duminică, 25 martie 2018

A scandal in Brussels!

This is mainly from my Spanish readers but first a foreword for Romanian readers.

Trebuie să comentez și subiectul zilei, balamucul spaniol, deși aș fi preferat să scriu despre altceva. Pentru că sunt român corupt, părtinitor și mafiot (salutări forumurilor spaniole de rugby!) nu am să scriu pe tema arbitrajului însă voi posta două analize, una video și cealaltă scrisă. Prima este cea video și este disponibilă pe youtube. Are puține vizualizări pentru că îi lipsesc țipetele, gemetele, plânsetele și senzationalismul analizei“arbitrului” scoțian imberb. Fara drama nu e interesant. 

Acestea fiind spuse, va invit să vizualizați întâi materialul video al unui vorbitor de limbă spaniolă (posibil Uruguayan) și o analiză a penalităților meciului Belgia – Spania contând pentru calificarea la Cupă Mondială din 2019, scrisă de un englez, Digby. Ambele analize sunt neutre. Numai textul în italic îmi aparține. 


I have to comment on the subject of the day, the Spanish bedlam, although I would have preferred to write about something else. Because I am a corrupted Romanian, biased and a mafia (I salute the Spanish rugby forums!) I will not write anything about arbitration but I will post two analyzes, one video and the other written. The first one is video and is available on Youtube. It has few views because misses the screams, groans, cries and sensationalism of the barefaced Scottish “ref” analysis. No drama, not interesting.

Having said that, I invite you to watch first the video made by a Spanish speaker (possibly Uruguayan) and an analysis of the penalties from Belgium – Spain counting as Qualifier for Rugby World Cup 2019, written by an Englishman, Digby. Both analyzes are neutral. Only the italic text belongs to me.

Video penalties analysis. First half:

Second half:

That's what makes a professional rugby video analysis, with no play and lamentation like the so-called Scottish referee.

Full match video used 

1st pen of the game goes against Spain on attack who're done for holding on. No obvious release from the Belgian players but for now it's just one of those calls that happen all the time.
1-0   Belgium in the pen count

2nd pen of the game goes against Spain who're on attack. Can't see if it's the right or a fair call at the breakdown given the footage, but there are a lot of Spanish players off their feet, and Spain are giving themselves problems by playing so laterally. After the whistle a Spanish player dumps a Belgian lad to the floor, perhaps they're already not thinking correctly.
2-0   to Belgium on penalties

3rd pen of the game goes against Belgium who're on attack. Tbh if the ref was only looking one way he could have pinged Spain at the breakdown for hands on the floor past the ball, but so far he's clearly only looking for a better picture from the attacking side at the breakdown
2-1 to Belgium on the pen count

At the ensuing lineout the ref clearly isn't bothered by the Spanish hooker's notion of where he's allowed to throw in from

4th Pen goes against Spain on attack, they're done for blocking, and they are blocking. After the pen a scuffle ensues which against suggests Spain are feeling the pressure of what they should've been about to achieve.
It's 3-1 to Belgium on the pen count

Into the 15th minute now, and there's nothing to suggest the ref is out to screw Spain. Belgium are losing the lineout part of the game, but they're more physical in contact so they're able to go forward rather more, other than being limited by their own lack of skills, there's left to right pass on 14:10 on the match clock which would have Owen Farrell shaking his head
5th Penalty

Goes against Spain at a scrum, hard to say based on the TV footage, ref gives offside at a scrum against the Spanish 9, when the camera pans out he certainly could have gotten into the position he has going offside.
4-1 to Belgium on the penalty count, and nothing even remotely fishy is going on

6th Penalty
 Spain done for dragging down a maul, again I can't see if it's fair or not, but I can say before the maul went down they were trying to collapse it (and failing) so I can see why the ref would be looking at them for a collapsed maul.

