Clip 1 – 31 August 2018 - Law 7
The Blue Bulls have the ball but Jesse Kriel knocks on some way. The Sharks take possession, and Louis Schreuder passes back to Robert du Preez.
Du Preez kicks with his left foot towards the touchline on his left, the further touchline.
As he kicks the referee calls: "Advantage over." It's a poor kick and lands in the arms of a Blue Bull. The referee blows his whistle and says: "It was such a bad kick I can't call advantage over." And he orders a scrum to the Sharks where Kriel knocked on.
It is a sweet moment, but not really in law.
The offence was a knock-on. If there is no advantage, there would be a scrum. Getting to play as well as from a scrum would then be advantage.
Law 7 Advantage
If a team gains an advantage following an infringement by their opponents, the referee may allow play to continue in an effort to keep the game flowing.
Advantage: May be tactical. The non-offending team is free to play the ball as they wish.
When Robert du Preez gets the ball he has at least 10 metres open space in front of him. He had time and space to play as he wanted.
- He could have gone left, right or straight ahead.
- He could have kicked any sort of kick he chose.
- He could have run in any direction he chose.
- He was free to play as he wished.
- His situation was probably better than it would have been for a scrum.
It certainly is a case of tactical advantage.
The referee called out that advantage was over. He allowed Robert du Preez to play on. He chose to kick with his left foot to his left. He kicked badly.
The referee was hardly responsible for the bad kick.
In a sense, the referee here protected Du Preez from the consequences of his poor play.
If advantage is to depend on how well the non-offending team uses advantage, it may be more prudent to wait until the kick is made before calling that advantage is over.