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Why the Wallabies should have lost

Wally James Roar Rookie

By Wally James, Wally James is a Roar Rookie

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    Now that the dust has settled after an electrifying game in Hong Kong, I wanted to deal with why I thought the referee made a monumental mistake in the last minute of the game.

    It caused the Wallabies to win rather than a near certain All Blacks victory.

    Just before the well-publicised Donald kick did not find touch, the Wallabies knocked on. The ref played advantage to it. He clearly signaled a Wallaby knock on in the tackle followed by advantage Blacks.

    The ball emerged from the tackle about 12 metres from the All Black goal-line. Kieran Reid passed it to Donald, who kicked it from about two metres out. From there Beale caught it on the full and the rest is history.

    How can that possibly be advantageous to the All Blacks? What they ended up with was a rampant Wallaby counter-attack rather than a scrum feed with their ball, and the chance to kick it out at their leisure.

    In other words, the Wallabies obtained the advantage from their own knock-on.

    No matter how the advantage law is read, you can bet your house the lawmakers did not intend that result.

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    The Crowd Says (63)

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 2:03am
      ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 2:03am | ! Report

      Well, you forced me to relive it.

      Beale took the ball ten metres inside Wallaby territory. Surely that constitutes advantage over. Beale was met by two All Blacks chasers and stepped Toeava. It was pretty shameful to be honest.

      I’ll tell you what Rolland did do, however, and that was call a BS penalty on the All Blacks for not releasing the tackled player (it appeared) when Brad Thorn had all rights to the ball. This was particularly annoying considering the Wallabies were flopping all over the rucks and ran the most blatant three man obstruction you’ll ever see. The All Blacks went high a couple of times, however. All in all it was pretty frenetic.

      Smith fell off a couple of tackles but there was just too much possession and no stop. The final play was a nice pass from Cooper and a clever dummy and jink from O’Connor.

      • November 3rd 2010 @ 8:35am
        The Other Reds Fan. said | November 3rd 2010 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        I am sure I heard the ref call “Advantage over” as Carter ran off the field.

        Regardless, if we’d had a decent kicker we would have well ahead. Further, the All Blacks should be grateful that it isn’t 2- 2 after McCaw got away with the ealy break from the scrum in Sydney to get the matchwinning try.

        • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:10am
          Nick_KIA said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          LOL nice call that.

          Can’t we just recognise that there is always swings and round abouts with reffing calls and move on? As a staunch ABs fan I am happy to say the better performing team won on the day.

          • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:01pm
            goldenbull said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

            credit to you mate

        • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:14am
          ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:14am | ! Report

          The mental giants have waded into the conversation now.

          Kieran Read scored the match winning try in Sydney and the Wallabies scored from a scrum for a forward pass that wasn’t forward and an illegal turnover and rubbish play on call from the ref.

      • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:39am
        Jiggles said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        “This was particularly annoying considering the Wallabies were flopping all over the rucks and ran the most blatant three man obstruction you’ll ever see”

        OH OJ YOU DIDNT!!!!!

        That is the funniest thing I have ever heard an All Blacks fan say! The All Blacks have made this an art form and Richie McCaw is the Guru of making deliberate attempts at slowing the ball look like innocent flops. While we are on it If you watch most of this year’s tests again, you will also notice Woodcock making a habit of standing in the oppositions defensive line after a clean out when the All Blacks are on the attack. This is illegal.

        Geez it is a bit rich for All Black fans whinging about this!

        • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:51am
          ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          With all due respect Jiggles, Aussie fans whinge about All Black play after every single Test. We’ve been hearing about it for six straight seasons. Yet they’re suspiciously quiet about anything involving the Wallabies. In fact, I doubt if they even see it.

          Go watch the highlights on youtube. The Wallabies move the ball left out to AAC on the wing and there are three Australian forwards setting picks just like in basketball. The Wallabies ran decoys all night long and there was a lot of blatant obstruction. It’s funny how when the All Blacks used to run decoy runners, Knuckles and Dwyer and all the other Australian talking heads would scream how it was deliberate cheating but when Australia do the same thing it’s acceptable.

