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Sunday Nov 11, 2018

WATCH: England lose to All Blacks after tight offside call

WATCH: England lose to All Blacks after tight offside call
27
Comments

England lost at home to the All Blacks by one point yesterday but as with Owen Farrell’s tackle last weekend, this game was overshadowed by another controversial decision.

In the 74th minute of the game, replacement back row Courtney Lawes charged down a box kick from TJ Perenara, which lead to a try for openside flanker Sam Underhill but after a TMO review Lawes was judged to have been offside.

The kiwis went on to win the match 15-16 on a rainy day at Twickenham, but was it actually offside?

Sir Clive Woodward said: “You need the referee to shout ‘ball’s out’ [of the ruck]. If he shouts ‘ball’s out’ he’s onside. If he doesn’t shout that and he’s not refereeing the game properly it leaves it open to interpretation. This is 50-50 and how you interpret it.

“He’s got to be behind the back foot of the hind most person at the ruck. It’s a 50-50 call and like last week with the Farrell tackle. It can go either way.”

Unsurprisingly boos ringed around the stadium on the full-time whistle as England fans expressed their emotions, but the mood amongst their past and current players remains positive.

“We stayed in the game from minute one to 80, there was obviously going to be mistakes today with this weather but I’m proud of the way we stuck in there,” said Owen Farrell. “We can be more clinical, look after the ball better and that’s the difference.”

Farrell added: “I feel like we are growing all the time, we don’t want it all smooth sailing. We want to peak in 2019 (Rugby World Cup), of course we want to do well now and win…but we can use this, we’ve played okay, there is a lot to work on but we are pushing some of the best teams now and want to be the best.”

England’s next match is against Japan next weekend while New Zealand travel to Dublin to take on Ireland, both on 17 November.

Watch the full match highlights below:

27 Comments

  •  colombes
    colombes

    The law should always questioned when an english is involved isn't it...? Lawes was unlucky to be slightly offside, point. It doesn't mean they played badly, far the contrary, the all blacks just master the art of escape with only 2 or 3 chances.

    Reply
    •  im1
      im1

      As an Englishman the biggest disappointment about the offside decision is that Underhill's finish does not count, because that was special.
      Regarding the offside. It is was it is. Eddie Jones summed it up best. The only request/gripe I would have, would be for World Rugby (or a top ref) to show where the offside line was when the ruck was formed and how it changed during the ruck to the point where Lawes became offside. Even if it is open to interpretation lie Farrell's tackle, they could still show us the TMO's interpretation.

      Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    LOL. Little Karma just loves playing on the swings and roundabouts. 

    Reply
    •  im1
      im1

      ..said the man whining like a little girl over the Farrell tackle last week.

      Reply
    •  dsteyn-dwgmail-com
      dsteyn-dwgmail-com

      Thought the same at the time XD

      Reply
  •  pete
    pete

    Great game, not sure England could have played any better for that first 35 mins - all over us.AB's seemingly forgot how to play in the wet for a while but full credit for clawing their way back into the game and grinding out the win. Soaked up a lot of pressure and kept composed.Maybe I'm bias but I thought it was off-side for what it's worth, although I 'almost' wanted Underhill to score with the way he turned BB inside out - great run!

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality
    Top Comment

    Am i the only one who sees Lawes as being blatantly offside? Either he's offside or else he's on side and all his team mates are inexplicably a step too far away from the ruck.Or us it that i'm the only non-english person that has commented?

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    The law at a ruck is 'the offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the player of the same team' (https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=15&language=EN). If the law is taken in its literal language then Lawes is certainly behind the foot of George Ford.But if the law is not taken in its literal language, and the offside line is taken to be the hindmost body-part, then whether or not Lawes is behind Ford's head is an incredibly marginal call and not one I'm sure about either way,One thing that I've seen a lot on twitter is people drawing imaginary offside lines from the foremost kiwi rather than the hindmost England player, putting Lawes clearly offside, but which isn't actually the law.In any case what this debate shows more than anything for me is how loosely offside at rucks in open play are officiated.

    Reply
    •  benny
      benny

      England didn't engage so it was a tackle not a ruck. Look at law 14.10, they even have a picture there that shows the body of the player from the attacking team closest to the England goal line forms the offside line. In this case it's Ofa Tuigafasi's foot when he steps over Ford. Lawes was past Ofa's foot. 

      Reply
      •  im1
        im1

        I think you may be right! I can't find the highlight or remember the build up exactly, but if Ford was the only English player involved you must be right

        Reply
        •  im1
          im1

          although saying that the laws says  Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. -  Although on is feet, Ofa is not over the ball - he has gone past it. And the wording of the law is most likely the way it is to prevent attacking players moving the offside line forward. That would make the hindmost point of any player in the tackle ie George Ford's head the offside line. 

          Reply
      •  pickay
        pickay

        I just realised that I have been completely unaware of the existence of law 14.10. Somehow thought there needed to be a ruck for offside lines to be created. Even more surprising that in all of my playing years this has never been a problem. Maybe thanks to my ignorance of interpreting every pile of people as a ruck, so I just stayed behind the pile regardless... Anyway, thanks for pointing that out!

        Reply
        •  pickay
          pickay

          Ooooooh that is a "May 2018 law amendment", so this is a new law then?! I was wondering how Italy could have pulled off their infamous no-ruck-tactics against England in 2017 with law 14.10 in place, as there would still be offside lines created by English players joining the tackle area. But OK, seems like this kind of tactics has now been ruled out.

