Play the Ref
12 June 2013
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It’s been a few years since I did any coaching at youth or adult level, but I remember regularly saying to players that they had about ten minutes to understand how the referee will be managing the game and after that they really shouldn’t be conceding penalties at scrums and breakdowns.
Half decent referees at all levels, international or grass-roots, will talk to players and when asked, explain why they gave a penalty against them. Good referees will be consistent throughout the game so if you have been listening you shouldn’t be conceding penalties for the same things throughout the game.
I have got so frustrated watching games where players just don’t seem to understand that if a referee penalises them once for the way they act in a scrum, ruck or maul they will continue to penalise them if they act the same way. So often the players thinks the referee is wrong, but it is his interpretation that counts during the game so the players needs to adapt.
I was delighted to read a quote from Stuart Lancaster interviewed in Argentina this week when he said:
“The point I am making to the players is that part of being an international player is adapting to a referee’s interpretation and learning quickly in the game the way he views a particular area.
All players can learn from that and it will be interesting to see if the penalty count is any less in England’s game on Saturday.
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