          Personally, I don’t care but if we’re going to have people getting upset because they believe all the crap they’re feed about Australian rugby being hard but fair then I’d rather see the rank hyprocrisy left out of the post mortems.

          • November 3rd 2010 @ 10:07am
            Jiggles said | November 3rd 2010 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            Oh I agree OJ, the wallabies throughout the match where involved in plays that probably would have been penalised by other referees, like wise with the All Blacks.

            The ABs however have made deliberately slowing down the ball an art form, and good on them. If you can get away with it, do it. The wallabies have never really been able to get away with to such a large degree until this test. The reason why they haven’t been able to get away with it is because they simply do not have the technical skill like the All Blacks do. I have never bought into the McCaw cheat thing because I respect his ability to know exactly where the line is, heck I would love any wallaby to have his ability. Woodcock like I mentioned before is a excellent practitioner as well.

            In the last test the Wallabies finally displayed some of this technical skill and I think it is great. So my reasoning is it’s a bit rich for All Blacks fans to mention this, when the ABs have perfected this skill, heck I will even go so far to say as the pioneered it. It’s a bit early to say they are beating them at their own game, but they are showing the resolve to get involved and risk penalties at the breakdown, which is great.

            • November 3rd 2010 @ 10:36am
              ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              The NZ rugby ethos is to play hard. The fair part mostly comes after the game. It always used to amuse me when All Black teammates Richie McCaw and Jerry Collins would clash everytime Canterbury and Wellington played each other because you’d get the same accusations about McCaw and Canterbury play coming from closer to home. The same thing used to happen when Auckland dominated NZ rugby, and in truth, they were ten times worse than professionalism has allowed teams to be.

              I agree that Australia showed some spine in this area, and I also thought there was a big improvement in the Wallabies’ breakdown technique, however they themselves went from the whinge approach to the if you can’t beat em join em approach and they’re clearly liking the results. These little things are a pain in the behind like the South African rush defence, but personally I think our coaches need another kick up the butt.

              The point I want to make is that you had a lot of Australian fans saying that finally a ref had called McCaw and Nonu up for entering from the side as though there was some kind of justice in that (in actual fact they’re easy calls to make early on, watch how that went out the window during the crazy finale), yet Kiwi-enlisted coach is somehow spotless? Convenient.

              • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:02am
                Jiggles said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:02am | ! Report

                I have noticed that refs have been pinging people early on in tests lately (Pocock in South Africa both games) McCaw in Sydney and HK, Nonu in HK, almost as if to say “I am going to be watching you!” however they don’t keep it consistent throughout the whole match for either side. I find it extraordinary how referees crumble under pressure in tight games, and it is a real reflection of the standard the IRB is setting (Barnes 07 world cup being a very obvious and emotive example, also Steve Walsh in the Brumbies v NSW game this year being another). From a referees perspective the first minute should be the same as the last.

                Also I am glad the players have adopted the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ attitude in this case. After a couple of years they have finally figured out whinging gets you nowhere at all. Maybe some fans should remember this next time McCaw and co. gets the rub of the green with the refs.

              • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:13am
                ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:13am | ! Report

                The ending to that Hong Kong game was actually really strange with the ref wanting to card someone and the Wallabies wanting to play on. I thought Donald would get cited for his tackle on AAC, but I guess not.

                One thing that bugs me about refs is how they set out to make amends for criticism of their previous games. A lot of people were unhappy with how Rolland reffed the All Blacks earlier in the season and I felt he was making up for that a bit.

              • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:23am
                Jiggles said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                Do you think he actually wanted to card someone but? I know the Fox sports cheer squad was saying it, but that usually means it isn’t true. Most Refs will stop the play no matter what to give a card – I guess it’s an ego thing – or they will give it after the next stoppage in play. Maybe because the next stoppage was after the final try he didn’t bother.

