95 thoughts on “Rate the Match: England v Australia

  1. Pretty frustrating from an England point of view. Another slow start with hardly any ball in the first half, and then costly errors in attack in the second half.

    I admired the quick tap penalties at the time, but with hindsight, 3 points would have been more sensible.

    Not a great weekend for the home nations!

  2. Hutch, the quick tap with 22 mins to go was a bad call, but your back line attack had no variation and no angles. that won’t work against any SH team.

    The only time your scrum threatened was when we had a flanker in 2nd row.

    Still don’t know why we kept giving you the ball, we kept kicking to the kiwis all season took….

    1. R120, perhaps you would like to continue telling us Welsh how overrated we are now? I was expecting English dominance in the scrum today given all of the “hype”? Overrated perhaps? A little tip, don’t go crowing about someone else’s loss before your team even play….

      Moving on from the ignorant gimps who couldn’t wait to put the boot in last night then … I was discussing Marler on here with someone earlier in the week, this is the first time I have seen him play and I suspect most will agree he just was not up to it.
      England’s tap penalties are a tricky thing for me to judge. The lack of invention I’ve had to suffer as a Wales fan for a fortnight makes me yearn for any of our players to chance their arm in the same way but there is such a fine line between adventure and miss. One or two of those kicked and England might have squeezed their way past Aus. I’m not sure how much of a setback this is – Aus should have been taken apart, as France showed, but they are always dangerous when written off.

      Despite all of the rightful press columns devoted to the witless and woeful welsh at the mo it’s probably/possibly the case that the only NH win in these AIs will be the Eng one against Fiji? So the record books will show woe all around the NH, no matter people’s subjective opinions of performances. Not good for the Lions next year.

      1. Brighty I think France qualify as NH! Still stand by the fact that I overrated Wales before last night but equally put my hand up and say I overrated England before this afternoon.

        1. Good point, I am confusing NH with Lions. I was surprised at England’s lack of forward dominance and thought they played with the same mistakes as Wales – not enough into the breakdown, too much crabbing, relying on big busts from the centres too much. I expected more, I overrated England as well. Not happy to see we’re all creatively bereft in B&I so far this autumn.

          1. Sadly agree. Aussies counter rucked brilliantly. The SH teams really seem to sniff a chance of a turnover at a ruck. Farrell was not the creative answer we needed at the end!

      2. Wales being overrated has nothing to do with how England perform! My point was that Wales winning the Slam was because the opposition wasn’t up to much, and this has been exposed when they have come up against tougher opposition.

        England are frustrating because they have the players, but no vision.

        1. Of course R, when England play poorly its just a little frustrating blip for their quality players. When Wales play poorly its the overrated chumps being found out. What a load of tripe. Both teams didn’t dent the opposition. Both teams crabbed, lost the physical side of the game and showed the creativity of a damp sponge. As is said, only a tool crows about another teams loss before his own team has played. That came back to bite you.

      3. Don’t you love it when Englishmen get ahead of themselves? Doesn’t make Friday night any bit sweeter unfortunetly, but it definitely made Saturday a whole lot better.

  3. A nice dose of reality for the british press, and Wales fans. Before the Welsh played Argentina and got whacked, and then got pummeled by the Samoans they were being talked up like no tomorrow. Warburton for Lions captain, of which will be full of Welsh players….oh please shush now shhhhhhhh…..the whingeing Welsh be quiet now! England will wallop you in the 6N.

  4. Hard luck, England just didn’t perform for the 80 mins, a few glimpses of intelligent play along with vast periods of utter frustration. I would make several changes to the pack with Vunipola for Marler, Launchbury for Palmer and Wood for Johnson.
    If it takes a pitiful miss of an opportunity for Lancaster to finally realise Morgan is the way forward, so be it. Want to see Morgan in for Waldrom against the boks. Overall I’d say Aus were the better side – more composed.

