• Welcome to the Green and Gold Rugby forums. As you can see we've upgraded the forums to new software. Your old logon details should work, just click the 'Login' button in the top right.

Super Rugby AU Round 7 - Force vs Waratahs @ Robina - Friday 14 August

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I don't think that necessary matters- Cowan wasn't able to at least attempt to make a tackle. HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) should have made more effort to get through the line.


The two relevant bits of law are:

9.2 An offside player must not intentionally obstruct an opponent or interfere with play.
9.3 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier.

So intent is key here.

Did HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) know there was a player directly behind him and try and prevent them from making an attempt at a tackle? I don't really think so. He is legitimately where he is (he was in the previous ruck that was there), he's looked around and is putting himself in a position to support Maddocks and make sure he's not blocking the path Maddocks is running.
 

Hawko

Tony Shaw (54)
The two relevant bits of law are:

9.2 An offside player must not intentionally obstruct an opponent or interfere with play.
9.3 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier.

So intent is key here.

Did HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) know there was a player directly behind him and try and prevent them from making an attempt at a tackle? I don't really think so. He is legitimately where he is (he was in the previous ruck that was there), he's looked around and is putting himself in a position to support Maddocks and make sure he's not blocking the path Maddocks is running.


And once intent is key then there is always doubt. Only those that have superpowers can say for certain what was in the mind of the player and I seriously doubt any of our referees have that unique ability. For this reason, any time you see the word "intentionally" written into law (either rugby law or legal law) you know there is going to be an argument. Would the law be any more onerous if the word did not appear? The same issue arises every time someone puts up a kick and then tries to chase it through a minefield of blockers.

If the law said that a player must avoid contacting a player from the other team unless they were moving quickly to place themselves into an onside position so that they could participate in the play then this would clarify for referees whether there was obstruction or not without having to decide on intent, which is always a crapshoot.

In this particular case I would say HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) has the right to be where he is, backing up the player making the break and that therefore any obstruction on Ready is legal. I am reminded of the awful decision in the DHP vs Read case a few years back that IMO lost us a Bledisloe test.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
And once intent is key then there is always doubt. Only those that have superpowers can say for certain what was in the mind of the player and I seriously doubt any of our referees have that unique ability. For this reason, any time you see the word "intentionally" written into law (either rugby law or legal law) you know there is going to be an argument. Would the law be any more onerous if the word did not appear? The same issue arises every time someone puts up a kick and then tries to chase it through a minefield of blockers.

If the law said that a player must avoid contacting a player from the other team unless they were moving quickly to place themselves into an onside position so that they could participate in the play then this would clarify for referees whether there was obstruction or not without having to decide on intent, which is always a crapshoot.

In this particular case I would say HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) has the right to be where he is, backing up the player making the break and that therefore any obstruction on Ready is legal. I am reminded of the awful decision in the DHP vs Read case a few years back that IMO lost us a Bledisloe test.


I think it is important for intent to be in the wording here because if it wasn't it would mean that things that are very much not penalties would become penalties.

I.e. if a player has a defender coming from their left and they pass to the person to their right, they are then blocking the defender from getting to the person who now has the ball. That is clearly not obstruction but if you removed "intent" then they would be breaching both 9.2 and 9.3.

Likewise, a support runner in an offside position could be in breach of 9.3 if you removed "intent" if a defender was trying to chase down the ball runner but they were in the way even though they are onside and in a position to receive a pass.
 

Rob42

John Solomon (38)
I think it is important for intent to be in the wording here because if it wasn't it would mean that things that are very much not penalties would become penalties.

I.e. if a player has a defender coming from their left and they pass to the person to their right, they are then blocking the defender from getting to the person who now has the ball. That is clearly not obstruction but if you removed "intent" then they would be breaching both 9.2 and 9.3.

Likewise, a support runner in an offside position could be in breach of 9.3 if you removed "intent" if a defender was trying to chase down the ball runner but they were in the way even though they are onside and in a position to receive a pass.

While we're at it, can we outlaw the blockers who position themselves in front of the 9 at every box-kick? They move into a position where they are in front of the ball whilst it's in the ruck, for no purpose other than to block legitimate tacklers. I don't understand how this isn't a penalty every time.
 

Jimmy_Crouch

Peter Fenwicke (45)
While we're at it, can we outlaw the blockers who position themselves in front of the 9 at every box-kick? They move into a position where they are in front of the ball whilst it's in the ruck, for no purpose other than to block legitimate tacklers. I don't understand how this isn't a penalty every time.


This can be resolved/managed with a use it call from the ref. Call use it earlier and actually call them when they don't.
 

Derpus

Jason Little (69)
While we're at it, can we outlaw the blockers who position themselves in front of the 9 at every box-kick? They move into a position where they are in front of the ball whilst it's in the ruck, for no purpose other than to block legitimate tacklers. I don't understand how this isn't a penalty every time.
Dont they touch the ruck so they are 'part of the ruck' and not offside
 

Forcefield

Ken Catchpole (46)
In this particular case I would say HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) has the right to be where he is, backing up the player making the break and that therefore any obstruction on Ready is legal. I am reminded of the awful decision in the DHP vs Read case a few years back that IMO lost us a Bledisloe test.

The complexities of the law. Both the HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) and Gordon calls were borderline. Either way they are accuracies we need to work on. Neither player needed to do what they did when they did it another second in each case and the outcome would've been the same. I'd call HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) a moot point. Hanigan is clearly holding FLW (Fergus Lee-Warner) back, and I reckon FLW (Fergus Lee-Warner) would've filled that hole if not.

I wonder if the TMO/Ref would have been as picky if it wasn't clear the Tahs were going to win.
 
Top