Rugby Championship

96 hours and no word from IRB

2014-09-10 13:13
IRB logo (File)

Cape Town - It's been four days now since the twin referee debacles in last weekend's Rugby Championship Tests - but it's been radio silence from the IRB...

France's Pascal Gauzère drew the anger of both All Blacks and Argentina fans for a number of crucial calls, in particular his failure to penalise a blatant, early hold on Julian Savea in a try-scoring position and a perfectly legitimate charge down "try" by the visitors at a crucial stage in the second half.

Ireland's George Clancy then became persona non grata - similar to how die-hard Boks fans view referees Bryce Lawrence, Stuart Dickinson and Romain Poite - with a series of clangers which all had some degree of impact in ensuring the Boks went down by a single point in Perth.

While referees in the recent past - think Jaco Peyper and Craig Joubert - have held up their hands in admitting to blunders in matches, the IRB, Gauzère and Clancy have all been tjoepstil some 96 hours after the fact.

One expected at the very least for the IRB to issue a statement reminding irate fans of law 17.c, subsections 4, 7, 12 and 19d which states the "referee is always correct" - but not even that!

Has rugby become impossible to referee by a single person? Is it time to go ahead with the two-referee system as implemented at Varsity Cup level this season?

And what about the Assistant Referees? Do they have a free ride on the sidelines, failing to see what's important and potentially result-defining, instead only seemingly ever content to grind a match to a halt with a flag to report an innocuous "hand bags" scuffle?

And the TMO? Sitting in the luxury of a sound-proof booth with access to replay after replay, how does he get it wrong so often?

Rugby is in trouble. Big trouble.


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