Wallabies v Lions Refereeing Furore - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies v Lions Refereeing Furore

Wallabies v Lions Refereeing Furore

The first test between the Wallabies and Lions refereeing performance has produced plenty of debate.

Warren Gatland was obviously very frustrated with Chris Pollock. There have been suggestions that there are differences in interpretation between the Northern and Southern hemispheres and that this caused confusion for Lions players. In a subsequent interview Gatland has said

Some of our players found it difficult to understand it when they were penalised.

Others have put the blame squarely on the referee with Stephen Jones from The Times saying

… a dreadful display, one of the worst in living memory … it was the worst refereed game in recent history, appalling … he was totally inconsistent and lack of penalty try and yellow cards criminal.

So, let’s look at some specific issues that have been raised to see if the refereeing performance was really that bad.

The area that seems to have caused most consternation is the breakdown with Gatland saying

Were we crucified at the breakdown? Yes.

Gatland referred specifically to three penalties against the Lions in the match – one against Mako Vunipola who was penalised for not coming from behind the last feet before playing the ball in a ruck and two against Brian O’Driscoll who was penalised for being off his feet when playing the ball in rucks.

Gatland said

Mako Vunipola was penalised for coming in from the side when he was part of the tackle. That could have cost us the game … He did Brian O’Driscoll early in the game when he was on his feet.

I’ve added in other incidents I’ve seen complaints about to generate some discussion between Wallabies and Lions fans. The footage of each incident is contained in this short video.

Let’s look at those in a little more detail. The first three deal with the issue Vunipola was penalised for.

  1. In the match against the Rebels Sean O’Brien was penalised for not coming from behind the last feet to play the ball on the ground. Under law 15.6(c) a player who does not go to ground is not a tackler and can only play the ball after coming from behind the last feet.
  2. Was Vunipola a tackler?

    Was Vunipola a tackler?

    Vunipola was penalised for coming in from the side because he didn’t go to ground and was therefore not a tackler – he also didn’t release the ball carrier before playing the ball.

  3. Michael Hooper did exactly the same thing but wasn’t penalised. The only difference was that Hooper wasn’t successful in winning the ball.
  4. Was O'Driscoll supporting his weight?

    Was O’Driscoll supporting his weight?

    O’Driscoll was penalised because he was off his feet when playing the ball. Law 16.4(b) says a player must be on his feet to play the ball in a ruck. Referees in both hemispheres work on the basis that this means the player must be supporting their own weight. With his forearms on the ground was O’Driscoll supporting his own weight?

  5. Similarly O’Driscoll was penalised a second time for being off his feet. Did his knee actually go to ground at any time?

    5

    Did O’Driscoll go to ground?

  6. Which Lions player went off their feet?

    Which Lions player went off their feet?

    The penalty against the Lions that led to Israel Folau’s first try was for the Lions going off their feet at a ruck. This incident raises a lot of questions. Which Lions player went off their feet apart from O’Driscoll when he fell on the loose ball? Did Benn Robinson release O’Driscoll and roll away on the ground? Did Ben Mowen go off his feet? Was the ball simply unplayable and therefore a scrum should have been awarded?

  7. Penalty try?

    Penalty try?

    There have been suggestions that a penalty try should have been awarded to the Lions when their maul was driving towards the line and was disrupted illegally by Kane Douglas and Michael Hooper and that one of them should have received a yellow card. Was it clear the Lions were going to drive that maul over the try line?

  8. What about a yellow card for Will Genia – was this cynical play from the Wallaby halfback?
  9. It's not rugby league Israel!

    It’s not rugby league Israel!

    One of the big complaints from Lions fans has been that the Wallabies were not penalised at the breakdown for numerous offences. Is Folau entering from the side to clean out George North one of those?

  10. Does Paul O’Connell clearly release the ball carrier before trying to play the ball as required?
  11. If O’Connell didn’t release and should have been penalised, is there any difference between that incident and when Kane Douglas earned a penalty against the Lions?
  12. Who gets the feed?

    Who gets the feed?

    When the Lions recovered the ball that was out of the Wallabies ruck why did the Wallabies get the scrum feed?

No doubt fans of both teams will have different opinions on many of these, even opinions at opposite ends of the scale.

We’d love your comments on these and any other incidents but please keep it civil – we’ll delete any inappropriate comments anyway so don’t waste time posting them.

  • HPS

    I really think that a lot of those decisions were nullified during the game. One thing I know for sure – my mates in the northern hemisphere were fuming about the referreeing. The scary thing for me is that Poite has game 3. I hope it is not a dead rubber and if it is live it will be an extremely nervous 80 minutes for both sets fo fans. Poite is a lucky dip.

  • Dane

    When Hooper was not penalised. It IS because he had no effect on how quickly the Lions won the ball. You can see when BOD is penalised for having his arms on the ground that the ref actually lets it go for a while until he realises that BOD has prevented Australia from winning the ball. There could be penalties awarded at 95% of rucks in rugby, (British teams would love that) but referees often let it go if it has no impact on the result of the ruck (who wins and how fast). Refs have a responsibility to ensure theat rugby matches are enjoyable to watch and play hence why we don’t see stopagges for lineouts not being straight (lions) when they are not contested.
    I agree that there were a few areas where the ref made some wrong decisions, but it applied to both sides so neither coach should be complaining.

    • Parrotgone

      “Refs have a responsibility to ensure that rugby matches are enjoyable to watch”. No, they don’t! in fact, no one involved has a responsibility to do that. Refs have a responsibility to ensure player safety, that games are conducted in keeping with the laws, and that a fair contest ensues at all phases. No more, no less. If teams want to play boring rugby, within the laws, that’s entirely up to them!

      • ‘BoutBloodyTime

        Is that you ‘Sir’ Clive?

    • Marlin of the Sea

      I went to the Warratahs game and had a beer in Manly first, then on the ferry and into a pub in Paddo – BIL supportes everywhere and it was the friendliest, happiest atmosphere i’ve been in for years. Great night out and the supporters of both teams to be congratulated (both side have pissed idiots ‘supporting’ them)

  • the ardent b’stard

    A quick test of the referee Pollack decision.

    Where you are right now assume the BOD position in the Vid.

    Feet well behind you, leaning forward – resting on your forearms

    Now stand up – without pushing off your forearms

    Bloody impossible unless you are a russian gymnast – doesn’t look like supporting your bodyweight to me.

    Same referee hiding Pocock got in the RWC for kneeling on the opponent.

