19 May

Rate that Ref
by Tracey Nelson
19 May 2009

The second review of a referee’s performance, this time Jonathan Kaplan and his performance in the Super 14 final round match played between the Reds and Hurricanes in Brisbane. Questionable decisions are asterisked and discussed at the end.

Time Incident Referee’s Decision
1.08 Knock-on by Hurricanes at ruck Scrum to Reds
1.54 Turnover won at tackle by Waldrom FK to Hurricanes
2.15 Knock on by Ellison Scrum to Reds
2.58 Not square and stable at scrum, Schwalger FK to Reds
3.17 Ball drops straight down off Reds, calls play on Play on
3.34 Turnover from Nonu at tackle Advantage Reds, play on
3.41 Turnover at ruck as Reds lose ball Advantage Hurricanes
3.57 Thrush ahead of kicker, not spotted by TJ or ref Missed*
4.01 Ball touched down in-goal, ref checks with TMO as to whether taken back Drop out 22
4.19 Knock on from 22 drop out by Reds Scrum to Hurricanes
4.28 Reds player not rolling away at tackle Advantage to Hurricanes
5.01 Reds slowing down ruck maul on their 5m line Advantage to Hurricanes
5.29 Try to Nonu Awarded
7.21 Thrush off-side from kick Option of Penalty where ball landed or scrum where kicked to Reds
8.03 Not square at scrum, Schwalger.Warning next time will be escalation FK to Reds
8.28 So’oialo wins turnover at ruck Allows play to continue
8.57 Tackle turnover won by Reds Allows play to continue
12.16 Knock on by Reds Scrum to Hurricanes
14.00 Not straight throw to lineout by Hurricanes Not ruled, play continues*
14.32 Tackle turnover won by Hurricanes Play on
14.45 Schwalger drops ball straight down Rules not knock on
14.57 Forward pass by Vito Scrum to Reds
16.30 Hurricanes not rolling away at tackle FK to Reds
17.31 Knock on by Hurricanes Scrum to Reds
18.51 Weepu off-side at scrum Penalty to Reds
18.53 Hands in ruck by Hore, escalation from FK Penalty to Reds
21.06 Try to Nonu Awarded
23.50 Forward pass by Reds Scrum to Hurricanes
24.42 Turnover won by Reds, then by Hurricanes Allows play to continue
24.53 Off feet playing ball in ruck by Reds FK to Hurricanes
24.54 Backchat for previous decision by Horwill Marches Reds 10m
26.06 Knock on by Jane, Reds get ball Advantage to Reds
26.35 Not rolling away in tackle by Hurricanes FK to Reds
27.24 Try to Quade Cooper Awarded
30.57 Reds holding on to ball in tackle FK to Hurricanes
32.14 Try to Jane Awarded
34.30 Hurricanes holding on to ball in tackle FK to Reds
34.53 Off-side and hands in ruck by So’oialo, warning next one is escalation Penalty to Reds
36.13 Refers to TMO for possible Reds try, asks any reason I can’t award this?” TMO pending
  TMO says inconclusive as he can’t sight anything on replays Try awarded
38.08 Hurricanes lineout throw not straight Scrum to Reds
38.48 Schwalger not square in scrum, escalation Penalty to Reds
41.00 Try to Thrush Awarded
43.52 Hurricanes not rolling away in tackle FK to Reds
44.32 Reds holding not releasing ball in tackle FK to Hurricanes
44.33 Reds player refusing to give ball for FK Reds marched 10m
45.31 Knock on by Hurricanes Scrum to Reds
47.18 High tackle by Hurricanes Plays advantage to Reds
48.55 Hurricanes off-side on own goal line Plays advantage to Reds
49.13 Knock on by Reds No advantage, awards penalty
49.50 Reds spill ball but not forward, regain ball Calls play on
50.09 Hurricanes spill ball backwards, regain ball Calls backwards
50.13 Hurricanes play ruck ball with hands FK to Reds
50.36 Jane not releasing ball in tackle, escalation warning for second offence in two plays Penalty to Reds
51.27 Hurricanes win ruck turnover, Mathewson pass goes touch in goal Goes to TMO to check forReds try
51.27 TMO confirms ball grounded short of line 5m scrum to Reds
52.07 Reds held up over Hurricanes line 5m scrum to Reds
54.16 Try to McLinden Awarded
55.43 Tackle turnover won by Reds, calls tackler Play on
55.55 Tackle turnover won by Hurricanes Play on
56.07 Knock on by Reds Scrum to Hurricanes
56.35 Hurricanes pass goes to ground, hits boot Play on off his foot
57.03 Hurricanes not releasing ball in tackle, Reds player on feet FK to Reds
57.23 Reds knock on at ruck Scrum to Hurricanes
58.17 Hurricanes ball hits referee Scrum to Hurricanes
58.59 Reds not bound at scrum Penalty to Hurricanes
60.52 Hurricanes lose ball, hits head of player and Reds get possession Play on
61.48 Maul turnover won by Hurricanes after calling hands off grey Says that’s fine, play continues*
62.22 TJ flag for shoulder charge by Reds player Penalty to Hurricanes
64.24 Tackle turnover won by Hurricanes Play on
64.28 TJ flag for shoulder charge by Hurricanes player Penalty to Reds
65.43 Ruck turnover won by Hurricanes Play on
65.48 Knock on by Hurricanes Scrum to Reds
66.54 Hurricanes scrum not steady on Reds feed FK to Reds
68.36 Knock on by Hurricanes Advantage played but none, so scrum to Reds
71.08 Knock on by Reds Scrum to Hurricanes
72.22 Intercept by Reds Try awarded
74.03 Ruck turnover won by Hurricanes Play on
74.11 Tackle turnover won by Reds Play on
74.38 Shwalger foot in touch, TJ flags it back down field Lineout to Reds
75.49 Hurricanes not rolling away at tackle FK to Reds
76.02 Hurricanes appear to win turnover but hands in ruck FK to Reds
77.14 Double knock on, Reds then Hurricanes Scrum to Hurricanes
78.05 Knock on by Hurricanes Advantage played for Reds
78.16 Obstruction on Reds kick chaser by Hurricanes Missed*
79.29 Knock on by Reds Advantage played for Hurricanes
81.23 Fumble by Reds at ruck, calls straight back Play on*
81.24 Off-side Hurricanes, entire line Advantage to Reds
83.09 Ball held up in Reds maul on Hurricanes line FK to Hurricanes

