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Tuesday Sep 20, 2016

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law
21
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During Saturday night’s Rugby Championship clash in Christchurch the Springboks found themselves on the receiving end of a seldomly sanctioned lineout penalty, as Eben Etzebeth was found to have committed an early, or dummy, jump.

Referee Angus Gardner was quick to spot and whistle the infraction, but judging by the reaction to his call, the general attitude was one of confusion and surprise that such a call was enforced. 

Perhaps a regular tactic with the intention of catching opponents unawares, and usually ignored by referees, but on this occassion it appeared obvious to Gardner who despite protestations, was adament that he had got it correct.

The Boks claimed that Etzebeth had only pretended to jump but as replays showed, he had indeed got off the ground, causing Brodie Retallick to get up himself.

World Rugby Law 19.10 (f) states the following concerning a lineout throw:

Law 19.10 (f) “Jumping, supporting or lifting before the ball is thrown. A player must not jump or be lifted or supported before the ball has left the hands of the player throwing in.”

Chalk this one up to a general lack of knowledge regarding rules at the lineout, pushing the limit of what officials will tolerate, or perhaps simply bad timing.

Should the Springboks be shown some sympathy? Is there ever a legitimate excuse for not knowing such laws at this level?

The All Blacks went on to win the match 41-13, thus securing the 2016 Rugby Championship title.

credit: SAReferees

21 Comments

  • larry
    6:41 PM 28/09/2016

    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!

    Reply
  • larry
    6:36 PM 28/09/2016

    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.

    Reply
  • larry
    6:33 PM 28/09/2016

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

    Reply
  • larry
    6:31 PM 28/09/2016

    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.

    Reply
  • larry
    6:27 PM 28/09/2016

    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!

    Reply
  • mozz87
    10:17 PM 21/09/2016

    As a fellow Saintsman, I definitely remember Tom Wood being pinged for this a couple of seasons ago...

    Reply
  • drg
    6:32 PM 21/09/2016

    Hahaha, what did I do??

    Reply
  • boybath
    5:10 PM 21/09/2016

    dont be silly all feeds are supposed to end at the 4's feet :)

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    2:48 PM 21/09/2016

    Etzebeth jumped into the middle of the line out, and landed between NZ front lifter and jumper Pretty clear cut to me. He might as well have stood in the centre gap, i get the feeling he should have jumped to the outside of the line out, he didn't look like he expected to be thrown so high from such a short hop

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    1:38 PM 21/09/2016

    One of those two is definitely correct :)

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:51 PM 21/09/2016

    Stop trolling, DrG.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:20 AM 21/09/2016

    Et Voila, there it is - http://www.rugbydump.com/2016/09/5357/double-biting-allegations-get-chris-ashton-banned-for-13-weeks Was that just serendipitous or am I now officially calling the shots here now? ;)

    Reply
  • drg
    8:51 AM 21/09/2016

    Tbf, it looked as though Ashton got a facefull of wrist and bit it as a result. Not as outlandish as you claim, but nonetheless illegal and very poor!! However spitting is the worst, then biting?! I think I'd rather be spat at than gouged or bitten in all honesty...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:14 AM 21/09/2016

    I think Imhoff did brilliantly for all three tries, but especially the first one which was really of his own creation. What about that offload off the deck by Carter though, eh? Oops, wrong thread..... (PS @RD, taking your time getting the Ashton incident up here aren't you? After all, senseless violence is the main thing most of us come here for, if I'm not mistaken?)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:03 AM 21/09/2016

    This gets penalised all the time in the (low) level I play at. But yes it's unusual to see it called at this level. Maybe we'll see a crooked scrum feed pinged next??

    Reply
  • breakaway
    5:39 AM 21/09/2016

    I agree with RD that this is probably a matter of timing. I think this is one of those laws that is sometimes transgressed by a small margin and let go by the refs. But maybe this one was just a touch too blatant to ignore. If Strauss had actually started to move his arms before Etzebeth jumped, they would probably have got away with it. It's all in the timing.

    Reply
  • pdg
    3:22 AM 21/09/2016

    Well yet again the powers that be have failed in their duties to set an example and give the correct punishment to Chris Ashton. Biting an opponent is the second most disgusting behaviour behind spitting at someone, and with this incident the RFU and IRB had the opportunity to eradicate it completely. Ashton should have been banned for the season and given a community punishment to go with it. Come on RFU AND IRB....GROW A PAIR. AND DELIVER THE CORRECT PUNISHMENT IN THE FUTURE

    Reply
  • drg
    12:54 AM 21/09/2016

    ...err RD, want to respond personally or should I copy and paste your last comment? ;)

    Reply
  • ronan
    10:16 PM 20/09/2016

    you can only dummy jump if your in a black jersey.... :)

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    6:00 PM 20/09/2016

    The thing is, I'm sure I've seen this thing done many times before and it hasn't been pinged. I was confused, the Springboks were confused, the All Blacks didn't complain about the jump and almost look surprised to have gotten a penalty, even both sets of commentators seemed to be surprised by the call. It's clearly a technicality that hasn't been given much attention before. But, according to the letter of the law, the ref made the right call. So can't really complain.

    Reply
  • drg
    2:47 PM 20/09/2016

    I don't think the boks should be shown any 'sympathy' as such, but maybe your wording is not how I'm reading it... I'm caught a little between minds... As the referee said, I suppose you can't dummy jump to get oppo up, then throw over oppo.... but by the same token, have a big of tricky movements is also part of an interesting lineout for me... Would referees pick this up in a long lineout I wonder...

    Reply


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