    • Krang

      Agree. BoD resting on his elbows for a moment means he’s off his feet. Do that for the briefest of moments and you should lose the right to put your hands on the ball if the Ref spots it.

    • Bairdy

      Agreed, and it’s not isolated to BOD either. POC and Cole are just others who sweep out in front of the ball with their forearms and come back at the ball when being cleaned out.

      • the ardent b’stard

        I don’t we can isolate the lions here – this is standard practice at the ruck now from us all in the SH too – Just don’t whinge about the refereeing when you get pinged.

        • Who?

          Some are worse than others, though. People talk up Pocock as doing the same thing, however I don’t believe he puts his weight on his elbows. Hands maybe, but elbows are more obvious, and therefore more easily penalizable.

        • mxyzptlk

          You’re right — Pocock is on his hands in that position quite a bit, but just for a flash moment at a time. I always saw that as playing up to the limits of the law, and he’s great at it.

        • the ardent b’stard

          as is mccaw – and my personal favourite – Andrew Hore, he’s a master, and your right it is right on the limit, if you are quick and get away with it, great if not its a penalty

    • mxyzptlk

      Okay, not trying being a wiseass, but I can do that, and have been able to since I was a kid. I did it again after reading this. My parents trotted me out once at bbq to see if anybody else could do it. I was the freaky little party trick.

      (Then again, I’m not big and I have done a lot of gymnastics; I’ve wrestled most of my life, and can nearly lift a person my size off the ground from that position. It’s something you train for in wrestling… so… yeah… off my feet while on them, I guess.)

    • Parrotgone

      Good. Glad we’re all agreed on that. Going to make things bloody difficult for Pocock though. As it routinely has been when he’s come up against refs who have applied this law properly. More often than not he gets his hands or forearms on the floor beyond the ball before coming back to play it, and once on the ball such that he’d fall over if you took his arms away.

  • Pedro

    I remember seeing horwill get penalised for collapsing a maul after a lineout. The replay seemed to suggest that the ball carrier went to ground while pulling horwill down in the process. Did you notice that Scott? it was the first half and I believe 1/2 penny took a shot from it. Seemed dubious at the time but I haven’t seen it since so I’m not sure.

    • Scott Allen

      Did look at that and Horwill was penalised for coming from an offside position, which he did.

      It wasn’t even close enough for me to include as dubious.

      • Pedro

        Cool. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • DT

    The “worst in living memory” is the greatest hyperbole of all time (see what I did there?).

    Yes there were mistakes, and out of these there are a few that could go either way, but overall I think they more or less evened out.

    • jc

      how could they even out if they all went the same way??

      • DT

        There were a few other decisions made in the game too.

  • Who?

    Scott – point 7, you’ve missed the critical bit that Pollock did get wrong. I was sitting directly in front of that, and picked live that at 29:37 on the game clock, that maul went into Truck and Trailer. That was the first – and missed – offense. So any penalty try or yellow card would’ve been a farce. The truck was POC and Youngs, the disconnect trailer was Adam Jones, Warburton (the ball carrier) and Corbesiero. Jones was bound to Warburton with his left arm. Warburton had the ball in his right arm, and his left arm around Corbesiero. Corbesiero was bound to Warburton with his right arm, and the previous maul with his left arm. When he realized that Youngs had unbound from the Wallabies and was forging ahead unchallenged, he released his bind from the maul and then bound to Youngs ahead of him. That’s classic truck and trailer, clear obstruction, and should’ve been a penalty the other way. After Hooper’s entry round the side of Youngs, there was another clear case of truck and trailer. To give a penalty try would’ve been a farce.

    So for anyone whinging about a lack of a yellow card or penalty try, please explain why the Wallabies shouldn’t be feeling aggrieved, after all, that penalty – for Hooper coming round the side after the truck and trailer incident – gave the Lions 3 points, and they won by only 2… I’m not saying it cost us the match, I’m saying that it’s swings and roundabouts.

    Scott, you’ve also not mentioned the ‘advantage over’ call immediately before the penalty/quick tap for Folau’s first try. That’s another one the Brits (Rugby Refs) are whinging about, saying that 5 phases isn’t advantage. They claim advantage is a minimum of three points for any infringement in the attacking half. I say if you don’t make 10m in three phases with clean ball, no advantage, blow it up. But they’d had 5 phases (even if they didn’t make any progress). Do we expect a team to toil away for minutes at a time with no hope of possession? That’s a double penalty – both time/territory/energy AND points.
    And if the Poms think that was a bad performance, surely they’ve never watched a single game by Bryce Lawrence… I don’t think any team ever left the field like they’d not been robbed.

    • Scott Allen

      I don’t think there was any controversy about the maul – it was the same maul that sheared off to the side and that is allowed by referees all over the world. You can hear the referee call “same maul” in the coverage.

      Agree on the advantage call – should have put that in. There was absolutely no advantage to the Lions.

      • Who?

        It was the same maul, except for the fact that the ball carrier wasn’t tied to the front two when they sheared. The ref called ‘same maul’, and it was – for the back three. ‘Same maul’ would’ve been fine, if he’d been excluding the two in front who’d broken off and then had the back three reconnect. So, for mine, Hooper didn’t do anything wrong, as Youngs and POC shouldn’t have been considered part of the maul, as they’d broken off. If that break in bind was obvious to me live – and I was 30m from the action (5m + in goal + dead zone + seats) – it should’ve been obvious to Pollock.

        And the fact that refs consistently don’t enforce certain points of the laws doesn’t make it right…

        I think that, with the advantage call, either it should’ve been blown up at the third phase, or it was fine. Pollock lost track of territory, and so arguably should’ve blown it up after the third phase. But he didn’t, and five phases, 40 seconds, and something like 9 passes is plenty of time on advantage.

        • Scott Allen

          Agree – my focus was on the maul shearing away but the front two were not connected as you say.

        • Who?

          Thanks Scott – I’m not crazy! :-D I don’t often disagree with you, it wasn’t sitting well.
          It’s only momentary, but it’s enough. Enough to be a valid argument about the whinging about the ‘double advantage, no penalty try, no yellow!’ whinges we’re copping from Brits, given the first offense was actually theirs. :-)

    • wawa

      in regards to truck and trailer, I am pretty sure you can hear Pollock call that it is the same maul (the one leading up to the penalty near the try line). Once a maul is established (ie opposition have engaged), the maul can continue without opposition players there. The Bull’s did it a couple of times in Super rugby to great effect.

      • Who?

