- Aug 8, 2001
I was passing
A knock-on occurs when a player loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, or when a player hits the ball forward with the hand or arm, or when the ball hits the hand or arm and goes forward, and the ball touches the ground or another player before the original player can catch it.I think the debate about yesterday's one poor refereeing decision masks a deeper problem that should be the discussion point about England rugby.
Only the most ardent Welsh supporter would say that what the referee did for the first try was fair. As for the second, by the letter of the law it was no knock on. The ball was dropped and from last contact with the player's body went backwards. Taken the other way, if a defender touches a pass making the ball go forward, catches the ball and runs to score a try that try would stand.
No the bigger debate is surely about England's style and discipline.
Discipline first. England habitually give away loads of penalties. No ifs, no buts, the statistics are there in black and white. Cut that out and you immediately stop giving away territory, advantage and points.
Style? There is a distinct difference between Southern Hemisphere rugby and that played by England. England still insist on the "keep it with the forwards and bash it up the middle" style. Plainly this is not a winning tactic. England have some great backs with speed and agility yet for far too long in matches they are relegated to the role of spectators or defenders. Earlier someone mentioned risk and reward. England need to take more risks in getting the ball wide quickly to fast wingers and fullback who can penetrate defenses at their weakest point. The rewards would follow.
It surprises me that with a coach from below the equator we still play a ponderous, stogy and thus penalty laden style.
Then there is the kicking game. In the first match of this series against Scotland England kicked, kicked and kicked again. This always resulted in the loss of territory with the ball ending up at least twenty metres behind the point from which it was initially kicked. In eighty minutes no one recognised this fact either on the pitch or on the sidelines. The backs must have been frustrated that when the ball was eventually released from the forwards it never reached them.
It was eighteen years ago that I sat enthralled by England as they played New Zealand and Australia at the start of that World Cup year. They employed a style and approach that matched and outplayed the two dominant teams in world rugby. Little surprise to me that we won the World Cup that year. But in eighteen years we seem to have regressed.
Is it any wonder that I prefer to watch England Ladies who have, and use, some exciting talent in the back division.
Best you let these guys know then
First of all there should no criticism of Dan Biggar, he asked the ref if he could go and got the nod. Good alert play by him.
Guess who isn’t going to be particularly unbiased in this one ??
First try - Dan Biggar has form for taking quick penalties, he saw an opportunity checked with the ref and exploited it.
I would be raging as an England fan too but Farrell needed to be more situationally aware (you snooze you lose). Yes the ref was a bit quick and maybe his instructions weren’t as clear as they could be but its international rugby and you’ve got to be sharper than England were in situations like that.
Second try - rulebook says if it hits the body and goes backwards it’s not a knock on, can’t argue with the rulebook.
England lost that game because of kicking away possession and a massive lack of discipline and haemorrhaging penalties - just as they have in every game this series
They should be grateful that Maro Itoje didn’t get to spend time in the bin for the number of times he repeatedly offended.
Don't get me wrong - I think Itoje is a stunning player and if he had any Welsh in him I’d sign him up in a heartbeat but when you can see the ref is being whistle happy as this one was then Farrell should have had the presence of mind to take him aside for a second and tell him to ease back a little.
Anyways I have just recorded the after match interviews to watch Owen & Eddie over and over and over again