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Hawk_Eye

Rugby’s 15 v 14 dilemma

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Hawk_Eye    1,357

The past few months’ rugby action highlighted the importance for teams to keep 15 players on the park at all times.Yellow and red cards have become customary in modern rugby, with at least one sin-binning per game seemingly the norm nowadays.

For me, the fact that it has become ‘customary’ is worrisome and the question should be asked whether players realise how costly a one-man disadvantage can prove.

Even if only for a 10-minute period.
 

Spoiler

 

It’s fair to assume that the outcome of June’s Test series between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions was influenced by Sonny Bill Williams’ red card in the second Test.

The All Blacks were forced to play with 14 men for almost 60 minutes and it eventually took its toll as the less-favoured tourists sneaked a 24-21 win.

During last month’s Super Rugby playoff series, the effects of playing a man down also played a significant part in the outcome of matches.

During their quarter-final against the Lions in Johannesburg, the Sharks lost lock Stephan Lewies for 10 minutes early in the second half.

The yellow card proved costly as the Durbanites saw a 14-3 advantage shrink to one point following two Lions tries. 

Even worse, it swung the momentum of the match, with the Sharks’ tournament in ruins not long thereafter.

A week later in the semi-finals, Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett’s yellow card proved game-changing - with the Lions scoring 17 unanswered points during his absence.

The weekend after that, a card - this time red - impacted the outcome of the final as Kwagga Smith was sent off shortly before half-time for taking a player out in the air.

It left the 14-man Lions with too much to do.

Following Super Rugby, this "trend" has continued into the early weeks of the Currie Cup.

Two yellow cards upended Western Province in their loss to Griquas in Kimberley last Wednesday, while during their 45-34 win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands this past weekend their momentum was again halted.

The Cape side led 42-13, but a yellow card just prior to the break issued to centre EW Viljoen disrupted their momentum.

The Bulls came out storming in the second period and WP could never wrestle back control. Replacement lock Michael Kumbirai also copped a yellow card for a cynical infringement late in the game and at the end the hosts had to fend for their lives to keep the Bulls at bay.

WP coach John Dobson admitted that Viljoen’s yellow card had proved disruptive.

"We weren't planning on defending the lead. The problem is we started the (second) half with 14 (players) against a team we knew was going to run absolutely everything. EW is one of the best defenders at 13 and we tried our best, but they scored a try early and we were under pressure from then on," Dobson said in the post-match press conference.

Later on Saturday evening, the game at Ellis Park was turned on its head when Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee received his marching orders in the 51st minute for kicking Sharks flank Jacques Vermeulen in the face, just as the latter touched down to score.

The Lions had enjoyed a handsome 31-5 lead, but were blown away in the last half hour playing a man down.

One thing has become clear: More than ever before teams are finding the going tough being a player short.

It’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

It’s welcoming to hear Dobson speak about how disruptive his team’s yellow cards have proved, but do the players realise the importance of their actions?

Do they realise that even with a 31-5 advantage can still be derailed by a silly indiscretion? 

Coetzee escaped unscathed in his disciplinary hearing as his actions were deemed “entirely accidental with no intention of kicking his opponent”. 

His coach was also quick to defend him afterwards, but no questions were asked why Coetzee was attempting a kick in the first place. It’s illegal to kick the ball out of a player’s hands, so in my book he had no business doing what he did.

Had Coetzee managed to do as intended, he would have conceded a penalty try and in all likelihood have copped a yellow card at best.

This is the same player who was banned for five weeks earlier in the season for kneeing a Southern Kings player in the face.

Yes, it’s a contact sport and accidents like some of the above-mentioned scenarios are bound to occur, but the importance of players’ on-field actions and decisions need to be highlighted.

Following the Super Rugby final, there was intense debate regarding red cards spoiling the spectacle.

Personally, I like the idea of sending a red-carded player off for 10 minutes, and then replacing him with a reserve for the remainder of the match.

It is however tough to envisage the modern game functioning without the yellow card sanction.

 


It has become part and parcel of the game, but I can’t help but wonder whether enough emphasis is being placed on its importance...

http://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/HermanMostert/rugbys-15-v-14-dilemma-20170815

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taipan    1,428

I see Robbie Coetzee received no further ban. Does that mean that the ref got it wrong?

Edited by taipan

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Hawk_Eye    1,357
19 hours ago, taipan said:

I see Robbie Coetzee received no further ban. Does that mean that the ref got it wrong?

Cape Town - Golden Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee and centre Rohan Janse Van Rensburg will be allowed to participate in their team’s Currie Cup clash against Western Province this weekend following disciplinary hearings on Monday.

Blue Bulls fullback Duncan Matthews, meanwhile, will have a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday after being cited for a dangerous tackle in their clash against Western Province on Saturday.

