Weekend action

Well, another two games each out of the way. The Friday night rugby here is a curious thing. We’ve had various chats about the standard of it between the two of us and we seem to be agreed that it is at out Division 2 intensity, but London 1 skill level stuff. It’s very ferocious stuff, but there is very little game planning or structure involved.

I did College Rovers v Crusaders. Crusaders took it away in the first half, getting 2 good tries early on. Five minute yellow card was, I think, my quickest of the year. I talked myself down from it being a red. Maul situation, ball coming out, the defending hooker took offence to something and threw a rather tasty punch. Fortunatley for him, it didnt land, and he was instantly apologietic (not that that had any effect on me) so he had a sterm talking to and a 10 minute break.  Had two incompetent props, one ofn each side which caused some grief at scrum time. I knew it wasnt going to be easy as Id had probs with the same Crusaders prop last week. Nothing malicious, just not up to it. I think I had 3 FKs, 2 PKs before a stern word to both that if they didnt some something right, Id have them both off and we’d prob then have to go uncontested. At last they seemed to get the message. 

 3-13 at half time which as it turns out, was the final score as well. Second half was much better as game than the first. Excellent defending by Collegians, especially in the last 16 mins when their flanker, tried to eminate his hooker colleague, but landed his punch square on the jaw of the Crusaders number 4. Unprovoked, after a scrum whistle for a knock on. Not much option for me, sadly. Fortunatley, I was due at a meeting on Wednesday evening at the ABSA Stadium, which is where the disciplinary hearing will be. Seems I’ll have to miss out on the SARFU fitness test. The price we pay eh!

 Yesterday, we headed out to referee Hilton College, one of the most renowned public schools in the East coast. They were playing St Albans, a school from Jo’burg who had hired a  sleeper train to bring them down overnight. Not sure I’d want to send 11 hour on a train with 200 school boys – however posh and well behaved they may be!

First half was pretty good stuff. Open rugby, the lads listened and reacted which always helps. Vistitors took early lead with 2 tries and then home side came back. Visitors hooker in the bin for persistent offences as the half ended 16-16. Thought I might try and emulate Terry by going for a full time draw! Second half went away from the visitors as the journey kicked in, I suspect.  Game ended 33-16, so a full house of home wins for us both.

Few interesting incidents with coaches to report. We both had words with them who, coming on to ‘tend’ to an injury, added a few choice words in our direction. Only being helpful of course, but entirely out of order. We both played the ’embarrass the master’ card. Players were apologising all to us for their behaviour!

Profuse apologies in the staff common room afterwards, but was interesting to note that clearly this is how things are out here. In his speech after, the visiting head made reference to how well we dealt with the coaches and made a point of suggesting all refs should deal with them the way we did. We’ll be passing that on to the refs we meet on Wednesday!

While Im on, I must just explain how cheap things are out here at the moment. When we got back last night we wanted some food so came out to a big shopping mall – Bluewater stylee. Found a restaurant and I had a chicken burger and (diet) chips, Terry had a the ribs. He had 2 beers, I a fresh orange (athlete that I am!). Total bill – 9 pounds.  Crazy world!

Off up the coast to Zululand later today.  Should be good!

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