        That’s not my issue. Corbesiero, Warburton and Adam Jones were fine to continue with the maul. I do recognize that a maul is not ended by defending players no longer being connected to it. The props were always bound to the ball carrier, that was the maul. Youngs and POC peeled from the maul without a bind back to the ball carrier, Corbesiero bound to them after they peeled, therefore they were offside.

        • wa_wa

          yeah see your point now and agree on that as I actually thought Hooper was fine when first saw it.

  • Cassius88

    A few rough calls against the Lions there but they got a few lucky calls as well (as I’ve stated on the forums, I believe JOC was obstructed in the leadup to Cuthbert’s try). I don’t think the maul should have resulted in a penalty try as the Lions were still >5m from the line when the infringement occurred. Not to mention that the infringement was less clear cut than, say, the penalty try in the Rebels game last night.

    • Jon

      You mean the incident that was referred to the TMO to watch in slow motion who concluded it wasn’t obstruction?

      • Who?

        I’ve never seen anyone describe slow motion as the best means of determining obstruction… I was calling obstruction well before Cuthbert hit the line. BOD was in front of the ball and veered into a defender, rather than continuing to run the hole. That’s obstruction. Didn’t happen, these things happen. Didn’t change the outcome (i.e. the Wallabies had their chances and didn’t take them). None of the decisions did.

      • Cassius88

        Oh because a TMO has never gotten a call wrong. What a ridiculous statement.

  • MM

    I think its such a delicious irony that a team who’s primary tactics are to play for penalties are now moaning so loudly about being penalized. “Live by the sword etc……….” So funny………..

  • Robson

    Hell teeth if this is the level of vitriol being expressed when they win, what kind of bowel evacuation comments will we see if they lose!!!!

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      My thoughts exactly.

      Though I have to say I wouldn’t have managed to express it anywhere near as ‘colourfully’ – is that right word- as you have. Well done!

    • Rex Munday

      Sore losers and even more graceless at winning. They’ve always been like that. After the RUWC final in 2003 I was at a pub in Rose Bay waiting for a beer. The guy beside me was wearing an England shirt. In an affable tone I said “well done”, his response was to get about two inches from my face, and in a pompous public school boy voice, say “You didn’t deserve to even be there. Fuck off”.
      Noice.

      • Dan

        @Rex ‘Sore losers and even more graceless at winning.’

        Every country has its eejits. I was at Sydney in 2001 and at the final whistle the Aussie in front of us turned round and shouted ‘You can fuck off home now boys!’

        We’d not spoken to him until that point.

        I was also in Sydney at the RWC 2003 final (sitting next to Johnno’s dad, actually). After that final whistle, the (English) guy in front of us, a very nice and unassuming bloke in his 50s, went to the toilet. He came back 10 minutes later with a busted nose abnd blood all over his shirt, looking a bit bewildered. Three Aussies had jumped him in the bogs while he was having a piss, minding his own business.

        It’s all anecdata. Most rugby followers from both sides are decent folks – we can sit and watch together without too much aggro, after all.

        Re O’Driscoll above, that pic proves nothing – the Aussie player could be pulling him forwards and down.

        Re ref decisions generally, I think they went against us, mostly, but I don’t think it was cheating or anything – I just don’t think he was a very good ref.

        • Forget the nationalities – I have never EVER in 25 years of watching international Rugby matches seen anyone physically assaulted like that for absolutely no reason. (in fact, I’ve just never seen it).

          I just can’t believe that’s the full story

        • Dan

          Matt, all I can say is that’s what the guy said. I didn’t know him from Adam, but he was a very mild-mannered, four-eyed guy in his 50s from Gloucester, not a flash Harry City boy (plenty of whom deserve a knuckle sandwich), and he was bewildered and close to tears.

          I’ve seen this sort of thing (unprovoked attacks on people) a lot, but then I have worked (in my younger days) as a nightclub doorman, and as a consequence I have been around a lot of drunk, stupid people.

          It often depends on what you mean by ‘unprovoked’, of course. Objectively, the guy may have done nothing. Subjectively, you’re a pissed and pissed-off Wallabies fan, you think this Pom is gloating because he’s grinning at you (or whatever, I dunno), so you drop one on him. It’s plausible.

          I’m just saying that it isn’t a uniquely English trait to exhibit poor behaviour while winning, or losing.

          Actually, on the evening of the match, my mates and I went in to Sydney for a few (OK a lot of) beers, and got 90% handshakes and good chat from Aussies, and 10% dickheads who wanted to abuse us (or in one case as we sat outside a bar under the canvas, just chilling, even fight us… until we stood up and they saw how big we were – I was probably the smallest at 6ft 5in and 18 stone. At which point they lost interest.).

          I’d say 90/10 is probably a pretty good rule across the board, whatever the nation.

        • Garry

          Perhaps he’d had one too many, pissed on his shoes at the trough, and slipped on those steep steps when he trod on an errant greasy burger wrapper, and out of utter embarrassment, invented this amazing tale. He’d been waiting for Jonny’s father to talk to him all night.

          s’possible?

        • Tony Dun

          Agreed mate, I think a lot of Aussies are impressed with the (mostly very good) behaviour of the Lions tourists and smiling demeanour. I hope most of us are that good when o/s.

    • Bok fan

      They are a tiresome bunch. When they came to South Africa in ’09 the Boks absolutely smashed them in the 1st test, but the final score ended up being pretty close because of some dumb substitutions by the Bok coaches. The Lions acted like they were unlucky to lose, when in actual fact they were lucky they weren’t beaten by 20 points. When they lost the 2nd test and the series, they didn’t have one gracious thing to say, not one word of congratulations to the Boks…all they talked about was the Schalk Burger eye gouging incident. Then when they won the 3rd dead rubber test against what was basically a Bok B team, they acted as if they’d won the series.

  • old weary

    there were a number of decisions that were borderline, but I actually thought Pollock did a pretty good job in such a huge game (am a Aussie supporter though). I initially put Gatlands comments down to mostly wanting to put pressure on the ref this week (which I am sure is a large part).

    That being said, looking at some of the vid’s, there is some merit, but whether that is NH vs SH interpretation, one team adjusting quicker to interpretations or true ref mistakes is the debate.

    The BOD penalty which seems to be one at the center of the concern, came immediately after one where he was clearly off his feet, so Pollock already had his number (rightly or wrongly), and can put no credit to BOD’s claim he didn’t get involved anymore as worried about a yellow. He didn’t receive a warning and Pollock said after the game that he didn’t see it that way, although admits he got the call wrong.