    On a seperate point, I hope quick taps in the opponents 22 is not discouraged after this, as both Youngs and Care thrive on that kind of ball.
    However not all bad, but much to work on.

  5. Wake up call for england
    Who is the best english loosehead prop atm? Sheridan, where is he? starting? No, on the bench? No, in the squad? No again. He is in bloody France.

    Same can be said of Armitage and Burns,best English players in their positions yet due to the ridiculous sytem of deciding our ‘elite squad’ months before matches take place, the only way they can get in the squad is due to injury.

    I havnt been this disappointed with an english defeat since…well for a long long time.

  6. Aussies deserved to win – they were the better side. Cole and Youngs were decent today, but Marler needs to go back to scrummaging school – he got taken apart, albeit with some illegal pulling down of his arm on occasions, but he should have dealt with it. Poor. Second rows still not visible enough although better than last week. Was Johnson on the pitch? Why does Care go sideways and always take a step? Flood was OK. We need someone with more guile than Barritt – the aussies showed us how to vary distibution and use intelligent kicks. Tuilagi made inroads again but could do with learning to offload. Sharples and Ashton were fairly quiet and Goode got a reality check, but would think that it is worth sticking with them. Subs mostly made an impact so that was encouraging.

  7. Now on to tactics.

    What is wrong with passing a ball to someone running at speed instead of standing still? On the rare occasions we did it we made inroads and the aussies certainly did.

    Aimless kicking with no chase – WHY?

    Who on earth sent Flood and Brown on crash balls near the Aussie line. The first one lost yards and the second resulted in a turnover. Isn’t this what forwards are for?

    We need a playmaker somewhere in the first three receivers.

  8. Having said Halfpenny looked like the only lion yesterday, would suggest that Cole and Tuilagi were the only ones today. I hope Scotland (haven’t seen the game) and Ireland have got some players!

    Disappointed with the game, but maybe not as bad as it could have been. It showed where we are in development. Not as far as we hoped! A team that is short on caps will have learnt something today. At least we competed for the whole game.

    France for the 6N. NZ to give us a lesson. SA to be close.

    1. Looks like it maybe be clean sweep for SH – hopefully not but no-one Team stands out at the moment. Not a huge fan of the Lions but looks like a struggle to find 15 players of any quality

  9. Disappointing decision making in parts from England. Monsieur Poite was unhelpful, but England could have done it if at 50 minutes they put kickable penalties over instead of into touch and returned to put the pressure on.

    Cracking game, both sides really, but lack of experience and decisions from the captain made life difficult for themselvers.

    I said if England didn’t beat Australia it would be massively against them to be in the top 4 and now I don’t think they have a chance.

  10. It’s a shame that some English fans took great delight in the sorry Welsh performances – maybe they should of waited to see how England faired in the Autumn tests, how foolish do you feel now

      1. Dazza, I doubt any decent English rugby fans give a toss how Wales did in comparison to their own loss. Most proper rugby fans want their team to win, that’s the only thing that matters. Taking solace from Wales’ performance says all everyone needs to know about you.

  11. Not too disappointed with England to tell you the truth. I thought Australia were under the cosh for most of the 2nd half, and I’ve no idea why we persistently going for the corner when we should have just taken the 3. Basically the game could have been won.

    Oh well, Wales are still crap so that’s a plus.

    1. Does not say much about England does it, when your only comment is about Wales – need to discuss England against a weak injury strewn Aussie Team

  12. What made England’s performance even more substandard is Australia are at the end of their season,4/5 of their top players were absent and they were away.we are pretty fresh we were at home with no top players missing.yet another false dawn of England overrating themselves before the game and me falling into the trap of believing it!

    1. Let’s be honest, talking yourselves up before a match is a defining characteristic of English sport.

      Your forward pack was dominated and we benefited mostly from those guys who I spoke about yesterday.

