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The Lions escaped

August 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

It was a game of high intensity from the start with Western Province catching the Lions flat footed in the first 30 minutes steaming away to a 22-3 lead. WP will feel that they left a certain win on the table as they allowed the Lions back in the game to finally come away with a 31-all draw.

Full match:

As with most games nowadays where TMO decisions are involved it wasn’t a game without its share of controversy, in part due to commentators questioning decisions without have sufficient knowledge of the laws.

The Lions were beneficiaries of two TMO decisions that will probably be discussed ad nauseum this week especially by WP supporters feeling done in, the first being the apparent knock on leading up to Deon Helberg’s try, the other Damian de Allende being penalised and a penalty try being awarded.

Helberg’s try:

After the try was scored Jaco Peyper called in the TMO and from his gestures it was obvious that he wanted the possible knock-on investigated as he was behind the players and couldn’t see whether the Ball was knocked or came of a WP player.

The TMO went back to the incident and then ran through play until the try, never returning to the possible knock. Why not?

Well, in terms of the IRB TMO protocol the TMO can only go back two phases (rucks, mauls, scrums, etc.) from the try and there had been two rucks after the incident and before the try was scored, which means that the possible knock on fell outside the scope of the TMO. As we saw no close up slomo’s of the incident it is impossible to say whether it was a knock or not but it certainly looked like one.

The penalty try:

The TMO ruled that de Allende came in from the wrong side and dived on Boshoff and prevented him from scoring a probable try and Peyper awarded a penalty try and yellow-carded de Allende.

Taking the last bit first, when a penalty try is awarded it is an automatic yellow card for the offending player, therefore the yellow card was correct in the situation.

Now, did de Allende perform a penalisable offence?

In terms of the tackle laws and its application a player arriving at a tackle has to 1) come through the “gate” and 2) remain on his feet.

The Gate:



Arriving players:



Boshoff was clearly tackled and on the ground when de Allende arrived, came in from the side and not from behind his team mate and dived in, not staying on his feet. He then proceeded to play the ball on the ground making it three penalisable offences, which wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow if penalised anywhere else on the park.

With that behind us and sorted out I think most Lions supporters will feel that the Lions had a lucky escape after being outplayed in the first half. These slow starts have been a problem for the Lions the whole year already and they need to get it sorted out but quickly.

Match review:

Photos added as per comment below:

Before Kolbe released the ball:



As Kolbe release the ball:


37 responses to The Lions escaped

  1. 1 Question Bay, do you agree or disagree with this finding

  2. TV-Willie was wel reg

    André Watson, Suid-Afrikaanse skeidsregterbaas, sê daar was niks verkeerd met Willie Roos se TV-beslissing om ’n strafdrie aan die Goue Leeus toe te ken in Vrydag se Curriebeker-wedstryd teen die Westelike Provinsie nie.

    “Ek kan nie verstaan dat mense daaroor wonder nie. Die reël sê dit duidelik: Alle aankomende spelers ná ’n duikslag moet deur die ‘hek’ kom,” het Watson gister gesê.

    • As I said, I don’t have a problem with penalising de Allende for foul play, coming in from the side, or any of the other things. I still do not believe that the TV evidence proves that Boshoff would have been able to score a legal try had de Allende not been guilty.

      Watson has always covered for Willie, even when he was still allowed to hold a whistle.

  3. I had to take these on the TV, since no one has made a HD copy of the game available.

    In this picture ( You can see Pat’s hand hit the ball, whether or not if he knocked it out of Volminks hand and it should be a knock is a 50/50 call and when unsure you don’t make a call.

    In this picture ( you can see CJ put his forearm into Shadow’s back, and here ( he extends it. Turning it into a push.

    The penalty try has 2 crucial moments: This is the first reach, which is legal ( Notice that De Allende is not touching him yet. The ball has made contact with the ground and his hand is above the ball. At this moment Nic Groome is rolling him over that shoulder, so the odds of him being able to score with that hand is decreasing. This moment here is where de Allende made contact ( Notice that the ball is short, Boshoff has statrted to roll as Groome wanted him too, he has no control of the ball which is on the ground, and not in his hand. Also, he has already made a movement to place it. The only way that he can score a try (even if de Allende was not there) was to pick up the ball and take it over the line with momentum. I don’t have a problem with penalising de Allende. My problem is that it is impossible for Boshoff to have scored a try from there, therefore it couldn’t have been a penalty try.