    What about the ‘obstruction’ of O’Connor that doesn’t seem to be mentioned? Now I don’t personally think it was enough to call back, but that was O’Connor’s man, and when Woodward in his article says he considered it an obstruction there has to be some merit. He also said the same about BOD.

    I think overall he controlled the game pretty well, although Aust did get the rub of the green on a couple of calls, but I don’t think any worse than some recent displays or warrants the diatribe of insults from some commentaries.

    • Dan

      I thought that was an obstruction and would have disallowed Cuthbert’s try.

      Mind you, I also thought there was a(n arguably) forward pass in Folau’s second.

      • joe

        disagree with you in both!

        folau’s doesnt think it is forward specially off mowen’s hands, which is the important factor

        the obstruction was called to the tmo, which is all the ref could do. and i think the line odriscol took fooled oconor, who tried to defend him. odriscol didnt go against oconor, ocnor tryed to defend odriscol, except that he didnt get the ball

  • Gus

    Wallabies probably ended up getting a few more 50/50 calls at the breakdown but they lost so the refereeing didn’t really effect the result. The wallabies have a better reputation at the breakdown so you would kind of expect more calls to go their way, just as I expect the Lions probably get a little more leeway in the set piece due to their reputation.

    There will always be room for interpretation in rugby but as I was watching it I certainly didnt get the feeling the refereeing was having a big impact. I don’t know what the big deal is.

    • Bairdy

      The Lions didn’t win by a large enough margin because of the ref! Similarly, had they lost, “the Lions were screwed over by the ref” would have been the tune they sung.

    • mxyzptlk

      Pollock refereed one of the Argentina-England games (the score was something like 32-3 England). I don’t know if the Lions reviewed that game or not, but if they were concerned about how Pollock reffed the breakdown, it should have been required viewing.

  • Krang

    #12 – Ball out of the ruck gathered by the Lions, but scrum feed went to Aus. This should have been scrum / penalty to the Lions. Here’s why.

    Either:

    a) 14.2 Ball on the ground no tackle- diving on top of a player on the ground who has the ball is a penalty offence. Simmons tries to get the ball off Youngs, but flops over him, so penalty against him (if you judge that Youngs had his hands on the ball first) . This law only applies in general play though, not ‘immediately after the end of a ruck or maul’, so we refer to the ruck laws:

    Law 16.7 Unsuccessful end to a ruck – if ball is unplayable, scrum feed to the team that was going forward or else the attacking team. If Youngs gets to the ball first, then Lions should have the put-in. If is was simultaneous, then the Lions were the team on the ‘front foot’, I would argue, and should get the put in.

    Thoughts?

    • Scott Allen

      I think you’re right and I think the same laws apply to #6.

      In both cases the referee confirmed the ball was out of a ruck In the case of #6 probably should have either been a penalty against Mowen for diving on O’Driscoll who had dived on the ball on the ground or a scrum to the Lions due to the ball being unplayable as Robinson couldn’t roll away as he was pinned by Mowen.

      Other alternative would have been a scrum to the Wallabies if the ball going backwards suggested the Wallabies were going forward.

      Hard to see how he managed to come up with a penalty to the Wallabies.

      • Krang

        Yes, for #6, he signals the penalty is for going off feet, but if anyone is guilty of that, it is Mowen. BoD is allowed to dive on the ball as the ref had just called ‘ball is out’.

        I think this is the biggest error by the Ref that night – because it led to a converted try and was clearly wrong. The penalty try and Genia yellow were potentially as impactful but are not quite so clearly wrong.

      • Krang

        btw, Does anyone know which Law should be applied in #6 and #12? Is it law 14 or 16?

  • mxyzptlk

    Thanks for this, Scott. I was going to tweet-ask you about #2, #7 and #12, because I just wasn’t clear on what was and wasn’t being called.

    As far as #2 goes, it’s hard to tell because Vunipola’s on the far side of the ruck, but did he come in at the side, or did Moore turn in trying to clear him out? And would that make a difference on the ruling?

    As for #7, after the maul went down and Folau saved the North try in the corner, was the penalty awarded to the Lions because of the collapsed maul? It was hard to tell from the broadcast; they showed 7 different views of North hitting the corner, and the next thing you see is Halfpenny slotting another kick.

    And as for #12, I’ll just read what others have to say about it, because I don’t really know what that ruling was about.

    • Who?

      Directly in front of me at the game, #2 Vunipola definitely entered from the side. I was blowing up about it at the game before the whistle blew.
      #7 was penalizing collapsing the maul, but there was also an advantage for offside. Hence the double offside complaints by Brits, but see my post below pointing out that the first offense was truck and trailer (obstruction) by the Lions, so it could easily (should) have gone our way.

      • mxyzptlk

        Saw the post below, that helped.

    • Scott Allen

      In #2 Vunipola was not a tackler (as he didn’t go to ground) and therefore as he didn’t come back around from the last feet he was not entitled to play the ball – clear penalty and Gatland is probably just having a lend of us by complaining about that one.

      In #7 Douglas clearly came in from the side of the maul and played at Corbisiero’s leg, then Hooper came in from the side and pulled the maul down, both of which would normally have earned a yellow card and maybe a penalty try. However there does appear to be a truck and trailer from the Lions before that.

      In #12 Youngs gains possession of a ball on the ground and then the Wallabies fall on top of him. Ball became unplayable and should have been a scrum feed to Lions but ref gave scrum feed to Wallabies.

  • Basos

    1. Correct decision
    2. Cannot see the offence — unable to comment.
    3. Hooper should have been penalised – wrong decision.
    4. O’Driscoll was on his feet – wrong decision.
    5. From what I can see O’Driscoll was on his feet – wrong decision.
    6. Ball was out, that was OK. Robinson should have been penalised playing the ball when he was off his feet, lying on the ground. Wrong decision.
    7. Hooper in from the side — yellow card and penalty try. Wrong decision.
    8. Genia yellow card.
    9. Folau should have been penalised.
    10. Difficult to say from the view – unable to comment.
    11. Douglas did not release – not the other way around – wrong decision.
    12. Ball was out —Lions feed – incorrect decision.

    I am French and neutral.

    • BOPSteamers

      Sure you’re French…..Odriscoll isn’t supporting his own body weight…his forearms are on the ground…What are you on about?