5-1 to Belgium on the penalty count, nothing to be worried about. If the whole thing finishes 20-8 in pens then from here on out in a game Belgium won and Spain reportedly lost their cool and got pasted in the scrum that'll be a 15-8 penalty count which doesn't sound remarkable, and so far the ref isn't due any flak whatsoever.

I'm not going back to check how many, but after Belgium kick into the Spanish 22 Spain run maybe 3 switch plays in effect going nowhere before finally clearing. Teams dicking about like this in their 22 tend to lose

7th Penalty
Belgium on the attack, Spain flanker going reasonably at the breakdown, but then seems to grab both arms of the 9. I've got the sound off and the camera doesn't capture what the ref signals, but if he's pinged for playing the 9 then he is rather playing the 9
6-1 in pen count to Belgium, and despite writing this there's nothing to write home about

8th penalty was another breakdown pen against Spain, I think for side entry. If so it's maybe a touch harsh, we'll have seen worse not given, but it's not accurate work from Spain and it's partly their own fault they're annoying the ref. A few phases back Spain turned over a Belgium ruck just outside the Belgian 22 and the ref waved play on, he's hardly looking for every excuse
7-1 to Belgium in the pen count

9th penalty
A high tackle from Spain, arguably two players were high in the same tackle. Neither dangerous, it is a penalty
8-1 to Belgium in the penalty count, this is proving a pointless review as there's nothing to see as regards some of the nonsense being spouted

10th Penalty
this one goes to Spain for Belgium holding on in the tackle. The Spanish player might be balancing his weight on his knee as he leans over the tackled player but the claimed biased ref lets it go and awards the pen to Spain.

Watching the match on 2x speed the striking things are just how slow the game is, on 2x it still at times feels like watching a normal game, and how often Belgium are winning in contact. Feck only knows why anyone is moaning about the ref based on the opening 30
8-2 to Belgium now on the pen count

11th Penalty
Another penalty to Belgium for a Spanish player holding on in the tackle, again the jackler might in another game be pinged himself. But the ref isn't showing bias to a team and more to allowing a contest that we don't always see (something he ref in the Scotland Vs England game was praised for on a global scale)

Belgium are suffering less as they win contact more often, and maybe Spain have had more ball too.
9-2 to Belgium on the penalty count

12th Penalty
A scrum pen to Belgium. Who knows when it comes to scrum penalties, we can see Belgium are going forward and such teams tend to get the decision.
10-2 to Belgium on the penalty count

13th Penalty
Another scrum penalty to Belgium, this one I think for the angle of driving of the Spanish loosehead. I don't like scrum pens, but it's not like they're not give.
11-2 in the penalty count to Belgium at HT, and frankly Spain have nothing to whine about, indeed based on this they rather owe the ref an apology

14th Pen
A breakdown pen given to Spain after they'd forced a turnover from Belgium. Fairly simple to give, and given, and given for the team the ref it's being claimed is biased against.
11-3 to Belgium in the overall count

This is the pen I suspect has people annoyed as the Spanish left winger went clear and they're wondering why on earth the ref didn't allow advantage to play out. I can't say it's obvious though if I was to speculate I'll go with Spain 10 is moving and creating a hole for Spain 11, and if the ref has seen that as blocking and can't then let Spain play on and instead calls them back then as before I don't know what the fuss is about. The TV coverage in looking at this is again not great.

15th Penalty
Another pen to Belgium, another pen where Spain were on attack and Belgium were faster to get over the ball with the ref allowing a contest. This same scenario didn't lead to any accusations of Nigel Owens being complicit in wanting to see England lose against Scotland.
12-3 to Belgium on the penalty count

16th Penalty
I think maybe it's given for offside (based on the referee's signal at x2 pace) which is maybe a touch odd. I don't feel too bad for the Spanish forward given he's flown into a ruck without binding but such actions aren't always penalised, ref seems to be getting fed up and speaks to Spain I assume about the number of penalties.
13-3 to Belgium on the penalty count

