A Few Fall Focus Areas from USAR

On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 2:21 PM, Richard Every <revery@usarugby.org>, USAR High Performance Referee Manager wrote:

There have been a lot of positives already– the new tackle trial that a ruck forms when a player on their feet is positioned over the ball has created more space and structure. The only negative appears to be where defenders approach, make contact, and then attempt to gain possession with their hands. This means a few more “hands in” PK’s than we normally see, but hopefully players will adjust over time.

A few things to focus on:

BREAKDOWN:

When you anticipate the scenario above, you could call “RUCK NO HANDS”, and it may prevent a PK.
We see a lot of referees commenting in their reports to “Let it breathe”. That is a good approach especially if you had a full season of Sevens and are struggling to make the transition to Fifteens. Please focus to differentiate between “let it breathe” and allowing defenders to slow down the recycle. This is noticeable as we see some referees over-managing, with too much talking. Often, when you communicate to defenders to do something, like “Release” or “Roll Away”, they have already achieved their goal in slowing down the recycle.

SCRUM:

ENGAGEMENT:

i. Both teams should be stationary and square before each call.

ii. LH props to keep the inside should in line and not tucked.

iii. LH to bind on the back or side – not under the TH.

iv. TH to bind on the back or side – not on the LH arm.

v. DO NOT RUSH the Bind-Set. It takes patience and focus to get this right.

WALKING AROUND: Teams need to be pushing forward. Walking around, spinning the scrum on its axis should be penalized.

TIME WASTING: We have seen a few matches where players waste time, to form lineouts, scrums, and so forth. Be up to date on your Laws:

  • Conversion Kicks: 90s – time elapsed the kick is disallowed.
  • Penalty/Free Kicks: 60s – time elapsed the kick is disallowed and a scrum is awarded to the opposition.
  • Scrum: Ready to “Crouch” within 30s – Free Kick, if it is repeated, Penalty Kick.
  • Lineout: Teams are required to form a lineout. If they delay, you request they form the lineout (this includes teams that lineout a distance away and walk into the lineout). If they do not comply, Free Kick. If they repeat this action, Penalty Kick.
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