Coetzee received a red card in the 51st minute against the Sharks after his boot made contact with an opposition player’s face, but his actions were deemed as “entirely accidental” with no intention of kicking his opponent.

Janse van Rensburg’s citing, also for a dangerous tackle, was not upheld.

The outcome of Matthews’ disciplinary hearing is expected to be announced on Tuesday. ((He copped a one match ban in the end))

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supersupporter    796

I think fans pay a lot of money to go watch 15 vs 15 and this nonsense that the team being transgressed against should benefit from an advantage is nonsense.

I think a player should be red-carded, but a replacement should come on the field, so that it is 15 vs 15.

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Hawk_Eye    1,357
1 hour ago, supersupporter said:

I think fans pay a lot of money to go watch 15 vs 15 and this nonsense that the team being transgressed against should benefit from an advantage is nonsense.

I think a player should be red-carded, but a replacement should come on the field, so that it is 15 vs 15.

This concept is more and more the sentiment of almost every serious rugga supporter.

But, what irks me as well is the inability of TMO and other officials to effectively determine accident from intent.  Today, a lot of money is invested in games and players and such inconsistent incompetence is costing players and unions money and brand-image.

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5 hours ago, Hawk_Eye said:

This concept is more and more the sentiment of almost every serious rugga supporter.

But, what irks me as well is the inability of TMO and other officials to effectively determine accident from intent.  Today, a lot of money is invested in games and players and such inconsistent incompetence is costing players and unions money and brand-image.

6 hours ago, supersupporter said:

I think fans pay a lot of money to go watch 15 vs 15 and this nonsense that the team being transgressed against should benefit from an advantage is nonsense.

I think a player should be red-carded, but a replacement should come on the field, so that it is 15 vs 15.

Yep makes sense. So start the game with your 4th choice hooker. Instruct him to beat the daylights out of the oppositions world class flyhalf who is carried off the field. Red card the 4th choice hooker and he leaves the field. Replace him with your 1st choice hooker from the bench.

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Hawk_Eye    1,357
1 hour ago, Guest Guest said:

Yep makes sense. So start the game with your 4th choice hooker. Instruct him to beat the daylights out of the oppositions world class flyhalf who is carried off the field. Red card the 4th choice hooker and he leaves the field. Replace him with your 1st choice hooker from the bench.

There will always be those with deviousness as first thought (like you) - clearly it will soon be realised as rugga supporters and officials are not really that stupid that a 4th choice hooker making himself available for such an act will not be outed.  In such a case the whole team will suffer as sanction should be very severe against players, team and union.

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DbDraad    594
1 hour ago, Hawk_Eye said:

There will always be those with deviousness as first thought (like you) - clearly it will soon be realised as rugga supporters and officials are not really that stupid that a 4th choice hooker making himself available for such an act will not be outed.  In such a case the whole team will suffer as sanction should be very severe against players, team and union.

Yes, sanction and even criminal legal action after the match should be able to prevent that.

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DbDraad    594
2 hours ago, Guest Duke said:

DbDraad your still such a schloop.

Schloop?

Howzit Duke. Nice to see you again, schloop? Really?

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DbDraad    594

PS, what the proponents of the "professional assassins" argument fails to see is that either paid for or plain bias "refferee assassins" can do even more damage to the credibility of the game

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supersupporter    796

The end result of any game should be decided by the best team, not the team who has the most players on the field. I say RED card  a player, have him replaced. It is as simple as that and then have a blanket base ban for any red cardings that can be increased in suspension period. 2 week minimum for a red no matter what and also have the club fined just in case they too were part of some master plan

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vlagman    914

I'm sorry but I don't think that it is as simple as "we have to start and finish a game with 15 v 15". Rugby is a team sport with teams made up of individuals. To me, the old story of "a chain being as strong as its weakest link" applies perfectly to rugby. 

The team is constantly influenced by the actions of the individuals, be they good actions or bad actions. When one team wins because they have a dead eye kicker while the other team's kicker cannot kick his own shoe off, even if he has untied and removed his laces, does that then mean that one team have an unfair advantage?

If one team has 23 fully disciplined members who stick to the rules and do not put a foot wrong, is it their fault that the other team are sitting with one or two ill- disciplined mamparras?

The game is played according to laws and not according to what the spectators want to see. Yes, I do understand that the spectators pay good money to see their teams play and hopefully win. Fact is that, win or lose, it is down to what the individual players do between the start of the game and the final whistle. You don't want to see your team lose because your own team just cannot string a move together on the particular day and keep on making stupid mistakes with open try lines in front of them but shit happens. You do not want to see your team win because one poepol landed himself a red card but shit happens. 

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taipan    1,428

I tend to agree. If you allow teams to replace red carded players, the rules will be abused. It is the nature of the beast.