  13. As expected Australia still struggle to convert pressure into points.
    England very poor support play from outside to in. Nothing on offer on the inside of 10. Some selfish play. Northern Hemisphere teams can’t run effective unders lines under pressure and we need an out and out 7 with the skills of a 7, not just a back rower!!
    The 10, 12 7 relationship worked better for OZ than England.

  14. does anybody else think the final pass for australia try was forward. i was there on that side of the pitch pretty much in line and it looked forward then and it does on the tv . No commentator seemed to care too much..I dont understand it..

  15. Not all bad for England but I would definitely bring in the following players for South Africa (presuming full fitness):

    Corbisero for Marler
    Lawes for Palmer
    Wood for Johnson
    Morgan for Waldrom

    1. And Youngs for Care. Don’t give a toss about club form he’s been his usual useless crabbing bad passing self.

      1. You are kidding right? Care wasn’t great but Youngs was downright awful – slow, indecisive and once again running a penalty at a crucial point when nothing else was on

        1. Care’s appalling box kick led directly to the aussie try. His passing is awful. Youngs played no worse and is a far better player

          1. An awful box kick agreed but I’d put the try down more to some poor missed tackles and good aussie vision – it wasn’t handed to them on a plate

            Care was the only incisive back (apart from Brown when he came on)and did some superb covering and tackling without which the score would have been much worse

            Youngs came on and constantly dithered, he seemed in two minds the whole time about which way to go. His passing was looped and poor and his tapped penalty seemed to have a aura of “look coach I can do it too” about it. The substitution of Care was clearly pre-planned and backfired

            That said, I wonder if its time to bring back Dickson, or give Simpson a run

          2. I read with interest the various comments concerning the australia game and have come to the conclusion that quite a number of contributors either didn’t watch the game or if they did they know very little about rugby.
            Let me point out the weaknesses of England and the performances of those who put on the shirt on saturday.
            1) Toby Flood is a good Leicester stand off but one dimensional and not good enough ofr international rugby
            2)Chris Robshaw is a very honest harddworking flanker bu too slow and lacks the skills necessary at the highest level and he is not an international captain.
            3)Tuilagi is not and never will be a centre. he doesn’t have the necessary skill sets, he would however probably make it at wing
            4)Palmer is just not physical enough for the highest level.
            5)If you are going to play wingers then they must be given the ball.
            6) Goode looked like Foden when he firts came onto the international scene in that he doesn’t know wheter to kick or run and when he makes his mind up it is too late.
            7) Mike Catt has been given the title of backs skills coach, well I am afraid that I didn’t see any skill from the backs whatsoever.
            8) Ben Youngs, a good scrum half but poor decision maker.
            9) Waldron good but slow
            10)Launchberry? good debut.
            11) Farrelll too little too late
            If England are to improve in time for the World cup then they must start players on whom the future will depend.
            Ther any number of good,fast and tough number sevens out there and they don’t have to be 20+ stone to make an impact, just look at how Hooper ran rings round his England counterparts, simply be cause he was fitter.
            Please Mr Lancaster take a step back, do not let the media dictate who should play, make the decisons solely on the basis of what is best for England and not the paper sellers and Sky pundits.
            Finally can someone send to the French Ref’ a book of the laws of the game so that he cannot perform as badly again as he did last saturday.
            I sit back and await the torrent

    2. Apart from the playing performance why else did England lose? Because the commercial idiots who run the RFU dont know how to produce an intimidating fortress-like atmosphere at home…why else would there be some X Factor-esque teenager signing the anthems (thereby completely negating the spine tingling effect of the stadium signing the National Anthem for the home team) and treating supporters with contempt by playing in purple/pink/plum or whatever that stupid strip was. My 8 yr old was distraught that England weren’t playing in white. No other team changes its traditional colours so why do England?

      The two together combined with the flames as England run on and the idiot stadium announcer trying to gee up the crowd reduce the atmosphere to one of ‘putting on a show’ rather than ‘welcome to the home of England rugby where you are going to get beaten’ mentality.

