The Advantage Law [part two]
In the second half of the Auckland Test, the Wallabies hoofed the ball downfield close to the far touch line when Kieran Reid tried to field the kick. He made a meal of it and the referee blew his whistle immediately, awarding the Wallabies a scrum feed for the knock on.
Firstly, from my position in the lounge room it appeared to be no knock on. The ball had been kicked a long way. The refs were a long way in front of Read.
It is unrealistic to expect that they could be in a position to see.
But if they could not see properly, how could the referee rule a knock on other than by suspicion? Perhaps he would have been better to let it go.
Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
But the next bit wasn’t hard. He blew his whistle straight away and gave the Wallabies the scrum. Why did he not play advantage?
All of Read’s team mates were in front of him. To get back in support they had to run to him and then join the ensuing ruck/maul from behind him. All the Wallabies had to do was charge forward looking for the ball. Momentum favoured the Wallabies.
Maybe he might have attempted to kick to touch, fluffed it and Australia would have had the ball on a platter, with the All Blacks scrambling to get back to defend.
All sorts of things might have happened.
In that situation, there was a fair chance the Wallabies could have obtained an advantage.
As a general rule, if the offender has all of his team mates and the opposition in front of him, play should be let go to see who gains the advantage.
In close matches, the little things count.
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Watch Glenn Mitchell's wrap of the second Test, where Australia were victorious early on the final day, winning by 218 runs and taking a 2-0 series lead into the third Test in Perth.