Keyboard warriors

I find myself getting really irritated by people who sit at home (or wherever) and think its perfectly acceptable to abuse referees on Twitter or Facebook or wherever just because they happen to be involved in their games, or simply because they don’t understand what our role is and how we do it.

What’s even more galling is that their impunity is brought up regularly and I just can’t help giving some back to those who suggest, or blatantly accuse, them of being cheats or biased. We’re talking about our top officials in the world, most of whom are professional referees. Their livelihoods depend on them being the exact opposite! Demonstrably and accountably so. Some would say that the abuse is “just part of the territory”, but why should it be?


Live by the sword….

Suppose this is the downside to being a professional referee:

Source: The Australian

Referee binned after Tahs error

AUSTRALIAN referee Paul Marks has been dumped indefinitely from Super 14 matches following his handling of the NSW-Sharks match, with SANZAR referees chief Lyndon Bray admitting yesterday a last-gasp penalty try should have been awarded to the South Africans.

Sharks coach John Plumtree complained bitterly after Saturday’s 25-21 loss to the Waratahs at the Sydney Football Stadium that the Sydney-based Marks should have ruled Kurtley Beale’s 78th-minute knock-down of a pass to Ryan Kankowski warranted a penalty try — which would assuredly have handed the Natal side the victory.

Instead, Marks gave Beale a yellow card and only awarded the Sharks a penalty. From the ensuing lineout, he penalised Sharks prop Jannie du Plesis for obstruction in a rolling maul after he had lifted jumper Wilhelm Steenkamp to win the throw barely a metre from the NSW tryline.

The referees’ selection panel of Australian Andrew Cole, South Africa’s Tappe Henning and New Zealand’s Colin Hawke, taking account of Marks’s performances in his past two matches, voted to drop him from the Super 14 panel until he has rectified shortcomings in his game management. South African referee Pro Legoete has also been stood down indefinitely.

“There was some imbalance from a management perspective, how he (Marks) arrived at these big decisions and how they were presented,” Bray said.

The SANZAR boss said Marks’s decision not to award the Sharks a match-winning penalty try was only one event and his overall handling of the game was taken into account.

“In fairness to Paul, you could debate the penalty try ruling all day,” Bray said. “We believe the right decision in the cold light of day was to award a penalty try, but you could argue why a referee would back off it.”

Cole maintained that front-on video footage had shown that contrary to South African claims Kankowski would have had an unimpeded run to the tryline, Waratahs centre Tom Carter was coming across in cover defence.

“Admittedly he had a fair bit of work to do, and we all know how quick Kankowski is,” Cole said.

“But Paul would have seen him in his peripheral vision . . . he would have known there was a defender there.”

Cole will work with Marks on improving his game management, and is confident he will be back refereeing at the top level before the end of the Super 14 tournament.

But his demotion comes too late for the Sharks, who take a 0-4 win-loss record — and a feeling that nothing is going their way — into their match with the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

No names no packdrill

Not a huge amount to report from Saturday’s travels. I’m enjoying this TJ malarkey, but not that much!!¬† Its good to get a feel for higher level rugby and it’s a confidence boost that should ref go down in the first minute, yours truly would be on and running (very very quickly!)

Thanks for all the comments that people are leaving, its nice to know a) people read my musings, b) its being of some use and c) that I can call on assistance from those out there.

My intention on this blog was to remain anonymous ( ho hum!) and at least to refrain from naming myself or the sides I’m involved with, so please can you respect that with your comments here. On other fora, things may be different but here is my control. I can edit comments and will do so if I need to remove names/clubs etc.

 Have a fun week


Ruck over?

Law ruling from our chums in Dublin. For once, no added questions arise from this clarification:

The GRU has requested a ruling with regard to Law 16.6 Successful end to a ruck.

The question is:

A ruck is formed and the ball is playable for Team A. All players in Team B now leave the ruck and step back. Is there still a ruck or has the ruck ended?

The Designated Members have ruled the following in answer to the question raised:

1. A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck or when the ball enters in goal ie. on or over the goal line.

2. A ruck ends unsuccessfully when the ball becomes unplayable.

As there has been a ruck formed initially, AND the criteria for a successful or unsuccessful ruck have not been exhibited, then the ruck has not ended.

Good stuff!