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Thorb's Referee Rankings: Quarter Finals Posted almost 5 years ago

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Photo: Jeanfrancois Beausejour, Monaco

GAME SCORE REFEREE RANKING
IRELAND v WALES 10 – 22 C JOUBERT 7.5/10
ENGLAND v FRANCE 12 -19 S WALSH 5.0/10
SOUTH AFRICA v AUSTRALIA 9 – 11 B LAWRENCE 4.5/10
NEW ZEALAND v ARGENTINA 33 – 10 N OWENS 6.5/10

QUARTER FINAL 1
IRELAND V WALES – C JOUBERT
7.5/10

SCRUM:

  1. 2 well matched competitive scrums, even contest.
  2. Cadence: Good.
  3. Resets: 4 all against Wales, compared to his average of 2.8 per game.
  4. Penalties: Only 2 compared to an average of 3.6 per game.
  5. Hand Slip/down: Not an issue.
  6. General: Steady cadence.

OFFSIDE IN FRONT OF KICKER (10 m Line):

  1. Very lenient, not called at least 3 times with Welsh in front of kicker.

BREAKDOWN POST TACKLE:

  1. 12 penalties at breakdown, same as his average.
  2. Release: Consistent.
  3. Hands in: Called to players offending.
  4. In at side: Several penalties for in at side.

GENERAL:

  1. Seemingly calm, consistent and unflappable demeanor with excellent communication to players.

This performance consolidated Joubert’s high standing in appointments groups “eyes” and shows why he has been selected to referee the Semi Finals.

QUARTER FINAL 2
ENGLAND v FRANCE – S WALSH
5.5/10

SCRUM:

  1. Cadence: Too slow in touch/pause phase.
  2. Resets: 4, just under his average of 5 in his pool games.
  3. Penalties: 17, again just under his average of 20 in pool matches (5 of which were scrum penalties).
  4. Hand Slip/down: Called England. Stevens at Loosehead has been a problem for England scrum (usually an excellent tight head).
  5. General: inconsistent calls.

OFFSIDE IN FRONT OF KICKER (10 m Line):

  1. Not called against France in front.
  2. Once again a matter of how much assistant referee input is allowed (essential in this facet of play).

BREAKDOWN POST TACKLE:

  1. 8 of 17 penalties were at the breakdown.
  2. Release: Seems to be a change in attitude as to giving tackler(s) more leeway.
  3. Hands in: same as previous comment. Suits Englands style of slowing as much ball down as possible.
  4. In at side: France not committing many to the breakdown.
  5. Other: England pulled down a French maul that was not called.

GENERAL:

  1. Overall penalty count of 17 during the game, 5 of which were against England within the first 30 minutes.
  2. Looked to be “evening things up” in second half when awarding 9 penalties to England before finally 1 to France towards end of game.
    As we have seen this performance put him out of contention for Semi Final consideration.

QUARTER FINAL 3
SOUTH AFRICA v AUSTRALIA – B LAWRENCE
4.5/10

SCRUM:

  1. Packs were evenly weighted, South Africa at 895kg and Australia at 908kg, but in technique South Africa were very much stronger.
  2. Cadence: Was clear and well timed, an improvement on a normally too slow pause/engage.
  3. Resets: 6
  4. Penalties: just 1 of the total game of 10 penalties was for scrum infringements.
  5. Hand Slip/down : N/A

OFFSIDE IN FRONT OF KICKER:

  1. No calls or penalties and was not an influence on the game.

BREAKDOWN POST TACKLE:

  1. South Africa had 131 ruck and maul situations while Australia had just 44.
  2. A large number of these were well into Australian territory (South Africa had a total of 67% of the territory and 68% of contestable ball, yet received just 4 penalties. This was unbelievable particularly when analysis shows how many uncalled offenses there were.)
  3. Whether by direction or whatever, Lawrence seemed to step away from much of his responsibility and sensible control of the breakdown area. Albeit the breakdown law and interpretations are a shambles the referee seemed (as did his assistant referees at times) to step back and let anything go. Pocock was an extreme influence in this phase and any smart player will play to the edge of where the “Officials” draw the line, and in this case was allowed well beyond it.
  4. It was one way anything goes (especially when Brussow went off injured after 20 min.)
  5. From not releasing, sealing, coming in at the side, hands in the “post tackle” to not rolling away the referee did an about face from his normally accurate ruling of this phase of his games.
  6. I could not comprehend this change and it would seem to have cost him place with the whistle at Semi Finals and Finals time.

QUARTER FINAL 4
NEW ZEALAND v ARGENTINA – N OWENS
6.5/10

SCRUM:

  1. Cadence: Consistent.
  2. Resets: 9 scrums in total with 6 resets from 2 powerful scrums.
  3. Penalties: 16 penalties, with 10 at breakdown.
  4. Hand Slip/down: N/A
  5. General: Could have called “play the ball” when in back of collapsed scrum.

OFFSIDE IN FRONT OF KICKER:

  1. Not an obvious problem in this game.

BREAKDOWN/POST TACKLE:

  1. NZ 125 rucks and mauls compared to 48 for Argentina.
  2. Release: Talks to players clearly to warn them against their illegal actions.
  3. Hands in: As above.
  4. In at side: As above.
  5. Other: Argentina competent at slowing ball down, but called well to discourage.

GENERAL:

  1. Firm and fair with clear and decisive talking to teams.
  2. Worthy of his assistant referees role in Semi Finals.

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Thorb's is a former All Black selector, New Zealand Sevens coach and most recently head coach of the USA Eagles during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He is a highly respected international coach and has been involved with the IRB coach and referee groups shaping and refining the laws of the game.

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