17th Penalty
Ref allows Spain to challenge at the breakdown despite at least one of those challengers looking like a tackler assist who attempts no release, however when they go to floor and one of them then plays the ball whilst lying on the floor the ref has had enough. Hard to argue with, even though it's now
14-3 to Belgium on the pen count

18th Penalty
Scrum penalty. Spain take off a lock to get a replacement front rower on after the yellow card, so I assume the 8man goes into the locks and Spain don't bring a back into the back row. Spain go backwards in the scrum, Spain get pinged. I don't like scrum penalties, but the ref doesn't do anything unusual here
15-3 to Belgium on the pen count

19th Pen
Well what can you say. It's another breakdown, Belgium perhaps drive Spain off their ball but it's a bit of a mess and it's not obvious what the ref will give. But Spain solve that problem by having one of their players say something daft to the ref, and seeing as one of his own teammates is trying to clamp his mouth there doesn't seem much doubt about that.
16-3 to Belgium on the penalty count

20th Pen
A blatant off the ball shoulder charge gives Spain their 4th penalty, it wasn't dangerous, but Belgium are maybe lucky not to get a yellow just for sheer stupidity.Belgium are not only slow, they have almost no kicking game and a worse lineout. Spain just aren't at the races though, miles below their defeat of Romania (when btw Romania were I suspect cross about the ref)
16-4 to Belgium on the penalty count

21st Penalty
Penalty to Spain, it's a scrum and Spain get the drive on forcing Belgium to play the ball on the floor.
16-5 to Belgium on the pen count, and only 10 minutes left, so it'll be some going if the Belgian penalty count gets up to 28

22nd Penalty
A penalty to Spain for a blatant slap down of ball being passed down the line. Had the Ref had recourse to a TMO to see how much the Belgian player was making sure he knocked the ball on I think this would have been a yellow, especially coming after the shoulder charge, but there isn't a TMO. It's 15-10 on the scoreboard after Spain kick their 3 with 4 minutes left in the match.
And it's 16-6 to Belgium on the penalty count

23rd Pen
Goes to Belgium smack in front of the Spanish posts. It's given for a Spanish player being tackled and then getting back to his feet with the ball. It's no obvious he was held in the tackle, there are bodies between the ref and what transpired, there were likely hands on the tackled player whilst he was on the ground. It's a risk to get back to your feet, then again maybe the ref has gone on what he thinks has happened - of course the ref might have a better view than the TV angle which isn't brilliant.
17-6 on the penalty count

24th Pen
Goes to Spain, Belgium are pinged either for hands in the ruck or going off their feet, either way it's a pen
17-7 Belgium lead on the penalty count 

And that's the lot. I've only got 10 fingers/thumbs so I might have counted incorrectly as the match was underway, and I was watching on x2 spd, but I'm coming up way short of this being 28-8 or 24-4 in penalty count to Belgium. I'm assuming someone said there were 24 pens and only a handful for Spain, which became there were 24 pens for Belgium and only 7 for Spain, which maybe became there were 28 pens for Belgium and only 4 for Spain.

There's nothing in this match to suggest the ref was biased imo, some close calls, but there are in a lot of matches including some which have gone in Spain's favour.

Spain need to stop complaining, apologise to Belgian RFU and to the referee and the touch judges, and then take whatever bans their players will quite rightly have coming.

I'll say again the ref asked to be swapped out once the situation was known, and Roben the French lad in charge of the refs decided not to make a change. Might be worth noting when Romania played in Madrid they had a French Basque ref for their game against Spain who's from the same town as 4 of the Spanish players, and Romania had their complaints after that game, and I think the Russians just had a Spanish ref (Ruiz?)

This though is making me laugh. The Spanish claiming an infringement of their human rights, they're not letting this go the fruitcakes.


Thanks to my buddy Digby for drawing my attention to his analysis and allowing me to publish it here. I'm surprised you lost your time to watch such a terrible  game. 

Further reading on same topic

¡Más cordiales saludos a mis lectores españoles!

World Rugby (Mom in background) and Spain (kid)

And I can continue endlessly ...

But what is the point?

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