                Rolland was horrible, and after seeing him a bit this season I think he is one of the worst international refs about. How he can be allowed to ref first class tests before Walsh is beyond me. Donald going on form for what has been cited this year, should have got a couple of weeks, but hey I think Hell will freeze over and Japan win the RWC before we get consistent referring in rugby.

              • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:39am
                ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                I think he did want to card someone because he’d awarded numerous penalty advantages to Australia in the closing stages.

        • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:54am
          Jason said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          The irony coming from a team that had Owen Finegan, et al.

      • November 3rd 2010 @ 4:23pm
        WINNERS said | November 3rd 2010 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

        BLAH BLAH BLAH. cuz…louge chair refs everywhere….

        The All Blacks are beatable…Get over it bro ,you lost in a close battle..just like the Wallabies did 3 of the last 4 NZ games….don’t you remember those great Bledisloe tests back in 98,99.00,01,02…Yes 5 years in a row for the Wallabies and many won in the last minute….

        Whilst the All Blacks are peaking nicely and they are rightly ranked number 1 The Wallabies are getting stronger and stronger building on a solid team foundation of skilled young and passionate players lead by one the greatest coaches in Robbie…

        Just in time for Sunday 23rd October 2011 at Eden Park…

        Who will choke on match day…..OH the De Ja Vous….

        • November 9th 2010 @ 10:45pm
          BlackFan said | November 9th 2010 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

          Who or what is the ‘De Ja Vous’?

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 2:10am
      Yikes said | November 3rd 2010 @ 2:10am | ! Report

      Ahh, Wally, no.

      Law 8.1:

      “Advantage can be either territorial or tactical.
      – Territorial advantage means a gain in ground.
      – Tactical advantage means freedom for the non-offending team to play the ball as they wish.”

      On the first point – Donald kicked the ball 60 metres. Beale caught the ball on the 10m line inside his own half, and only beat the first attempted tackle by Toeava 5m from halfway. That’s a 45m gain in ground for the kiwis. That’s a gain in ground. You can’t call the play back for a scrum because someone missed a tackle!

      On the second point – referees generally consider the term “playing the ball as they wish” to mean something roughly equivalent to what the non-offending team would otherwise have received. When Donald kicked the ball, he had enough time and space to do what he wanted with the ball, with only Pocock providing pressure. He was positioned roughly where he would be to clear the ball had the kiwis been given a scrum instead.

      Advantage over whichever way you look at it.

      • November 3rd 2010 @ 1:06pm
        mitzter said | November 3rd 2010 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        Absolutely spot on Yikes!
        Wally – Kicking the ball is advantage over for a scrum infringement (except maybe if it goes backwards) If you had a scrum and Donald stuffed up this kick would you want to reset it as it wasn’t enough of an advantage?

        • November 3rd 2010 @ 8:31pm
          GavinH said | November 3rd 2010 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

          8.2 WHEN ADVANTAGE DOES NOT ARISE
          The advantage must be clear and real. A mere opportunity to gain advantage is not enough. If the non-offending team does not gain an advantage, the referee blows the whistle and brings play back to the place of infringement.

          • November 3rd 2010 @ 9:05pm
            Cattledog said | November 3rd 2010 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

            Straight from the book….and your point…?

          • November 3rd 2010 @ 10:05pm
            Yikes said | November 3rd 2010 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

            Not sure of your point, GavinH. They didn’t get “a mere opportunity”, they gained actual advantage – as it is defined by the two points in my post above.

            • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:15pm
              GavinH said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

              Surely an ‘advantage’ must be an advantage relative to something else. In this case a scrum with 79:40 on the clock. Pretty tough to lose the game from there as the hooter would have gone before the ball was out of the scrum.

