Le Roux try legit

The Sharks players acted like spoilt brats, and the fans booed like billy-o, but as it turns out, there was nothing wrong with the try by Willie Roux.

The Cheetahs were leading 7-6 with just over two minutes to play. They had a scrum just inside their half and the Sharks put them under pressure.

Scrumhalf Piet van Zyl tried to the ball away to Willie Le Roux, who was playing flyhalf at this stage. The ball rolled along the ground and Le Roux, under pressure from Cobus Reinach, knocked on. He quickly fly hacked the ball down the middle of the field. Sean Robinson picked the ball up about 10 metres inside his side’s 10-metre line and ran about 20 metres to close on the half-way line. Philip van der Walt and Francois Uys grabbed him, and went ground forming a ruck. The ball came back cleanly to Reinach on the half-way line, who passed it to Francois Steyn. As he did so, referee Jonathon White from New Zealand called “Advantage over.”

Steyn then threw a long pass to Pieter-Steph du Toit, who tried to get a pass out to Keegan Daniel, but Le Roux intercepted and ran 45 metres to score, leaving Frans Steyn and others appealing desperately to the referee.

As said on the SA Referees website, who have an in depth look at this very situation, the way a referee judges advantage often distinguishes him as a referee. It is a vital law in rugby and not always easy to apply.

Stretch it too far and you cut great chunks out of the game. Cut it too short and the game becomes stop-start. Key, though, is that it is the refs call, with people not always agreeing with the decision.

And in this case the White had decided that the Sharks had had advantage. And so he called “Advantage over”, as referees are encouraged to do in this age of more communicative refereeing. And once he had called that, Le Roux’s knock-on was no longer an issue.

Du Toit may be a ball carrying sensation, but much like his fellow flank Jean Deysel, once he gets ball in hand, it is not often that he is going to pass. Perhaps that is something he should be working on rather than remonstrating refereeing decisions?


  1. If they pitched up and played the game like they were supposed to……but instead they just throw the ball around and hope something happens, well something did happened!

  2. Total rubbish read of the situation.
    The player knocks on in his own half and then kicks the ball ahead way down into the opposition half.
    As soon as that ball went over the half way line,down field there was no advantage,call the penalty,Lambie puts it over Sharks win the game.
    You can’t call playing in your half of the field advantage by any means.

    1. Since when do you get a penalty for a knock on? I think many a Kiwi side might disagree given how many tries they score from balls kicked down their throats …

  3. What a load of rubbish that was – both sides gave a display of an inability to play in wet weather or show any skill. Well done to the Cheetahs though – nice to see results going their way for a change.
    Someone needs to tell F Steyn that there are 14 other team members on the park. Dishes up the same old crap every week end – catch, run and bash.

  4. Tank you are spot on. The Sharks players reaction has more to say about the pressure they are now under. 13 tries in about 8 games, with 10 of those in 1 game.

    Frans Steyn has a history of acting like a bit of a spolied brat at times on the park.

    But one question…what on earth is a “billy-o”?

    1. A lot 🙂 An extreme standard of comparison; for example, “It rained like billy-o; we were all soaked through.”.

      There isn’t a clear-cut explanation of this phrase’s origin. It is said to be from Joseph Billio, the zealous 17th/18th century Puritan preacher. Billio was an enthusiastic ‘hellfire and damnation’ preacher and, given his name and reputation, ought to be a serious contender as the source of the phrase.

      1. I tell you what….for a former prop, you are doing your utmost to show that the big boys do have some intellectual ability! Ha ha. Like your work!

  5. Well, the point remains, it is the referee’s discretion. And as any coach would tell you, you play until the whistle blows.
    That being said, the Sharks got the ball cleanly from the knock, and that new law that everybody seems to forget, saying that after three or four passes with the team in possession going forward, means advantage was over. They had the ball, formed a ruck, passed the ball four times which resulted in a intercept try. How long did they want the ball? Until the went past the point where the knock-on occurred? That could have taken five plus phases, so the ref is supposed to play advantage all that time? That is exactly why that rule/interpretation was bought in. As soon as a team with the ball shows intent to play the advantage, and they have handled the ball three or four times, advantage is over. Simple as that, so stop the whining!

  6. Although I am not a professional referee (not yet, maybe someday), I can tell you how the advantage law is being communicated to us.

    After a knock on, you handle the way the non offending team plays the ball in much the same manner as if they were awarded a scrum. This means that if they get clean ball out of the ruck at about the same place as where the infringement took place, then you can safely call advantage over because they have the ball in possession and they gained territorial advantage.

    Although they can argue that the opposition isn’t five meters away as would have been the situation in a scrum, the quick recycling of the ball and the unsettled opposition defense must also be taken into the equation.

  7. I’m a rabid Sharks supporter – however I don’t think that they where hard done by! The side is in a bad place at the moment and didn’t deserve to win against the Cheetahs…Plums comments about them making all the plays and the Cheetahs not seems a bit unfair as the Cheetahs played to the conditions better. Sometimes luck goes your way some times it doesn’t. Suck it up and take itlike a man!

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