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Red Card Question

Dai Perk

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Hey, my friends,
A lot of controversy about the Scott Barrett red card this weekend. I’m such a noob, I doubt my take would hold water, but all the discussions and disagreements about it lead me to a different question...
If one player in a match does exactly what Barrett did, and it was in minute 1, that team loses that player for 79 minutes plus.
Same day, another game, a player basically kicks someone in the groin, getting red carded at minute 79.
Team one loses almost an entire game, team two loses almost nothing. Doesn’t that mean the red card system is inherently unbalanced?
Asking for a friend lol
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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Team one loses almost an entire game, team two loses almost nothing. Doesn’t that mean the red card system is inherently unbalanced?
Unbalanced would mean, necessarily, that it favours one team over the other.
The rules are the same for both teams, so no, it is not unbalanced.
 

Dai Perk

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The rules are the same for both teams, so no, it is not unbalanced.
Well put, buddy. The effects of individual red cards are different, but the threat is the same, the risk is the same. Fair. :)
 

Which Tyler

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Not really, but red cards are just a part of the disciplinary process, and lead to an automatic citing
 

Rinkadink

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Kind of related; things canny teams will do if they build a lead and have given the ref a good picture during it: you know you will come under pressure at some point so essentially have "free" outs. Can be slower moving away from rucks for example, likely warnings first. You can give away pens in your red zone and frustrate your opponent and waste time. You will often hear refs say things like, "We have had a good [x amount of time], let's not spoil it", etc. Even if you cop a yellow the time is on your side. Earlier yellows often resort in more fatigue late on but teams tend to do better defending with 14 during that period.

I wish refs punished cynical play more harshly, you see it at every level.
 

Dai Perk

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Similar thing in the NFL ... when you're on defense near your goal line, go ahead and commit holding if you have to, because the penalty is always half the distance to the goal line. Defending one yard away rather than two doesn't make much difference. But I agree, when it becomes obvious, especially with scrum resets, it makes me wish the refs would do more. I know a lot of people were unhappy with Jerome Garces this past weekend, but I did appreciate his tendency to let them play on. There was that scrum where it completely collapsed and he told them to play it anyway, which looked kind of ridiculous, but inside I was like, "Thank god, no reset!"
 

BobbyM

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And if you have someone who gets sent off in the 79th minute it implies they’ve been a good respectable player for the time up to that point. I’d struggle to think of an alternative; a team should be punished as and when they commit fouls. I also suspect (although don’t have any statistical data to back this up) but referees may view an incident differently depending on when in the game it is. So he may be more likely to give a yellow early on whereas later in the game he might give a red for it.

In terms of punishing the offending team, there’s also the sanctioning after when players may be suspended for a period of time.
 

Scotty

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I do get the point but as said its fair to both team they are in the same boat. But the red card is your teams punishment for that game. The severity of the act will depend how long of a ban he gets so a team could win that game but lose a player for many weeks. With this there is no way to balance it within the game its self.
 

Radsy

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Rugby fans seem to struggle with the mere mention of adjusting the carding process. In any other sport except for round ball, severe infractions cost the player an ejection, fines, and lengthy suspensions. It costs the team a significant shorthanded period and then they move on with a shorthanded bench. In rugby, the team is effectively punished with a loss. The competitive balance of the game is ruined.

If red cards in rugby were an automatic ejection of the player and 10 minutes shorthanded for the team, they could be handed out more readily. The inconsistency in application comes from the referees not wanting to decide the outcome of the game with one call.

Imagine an NHL team on a power play for the whole second and third period. Imagine an NFL defense without one of their safeties for the second half of a playoff game. Imagine a MLB team with no shortstop for 7 innings. There’s not one sport where a red card like rugby’s would be accepted.

Rugby is faster than ever. You can make it safer without ruining the competitive balance of games.
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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Imagine an NHL team on a power play for the whole second and third period.
Not quite the same.
14 vs 15 is not the same as 5 vs 6. Sevens might be a better comparison and when you have a red card there it's pretty much game over unless the teams are in completely different leagues.


It costs the team a significant shorthanded period and then they move on with a shorthanded bench. In rugby, the team is effectively punished with a loss. The competitive balance of the game is ruined.
I don t see it that way. You win as a team, you pay the consequences as a team.
 

Rinkadink

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Disagree that red cards automatically decide the fate of the match, there are plenty of examples of 14 beating 15 and even if not winning, making a good account of themselves. It just makes it harder, which is the idea and it works well.

See the recent Australia vs New Zealand as an example of it working as intended. WBs were winning anyway, rightful red card means ABs had to change things up and work harder to win, which they could have but ultimately didn't and Australia eventually ended up breaking them mentally and physically. The added difficulty is the fault of the team who gave away the red, it would be a joke to lessen the punishment for the match. They're only reserved for severe infractions and carry with them appropriate downsides.
 

ncurd

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Your comparing American sports on ejection to every other team sport played on the planet where a red card is removal from the game and the team is shorthanded.

As to automatic loss that's the point a red a card a deterrent, you don't want to cost your team the game, you will be blamed for it, you let the team down. If red cards only carried the team penalty of a yellow you;d see them happening more often.
 

TRF_heineken

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Rugby fans seem to struggle with the mere mention of adjusting the carding process. In any other sport except for round ball, severe infractions cost the player an ejection, fines, and lengthy suspensions. It costs the team a significant shorthanded period and then they move on with a shorthanded bench. In rugby, the team is effectively punished with a loss. The competitive balance of the game is ruined.

If red cards in rugby were an automatic ejection of the player and 10 minutes shorthanded for the team, they could be handed out more readily. The inconsistency in application comes from the referees not wanting to decide the outcome of the game with one call.

Imagine an NHL team on a power play for the whole second and third period. Imagine an NFL defense without one of their safeties for the second half of a playoff game. Imagine a MLB team with no shortstop for 7 innings. There’s not one sport where a red card like rugby’s would be accepted.

Rugby is faster than ever. You can make it safer without ruining the competitive balance of games.

This is false though.

There are many instances where teams got a red card, and still won the game. I think of the Crusaders vs. Sharks a couple of years ago in Christchurch where the Sharks got a red card, and managed to win the game away from home...

Sometimes that red card brings a team closer in a game.
 

Peter Ross

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There are many instances where teams got a red card, and still won the game. I think of the Crusaders vs. Sharks a couple of years ago in Christchurch where the Sharks got a red card, and managed to win the game away from home...

Sometimes that red card brings a team closer in a game.
There was another example in Glasgow v Edinburgh, 23 Dec 2017.

Watching the game at the time I thought Glasgow relaxed and waited for the easy win to happen, and 14-man Edinburgh took advantage of their complacency.

The other side of the coin is when an offence that is perceived by the players as deserving a red card is treated leniently. That can be a big psychological blow to the team that's seen one of their players carted off.
 

Scotty

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Ive seen team playing well and/ or in front then the opposition gets a red card and they change there game plan to a wide game and the other team defends and forces turn overs and goes on to win.
 

Rinkadink

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Another example of a team going down to 14 for the majority of the match and still winning.
 
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