      Not surprising the players then ape the ineptitude on the field of play.

      1. I could not agree more with your comments about the rfu doing the exact opposite to what is required to stage a match.Their PR and Marketihg is even worse than the previous management .i despair!

    3. Apart from the playing performance why else did England lose? Because the commercial idiots who run the RFU dont know how to produce an intimidating fortress-like atmosphere at home…why else would there be some X Factor-esque teenager signing the anthems (thereby completely negating the spine tingling effect of the stadium signing the National Anthem for the home team) and treating supporters with contempt by playing in purple/pink/plum or whatever that stupid strip was. My 8 yr old was distraught that England weren’t playing in white. No other team changes its traditional colours so why do England?

      The two together combined with the flames as England run on and the idiot stadium announcer trying to gee up the crowd reduce the atmosphere to one of ‘putting on a show’ rather than ‘welcome to the home of England rugby where you are going to get beaten’ mentality.

      Not surprising the players then ape the ineptitude on the field of play.

  16. Richard – yes, a mile forward, but to be fair, I was a little iffy about Manu’s touch down. Swings and roundabouts on that front.

    What concerns me in the aftermath of the game is Robshaw thinks they did the right thing in kicking for touch. This suggests to me that they’ll do it again and again. In tight games where the set piece is comparable, you really need to be taking points where and when you can. Australia made it into the 22, couldn’t get through and slotted over a drop goal. If England get penalties in the 22 and they’re not making it through they’ve got to kick the points.

    1. I agree that Manu’s try was a bit iffy, but the player himself reacted positively. It could have gone either way. But the 2 incidents are not comparable. The forward pass was a referee decision and he was right in line. Why was it not given immediately. He later penalised England for a forward pass and it was not as forward.
      They should probably have taken the penalty kick as there was plenty of time left. Don’t be concerned about Robshaw doing it again as they will have endless discussions about the right thing to do. Incidentally I thought Robshaw had his worst game for England. He seemed slow and couldn’t break a tackle. Was he ill?
      Does anyone know why England played in those stupid shirts? They looked like the pick up team at the end of training. England play in white !!!!

      1. A forward pass is easy enough to miss. Especially when you’ve got referees chasing fast action. Don’t get me wrong, it was a mile forward and they should have been able to see that from the fact that the ball almost crossed into the 22. BUT, from behind and chasing, I accept that it’s an easy enough refereeing mistake. The unfortunate thing about Flood’s huge pass is that because play was a little more static it will always be a little easier to spot.

        That said, I think Poite’s refereeing was dire, which is a shame because he’s usually very good. To many times Australia were sealing off and England being penalised for Australian actions, but insult to injury England were being penalised for things Australia were getting away with. Also, I know Marler didn’t have a great game, but Aussie prop binding on the arm at every scrum isn’t going to help

        1. The referee was terrible. I think he was pretty much in line for the Australian forward pass and he could have consulted the TMO if there was any doubt. He did consult for the missed Australian penalty kick, even though 2 officials who are themselves qualified referees and were standing in the best position to judge ruled that it was short, while the ref himself was about 40 metres away. Farcical.
          And why do they allow scrum halves to feed the ball in crooked? Rugby is hard enough to referee anyhow and and this must be the easiest rule to apply. Why not change the law if that’s what you want to do?

        2. Very true. In not one of the penalties against Marler did the Aussie prop bind properly – he was always on the arm , forcing Marler down. How the ref or the linesmen couldn’t see that, I don’t know

          Marler was outfoxed by a more experienced opponent. He is very young for a prop mind and will hopefully use that as a learning experience.

          1. But Rowntree should have foreseen this, it happened a few years ago when Sheridan got completely done over but some “clever play”. It even happened as recently as the Wales match – Adam Jones was constantly binding on Corbs arm and getting the benefit of the doubt. There must be ways to counter it – why are our new props not having this addressed by their Coach?

