Referees Corner With Jim Scardanas

illawarrarugbylogoAn interesting issue has come to the fore this week from the Referees. One of our diligent men in the middle had to deal with a couple of players from one team who tried to take the field wearing full length leg skins. The Refs have received a reminder this week to ensure that all appropriate checks of playing equipment is made prior to games as per the Laws of the Game.

Having a chat again with Refs boss Jim Scardanas, he was able to outline some details in this regard. The Law book states in Law 4.5 (a) “the referee or the touch judge appointed by or under the authority of the match organiser, must inspect the players’ clothing and studs for conformity to the law”.

Jim tells me that  Full Length Leg Skins are illegal and must not be worn. The Law clearly states that “any underwear worn must not go past the knees”. The relevant Law states that the referee has full authority to demand that they not be worn. Jim stated  “I have checked with NSWRU about full length arm skins and they are perfectly permissible but not full length leg skins”.

The Law Book is very specific about what can occur with clothing and studs and the authority the referee has in this matter. Law 4.5 (b) states “the referee has the power to decide at any time, before or during the match, that part of a player’s clothing is dangerous or illegal. If the referee decides that clothing is dangerous or illegal the referee must order the player to remove it. The player must not take part in the match until the items of clothing are removed”. The Law goes on further Law 4.5 (c) “ if at an inspection before the match, the referee or an officially accredited touch judge tells a player that an item banned under the Law is being worn, and the player is subsequently found to be wearing that item on the playing area, that player is sent off (Red Card) for misconduct”. A penalty kick is awarded at the place where play is restarted.

So beware, It would be pretty embarrassing to be sent off because you had the wrong undies on, hey!

Vikings Sneak Home In Thirteen Try Thriller

MatchReportIn a thrilling thirteen try cliff-hanger at Eridge Park, Vikings have denied Bowral an opportunity to grab second spot on the ladder getting home narrowly with a 47 – 46 point victory. Vikings earned a bonus point by halftime going to the break with a 26 – 17 lead but the Blacks put on five second half tries to all but get the points. With Bowral scoring seven tries to six Cockatoo halfback Tommy Sawden’s goal kicking proved the difference on the day with the Number 9 kicking seven from nine for the day including a pivotal three straight second half penalty goals.

Bowral burst out of the blocks early with No.8 Tim Lewis getting the first of his three tries after four minutes of early Bowral dominance. With a conversion and penalty goal by fly half Donovan Du Randt, Bowral led 10 – 0 after twelve minutes of frantic attacking football from both sides.

Vikings improved their structure as the match continued to entertain the big southern highlands crowd with spirited attack from both sides being met by strong defence. Eventually after sustained pressure on the Blacks line Dane Nethery found his way through to get the first try for the Blueys. Shortly after big prop Josh Wigmore was dragged down cm’s short of the line but was able to release the ball to a fast following Cody Roman to dive over for the second Blueys try. Both tries were converted by Sawden and Vikings were in front 14 – 10.

From the restart Bowral took play deep into Viking territory and won a turnover resulting in a bustling run close to the line from Tim Lewis. Lewis crossed into the Vikings in goal and after checking with his Touch Judge Referee John Maughan awarded the busy No. 8 his second try, which was converted by Randt, for Bowral to go back in front 17 – 14 with ten to go to the break.

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The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

How much worse can things get for the ARU? On the back of the Super Rugby fiasco and the Wallabies poor performance against Scotland it was confirmed this week that several of the ARU’s major sponsors have jumped ship as well. BMW, Buildcorp and Lion Nathan have all ended their association with the ARU which can’t help the current state of the finances in Australian Rugby. The Australian Under 20’s side finished sixth in Georgia at the World Rugby Under 20’s Championships, going down to Scotland as well 24 – 17 in the play off for fifth spot. New Zealand won the title with a resounding 64 – 17 win over England in the Grand Final. The Championships would suggest that what we have seen in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies this year is not going to change any time soon. The Under 20’s basic skill level was poor and the side’s ability to read what was happening in front of them during their matches was akin to what we have been witnessing all year in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies. Where to for Australian Rugby from here? Michael Chieka has made some changes for this week against Italy in Brisbane with Steven Moore back in charge on the field and with a bit more muscle included with Rory Arnold and Rob Horne also getting a start. Let’s hope they can lift the intensity and commitment in the team this time around.

