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URC Round 9 - Connacht vs Munster - Saturday, Jan 1st @ 5.15pm - Premier Sports, TG4, URC TV



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,149 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy

    Yes, but the lack of space for attacking teams from defences being allowed to live offside ruins a lot of games. If referees were stricter on it and pinged it a few times early in games it would make for much more attractive rugby and reward teams for attacking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,394 ✭✭✭ realhorrorshow

    That's certainly a factor but i don't think it's at all hard for an officiating team of three to police offside elsewhere on the pitch. Pretty much all junior refs I've had have been extremely diligent with regards to the offside line, and they don't have the benefit of an assistant, who is often a pro ref themselves, standing in line with the play.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,746 ✭✭✭ Former Former Former

    If the ref pinged every marginal offside or minor infringement at the breakdown, he'd be accused of not letting the game flow, having no feel for the game, making it all about himself and whatever else.

    The refs cannot win in the modern game because everyone micro-analyses it until they see what they want to see.

    Busby had a good game. He had two dreadful teams and no small amount of prick-acting but he kept it relatively on track.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,394 ✭✭✭ realhorrorshow

    They do just that with not rolling away penalties though. It does affect the flow of the game currently but players' behaviour will eventually change and the game will be the better for it. I think the game has been crying out for a similar approach to policing the offside line for a long time now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭ Stanley 1

    If the defender's back foot in the maul/ruck is over the try line, then the try line becomes the offside line, hence you get guys crouched on the try line, ready to tackle, their hands on the try line indicate to the ref they are onside.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,149 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy

    If they do it a couple of times early on then teams will adjust and stay behind the hindmost foot. Even if ARs let the ref know and he communicated to defences more to stay back, it might pre-empt any penalties at all. We can all appreciate good defence, and linespeed ,but starting your run at attacker's from a yard or two ahead is an unfair advantage. There is nothing marginal about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,285 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia

    If a referee isn't policing the offside line then it's almost a requirement to play offside because the other team will have a huge advantage over you if they do it and you don't

    Munster were awful, but we would have scored a 2nd try if Connacht hadn't been offside at pretty much every ruck just before half time. Even when they're being pinged for it, the advantage is still big enough to justify remaining offside.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 7,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭ aloooof

    Largely agree with this, but it often comes down to the interpretation; I think some others ref’s would’ve given a 2nd yellow sooner. I think that 5-6 min sequence when Munster were camped on the 5m line went:

    1. 3 penalties resulting in the warning.
    2. Another penalty resulting in the yellow card
    3. Another 3 penalties resulting in another warning
    4. Connacht win the penalty to clear

    As far as I’m aware, the laws say persistent infringements require a warning, and then a subsequent offence gets a yellow; there’s nothing about further subsequent offences? Some ref’s would give another yellow immediately; Busby seemed to interpret it that the yellow resets the warning.

    Equally, some refs will interpret “persistent infringements” across the course of a game, as well as over such a concentrated period. I remember Rory Scannell getting a yellow earlier in the season after only coming on the field, he was effectively the fall guy for the previous infringements. I’d have no problem if Munster had received a yellow for persistent infringements here either.

    But for me, that 5-6 min spell of 7 penalties, inside the 5m line is a fairly clear case for a 2nd yellow.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 7,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭ aloooof

    Was hoping Crowley would get more game time here as well, so was disappointed he didn’t. Suspect may have been down to the 2 point deficit and wanting to keep Healy on the field with his range.

  • Registered Users Posts: 898 ✭✭✭ RichieRich_89

    I'd love to see someone demonstrate this supposed offside epidemic with screenshots every time the ball is just out. I'd wager almost invariably the defence is in fact onside.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,578 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh

    I didn’t see the first half at all and was only able to half watch the second on the phone. A few things that stood out though were:

    What in Gods name were Connacht doing turning down 3 points in a 2 point game!? I get that Fitzgerald’s kicking hasn’t been great but one of those chances was in front of the posts about 30m out. If there wasn’t a player in the 15 capable of converting that then Connacht are in a bad way.

    Quite how Connacht had so much possession and territory in that half and only scored once I don’t know. I thought they seemed very profligate in the red zone. They don’t have any excuse in terms of rustiness as this was their 5th game on the trot. Against a team that has been nothing but incredibly badly disrupted and had only played 2 games in the last 2 months.

    Looking at the stats there’s some very concerning aspects for Munster. The 45 passes has been mentioned, which was only 26% the number Connacht made. But that’s not the worst of it. Despite so few passes, Munster kicked from hand more. 28 to 21. That’s 33% more kicks. Connacht had 1 kick for every 8 passes. Munster had 1 kick for every 1.5 passes!

    Munsters pack were a complete non-entity going forward, but that’s no surprise given that Munster opted to kick so much of their possession. Ben Healy kicked the ball 8 times and only passed 5 times and carried the ball just once. He had a total of 14 involvements in the game offensively and kicked away over half of those. Munsters centres barely saw the ball at all. I can totally see why so many people had a hard time with that game.

    That said, Munster have been very badly hit over the last 2 months between the break for the AIs and then the Covid issues. They will improve and this probably isn’t the game to judge them or JVG on.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 7,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭ aloooof

    Hard to disagree with any of that @molloyjh. I’ve defend them in the past, like the Ospreys game where they were trying but things just weren’t sticking cos the execution just wasn’t good enough. But this was different, and absolutely turgid.