  • Pasty Pom

    Not sure whether winning or losing shold make a difference as to whether you can comment on the ref, as seems to be a complaint here. Ignore BOD for now as the ref has even chipped in on that. Not sure there has been a great deal of debate over #2 falls in to the category of should know better. Most of the others are rub of the green stuff. I think most of the frustration comes because of when and how the penalties were / not given. #6, 7, 8, 12. 6 advantage to lions go nowhere, double knock on?, pen to aus, try. 7 Douglas was in at side and lifting leg on a few occasions, I dont go with penalty try argument. 8 again close to aus line fairly cynical / professional from Genia. Point being we got a couple of pens which could easily have been tries / yellows, plus one clear (to me) pen at 6 which would have been easy to knock over ie a 10 pointer. Test are about momentum and in the second half we probably should have lost the game when we could quite easily have gone into half time clear. #12 should have been a lions scrum, next phase vunipla gives away pen #2. As it happens not sure whether it was #10 but live I thought POC should have had a yellow towards the end.

  • skip

    Stephen Jones is to intelligent rugby commentary as Jeremy Clarkson is to evidence based environmental discussion.

    • Who?

      How dare you sleight Clarkson by comparing him with Jones! :-P

  • Finknottle

    Scott,

    You seem a good deal more reasonable than most of the one-eyed pundits around so I’m surprised that you haven’t covered the biggest talking point from the 1st Test – and the one that has caused the most upset in the UK – namely Horwill’s stamp and rake to AWJ’s face.

    Horwill’s defence that he was unsighted and trying to regain his balance just doesn’t make any sense. Firstly he’s moving from a steady stance and has to almost cross his legs to bring his foot down on AWJ. If you’re trying to balance yourself you naturally widen your stance, you can’t possibly balance yourself by stepping in. Secondly the players who might have knocked off his balance don’t hit until after the stamp and quite honestly every top level pundit (from NH and SH before I hear the bleating) asked on Sky has said you always know where your feet are in a ruck – always.

    The ruck is no place for the faint hearted and players will often do what they have to do to gain an advantage but there is absolutely no place in sport for head stamping, gouging or biting. There is simply no excuse for it – none.

    We Lions supporters, and every neutral i’ve spoken to, cannot understand how the citing officer could possibly review the footage, where both angles show quite clearly that it was intentional, and allow Horwill to play.

    Even if you can somehow be monocular enough to convince yourself that there was no intent it is still reckless – and reckless, without intent, is enough for a 2 or 3 match ban.

    I’d be very interested to get your thoughts.

    • Who?

      So should Farrell have been cited and suspended for nearly taking off Ben Lucas’ ear..? Apparently you always know where your feet are in a ruck. And it’s not like Ben Lucas’ head was moving – unlike AWJ’s head.

      • Finknottle

        The Reds didn’t think enough of it to report it to the citing officer. Do you know more?

        • Who?

          Aussie teams don’t tend to cite… We leave that to the citing commissioner.
          But if everyone knows where their feet are when they’re in a ruck, why shouldn’t we therefore automatically assume that both Horwill and Farrell’s incidents were both absolutely cynical and deliberate?

        • Finknottle

          Nobody else seems to agree with your assessment of what happened to Lucas’ ear. I thought i’d have a look through the Aus sites as i could find no mention of it on the UK ones.

          Butt having read through some other pages on this site I now realise that there is going to be little point point in carrying on this exchange with you.

          I’ve seen about 16 posts from you all complaining about the refereeing decisions that have gone against your team. But any comment about ref standards from others outside your tribe and you accuse them of being whingers.

          If it’s merely name-calling you’re after rather than reason i think i’ll just leave it there.

        • Who?

          What you’ll find is that we tend to leave things like that on the field. We let the citing commissioner do his job. I’m not saying Farrell was cynical, I was using hyperbole to illustrate the silliness of the statements made by supposed experts that everyone knows where their feet are at the breakdown (implying that everyone also knows where everyone/everything else is at the breakdown). I’m sorry you missed that. I don’t see how any player that’s bound to a breakdown properly and has his head in there can clearly be identified as deliberately stamping. Not deliberately. That’s too hard to call.

          I’m saying that we should hope that the citing commissioners and judicial officers are doing their job. It clearly wasn’t a simple question. They didn’t give a decision in 2 minutes. There’d be reason to complain if that had happened. The QC in charge of the question was also in charge of the Healy biting citing, is a Kiwi, and gave it due consideration. I’m more than happy to give all players (Horwill, Farrell, Healy) the benefit of the doubt.

          However, all we’ve seen from the British press is that anything an Aussie does is thuggish, whilst the Lions are angels… There’s no benefit of the doubt. Looking back at your first post, you’ve not given any benefit of the doubt. You’ve described one motion – placing a foot down (I’m trying not to be biased on the description) – as both stamping and raking the face. You’ve said he was stable, when clearly he’s standing on one foot when he’s shifted by contact. If you take an impact, then yes, you usually try to spread your legs. But if all your weight is already on only one leg, then the reaction is to move the other foot to take the new load. What point would there be in moving the foot where it’d previously been moving – forwards, away from where AWJ ended up lying – when it would’ve been under Jones, not supporting Horwill’s weight? And can you be absolutely certain that Horwill can see through Michael Hooper?

          Clearly you’ve got your opinion. It’s formed by the media to which you’re exposed. I’ve got my opinion. It’s formed through my observations and gold-tinted glasses (as we have little worthy media analysis down here). There’s no point in going over it – the game’s done, the decision’s made. You either label a highly experienced and neutral QC as corrupt, or you move on.

          And I haven’t called you names.

        • Finknottle

          Here’s something to read. What are your thoughts?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/sport/opinion/8840372/Reason-Heads-Horwill-wins-thanks-to-a-judicial-joke

          Got to say i think you’ll find that among supporters outside of Australia (mostly neutrals) this is the prevailing view

        • Who?

          I know plenty of Kiwis who think that the intervention of the IRB in this is a farce. And I don’t know a single Kiwi who respects anything written by Mark Reason, who, in spite of his address, is English, and highly scorned by them. They rank him with Stephen Jones, Stuart Barnes (who I don’t mind), Greg Growden…

          If Hampton had come out and said, “He’s guilty, here’s the sentence,” then fair play. Cop it on the chin, pick your team for next week. We wouldn’t have complained to the IRB about it.