    1. Sure – England have the potential to be much better than they were yesterday. I I think the skill and talent of some of the players will be better rewarded with a good game plan which I’m sure they’ll implement correctly next week.

      South Africa’s weakness is their discipline so England need to kick the goals they can and not try to break down a very solid physical defence otherwise they’ll end up tired and pointless.

  17. Good pass by Nick Phipps to the Honey Badger….only Brit camera angles and one eyed losers saw it forward…the rest of the world saw a legitimate try

    Big Macka

    1. Macka, you will find plenty of “Brits” who thought it a fine try. Confusion might be coming from misunderstanding of what a forward pass is. If the player throws it backwards i.e. wrists angled to throw it back then it is not forward. So momentum of player being such that ball ends up caught forward of where it was thrown from does not make it a forward pass. I’ve watched it again and it looks like a great pass to me. Tuilagi’s try however was completely unproven, England lucky to get the favour with that one. The press this morning generally agree.

      1. if that is how you decide if a pass is forward or not, then that’s fine. however the rule book is not clear on this but there is an IRB video that seems to support your view.
        But why on earth isn’t it made absolutely clear to players and spectators exactly what the rule is without any shadow of doubt.
        it does of course make it very difficult to referee because he then has to take into account the speed of the player passing the ball. the referee is unlikely to be in a position to see the angle of the players wrist.

        1. Richard, it would be good if refs could use the mic or TV to explain things like this because it is obvious that it is contentious. The only reason I know it this clearly is that the Rabo had a few contentious ones early in the season so the IRB actually clarified it and Scrum V covered it in quite some depth.

  18. Yes I agree. And I think this law has evolved over the years. When I played many, many years ago, the faster the player passing the ball was running the more he had to turn his body so he could pass backwards so that taking his momentum into account the ball did not go forward relative to the ground. Not easy for the player but much easier for the referee.
    What’s your view on crooked scrum put ins?

    1. Crooked put-ins seem the default now. I hate it though when half a dozen are ignored then all of a sudden one will be called. Either call the first one and then all of them or leave them all.

      Barnes had a shocker on Fri night. I suspect we will see some citings for tackles that Barnes deemed slight slips… Not that it was the difference in the match though.

    2. There’s crooked feeds, and feeding your second row. The latter seems the norm these days.

      Personally i think there is so much pressure on the referee to call on binding, early shoves etc, that the feeding of the second row goes unnoticed. This is where the assistant referee’s should be paying more attention, and provide the referee with the assistance to administer the law.

      Brian Moore has it spot on. There is no longer a hooker, as they no longer have the need to hook. (Alex Goode’s feed V’s Fiji anyone?) They are now a third prop, or throwing prop (Throp), which is why someone can make the transition from centre to international hooker with relative ease.

  19. England lost because of the breakdown, full stop. Somehow Australia managed to;
    a) Get some turnover ball
    b) Slow England ball without being penalised
    c) Get several penalties from England either handling or going over, two of which were critical.
    The wallabies passed better and were slightly more inventive….but the game was lost at the breakdown.
    And yet England have a good supply of back row forwards..rather better than Australia’s…. so….was it coaching…lack of drive….lack of smarts. One week to find out because SA have a much better back row than Australia!!!

    Big Macka

    1. I’m not going to sit here and whine about the referee because that’s not what lost England the game. I still think the killer for England was not taking their opportunities at goal. It was a pretty even contest in some aspects and if England just kept it closer by kicking penalties between the posts, it’s a different game at 70 minutes.

      Australia came with a purpose and played well and England were just left lacking. I was unimpressed by the slack attitude of a handful of players, it just left everyone else too much to do. Not sure who was man of the match, but I thought Hooper had a blinder.

  20. England have a problem with Robshaw. If we ant to truly compete at this level, he shouldn’t be in the team, which is a shame as he seems a nice chap, he’s a very good but not outstanding player.