    The Kolbe touchline angles are limited, but you can see Cronje not pulling Kolbe’s back boot out over the line (its just short) and his other leg on top of a Lions player. I’ll grab it for you as well if you’d like

    • I’ve asked the SA Referees site to comment on the “possession/control” issue, hopefully they will this time, as “control” isn’t part of the law.

      Boshoff seemed to remain in contact with the ball until de Allende came in. And his momentum did take him over the tryline, if you look at where he ended up. The moment de Allende played the ball it was only centimetres from the line.

      The interesting thing is that few people commenting on the various site complained about this, most complained about the “coming in from the wrong side” as it wasn’t a ruck, not knowing that the tackle situation has a similar law.

      In the end, this will be a talking point for a while until the next TMO decision one team’s supporters don’t agree with.

      I don’t have an real issue with whether Kolbe was “in touch”, just feel that the TMO should have gone through the whole play until he released the ball.

      Part of what I’m trying to do with this is to show how little we know about the laws of rugby and its application until one actually does some research. It is easy to criticise a ref but often it is out of ignorance.

      Maybe I should add a rugby laws section to my blogs as it makes for great discussion. :)

    • In the Pat vs Volminks case it is not a 50/50 call as Pat never had possession of the ball thus it would always be a knock-on.

      • I felt it was 50/50 because there is no clear evidence that the ball had NOT left Volminks hand in an attempted offload and been knocked back by Pat. That frame is obstructed (ironically by Pat) and they never showed a different angle.

        What is interesting is Roos might not have considered it to be 2 phases back, but Peyper clearly told him more than once that the tackle was in his opinion only a tackle, so the big possible knock was still inside 2 phases. It might be that Roos just ignored him.

  4. CJ vd Linde pushed /bumped the WP guy off his line and then the ball was knocked. No try.
    Yellow card shouldn’t have been given either but I’ll live with it because it was a great game of rugger to watch. Draw is a fair reflection of the game but WP should have had that one.
    WP often tend to defend their lead with good defense instead of going for the kill

    • You see it your way … :)

      It will be interesting to see whether the SA Referees site discusses either of these TMO decisions. I’ve asked them in the past to discuss specific ones but they ten to discuss what they want and often steer clear of the more controversial decisions

      • AC was complaining about TMO decisions yesterday. Maybe he also saw something. In a Cheetsh game Sadie try was disallowed for a similar offense

        • I didn’t watch the Cheetahs game but will have a look.

          In any game you’re going to find decisions that vary according to ref and tmo interpretations, camera angles, etc. and we’re not always going to agree and people, myself included :) focus on those that went against your team.

          In the Lions WP game Tiaan Liebenberg’s try came after what looked like a skew lineout throw by WP while de Allende’s try came after Kolbe looked to be in touch after the tackle, neither was picked up by the refs and in de Allende’s case the TMO didn’t follow the action until Kolbe released the ball but focused on the possible foot in touch while running (I added screen shots to the post).

          Unfortunately there are no slomo’s or close-ups of this so we’ll never be certain.

          • Kolbe looked in touch on the first go, but when you watched it in slomo (and HD?) you can see that although Kolbe’s feet and legs are over the line… They don’t touch the line or the grass on the other side.

            I don’t get why AC complained about the CJ event, because that looked like a knock, but the HD replay shows Pat’s hand hitting the ball.

