Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It has to be said

I was glad to see Jock Hobbs make an issue last night of the referee. Henry has only alluded to it very indirectly which is to his credit.

Look at it this way. Federer has a bad day at the office. Its 7-6, 6-7. 7-6, 6-7 and 6-6 in the final set. He has the serve but he's 30-40 down - he's on fault one - he goes for the ace and the umpire calls it out when its clearly in - has the umpire affected the outcome or not?

This fiction that teams lose games and not refs is not completely true. 4 observations:

1. The sin binning that wasn't - its a fact that this turned the game is it not?
2. The forward pass that led to the winning try - when you watch the reply you'll be surprised at how forward this was - its a fact that this was a forward pass right? Foward passes are how you get guys into gaps that otherwise they wouldn't make right?
3. The French hands in the ruck just before this try when we were hard on their line poised to score. Key moment that went unpenalised. Replays are pretty clear.

(See the clips @ Rugby Heaven

4. How do the French go a whole half wthout conceding a penalty? From where I stood there were multiple offsides and infringements at the breakdown. A 10-2 penalty count against the AB's seems harsh. But thats opinion, not fact.

Here's the way I see it. If the AB's played better they would have taken the ref out of the equation. Its true they didn't play up to scatch. There are questions to be asked about why they didn't play better. The French did play well defensively and with plenty of intensity. But the match stats show that they weren't in it. The half time score shows they weren't in it. All this talk of being beaten by a better team may be great sportmanship but its simply not true. The French were fired up but ordinary.

If the ref had got it right. The AB's would have won. I don't know what happened to the ref's performance in the second half. I prefer to think it was the occasion that got to him. Here was a ref with only 11 tests officiating a game between the Tri Nationa and 6 Nations camps. But it has cost us dearly. Might this have been the tough preparatory match that would have propelled this team to World Cup glory. Sadly, we'll never know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that the ref had his arm out calling advantage when Luke took that drop goal from halfway, but he never called the advantage back when the kick came to nothing.

Luke has stated that he would never have taken that kick if the ref wasn't signalling advantage.

It just keeps looking worse for the ref.