Uk News Why the referee was wrong to rob Exeter a chance of victory against Northampton United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Exeter's fly-half was deemed to have 'begun his kick" before it was charged down by Saints players despite no discernible forward movement
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! SANDY PARK — There’s no doubt Northampton deserved this victory against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, but it so easily could have been a loss were it not for a controversial end to the game.As Joe Simmonds, who had only arrived on the field 19 minutes earlier, lined up his first attempt at goal after a last gasp try from Sam Skinner had brought Exeter within one point of Saints, things went a bit odd.It was tough enough even for a man of Simmonds’ kicking ability. Way out on the touchline with a fierce wind coming off the River Exe and sweeping across the muddy pitch.The i newsletter latest news and analysisEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.But he never got the opportunity to put boot to ball as Ollie Sleightholme and a few of his Saints teammates rushed the kick. The winger arrived at the tee before Simmonds did and knocked the ball dead. Referee Christophe Ridley blew for full time and the Saints claimed the narrowest of victories. ???? Simmonds prepares for his match-winning conversion???? Referee Christophe Ridley rules that he started his run-up????♂️ Northampton rush up???? Sleightholme boots the ball into touch????♂️ Ridley blows the whistle???? Northampton win! Madness in #EXEvNOR! ????#GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/yvrJo95ltj— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) February 20, 2021 As the Exeter players remonstrated with Ridley the man in the middle told the home team: “He started his run up. He moved his shoulder and started his run up.”In Ridley’s mind the fact that time was up clearly had nothing to do with his decision. Had he perceived Simmonds had not “started his run up” the Exeter fly half would have, presumably, been permitted another attempt, without fear of another attempted charge down.Viewing from the stands there was no perceivable movement from Simmonds that suggested he had approached the ball, and as far as I know a run-up requires the movement of legs in a forward motion, not a twist of a shoulder. A wider angle shows a shuffle of Simmonds’ feet, before he was about to set off, but that was not the reason given by Ridley who chose not to look at TV replays. As Rob Baxter (very classily) admitted in the clubs post match interview straight after game, the wider angle of simmonds conversion shows he does take a small step towards the ball before stopping again pic.twitter.com/mYXQJtn7CX— Ben Kay (@BenKay5) February 20, 2021 The only thing that is clear is that Ridley considered a shoulder movement as the beginning of Simmonds run-up.Charge down lawLaw 8.14 states: “All opposing players retire to their goal-line and do not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.
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.The law goes on: “The team must not shout during a conversion attempt.”However, some did. As Sleightholme, who had saved a try in the first half after racing back to avoid a hack from Exeter resulting in a try, sprinted towards Simmonds before knocking the ball dead, one of his teammates yelled “he moved, he moved”. On this evidence alone the kick should have been retaken.Finally, the law adds: “If the kick is unsuccessful, the kicker retakes the conversion, and the opposing team is not allowed to charge. When another kick is allowed, the kicker may repeat all the preparations.”There is no mention of time being up resulting in the end of the game in such circumstances.In short, Ridley made two errors. If moving a shoulder is the beginning a run-up then so is blinking, and the law clearly states the opposing team must not shout during the kick.The Premiership has been approached for comment.Boyd hails ‘gutsy’ displayNorthampton Saints’ director of rugby Chris Boyd said he would have been disappointed with a loss had Exeter stolen the game at the death (Photo: Getty Images)However, Exeter coach Rob Baxter took it on the chin, crediting Northampton for what his opposite number Chris Boyd called “a gutsy performance”.“It’s not the referee’s decision at the end which has decided that game,” Baxter said. “We’ve not taken our opportunities, and you have to give Northampton massive credit for how they fought on their try line.”He was right. Around a dozen times Exeter found themselves within inches of a score and managed it only once from their usually unstoppable pick and go routine.Northampton had one real chance and took it when Shaun Adendorff rounded off a slick move and went over in the left hand corner in the opening 40 minutes. Piers Francis converted from out wide and his two successful penalty attempts – after one had hit the post – sealed Exeter’s fate and gave Saints their first victory in Devon since 2014.Northampton outmuscled Exeter in the scrum, as well as on their own tryline. They were the better side, just.But we will never know if Exeter could have stolen the game because Simmonds was not permitted a second attempt at that conversion as he should have been.
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