    We simply cannot operate without a true 7, and Armitage should be wearing that number. Wood should be at 6, he brings a physicality and athleticism that Robshaw can’t match, and Morgan or Easter should be at 8.

  21. Dear northern eagle
    I pretty much agree with your comments. I was there and I watched the entire match on tv afterwards.
    I thought I knew a lot about rugby but it appears I don’t know the forward pass rule, but I’m not the only one. When was the law changed? Do all the players and referees know it has changed? Loads of spectators don’t know it’s changed either.
    I’m interested on your take on this.

    1. It’s not a rule per se. There is nothing law 12 about “momentum” only if the ball is thrown towards the opposite try line it is a forward pass. This momentum rule does exist in league and is more often observed by Australian and Kiwi officials in union, than by Northern Hemisphere refs. The only exception listed under the laws is if it initially goes backwards and then bounces forward.

      The law is open to interpretation of course. It simply defines forward as “towards the opposing team’s dead ball line”. Is that thrown directly in the direction of or is it it’s general movement? The difficulty comes in that a lot of referees will not see momentum carry the ball forward on shorter passes so longer passes come under more scrutiny.

      I’ve known a few qualified referees who go simply on the basis that the law says if it goes forward it’s a forward pass and there is nothing in the laws regarding momentum.

      1. The momentum rule is implied by the rule talking about the ball being thrown towards the opposite try line – so if ball is thrown backwards (but moves forward with momentum) then it is not a forward pass but this makes it subjective and hard to police. However, making it a harder rule would in my opinion damage rugby as the only legal passes would need to be short, need to be made while standing still, or be angled very steeply backwards. All of which would kill exciting attacking moves.

        I’ve realised I’ve just stated the obvious here, wookie’s post was already clear…

        1. This is an absolutely ridiculous situation. I understand the points raised and I really dont care whether momentum is taken into account or not. What does annoy me is that nowhere is it stated what the law and how it should be interpreted. You can’t have different interpretations.
          EG The player scores a try but the referee doesn’t actually see the ball being placed down over the line. He asks the TMO whether he can award a try. On the video it is absolutely clear that the ball was put down over the line. But the TMO comes back with “no try there was a forward pass” which the ref had seen and allowed because he had played the momentum rule. What then happens?
          The IRB must address this law imediately.

          1. I wouldn’t say it is that bad. Rugby is full of subjective refereeing already. Rucks, scrums, high tackles, crossing – a massive list of easily arguable decisions.

        2. NO SUCH thing as momentum in the laws of the game.
          A forward pass is a forward pass, accept it.
          If you can’t then check the IRB website
          The ref’ was probably as bad as any I have seen, it only used to be the case that the team in White was abused by the ref’ butnot now, I realised why England changed from white but this clearly didn’t work. the ref’ coached the Ausies and refereed England.He should not be allowed any more senior games and should be made to watch leicetser every week, that will teach him

          1. That link is broken, try this one

            http://www.rugbyrefs.com/wiki/index.php/IRB_Forward_Pass

            In general though I’d say that England were not unfairly ref’d, they were after all given a try that nobody else could see was correctly grounded. Yes, some decisions were wrong (Wales had a few on Fri night) but there always are in rugby. Most of them don’t dictate who won or lost and the same was true on Saturday.

    2. A forward pass is as defined by the IRB when the ball is propelled towards the opponents line.It has nothing to do with the actual position of the receiver

      1. Northern, no matter how often you keep repeating ignorant facts whilst ignoring the evidence posted here, it won’t be true.

  22. This whole concept of a “true 7” bugs me a little bit. It’s something that pundits have made up based on the style of play of a lot of opensides so that they have something to talk about. It is a tactic that works for other teams, but England have to operate in their way, not to the standards of a different side. As long as someone is taking on the role of getting in the ruck and disrupting (legally) it doesn’t matter what shirt number is on his back.

    That said, I think Steffon Armitage is a class player and absolutely worth it. However, England’s selection policy is play in England or you’re not playing for England and Armitage has made that choice. I also don’t like Robshaw as 7 or captain, I feel he’s keeping out better players.

