June Tests - Clarifications

June Clarifications

To bring some perspective to some of the rugby we’ve seen during the June international window, here is a collection of comments and clarifications arising from the first three rounds.  This is a challenging time for clubs and referees, as World Rugby attempts to bring the world into sync ahead of next year’s world cup.  Commentary and feedback like this are what referees in the high performance pool are receiving, to help them both perform at a higher level on the field and learn how to become more insightful critics of the game when they self-reflect on their own performances.  

Round 1

Foul Play

Match | Clip | Comment

NZ v FRA (1st) | High Tackle 

PK only but not a YC

NZ v FRA (1st) | High Tackle

YC for NZ 7 as strike to head but no force. Much has been discussed about NZ18 but for me I don’t rule his action as foul play

USA V RUS | High Tackle

Correct decision, initial contact below the shoulder line and then slips up

SA v ENG (1st) | Late charge 

Correct decision in the context of the game as he didn’t have to follow through and had previously been involved

AUS v IRE (1st) | Tackle in the air

PK only as timing out and G15 didn’t pull player to ground

ARG v WAL (1st) | Tackle in the air

PK only as again timing out and W10 didn’t pull player to ground


General Play

CAN v SCO | Deliberate knock on

Correct decision as probable try would have been scored

JPN v ITA (1st) | Deliberate knock on

Correct decision, no opportunity for line break

NZ v FRA (1st) | Knock on Offside

Scrum call correct as F15 puts F14 onside before he catches the ball

WAL v SA | Knocked out of play

Q, was the ball deliberately knocked dead? Yes so YC. Would a probable try have been scored? No so no PT



NZ v FRA (1st) | Gaps

While I understand the FK, it should be PK for jumping across as F4 clearly makes contact with opposition

NZ v FRA (1st) | Gaps

Correct decision because first time it was a FK  



NZ v FRA (1st) | Offside – retreating player

NZ3 offside, should be PK

SA v ENG (1st) | Offside – retreating player

SA9 never gets to hindmost foot so clearly offside, AR input??

AUS v IRE (1st) | Offside – retreating player

Correct decision for lazy runner



JPN v ITA (1st) | Grounding

Correct decision

CAN v SCO | Grounding

Correct decision  

AUS v IRE (1st) | Knock on

TMO has clear footage to show ball was lost forward so correct not to award try. If the screen had gone blank what would you as a ref awarded?

AUS v IRE (1st) | Playing opp w/out ball

This tackle should either have been dealt with immediately or not at all.


Round 2

Foul Play

NZ v FRA (2nd) | Foul play referral

Dominant tackle that becomes a tip tackle because of contact to players on the ground and therefore PK only

SA v ENG (2nd) | Foul play referral

In the context of this game a YC should have been awarded

AUS v IRE (2nd) | Chop Tackle

No attempt to make a tackle, PK and YC  

ARG v WAL (2nd) | Red card

RC correct decision and Arg 10 should have also been given a YC for instigating it

NZ v FRA (2nd) | Red card

I have already emailed you all on this. Given the reverse angle shows a mitigating factor not seen by MO’s it’s a YC

JPN v ITA (2nd) | Swinging arm

Correct decision

TON v SAM | Swinging arm

No TMO did not help as direct contact with force to the head so RC

AUS v IRE (2nd) | Lifting Tackle

Correct decision

AUS v IRE (2nd) | Cynical Play

Correct outcome but this is not in protocol. There was luck involved with both this clip and the one below as you could argue a deliberate knock on

SA v ENG (2nd) | Cynical Play

As per my comments above


General Play

SA v ENG (2nd) | Blocking catcher

PK for obstruction

SA v ENG (2nd) | Blocking catcher

Good PK  



AUS v IRE (2nd) | Grounding

Good process and correct decision

SA v ENG (2nd) | Grounding

Question is if SA5 made it to his feet before attempting tackle. Reverse angle at 0.49 probably shows he has done enough and correct to award try

NZ v FRA (2nd) | Double movement

Correct decision

ARG v WAL (2nd) | Obstruction

No obstruction

AUS v IRE (2nd) | Penalty Try

Correct decision as pull down initiated before going into in goal

USA v SCO | Penalty Try

YC for high tackle but not a PT

SA v ENG (2nd) | Penalty Try

Once the scums pops up like this advantage cannot be played if ball is kept in the scrum. PT is wrong decision


Round 3

Foul Play

AUS v IRE (3rd) | Collision in the air

Correct decision as A15 also has hands on the body

AUS v IRE (3rd) | Elbow

YC is correct decision as lacking in force for RC – but close!

JPN v GEO | High Tackle

Correct decision



AUS v IRE (3rd) | TMO Review 1

In the context of what was at stake I can understand the review but it was clear from early on that no contact was made by Ire11 and process took too long

NZ v FRA (3rd) | TMO Review 2

While the law book with support this decision, the common sense approach should have been to award a scrum for causing an obstruction

NZ v FRA (3rd) | TMO Review 3

Ref said he saw grounding (wrongly) and in this case footage for TMO was clear the ball was held up. Messy process but correct outcome

JPN v GEO | TMO Review 4

Correct outcome but process took far too long