Nigel Owens: “If a player deserves a red card, show it to them!»

Last week, the world’s top Rugby body presented another deterrent against high grabs – an orange card that is a cross between yellow and red. If a player gets an orange, they must leave the field for 15 minutes instead of the usual ten. The new card also serves as a signal to activate the TMO judge.

Later, it may turn out that the offender deserved a red card. Then he will leave the field before the end of the game. But if the TMO decides that the capture only draws on the “mustard” or penalty, the penalty will remain the same-15 minutes of removal.

“This idea is worth trying out,” said popular referee Nigel Owens.

“The orange card can be useful in ambiguous cases. But it is important that the judges are not cowardly. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first minute of the match or the last, if a player deserves a red card, show it to them! I believe that this aspect should be carefully considered before implementation.

If I’m in the field, I want to make my own decisions, not delete someone from the orange one so that the video referee can show them the red one later. Since I am assigned to the match, it means that I should judge, and not shift the responsibility to someone else’s shoulders.

You know when a new card is really good? Let’s say you take a complex case and ask the opinion of hundreds of arbitrators. Half of them vote red, and half of them vote yellow. That’s where the orange card comes in handy.

What to say, even if we have arguments with Wayne Barnes. And he is not only an international referee and a Rugby lawyer, but also my best friend.”

The new card was the first of a dozen potential innovations by the World Rugby Executive Committee regarding the rules of the game. If unions and tournaments wish, they can use the new products now.

For example, if the ball is held or played forward in the scoring by the attacking team, a drop is now assigned from the scoring line instead of a scrum five meters away.

“I like this idea very much,” commented Owens.

“I’ve been suggesting this for years. A fight near the standings is the last thing the defending team dreams of. Especially if she is not strong in this element.”

There are two other innovations of World Rugby regarding mauls, which the referee was satisfied with. First, no one else can join the formation except the original members. Secondly, the mole can only make one stop, after which the ball immediately needs to be withdrawn.

“We see a lot of moles that are almost impossible to stop. In the end, they lead either to penalty attempts, or to a lot of fights. So the cancellation of the fight for a dead ball in the score will make the attacking team think twice about whether to use the mole.

This change will encourage you to move the ball more. The defenders will add players to the mole to hold it, which will give the attackers more room to maneuver.”