The British and Irish Lions have run themselves into some form for this Saturdays First Test against the Mighty All Blacks. Strong wins against the Maori All Blacks and the Chiefs has seen coach Gatland pick a very much in form team for the match in Aukland. Likewise the All Blacks have gone for a very attacking lineup which should make for a very pacey game. After scoring twelve tries in their match against Samoa I think we can expect plenty of attack from the world champions. Sound defense has been a feature of the Lions recent matches after a bit of a shaky start. However I reckon the All Blacks can win and win well.

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Referees Corner With Jim Scardanas

illawarrarugbylogoThe Rogue had a discussion with leading Referee Jim Scardanas the other day and the subject of the tackle and when a maul exists came up. Jim was quick to point out that there seems to be quite a bit of confusion amongst Illawarra Rugby followers and participants in regard to this whole area of play.

When is a tackler required to release the ball carrier? When does a maul commence and what is required of the players from that point on? It can get a bit confusing and considering that the whole thing can develop very quickly, is it any wonder that we hear plenty of comments such as “make him release him”.

Here’s a bit of an explanation from the man himself: If a player in a one on one tackle, and maybe with a tackle assist there as well, gets down on one knee then YES he must be released or a penalty will ensue. However if a maul has formed and that same ball carrier goes down on one knee in the maul, his opponents do not have to release him at all, in fact it is in their best interests to hold him up because if the maul ceases going forward on the second occasion a turnover will result.

Here it is important to define a maul: “a Maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carriers team mates bind on the ball carrier. A Maul therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet; ie the ball carrier and one player from each team. All players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line. Open play has ended”. (Rugby Union Laws of the Game, Law 17 Maul 2017)

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Avondale Escape Vikings Threat

MatchReportIt was a match between No.1 and 2 on the points table and after eighty minutes of engrossing rugby, Avondale and Vikings have confirmed their rating as the top two sides in the 2017 competition. Avondale kept their unbeaten record intact with a 23 – 18 victory after appearing to have let the IDRU Builders Club Round 11 match slip from their grasp. Vikings will maintain second spot on the table with a bonus point from this match which is only their second loss of the year both at the hands of the unbeaten Avondale.

The Wombats brought their renowned strong physical game to the contest but the Blueys were not willing to allow the premiership frontrunners have things all their own way. Avondale had the better of first forty going to the break with a 13 – 7 lead but could easily have had two more tries on the board but for the determination of the Vikings effort. With replacement halfback Jason Reid putting in a remarkable display, Vikings fell just short of scoring twice early in the second term before Reid scored a try and kicked a penalty goal for the Blueys to lead 15 – 13 with less than twenty to play.

The Tuigamala brothers combined to deny the Blueys the win with a penalty goal to Fly-half Silipa and then with just five minutes left to play replacement winger Mani Tuigamala scored a sensational try for the Wombats to get the result.

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2017 NSW Junior Rugby Union State Championships

The 2017 NSW Junior Rugby Union State Championships were held over the June long weekend and despite the record rainfall, the teams competing in age groups from Under 11’s through to Under 17’s were still able to play with a number of Junior illawarriors taking parts with two teams in the 11s , one team each in the 12s, 13,14s, 15s and 16s and several players joining up with Sydney teams in the under 17s.

With the week of rain and some last minute venue changes made things difficult but nothing stopped the games going ahead. Some scrambling by the clubs and NSWJRU officials meant that we were able to find grounds for all age groups to go ahead and play .

The old warrior ventured to the under 17s played at Wakehurst rugby club Belrose in Sydney’s North. With  11 Junior Illawarrior playing  with the combined galloping Greens Team ( Dougal Blakmore, Keiran Fowler, Campbell De Montemas, Jackson Rice, Valere Moisi, Jackson Forde , Cory Marshall, Opeti Taufahema , Byrce Moore, Will Smith  and Reece Apollo.  Eastwood hosted Oscar Moran and Tom Honeysett as Coach. Also Spotted former Illawarra and Shamrock Ian Westwood running the touch line in a couple of Games.

Some good performance from the young Illawarriors over the weekend in varied conditions , well done to all especially Oscar Moran who has been selected in the Sydney under 17s side to take on Country in the annual clash on August the 6th at Bathurst

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