    1. I think Armitage is a special case, he didn’t seem to have any international future under the previous regime so I can’t blame him for moving to France. I would like there to be some sort of “If you will commit to returning to England when your contract is up we will give you a chance now” conversation.

    2. I dunno I give SL some leeway over SA. I actually think SL is right about how important culture is. I imagine it would be detrimental to the group, who put in the extra training and extra bonding only to lose their place to a French based player who turns up 5 days before the match. SL needs to (and maybe he is) speak to SA and let him know he has a future, should he return to UK (or secure a contract that is EPS compatible). My understanding is that the previous regime told him he had no chance, hence his move to France in the first place.

  23. Scrummaging aside I think this was a representative benchmark performance against a good, but not great, team. I’ve not seen both props regularly separated from the hooker before, made me wonder if Youngs with his short arms just can’t get a good enough bind round the props to take the pressure of an international scrum. Though admittedly we don’t have much in the way of alternatives at the moment, so hopefully it’s something that Rowntree can rectify this week.

    Whilst I was hoping to see much more progress in terms of attacking play, running lines and strike moves over the AIs now I will settle for us becoming effective at the breakdown. With the Boks now having much better balance in the backrow with Louw and the ABs not exactly being shabby in the breadkown department if we can’t improve in that area I don’t see us getting close to a result.

  24. What I find frustrating is the lack of realistic assessment by England of their performance against a weak aussie team thrashed by the French. To lose and be outperformed in every respect falls a long way short of minimum accepted standards in my book

    1. I cannot disagree with you.
      The selection was poor, but do you not think that England appear more concerned about the media than picking the best team.
      To play at the highest level you need to be skillful as well as strong.
      In the centres we have strength and agression in loads but little skill, in the forwards we have thinkers and limited skill
      but no go forward hitters who can travel at pace and wreak havoc in the opponents ranks.
      Across the park England were pedestrian and leaderless

      1. I absolutely agree but why can’t the England management front up and be totally honest with us.Their lack of brutal self analysis won’t get us anywhere.Lancaster claims they have candour in the culture but just read the crap Flood came out with post the game- coach speak fluff to me

  25. brighty.
    so what is your view on this…
    1) a stationary player ( no momentum to consider) passses the ball in a straight line, the wind blows it forward.. forward pass or not?
    2) same situation. it starts off straight but he spins it so it goes forward..forward pass or not ?
    under your rules both of these would not be forward passes, right?

    1. Richard, they’re not my rules! :-)

      1) I would say both are ok (well, 1 isn’t really because straight counts as forward but I know what you mean).

      Also those are very marginal things, ever seen num 2) actually happen? I haven’t. Whereas the Aus pass on Sat was a clearcut example of receiving player being behind the passer, but both have moved forward while the pass was in the air.

      When I watched the video the best example I saw was running forward and throwing the ball back over your own head. The ball ends up forward of where you were when you threw it but it’s counter-intuitive that you can have a forward pass when throwing the ball back over your own head.

      I think the laws are subservient to creating a good game. As I said earlier, rugby would be a duller game if all passes had to end up behind where the pass started as it would require players to stand still or throw it back at such an angle that defences would never be broached. The law as I see it interpreted maintains the essence of rugby where players cannot stand in front of each other while allowing for basic physics and this enabling players to run fast and pass.

      A mate of mine was reffing under 9s rugby yesterday – as he put it, if he blew up for every infringement of the law there would be no joy in the game as the 9s get lots of marginal things wrong, so he has to feel the game, judge accordingly, and be consistent. Consistency is the key coupled with clarity from the refs. I think things like that video achieve that.

