it in different ways. Barnes decided to penalize Brits, but i also remember Parra cynically attempting to win a penalty in the same fashion (vs saracens, again) Nigel Owens didn't give a penalty and let the game continue. So.... i don't buy the "it's a bad law but it's the law" We're not talking about a dangerous tackle, but a cynical tactic to put pressure on the refs. Brits has a big mouth, but had all reasons to be gutted

    Reply
  • im1
    9:02 AM 13/09/2017

    agree that there needs to be consistency. I think the differnce here is that when a player chases a kick they are not making a split second decision. They know that the opposition player could jump for the ball at the last minute. So they have time to make a decision

    Reply
  • drg
    1:03 AM 13/09/2017

    See what I mean about the business of rugby... When I make a comment about split second decisions when players jump and get up ended, it's all "defend the jumper for player safety"... I make a comment about sportsmanship in this example but it's all about defending the split second decision... Spirit of the game is being lost right before your eyes...

    Reply
  • gallego
    9:44 PM 12/09/2017

    Oh, Wayne, will you ever stop being a twat?

    Reply
  • 7:52 PM 12/09/2017

    But what did Fotuali'i do that was contrary to sportsmanship, exactly? - He turns to pass; - Brits is in his way; - Fotuali'i is then forced to pause; - compare Itoje's position before and after the pause - before Fotuali'i is forced to pause, Itoje is just getting going from a standing start, but by the time Fotuali'i actually passes the ball, Itoje has made two paces forward and is building speed toward the attacking line; - so if Fotuali'i passes the ball to the intended recipient after pausing, it's either a hospital pass or an intercept; - so he throws the ball at the offside player who took away his options and gets a penalty. Any other decision encourages offside play / lazy runners.

    Reply
  • 7:43 PM 12/09/2017

    @im1 - Couldn't agree more.

    Reply
  • tphillipsstl
    3:06 PM 12/09/2017

    Brits is in the wrong here. Watch the video again. The halfback is in the act of passing and stops because Brits is in his way. THEN Brits crouches down. The play has already been disrupted. His options are: 1. throw a pass a second later, putting your first receiver under pressure. 2. take the ball straight up yourself, nullifying any advantage you had on the outside. or 3. throwing the ball at the offside player. The only option that doesn't put your team at a competitive disadvantage is the last. Not poor sportsmanship, just reacting to a opposing players infringement. Now, had Brits been squatted down on the ground when the halfback first got the ball from the ruck, that would be a different story. But that's not what happened here.

    Reply
  • im1
    2:33 PM 12/09/2017

    I think the problem in this sutuation (for Brits) is that he has already affected Fotuali's decision making. Fotuali turns and is about to pass but sees Brits, who then ducks. Split second decisions are crucial in rugby and as Fotuali had to pause for a split second he decides just to chuck the ball at Brits. Fotuali was within his rights just to stop playing without passing the ball and just put his arms up in the air and request the penalty, becasue he was distracted by an offside player.

    Reply
  • foxtrot
    1:38 PM 12/09/2017

    Was just about to say this. This is a law that is not applied enough in my opinion, what with the creeping prevalence of milking penalties/ diving etc.

    Reply
  • katman
    1:37 PM 12/09/2017

    I disagree. Barnes has much more leeway in interpreting the law than he's letting on here. I have seen referees, on many occasions, tell the scrumhalf off for deliberately milking this penalty. Even awarding a scrum feed to the opposition. Barnes could have consulted his touch judge or TMO and penalised Fotuali'i. Rugby is full of situations where the referee has to make a judgement. This is one of them.

    Reply
  • m.meuble
    1:03 PM 12/09/2017

    I always do that when we play for fun and I end up playing a ball as scrum half but I have half Italian / half Morgan Parra blood so I raise my arms and shout "Oh C'mon". Always worked never been disappointed. Joke aside ref tends to penalize less and less offsides position (from my point of view) so when we get frustrated by having a 3rd rower in your legs second after the ball comes out you start to be cynical and play the rules that cant be argue with. This "foul" would be difficult not be penalized by the ref.

    Reply
  • myleftboot
    10:53 AM 12/09/2017

    Law 10.4M states ") Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure. Sanction: Penalty kick" So the laws are fine, it's Barnes' responsibility to apply them. Pen against Brits, reversed for the act contrary to sportsmanship by Foutualii. But then I reckon anything that annoys Brits is a pen!!

    Reply
  • drg
    10:19 AM 12/09/2017

    Hard to argue against anyone here really.... Wayne Barnes "might be a bad law but it's the law"..... very true... can't blame him for upholding it... Fotualii ...hard to argue against him using something like that as a chance to get 3 points in the business of rugby... Brits... hard to argue him going ape as a result of horrendous sportsmanship. Going forward, I think if the law is to remain then it will become a job for the TMO to review whether the path of the pass was realistically going to a team mate, or whether he just threw away possession...

    Reply


Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Amateur

View All

Player Features

View All
Schalk Brits angered at cynical play by Kahn Fotuali'i | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos