5 Priorities for Referees and Coaches in 2011

Garratt Williamson 7 March 2011

(These notes were made by Shane Bennett)

Click here for a PDF of the Garratts PowerPoint Presentation

1: Scrum:Scrum Cadence and prop body position

§ The referee must control the engagement process and maintain an even cadence. Ensure ears of props are aligned to help scrum alignment. Each of the 4 calls should result in an action by the players. There should be a gap between the pause and engage calls. If they don’t comply then FK.

§ Front rowers must engage with their shoulders no lower than hips (FK) and hit straight (PK). Watch for props hinging. If scrum goes down because of bad technique then PK.

§ Front rowers must bind on engagement on the body of the opposing prop (PK), not on the arm.

§ Watch for flankers riding up to assist a prop who is under pressure.Flankers must remain bound to locks and must not ride up onto their props (PK).

2: Tackle:Tackler out of the way at tackle

§Referees must ensure the tackler first releases the tackled player and then either rolls away or gets to his feet before attempting to play the ball (PK). Be firm early on in the game with this aspect.

§ Players who remain standing in a tackle (tackler assist) must also clearly release the tackled player and ball before going back to play the ball by coming through their gate (PK).

§ Attacking players must arrive supporting their own body weight and not deliberately go to ground or deliberately bind onto a player on the ground in order to seal possession or deny a contest (PK).

§ Where Assist Tacklers are holding the ball along with the tackled player and the assist tackler voluntarily goes to ground along with the tackled player and tackler, then the assist tackler must let go of the ball to allow the tackled player to release the ball (PK).

§ Any player who is on their feet who has their hands on the ball immediately after a tackle but before a ruck forms, is allowed to keep contesting for the ball even if a ruck forms around them. No other arriving player at this point may play the ball with their hands.


3: Players in front of kicks:No forward movement of players in front of kicker

§ Referees must penalise offside players at kicks if they advance (PK).

§Referees may be able to manage an offside player. If the player does not stop immediately, they are liable to penalty.

4: Maul formation:No players binding in front of the receiver and preventing players contesting the ball

§ When a maul is formed, defenders must have access to the ball carrier at the formation of the maul. It is obstruction if members of the team in possession move in front of the ball carrier before the maul is formed (PK).

5: Offside at Ruck:Keep behind the hindmost foot

§Don’t allow defending or attacking players to stand wide of the ruck (they are not in the ruck area) who are in front of their offside line (last feet of the ruck). These players must be warned or penalised (PK).

§ Guard players standing behind the last feet to the side of the ruck but protecting the halfback from defenders – is this obstruction? If you think so then penalise.

§ Attacking players are walking into the ruck area and standing there putting hands on players, but not binding or clearing out. If you think they are protecting the ball and not allowing the defenders to legitimately content possession then you can penalise.

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