          For the IRB to come out and say that it’s all in the name of player safety, well, where’s the similar action for Farrell’s walk through the front of a ruck, which left Ben Lucas with his ear being reattached? Clearly that had more impact on Lucas’ safety than Horwill’s unsteady impact (and it was unsteady, if he was balanced and trying to stamp on AWJ’s face then you’d think he’d have done better than a glancing blow) had on AWJ’s safety. Go check Ben Lucas’ Twitter account, the photos aren’t pretty. Then watch the incident back, and tell me Farrell had any reason to be where he was, walking unbound through the middle of a pile of bodies in front of a ruck without binding to anyone. It was unsafe behaviour, it was pointless behaviour, it was offside. Do I want him banned? No. The citing officer didn’t cite him, so we live by it. I’d just like the Lions to have the same respect for due process.

          The announcement today and everything to come is a farce. The Lions don’t trust the citing commissioner to do his job, they do it for him. They don’t get the verdict they want, so they go and complain to the IRB and get the IRB to come out and basically state that a neutral, independent, experienced judicial officer that they appointed is either not capable or perhaps corrupt. There’s no new evidence being mentioned. If this was a murder case, with a not guilty verdict, I don’t see that Mr Cameron or even Her Majesty herself could go and demand the courts be ruled void and that the person could be retried without clear proof of impropriety or new evidence.

          What makes it worse is that this Lions team doesn’t need a leg up. I expected the margin to be bigger last weekend, and this weekend they’ve got a better starting team (I know, POC’s gone, and that’s huge, but one big loss is balanced by three significant improvements). But at this stage, the series is being overshadowed by behaviour that’s truly childish, the Lions unhappy with a few decisions and going to extraordinary lengths to change things. What happens if he’s cleared again? If they win this weekend and claim the series, then see Horwill cleared, does that mean they’ll pack up and go home early in protest? The behaviour in complaining to the IRB is almost that childish… Can’t say I’ve ever seen Australia or NZ try to toughen a suspension for their opponents, or get a judicial decision overturned.

        • Finknottle

          I’d better quickly point out that the CEO of the IRB is Australian and the Chairman is French. If the IRB has ever had any historic bias in opinions voiced by its key members it is against the England team specifically.

          The idea that the IRB favour the Lions flies in the face of too many decisions for that to be given any credence whatsoever.

          What prompted the IRB stepping in to reexamine the verdict is the almost universal (outside Aus) condemnation of the original verdict as being plain wrong.

          I can’t say for certain but i’d be willing to bet that if the Lions management had gone to the IRB and tried to get them to look at overturning the decision they’d have had the door closed smartly in their faces.

          I think the IRB members have realisedthat they will cop some flak for stepping in like this but that that is preferable in the long run to letting a clearly unjust decision stand.

          But, as is clear from these pages, you call it as you see it. I’m a Lions supporter so maybe i am predisposed to see it differently to you. But what i would say is that the IRB just happen to agree with most neutral rugby followers that Horwill was plumb guilty. Even if not for a deliberate stamp (which i believe it was) then, at the very least, of reckless play. That in itself would carry a ban for at least 1 game, probably more.

          If i’m honest the real injustice is that this review can’t happen sooner because i simply don’t believe Horwill should be taking any further part in the series.

        • Who?

          I’m more than aware that Gosper’s an Aussie. But when you’ve got an organization based in Dublin, dominated by NH members (and let’s not forget this is 4 nations against 1 in this series, so that helps to get things passed), living under the British press, you’re not going to have too many board members seeing both sides of a situation.

          The idea that the IRB is biased against the Lions is ridiculous. The IRB enables the tours to go ahead. The IRB doesn’t step in and run day to day decisions. It doesn’t organize draws. It doesn’t have a say in scheduling (thinking the old club vs. country issue). It doesn’t have a role in decision making around most areas that decisions could be seen as pro or anti Lions.

          I’ve never once said I thought Horwill wasn’t lucky to get the verdict. I don’t think there’s proof that there was anything malicious in the contact, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not able to be interpreted as careless, and that could easily see him suspended. That said, I think we see at least that sort of thing on the field every week, and it was a pretty low and childish thing for the Lions to cite it. The Reds didn’t cite this: http://instagram.com/p/aXb88cI1G0/#

          And whilst I can see the IRB stepping in to increase a penalty, that’s not the same as stepping in – over the top of an independent judicial official – to effectively say he’s clueless and that whatever was shown to him in the 5 hours of deliberations isn’t valid compared to their quick viewing on YouTube and reading vitriolic columns by writers like Reason and Jones.

          If Gouger Burger wasn’t suspended in 09, I’d have worn that. The bloke’s a great player, but he’s a serial gouger. When, in the 2011 RWC QF, he gouged and raked David Pocock’s face four times in a single ruck, directly in front of Bryce Lawrence (if you think Pollock’s incompetent, please don’t ever watch a game that was reffed by Lawrence – his incompetence was legendary!), we didn’t cite him, and he wasn’t suspended. Was it right that he got away with that, without even a penalty? Absolutely not. But it’s not our place to do the job of the citing commissioner, nor is it our place to go and change years of historical and legal precedents to overturn a verdict without new evidence or evidence of impropriety. The Lions clearly feel they’re above the law.

    • Scott Allen

      As I said on our podcast the other day I thought Horwill was very, very lucky.

      As POC was to even make the tour based on his incident back home.

    • Old weary

      It looks very bad coming down on a players head, and agree can’t see how that motion an be explained, but all that being said, how could he have known his head was there? People are saying that ‘you just know’ etc etc, but sorry I just can’t buy that completely.

      He went in to the ruck and then never had sight of what was at his feet or that the player was pushed through.

      I guess the latter (with Horwill’s record) overrode the former by weight of probability.

      If it was Bakies or even Higgers there I think they would have been out this week.

    • smartcooky

      “Firstly he’s moving from a steady stance and has to almost cross his
      legs to bring his foot down on AWJ. If you’re trying to balance yourself
      you naturally widen your stance, you can’t possibly balance yourself by
      stepping in.”

      Actually, with one leg off the ground, and then losing your balance in the opposite direction, crossing your leg over is the only way you can avoid falling. Try it; stand on your left leg with your right leg in the air, then get someone to shove you to your left. You wont be able to avoid falling unless you cross your right leg over, because all your weight is on your left leg. To widen your stance to the left, you will have to put your right leg down first, and by then its too late, you’re already on your way over.

      • Finknottle

        You don’t know much about biomechanics do you? Have another look, try and watch it in Black and White, so you don’t let the Green and Gold cloud your vision. His right leg, as his hips are moved round, would naturally come down outside the ruck to steady himself. The movement he makes would unquestionably make him more unbalanced.