SUMMARY (10/10)

There is a reason why Kaplan holds the record for the number of test matches officiated, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a very competent referee who backs his instincts and has near impeccable positioning on the field of play. Reviewing this game merely backed up that opinion. Of all the incidents noted, he and his officials only missed four of the 87 incidents during the game and those were:

Jeremy Thrush being in front of the kicker and therefore off-side as he chased a kick 3.57 mintutes into the game. This really should have been picked up by the Assistant Referee on the near sideline as viewed on TV, but wasn’t.

A not-straight throw by the Hurricanes at a lineout in the 14th minutes – again should have been noted by the Assistant Referee on the far sideline as viewed on screen.

An obstruction by a Hurricanes player on a Reds player chasing a kick in the 78th minute – Kaplan’s view was obscured by players, probably should have been an Assistant Referee call.

A knock on the Reds’ halfback at a ruck in the 81st minute was called “straight back”.

Only one questionable decision:

In the 61st minute the Reds took the ball into contact close to the Hurricanes line near the corner flag. A ruck formed and initially Kaplan was calling “Hands off grey”. Next thing a Hurricanes’ player had wrestled the ball free and the call was “That’s fine” – so some ambiguity there as the “hands off” call indicated Kaplan had decided a ruck had been formed, but for him to allow the ball to be played by the Hurricanes means he then adjusted that to being a maul as the ball must have been off the ground.

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