              I’m not saying that the All Blacks should have won or that the ref deserves any blame. However, if you are Paddy O’Brien reviewing every ref decision then that clearly should have been blown up as a scrum because there is no relative advantage to the ABs whether the kick went out or not.

              • November 3rd 2010 @ 11:58pm
                Cattledog said | November 3rd 2010 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

                Gavin, give it up. It’s been explained on this thread ad infinitum. Advantage was achieved by walloping the ball 60 metres down field. It was a knock on for heavens sake! If it was a penalty advantage, no doubt it would have come back for a penalty. It wasn’t, advantage was achieved by a considerable degree so let it rest.

              • November 4th 2010 @ 12:29am
                GavinH said | November 4th 2010 @ 12:29am | ! Report

                we will have to agree to disagree then cattledog. I understand your view but maintain that a 60m kick is not an advantage vs an AB scrum with 30 secs left on the clock.

                Perhaps the advantage law needs a few more examples on the IRB website to clarify the potential interpretations.

              • November 4th 2010 @ 2:08am
                Cattledog said | November 4th 2010 @ 2:08am | ! Report

                Gavin, it was advantage, no ifs or buts. However, if the ABs wanted a scrum, all they had to do was drop the ball, even intentionally, as has been the case on numerous occasions. They didn’t, so the referee MUST assume they were happy to play on. In hindsight, no doubt they wished they had done just that. They didn’t and so the play they made constituted advantage (well and truely) and the rest, as they say, is history. Get the picture now?

              • Roar Guru

                November 4th 2010 @ 2:07pm
                abnutta said | November 4th 2010 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                The spirit of the advantage law is also to allow continuity. This has been the overriding interpretation of the law for the better part of a decade.

                Referee Rolland was correct!

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 2:21am
      ohtani's jacket said | November 3rd 2010 @ 2:21am | ! Report

      It was a shame the All Blacks didn’t take the scrum actually. With the way Rolland was reffing it, the resets would’ve wiped all the time off the clock. Mind you, he might have given a free kick to the Wallabies I suppose, though the All Black scrum was reasonably solid on our own put-in. The other option would’ve been to have kept it in hand but I don’t think the forwards were keen on that. People ought to consider the fact that there was still time on the clock for a lineout and that the kick did go 60 metres with chasers. It was more of a team mistake than purely Donald’s error, I think.

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 3:02am
      Joseph said | November 3rd 2010 @ 3:02am | ! Report

      Welcome to rugby Wally. If there’s one thing you can be assured of Wally its that EVERY OTHER LOSING TEAM in the history of the game can claim and recite instances where the refs interpretations of the rules robbed them of a victory…. Australia included.

      • November 3rd 2010 @ 7:25am
        Willy said | November 3rd 2010 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        That is so true!

        In fact, you can often find a technical infringement at most rucks if you look hard enough.

        Unfortunately, of course, the referees were instructed to look as hard as possible at RWC 2007 and completely ruined that tournament.

        Thank God for common sense.

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 3:59am
      Cattledog said | November 3rd 2010 @ 3:59am | ! Report

      Wally, advantage was clearly over the minute he kicked it, whether it found touch or it didn’t. You often hear the ref call advantage and as soon as the non-offending team kicks the ball he calls advantage over. Quite frankly, I would prefer see advantage over if the non offending side clears the ball from the first ruck / maul. It’s basically the same situation as the scrum although there is now the additional 5 metres. In the whole scheme of things, however, and with the scrums the way they currently are, if the other team gains the ball I would like to see that as being enough advantage, as long as there hasn’t been a significant loss of territory. It would also keep the pace of the game high, providing yet another factor for teams finding holes in defence. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

    • November 3rd 2010 @ 4:11am
      katzilla said | November 3rd 2010 @ 4:11am | ! Report

      Without the Benefit of hindsight i’d choose to have the ball in Beales hands inside his own half with 2 All Blacks backs infront of him rather then in Donalds hands on our goal line. A fair advantage.

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