      1. You seem to be implying that the referee has the power to apply the laws as he interprets them . I’m not sure that is true but I can’t believe he can interpret any law as he seems fit. But whatever. The problem with this point of view is that to get a fair game it would then be necessary for the ref at the start of each game to inform both teams how he is going to interpret the rules. And also there would have to be an agreement with the TMO as well. And it would be quite beneficial for the crowd to be informed as well so that there is not widespread condemnation when he takes a decision that is controversial. It becomes quite farcical. But if that is what the IRB want then they must make an appropriate statement to that effect.
        If there are any qualified referees or international players who read this blog perhaps they can comment. Thanks

        1. Richard, Having watched rugby for over thirty years I would definitely say it is a sport with a lot of leeway for the ref and I’m surprised that it seems to shock you so much. We have all heard of refs who “won’t take any messing in the scrum” or refs who have a slacker view towards off the feet at ruck, etc. it’s always seemed part of the game to me because rugby is such a technical sport in certain areas. In general though I tend to find that the better teams win and the second best teams lose, the ref doesn’t really make the difference, just as he didn’t on Saturday.

          1. I agree with Brighty. If a ref wants to he could blow his whistle at virtually every single breakdown (people always go off their feet for example, but it can’t always be a penalty). I’ve played in matches where the ref thinks he should always blow up and it ruins the game, nobody would be interested because you never get more than one phase.

            However i do believe the minor differences in officiating can impact the result. A good example of this is the 09 lions tour 1st and 3rd tests. In the first Vickery was constantly pinged for collapsing, in the third the beast was constantly pinged for ‘boring in’. I’m pretty sure the lions would have one the first test had it been officiated by the third test ref. Kind of makes rugby a bit of a farce in some ways but its those aspects that i love.

            This is the passing video that i think Brighty is talking about… well worth a watch

      2. I have just viewed the you tube video and all this appears to show is a justification for allowing the forward pass. the passes are forward no matter how you dress them up.
        It is interesting that the whole “show” is in the same area and that the passer would struggle to pass the ball correctly over a distance of a couple of metres.
        The really difficult one is the overhead and i agree with you would be very difficult to judge

  26. Some persons ahve managed to find an alleged IRB video showing that momentum is allowed.
    Alleged video has been deleted.
    The IRB web Site only has one definition for a forwrad pass and that is the one that has stood the tset of time that cheats don’t like and try to come up with reasons of their own as to why the pass wasn’t forward.
    If the ball travels or os propelled towards the opponents try line it is a forward pass.ACCEPT

    1. Giving you the benefit of the doubt – check the second video link I posted before shouting ACCEPT at people. Get over it, England lost to the better team. The ref made the right call. It was a fine try. You’re just making yourself look like a bad loser now.

  27. England did lose to the better team.

    Marginal pass, that might have been called either way. I have to say that even before the long technical diatribe on the momentum rule, that was how I understood it was to be reffed. Don’t know where I got the information from , but I did. I also played under the strict no forward pass laws of yesteryear. Therefore as far as I am concerned, it was one of those decisions. Same as Tuilagi’s try. We’ve seen them given and seen them not given.

    The refs are all trying to do the best job they can and will make mistakes, but you just have to roll with it and it generally evens out for most teams over a season (except maybe the AB’s but thats a whole different debate!).

    As far as refs go we know that they interpret different aspects differently. Mostly we just ask that they are consistent. And lets face it you’ve got to be lenient with younger age groups. My son played in an under 11’s match yesterday and there was plenty of things let go as otherwise it would have stopped the game dead. As it was the ref blew enough and kept explaining to the players as he went. Therefore it wasn’t done according to the laws of the game but you can’t ask for anything more.

    Taking this onto a slightly higher level, this is why it is good for the refs to talk to the players as they go, and it is up to the players to adapt. Samoa’s 9 got them a couple of penalties by pointing out Welsh infringements to the ref. What else could the ref then do? Point was he adapted to the situation. England just don’t do that. Sharpe was talking to the ref way more than Robshaw on Saturday.

    Now I could go on about rugby intelligence and the lack of it in England, but I think thats probably enough!

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