    Our 2 best moments came in the 1st half from Ben Healy booting it 70m down the field. One led to the try and the other led to a 70m gain, that we quickly turned over. That and the passing stat say it all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭ CowboyTed

    Asking for Connacht to get two yellows in this situation would mean Munster should have got a Yellow previously and another one at least in the second half...

    Munster gave away significantly more penalties during the game and got nothing.

    What was really troubling is the ref was very lax out the field about offside and killing the ball and then became extremely strict on the Connacht line... Where was the consistency? Connacht were shipping penalties and trying to figure out what the new rules changed from the ones out the field...

    Carty was trying to explain that no one knew what the ref interpretation of offside is anymore...

    Saying that general rule is you get a yellow and start again... But show us a ref that didn't do that... Seen plenty of props given the bin and the next prop isn't sent off straight away on a collapsing the scrum..

    By the way that was the most embarrassing piece of rugby I have seen for a while... Conway was open for nearly all of it after a couple of phases... Munster were cringeworthy bad at not seeing anything... If they used Maul or Scrum they would have got a penalty try and the yellow card, was there a rugby brain on the Munster team at all...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ OldRio

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,047 ✭✭✭ Bazzo

    I think there were actually 6 penalties on the try line, not 7.

    I'd have no issue if there were 2 yellows for that, but only if Munster were also yellowed for persistent infringing: 18 over the course of the match(10 or 11 in their own half) without a warning as far as I can remember.

    Anyway I didn't think there was that much wrong/out of the ordinary with the reffing other than totally bottling a red card to be honest. Although that said the breakdown was a bit of a free for all. Connacht probably benefited from that more earlier on but Munster quickly adapted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,220 ✭✭✭✭ phog

    Piss poor game from Munster and a poor game of rugby overall not helped by a piss poor ref.

    I thought we played somewhat ok in the first half but we didn't come out in the 2nd half and still we got a LBP, that in itself tells you the kind of game it was.

    This is exactly the kind of game that we needed Billy Holland for. Other than maybe turning down 3 points before half time I don't think we made too many wrong decisions but you'd like to think that Billy would have somehow managed to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and grab a win.

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,252 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    seeing as we are 86 hours after full time, and we havent heard of any citing against Chris Farrell, does that mean the refs decision was correct?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,746 ✭✭✭ Former Former Former

    URC only announces citings after the culprit has been found guilty. If Farrell is cited and cleared, we will never hear anything of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 340 ✭✭ Happyhouse22

    I’ve often thought that if the offside line could be monitored electronically it would be good for the game.

    That is if a computer system sent a signal to the red

    No idea of the logistics or anything or if the technology exists but think it would open up a lot of space - to the naked eye it looks like teams are consistently marginally offside. While this system would probably ruin a few games initially in time teams would adapt and defend slightly behind the offside line to avoid giving away a penalty and I believe the game would improve.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭ crossman47

    I'm not a big rugby fan but some things really puzzle me. Someone mentioned earlier penalties for not rolling away. Fair enough if you can but, in many cases, it appears to me as if a man trapped under other bodies is penalised. What can he do? Also, re the Farrell tackle, I couldn't see that as a red. He tried to make it a fair tackle and wrapped his arms around the guy but they clashed heads. What was the offence?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,646 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster

    Head to head contact in the tackle is generally a red card. It means that the tackler has tackled too high. I'm quite surprised that Farrell got away with a yellow on Saturday.

    On the tackler rolling away, they have to make an effort and have to move sideways. Being trapped isn't an excuse. Although I did think a couple of times on Saturday that the trapped player wasn't slowing down the ball. At least 1 pen to each side didn't need to be blown IMO.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,285 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia

    It's the tacklers responsibility to avoid head contact, Chris Farrell tackled too high and was very lucky to avoid red.

    There had been far too many 'accidental' head contacts due to poor tackle technique and they were having some serious real life consequences for players who were suffering multiple concussions a season so the referees have been directed to treat all head contact as a red card offense unless there were mitigation factors to bring it down to a yellow

    As for 'not rolling away' sometimes the tackler deliberately lies in the way to slow the ball down, other times they are deliberately held in to try to buy a penalty, and other times they just get caught in a position under other players where they can't physically roll away. It's often a judgement call from the ref. All we can hope for is that (s)he is consistent

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,446 ✭✭✭ Lost Ormond

    Too hard and too slow. I think all too often many fans think the opposition is offside but theyre just not and the defences are timing their line speed to the second and are onside or at least the only players who may be offside are not directly material to the play so you play on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 898 ✭✭✭ RichieRich_89

    Yup. Team with very organised, cohesive, oppressive defence = opposition fans complaining that they're offside all day.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 7,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭ aloooof

    Am I mistakenly remembing something previously, that was along the lines of yellow cards not being able tp be referred for citing?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,047 ✭✭✭ Bazzo

    Nah, there have been loads of stone wall examples of reds that have been yellowed over the past couple of seasons with no more said about it after for whatever reason.

    There have also been remarkably few non-automatic citings since the start of COVID.