Italy – Day 2

Well, it feels really good to be able to say that I’m now an ‘international referee’. If I go no further in the rugby world I’ll be a happy chappy. It’s really nice to stand in the middle of 2 sides singing their anthems. They had three flags in front us, the two national flags of Italy and France and then the flag of St George in front of me. As a Welshman in exile, representing the RFU, I had to smile!

Game went really well. The mixture of French, Italian and English seemed to work OK. France won 35-8 – so much better but the Italy lads put up a reasoanble show of it. No disgraces by anyone. 

Had to deal with some typical U18 exubriances but nothing to fret about. Scared one lad – the Italian hooker because he thought he’d got away with a swinging arm coming into a ruck and the tone of my whistle put the fear of God into him! I almost smiled.

French side were far better and well drilled. The Italian back line reminded me of England last week – they threw away so much ball in good positions which cost them a bit of pride if not the game.

Only prob was the scrum. It just never settled. The French in the first half were uber-dominant and were on the line of pusing early. I FKd twice and pen twice. Had to reset too many as teh game went on but with 8 different FR variations coming on, it is tough to get right. Squads of 22 and 26 in all.

Everyone happy with me which is a bonus. Assessor only asked abut the scrum but I think he understood the issues.

 Just got a morning to kill now. Off for a wander to walk off the 5 course meal I had last night! Couldn’t believe it – they just kept coming! Won’t need to eat for a week!

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