        I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to accept that your Captain would do something like stamp deliberately on an opponents face but it’s there on the tape. A few minutes into the game, all pumped up after weeks of anticipation and he has taken a cheap shot – a potentially very dangerous cheap shot.

        There is simply no doubt in my mind – or any neutral’s mind if you care to look at coverage from around the rugby world (or if you really want, listen to your own Brendan Cannon who was honest enough to call it what it is) – that was a deliberate act. Horwill knows what he did. Whether he has any shame about it is the mark of what sort of man he is. The jury is still out on that one.

        And before you accuse me of being one-eyed i was disgusted with Cian Healey’s bite in the 6N and thought he should have played no part in the Lions tour. It sends out entirely the wrong message. There is no excuse for that sort of thing in Rugby. None. A bit of biff is one thing, its a contact sport – but gouging, biting and stamping an opponents face are absolutely beyond the pale. You can’t just hide behind patriotic pride and pretend it didn’t happen

        • MightyMoth

          A lot of players will bring the outside leg inwards so that they can lean backwards whilst holding players to collapse. Moving the leg outward would steady the ruck, Moving the leg inwards to turn an push back would collapse players off the ball. He had no vision of the man and was judged as such.

        • smartcooky

          Err, I’m a Kiwi; an All Blacks supporter. (I post under the same username on therugbyforum.com, anyone there can confirm) I actually don’t give a flying feck who wins these matches or if Horwill is suspended or not. I’m just telling you what I see, and yes, I do understand enough about biomechanics to know that what I said before is true. You try it yourself.

        • Finknottle

          Smart Cooky,

          Abject apologies for assuming you were Australian, i know that’s almost as bad as accusing a Scotsman of being English.

          Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2I8Fpk7FpQ even if you believe he is trying to balance himself (and i simply can’t see how you might, but you do, so there we go) just look at the way the foot moves backwards. That isn’t the act of someone putting his foot down to steady himself. He’s got his heel up, toe down and bings his foot back; exactly the way you’d ruck a ball back (or a lions head) except that there’s no ball. You wouldn’t do that if you were trying to keep your balance.

          I’m sorry but that is a deliberate movement. You’d see it on someones back if they were lying on wrong side and you’d accept that it was just a bit of a shoeing. But that is a cowardly and cheap shot. I haven’t been watching SH coverage but every ex-player who has seen that on Sky and the BBC (And that includes many non home nations players) branded it a disgrace and couldn’t believe the citing officer cleared him.

        • Finknottle

          Here’s something to read. What are your thoughts?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/sport/opinion/8840372/Reason-Heads-Horwill-wins-thanks-to-a-judicial-joke

          Got to say i think you’ll find that among supporters outside of Australia (mostly neutrals) this is the prevailing view

        • SubjectZero

          I’m late to the party on this one, but had to chime in as I DO know about biomechanics, as it’s an integral part of my sport science degree. Your entire assertion of Horwill’s guilt is based on your erroneous belief that people automatically widen their stance when knocked off balance. While this would be true of any situation where the bulk of our weight is otherwise unsupported, when one’s weight IS supported, as Horwill’s was while bracing against Michael Hooper, you are then free to stick your feet wherever you please, especially so if you are attempting to drive against an opposing force. We actually learn this as babies, as we support our bodies against furniture then learn to push ourselves around with our feet, and is a behaviour that continues well into old age.

          You may not choose to accept it, but it’s entirely within the realms of probability that Horwill was attempting to drive toward the Lions line while hanging off the side of Hooper as the forces of the ruck pushed him backwards and toward the right hand touch line.

          This fact alone doesn’t exonerate Horwill from having committed an act of deliberate foul play, but it does provide a plausible counterargument to the many people like yourself that immediately claim to know where his foot “should” have gone. Intent, however, exists within the deep end of some very murky waters, and Nigel Hampton was asked to rule on whether this was an example of intentional foul play. Based on the multiple angles of footage that Hampton had access to (which we haven’t) and a statement possibly similar to mine above, means he wasn’t able to determine that intent, and that enough probability exists to deem it accidental, reckless at worst. Graeme Mew has now agreed that enough evidence existed for Hampton to come to that conclusion.

          For something to do, I even raised this with one of my lecturers, a South African rugby fan and fully qualified exercise physiologist, to see what he thought. Again, same analysis: Horwill’s leg action is entirely plausible under those circumstances.

          I still believe that Horwill should buy himself a lottery ticket or four, but I’m just a little bit over hearing the “widening stance” argument when it simply doesn’t have a leg to stand on (boom tish!).

  • jose

    the thing here is that ALL the decisions go the same way!!

    • handles

      Um, the point of the article is to analyse the decisions that the Lions complained about. Strangely, they didn’t complain about any that went their way.

  • joe

    1,2 – obrien and vunipola risked it and got pinged. pretty fair call

    3 – ok, as the lions got the ball quite easy i can see hooper getting away with that

    4 – ok fair call against odriscol

    5 – if you dont allow this,then its impossible to get a turnover…WRONG call! (even pollock admitted it later)

    6 – very important play as it leads to a try – CLEARLY wrong call – should be a penalty against ben robinson!!

    7- cant really be sure its a penalty try, but definetly a yellow!!

    8- clearly another yellow!!! actually surprised the lions didnt used it to smash australias best player

    9 – folau is ok, it happens often, cant be penalising everything

    10 – 50/50 – can accept the call

    11 – very clear douglas doesnt realease!! wrong call!!!

    12 – WRONG put in!!!

    so all the decisions go one way, all the mistakes goes one way

  • jc

    by the way great post!

  • Nick Hill

    I think this is a bit like when Graham Henry went through the 07 NZ v France game with kiwi tinted glasses on and assumed the ref was biased because he saw it all from his perspective. If you want to you can ALWAYS find a penalty at the tackle contest.

    I think Aus got the majority of decisions at the breakdown and we got a few let offs at the line-out. As pointed out anything Gatland says should be taken with a pinch of salt as he loves putting ideas in people’s heads.

  • M West

    First of all: fair play to Pollock for admitting he got specific decisions wrong. As BOD himself said re the video referral for Mowen’s pass to Folau, decisions have to be made live and must allow for error. Going with the flow and calling how it feels is part of the game for players and spectators as much as referees.

    On the same topic, telling the ref to look at the replay in the first 10 minutes of a match is not the smartest thing to do and does you no favours. It wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. Whatever about interpretation of BOD’s technique on this thread, Pollock can be heard telling the player he just doesn’t like how it looks.