    • Did CJ push him or just hold his line while Ghost tried to obstruct him by running in front of him? :)

  5. I like the “yet”

  6. Well Ive been watching him with your eyeball lately and its definitely a different look but the jury’s still out on him for me I still want to see him on the biggest of stages with some guys who can really kick well tactically, I still think he can learn correct positional play and develop another foot

  7. I thought it was officially changed from Roos to Doos

  8. The cj one wasnt n knock. It came of pat’s hand and went back. After that CJ might used an elbow in Shadow’s back.

    In the Boshoff thing it was for preventing a probable try from being scored. Boshoff lost the ball (it doesnt look forward) before de Allende enters the situation. For him to be able to score try he would then have to reach out, pick up the ball and place it. That would have been a penalty WP. So it was impossible for him to score the try. The penalty try is therefore bullshit.

    The rule about remaining on your feet doesnt apply to de Allende because he was behind his goalline, and there is no coming through the gate for the same reason. The only risk he had was foul play for diving on a player on the ground. So at best it should have bren penalty Lions

    • Thanks for clearing the knock on up

      de Allende wasn’t behind the tryline when he went into the tackle, only when he played the ball. As to Boshoff, he lost control but did he lose contact with the ball? If he was still in contact with the ball forward momentum might have taken him across but I agree, this is where the decision becomes iffy.

      • I thought De Allende s feet were behind the line when he made contact the first time. The ball clearly leaves Boshoff’s arm. Which is why you can hear de Allende complain to Rasta when he’s on the naughty seat “But he lost the ball”, and then Rasta shrugs and walks away when he sees the camera on them.

        As I said, its probably not a knock. De Alledenda was perhaps guilty of dangerous play (although i do think he made contact with the ground first and slid into Boshoff), but it was impossible for Boshoff to score a legal try from there.

        • Feet behind the line? By extension does this mean that when there’s a ruck on the tryline the defenders standing in the goal area can then contest for the ball anyway they want even if the ball is still in the field of play?

          • Well the tryline is always the offside line. If you are behind that, how can you be offside?

            That would still only (at most) accrue a penalty. The question for penalty try is whether it is probable a try would have been scored had it not been for foul play. In this case, it was impossible for Boshoff to score a try. Even if it wasn’t a knock-on. You can’t roll the ball along the ground with your forearm and then claim a try. I’ll see what I can do to get some decent HD angles for you

          • There is no offside in a tackle unless a ruck or maul has been formed. There are specific laws that rule the tackle situation in field and once the ball carrier/ball crosses the tryline other laws apply.

            The only issue to me is what the interpretation of “losing possession” is and I haven’t been able to find anything specific on that. Nowhere in the laws does it say a player has to be “in control” of the ball and we’ve seen tries being given where the player merely remains in contact with the ball, so that part seems to depend on the ref/tmo’s interpretation of “possession” unless there is a specific ruling somewhere that I haven’t been able to trace.

          • I think my freezeframes might have ended in your spam

  9. Met uysh I copy my comment and if lost just paste it saves a crap load of frustration, way too many dodgy calls lately, I do feel if De jong had passed that once when he should have the Lions would have been done !!!!!

    • The TMOs, instead of clearing up confusion, seems to be creating even more but that’s also, in part, because the commentators don’t seem know the laws well enough and neither does most spectators and viewers.

      • Lets not forget… this is Willie Roos we are talking about. The man “allegedly” almost assaulted by Rassie, called several explicitives by Schalk and thrown with Brannas&Coke in Kimberley

  10. I hate these captcha codes, write a comment then lose it if its entered incorrectly.

    I didn’t see the penalty try myself but reading your analysis it is still not clear that a try would have been “probable” had the offense not been committed. On the same token one should then ask why MInie wasn’t carded when, on the Lions try line, he refused to release the ball while the WP had momentum and had men over on the Lions which, had the ball been cleared, would likely have resulted in a try. On the same basis as Allende, Minie should have been given the yellow as well. But wasn’t.

    • But I don’t have captcha if you’re logged in?

      de Allende’s yc was for conceding a penalty try, not for his specific offence.

      Boshoff was still in contact with the ball and had forward momentum inches from the tryline. Because of de Allende’s interference we’ll never know if he would have lost contact with the ball (knock on)

      • You definitely have Captcha. I’ve taken to copying my comment to clipboard before clicking post, because even when I get it right I sometimes get “Unable to read Captcha”

    • you don’t lose it if you click go back arrow in your browser… I think

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