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Regulation of the rucks stepped up this year


Andre Watson

News24 reports that André Watson confirmed that referees were told by Sanzar to be very strict when handling the breakdown area in the upcoming season. “The feedback from the coaches was that there needs to be better policing of offside play at the breakdowns. There were numerous scenarios where the defending team was offside for a number of phases and got away with it.”

“There’s no rule change, but the offside rule will be applied strictly and the player making the tackle has to role away. A player assisting in making a tackle – but who’s on his feet – should also show daylight before he’ll be allowed to try and win the ball. “At the same time it was said that strong action must be taken when the attacking team protects the ball illegally. The guys go off their feet to protect the ball or are sometimes on all fours and not on their feet. “The retention of possession needs to be based on your skills and not on the illegal retention of, for example, falling over the ball,” said Watson. Lions assistant coach, Johan Ackermann, said the breakdowns would be strictly umpired following Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence’s controversial handling of the breakdowns in the Springboks’ defeat to Australia in last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final. “That was apparently the final straw and referees were told to improve the umpiring of the breakdowns,” Ackermann said.

The first match where this was put to the test was on the previous Friday night when the Stormers and the Lions met in the pre-season clash. Jaco Peyper penalised the Stormers on 20 occasions – a number their coachis worried about despite them winning the game 28-6.

Given the history of Jaco Peyper and the Stormers, I was not surprised.

What concerns me, though, is exactly this – what one referee sees as an infringement is not regarded as such by another. This means that we are exactly back where were at RWC last year. The players have to test the ref for the first 20 minutes to see how much they can get away with, and then play according to this.

This is not on. Unless you bring the assistant referees into play much more in identifying transgressions, nothing will change, except that the game will slow down even more.

Like in our business, it is not the legislation that is at fault, it is the inconsistent application that causes frustration.

Apparently, this year could also be a deciding one for the future of the scrums as teams were warned to straighten up this area of the game, reports news24. It is understood that referees were told to reduce the amounts of restarts by 20% or radical changes could be introduced which would change this facet of the game.

The teams can also expect to be punished when engaging too early at scrum time. “There will be quicker action taken against a team that engages early. A penalty will immediately follow a free kick against the team transgressing. In the past we were much more lenient. “Sometimes a free kick against the team transgressing is not enough punishment. “If you have a situation where the two packs of forwards are equally strong, one team could gain an advantage if it wins the engagement. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that there’s a fair clash.”

Why does this sound so familiar?

Over-regulation is apparently not restricted to the financial services industry.

With all due respect, when the legislators find it necessary to rule on the shape of a fishbowl, I have to compare their brain capacity with that of a carp.

So vertel Arno van Zyl van die onderwyser op Garies wat in sy belastingopgawe eis dat die koste van sy klere en skryfbehoeftes van sy belasbare inkomste aftrekbaar moet wees.

“Bellville”, soos hulle SARS in daardie deel van die wêreld noem, laat weet toe dat hy dit nie kan eis nie, maar verneem tog interessantheidshalwe op grond van watter artikel hy dan nou sodanige eis indien?

“Op grond van ‘n artikel in die Huisgenoot” laat die man weet.

Nou moet ons maar net duim vashou dat onse Super reeks skeidsregters nie ook op die Huisgenoot ingeteken is nie, but You never know, do You?

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