    In the first 14 minutes BOD conceded 2 penalties for not supporting (#4 & #5, not particularly clear in these clips), received a warning to keep his hands out and another penalty for whatever it was Pollock saw in the incident leading to Folau’s first try (#6, plain wrong). That’s potentially 13 points against the Lions’ savviest player in as many minutes. He got the message and stayed well out of rucks after that, but by that point it really looked like Pollock had seen video highlights of the Irishman and was being somewhat over-vigilant in singling him out.

    There was never going to be a penalty try from such a messy maul (#7), but Genia was fortunate not to see yellow (#8), as was O’Connell late in the second half (#10).

    B Youngs was a brave man to dive on that ball under the posts (#12), but having done so, he should have won a penalty or at least a scrum.

    As a sidenote, the Horwill stamp is unfortunate not least because the match was full of great intensity and lacking in dirty play. A point not made so far in his (rather weak) defense is that the incident didn’t affect the tone or spirit of the game — and thankfully neither did the injuries — and for this the players and ref can take great credit.

    As a last point — Pollock, for all his faults, at least gives the impression of loving the game and not the petty application of the whistle. If you thought he could be better, wait until you see Poite…

  • dam0

    I think you missed the PK against Gold 4 and Gold 5 at 22:43. They were pinged for entry at a maul at a lineout, but unfortunately, there was no offside line at that point. Both of them went to tackle the ball carrier AFTER the lineout had ended but BEFORE a maul had formed. It was still general play and a mistake by Pollock. An understandable mistake, but one nonetheless.

    Another one I think you missed was at 28:50 when Genia takes the ball over the sideline and throws the ball into the crowd when a Lion was after the ball to take a potential QT. Maybe it was a bit doubtful whether he would have taken it quickly but Genia deprived him of the chance and should have been pinged under 19.2(i)

    I can live with the decision in #12. Initiially I wondered about it, but really neither team is going forward immediately prior to the ball being made unplayable. It then goes to the team moving forward prior to the ruck being formed, (or if there is no ruck then the law is similar under tackle law 15.8). You could make a case for both teams losing their feet at the same time and Pollock is right not to award a PK. I contrast this decision to #6 where it is clear the first offence is by Gold 6.

    #3 and #9 are just a case of the referee not noticing immaterial offences, or simply ignoring them because they had no impact on the play.

    All in all Pollock actually had a pretty decent game. If you go over every game with a fine tooth comb you will find mistakes. His mistakes do not appear to have favoured one side over the other. .

  • Adam Daniel

    One thing I am curious about (and I don’t watch a lot of S14 Rugby so perhaps it is commonplace in Southern Hemisphere rugby), was the Wallaby habit of diving off their feet at the rucks. It was pretty prevalent and you’d get pinged off the field for that ‘up our way’.

    Is that a pretty consistent thing or was it just an area that the ref was lax on and was a case of playing the ref?

  • RJ

    Seems to me the Lions got the rub of the green. We just dont whinge like they do.

  • billy-bits@live.co.uk

    Watched the Game in a Pub in Wales both sides had dubious calls imo. The main thing that turned the pub against Pollock was the Lions getting told to use the ball and not the wallabies. The advantage over call just before genias card was a little quick and resulted in a 10 point swing. To be fair the Wallabies impressed me and I would not have complained if they won.

  • Dai Chem

    This is a strange analasys. It show 6 pens against the lions and asks yes or no? And 2 occaisions of no pens against Aus and asks yes or no? The rest are questions of penalty try for lions or cards?? Why no questions of why weren’t the lions pinged for this or why were Aus pinned for this.THATS THE POINT-ALL DEBATABLE DECIONS, CHRIS PILLOCK GAVE TO AUS. Unlikely to be by coinincidence. I am not suggesting that ref cheated. He just saw it that way. I am like that watching Wales play, I can;t help it. BUT THAT’S WHY I NEVER TOOK UP REFING-NOT IMPARTIAL ENOUGH

  • Dai Chem

    Just seen Danes comments. Sorry mate, you are wrong. Refs don’t have a responsibility to make the game enjoyable to watch. If you don’t like rugby, don’t watch it. Refs should apply the laws. If NH wants scrum, scrum, scrum they are allowed in law to approach it that way. Otherwise we get rugby league scrums-farce. I understand your difficulties-Rugby league big in Aus-very few good scumagers in Aus. You can’t change the laws to accommodate your weeknesss. Just as we don’t ban say-no running fast or no quick tap pens. Both teams must bed allowed to play their style WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OF VALUE FROM REF-just, is it legal?

    Interestingly, this boring NH style just gave first rugby sellout in Melbourne-some merit in my arguement

  • Parrotgone

    6 and 12 are broadly similiar. Albeit that 6 is an attacking player recovering the loose ball, 12 it’s a defending player. After that, in both cases, go over the ball illegally. In both, the clearest offence to me is Australian players sealing off the ball, going over, to ground (forearms / hands), and making the ball unplayable.

  • kj

    Horwell should have been out for a month deliberate stamp on face near eyes extremely dangerous.Quite a coward really, though if he stood toe to toe against awj only one winner and he ain’t wearing a skull cap.

  • Nickticktaskers

    Never mind about this game. Referees have a responsibility to referee the game to the letter of the law (without) exception! The fact that referees do not call matches to the letter of the law at any level or in any game is the crux of the matter. This tripe about interpration between north and south is a load of codswallop. You either have refs that enforce the laws of the game (to the letter of the law at all times) or you have what we’ve got now! A game that is a free for all, unjust (for both sides) and an inconsistent application of the laws by inconsistent poor refereeing through out the world. Consistency and application of the law (to the letter of the law) is the crux of the problem; until this is sorted we are going to get the same poor quality of refereeing and blame it on an illusion of interpretation. You either have the laws and enforce them or you get the crap that is so evident at present because no one at the IRB can grab the bull by the horns and sort it out. Interpretation is a cop out, full and consistent application of the laws by all refs is the key to a just and proper game. You do not see such ambiguity in any other sport on this planet as you do with rugby union! And the blame lies firmly at the door of the IRB.

  • Basos

    Reply to BOP Steamers,

    Myopia. BOD was on his feet when he pinched the ball then his elbows went down.

    Wrong decision ref.
    Comprenez vous Madam. Mais qui, je vais en France.

  • Welshpenguin

    Ah, for all those whinging about how chippy the BIL supporters are, you should have seen the dummies being spat in the Millennium Stadium when you lost there : )

    Nothing exclusive about being a wanker when your team loses one

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@ScottA_

Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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