          Reply
          •  im1
            im1

            The law was specifically put in place because of what Italy did in that match.

            Reply
      •  breakaway
        breakaway

        Agreed. This isn't a ruck. For a ruck to form there has to be at least one player from each side standing over the ball. In this case there is a single England player on the floor and 3 or 4 NZ players over the ball. England didn't engage. By the laws, no ruck has formed.The offside line for a tackle is different than for a ruck. Only the ruck law says the hindmost foot marks the offside line. For a tackle, it's the hindmost point of any part of the body of a player from either side. In this case it is the front foot of Tu'ungafasi that marks offside on the England side. Lawes is clearly in front of this line when he starts his charge. It's close, but it's offside.

        Reply
        •  facepalm
          facepalm

          If it's the foremost foot that marks offside then this could definitely open up some interesting/game ruining (delete as appropriate) tactics. It wouldn't be hard to imagine the introduction of a rugby offside trap whereby players stick out their foot last minute to put the entire defence offside.

          Reply
        •  im1
          im1

          Tu'ungafasi has to be 'over the ball' though when there is a tackle. Otherwise he could keep walking forward as long as he was in contact with another one of his players and keep moving the offside line towards England's try line. Therefore its Ford's head that is the offside line.

          Reply
          •  bsnook
            bsnook

            not really as the ball would no longer be part of the tackle if all the players (TGF etc) walked forward away from the ball, therefore players could just walk round and pick the ball up!

            Reply
            •  im1
              im1

              I didn't say all the players. Just Tu'ungafasi. In this case he has walked a long way past the ball, but the AB player in the scrum cap is still over the ball, so the tackle is not over. The purpose of the way the offside law is written for the tackle with the words 'over the ball', is so that the offside line cannot move significantly far away from the ball. Creating an offside line in the tackle was the only way World Rugby could prevent other teams repeating Italy's tactic of not forming a ruck in the May 2018 re-write, so they wanted to introduce it with minimal impact. Therefore, they included the words 'over the ball'. I'm sure there was no doubt in the TMO's head the offside line was Ford's head. 

              Reply
    •  talondachile
      talondachile

      In the link you gave it is not what the law says." Each team has an offside line that runs parallel to the goal line through the ruck participants’ hindmost foot. If that foot is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line."In addition, having an offside line running through the hindmost foot of the player of the same team would not make any sense. If the tackler rolls aways before a teammate joins the ruck then the attacking team has an offside line while the defensive team has none.

      Reply
      •  im1
        im1

        It's looks like from the pictures in the laws that it is the hindmost foot of the player on the same team though. As it also says "If that foot is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line". Would it no be impossible for that to refer to an opposition foot?
        It's looks like from the pictures in the laws that it is the hindmost foot of the player on the same team though. As it also says "If that foot is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line". Would it no be impossible for that to refer to an opposition foot?
        Just to be clear I'm not complaining about the decision made. But as we are now getting technical and the laws don't appear to be clear I think I am allowed to comment without being accused of being a sore loser etc. I think this is a really good example that World Rugby could use to clarify the law. For instance, whose hindmost foot are they referring to? Or how does the offside line move as the ruck progresses and does it stop moving when the ruck contest is deemed to be over but the ball is not out.
        "If the tackler rolls aways before a teammate joins the ruck then the attacking team has an offside line while the defensive team has none." In this case, there is no ruck until the teammate arrives. However they have to arrive 'from the direction of their own goal line under the 8.c https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=14&amends=on
        What is the inconsistent with the offside at a ruck laws is the May 2018 amend law 10 - "Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball."  Based on the picture immediately below it, it would seem impossible for the red player on the left to form a ruck with the red player over the ball, because he would to go offside to do so. That obviously can't be the case, but I think it shows that the pictures are actually ****ing useless.Anyway, overall it looks like NZ are beatable by more than one team, which is a good thing going into next years world cup and that is what really should be taken away from this game rather than any arguing over laws (as we get that every game!)

        Reply
      •  andys
        andys

        But then, confusingly, the caption on the picture illustrating that law says "At a ruck or maul, the offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the player of the same team"... Not overly helpful!

        Reply
  •  newandimproved
    newandimproved

    If he intended to be onside, even if he wasn't, the try should have been allowed. Hey, it worked for Farrell last week who intended to wrap his arms even when he didn't...

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    At the point of the ball being playable there is clear day light between the last foot of the ruck and the England defensive line. One of the kiwis at the front of the ruck takes a big step forward making the ruck longer which then puts Lawes marginally offside. I think you can argue this either way, but the first offside line is the start point not the second?

    Reply
    •  talondachile
      talondachile

      As mentioned above the offside line is through the ruck participants’ hindmost foot. If the ruck moves it is the players duty to go back onside.

      Reply
      •  45678
        45678

        It’s a fraction of a second that makes the difference and Lawes is onside until the ruck length increases. The ruck is well over as a contest, so I’d argue the first offside line is the correct one. Irrelevant now anyway! Great game of rugby

        Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Again, biased England fan here. Thought it wasn't offside but regardless there's still no guarantee we would have won the game, we were playing the All Blacks after all. Maybe I'm just gutted for Underhill being denied a truly awesome individual try. Cracking game overall though. Some promising signs that we're finally getting out of this rut we've been in. 

    Reply

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