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supersupporter    796

A guy runs, chasing down and up and under and badly times his run, gets red carded. A well disciplined player. Why should the team suffer due to one small lapse in judgement.

A guy kicks at a ball in a silly reaction, catches a player head, is red carded, normally a clean player and this action does not show any malice.

Why should the team suffer for small mistakes that warranted a red card.

For me the red card should be used but a replacement should be allowed, perhaps a standard yellow card timed period should remain in play before a replacement can join.

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supersupporter    796

I still think 14 vs 15 is harsh and perhaps they should be allowed to replace after a 10 minute time period, so a yellow card offense will be in play, yet that play cannot return after 10 minutes.

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vlagman    914
1 hour ago, supersupporter said:

A guy runs, chasing down and up and under and badly times his run, gets red carded. A well disciplined player. Why should the team suffer due to one small lapse in judgement.

A player who normally takes a perfect line kick from a penalty misjudges the wind and kicks the ball directly into touch from just outside of his 22m. This happens one minute before the final whistle. The ball goes out just about 5m from the opposition try line. They have to go back to the spot where he took the kick for a scrum with the opposition putting the ball in. The opposition wins the ball and score under the posts and win the game. "Why should the team of the kicker suffer due to a small lapse in judgement?", one might ask.

A guy kicks at a ball in a silly reaction, catches a player head, is red carded, normally a clean player and this action does not show any malice. The player's track record will come into account when the consequences of the red card is considered. The card is for the "silly" action and his track record should not determine the sanction thereof.

Why should the team suffer for small mistakes that warranted a red card. Same as the story about the kicker.

For me the red card should be used but a replacement should be allowed, perhaps a standard yellow card timed period should remain in play before a replacement can join.

IMO, the red card has a definite place in rugby and should remain as a deterrent for serious transgressions. You hardly ever hear a complaint about a player being red-carded during the normal season, until it happens in a test or a final. There are way more cases where a red card was fully warranted than where a red card was too harsh. 

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DbDraad    594
1 hour ago, vlagman said:

IMO, the red card has a definite place in rugby and should remain as a deterrent for serious transgressions. You hardly ever hear a complaint about a player being red-carded during the normal season, until it happens in a test or a final. There are way more cases where a red card was fully warranted than where a red card was too harsh. 

But there are cases where it is aplied unfairly...just as about any other law...it's life. There can be no doubt that a red card spoils a match more than any other factor in rugby....and if one looks at the frequency of them being issued, it doesn't seem to be that effective as a deterrent. Fine, keep the red if you want, but back it up with stronger post match sanction. It seems that yellows is getting more frequent by the day. Somethings is wrong and cards does not seem to work fixing anything.

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taipan    1,428
13 minutes ago, DbDraad said:

But there are cases where it is aplied unfairly...just as about any other law...it's life. There can be no doubt that a red card spoils a match more than any other factor in rugby....and if one looks at the frequency of them being issued, it doesn't seem to be that effective as a deterrent. Fine, keep the red if you want, but back it up with stronger post match sanction. It seems that yellows is getting more frequent by the day. Somethings is wrong and cards does not seem to work fixing anything.

Simplifying the Laws would sort out most things.

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vlagman    914

You can only say all of that for certain once you have evaluated the number of serious injuries due to foul play over time, the number of "red-cardable" transgressions over time, the number of "yellow-cardable" transgressions over time, etc, etc. I'm sure you're catching my drift. 

I do not believe that you can say that the card spoils a match. The card is one of many options when it comes to sanctioning an action. How many games of rugby is played on any given match day and how many red cards are awarded. That is where we need to start, IMO. 

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supersupporter    796

I agree with Draad, there is often an over eagerness to hand out red and many times unwarranted. Bizzie on Cutter being one of them.

So if we have the red followed by a 10 minute bin and then a replacement player can come on, this will justify any error by referees who as we all know this day and age are useless.

We are seeing players penalised by that SA ref in CC simply because they are shouting things like "holding on" yet the same knob cannot even identify a forward pass. These refs know fokol and maybe it is best we let the suspensions take place off the field.

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taipan    1,428
2 minutes ago, supersupporter said:

I agree with Draad, there is often an over eagerness to hand out red and many times unwarranted. Bizzie on Cutter being one of them.

So if we have the red followed by a 10 minute bin and then a replacement player can come on, this will justify any error by referees who as we all know this day and age are useless.

We are seeing players penalised by that SA ref in CC simply because they are shouting things like "holding on" yet the same knob cannot even identify a forward pass. These refs know fokol and maybe it is best we let the suspensions take place off the field.

Personally I would give red cards for forward passes. It would sort that shit out.

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vlagman    914
49 minutes ago, taipan said:

Personally I would give red cards for forward passes. It would sort that shit out.

:36_11_6:

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