Ranting about Super Rugby’s sub-standard referees and TMO’s

My Independent Media biggest rant is aimed at those who should be the on-field custodians of the game when it comes to law application. Instead they come across more like court jesters.

The officiating in round two was shocking. These guys call themselves professionals. They are the on-field custodians of the game, but on reflection they are the court jesters. There was inconsistency in the application of so many laws and there was confusion about the law, given this contrasting application. It didn’t matter whether the game was in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, the officials ruled differently on the same circumstance. What constitutes a penalty, a red card, a yellow card or a friendly chat? I don’t know because where one referee gives a penalty or a caution the other is asking the Television Match Official for several different angles to decide on the colour of the card. It was embarrassing for the game.

Still with the referees and in particular, the Rebels versus Reds in Melbourne. In Melbourne the Reds should have been reduced to two reds cards within the first 25 minutes because of foul play, through a strike to the head and a tip tackle where the player landed on his head. Safety is a paramount to the application of the law, but now referees and the assistants are becoming medical experts in determining what is force and what can cause damage. Anything to the head can cause damage and who are the referees to determine one blow is more dangerous than the other? The law is clear, a blow to the head has a sanction. Referees have become coaches, would be shrinks in applying game management and now they’re doctors. For God’s sake could they just be referees, who know the law and apply it consistently.

Read my IOL column for my rant on the game’s failure to transform in Super Rugby


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