Watson: Refs not killing games

2012-03-01 22:13

Cape Town - South African referees boss André Watson says Super Rugby referees are not killing running rugby with their strict application of the laws.

The first round of this year's Super Rugby competition was characterised by referees awarding numerous penalties.

And after last week's round of matches, where no team managed a bonus point victory for four tries, there were a few complaints about the way the referees handled the games.

Before this year's competition referees were told to be stricter on especially the breakdown and scrum areas.

The Cheetahs' backline coach, Hawies Fourie, said the type of rugby dished up was disappointing to see.

"The rugby that was played was disappointing, especially due to the large number of penalties awarded.

"Many teams just went for the safe option of kicking balls away.

"It wasn't pretty to look at," he told the Volksblad newspaper on Wednesday.

But Watson believes the general consensus that less penalties lead to a more open running style of play is not true.

"Statistics show more penalties awarded (especially at the breakdowns), lead to more tries being scored. If there are fewer penalties, more players will try and slow the ball down illegally and thus close up the space.

"The play may flow more (with fewer penalties), but there is almost no chance for players to break through. That leads to disguised league-style rugby in union colours. The coaches (and players) actually want quick possession," Watson told the same newspaper on Thursday.

Watson believes the number of penalties will decrease as the tournament progresses.

"Referees and players are a bit rusty at the beginning of the season. I have no doubt that the penalty-count will decrease as the season progresses. But the players will have to adapt, because the referees won't show any mercy."

Watson feels there are other factors that reduce running rugby.

"What gets forgotten or passed by is the fact that teams' defence has become so good that it's incredibly difficult to score tries. I believe that coaches and players will pay more attention to attacking play because there are still opportunities to score points - even with first phase possession."


  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-01 22:47

    lloyd dont be stupid now. Even the commentators didnt know what to say any more. The hurricanes would pull on the lose heads jersey then when the stormers do it the hurricanes still get punished. Looks like the new rule of thumb is punish your opposing country and if they try to intersept you give them a yellow card.

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-01 22:50

      Dit was lagwekkend. Nou wil die klomp moan oor Bryce.

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-01 22:55

    One thing I would like a answer to. Blues vs Crusaders both from New Zealand was blown by Chris Pollock a New Zealand ref. So he was impartial. The Brumbies vs Force game was blown by Bryce Lawrence from New Zealand. So he was impartial. And so it goes on every local derby was blown by either the countrys ref or a ref from another country. Is the logical reasoning then not suppose to be that if an NZ team plays an SA team an AUS ref blows so that he can remain impartial? Why did a south african ref blow a game NZ vs SA game? How will he ever stay impartial?

      Saffa - 2012-03-01 23:03

      @marnus Absolutely, i don't know how that happened? Marius Jonker must be contracted by the Stormers! I mean it was obvious he was never gonna give the Hurricanes the slightest chance

      Geronimo - 2012-03-02 00:58

      Marnus - a few years back SANZAR decided to scrap neutral referees because referees from each country were of differing standards (Australians were deemed to be especially poor). They elected to go for an "elite panel" of referees to try and ensure quality refereeing and the thought process is that the best referees in the world can look past local bias... ja sure, ask Brycie about that. Keep Bryce away from my team.

      Saffa - 2012-03-02 01:23

      @Geronimo How did they select Idiot Jonker? How does it work that WP/Stormers always benefit from poor refereeing?

      Boer - 2012-03-02 04:04

      @Saffa: Dis al hoe hulle iewers kan kom.

      Jed - 2012-03-02 07:31

      Is this not the same Ref that gave the Bulls a Super 14 trophy? A forward pass to Hougaard if I remember correctly.Bulls would have got no Super 14 trophy's if it werent for bad Ref's. Bulls played 11 lost 11 will never forget that year....... LOL

      Ruan - 2012-03-02 08:39

      Jy vergeet vinnig wie die Bulle vs Chiefs finaal geblaas het in Suid Afrika neh. Dit gebeur partykeer, maar soos hul se, as die skoen jou pas!!!

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-01 23:05

    The lions play the hurricanes this weekend If you look at the stormers game you would guess that the they would also appoint a South African ref to blow that game? Oh no they got Steve Walsh an Aussie ref?? So WHY DID THE STORMERS GET SOUTH AFRICAN REF? If you look at week 3 when most of the local derbys are done. The force plays the hurricanes in perth but they dont get the privalage of an aussie ref no Jaco Peyper from south africa will blow that game then again the brumbies vs the cheetahs in Canberra that will also not be blown by an Aussie.. they get Keith Brown from New Zealand to blow it. And the truth is that all of the teams have local refs blowing their games. New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are all included into this. Why cant they get a ref from another country to blow the games.. If its a local derby in SA get an Aussie or Kiwi to blow it. If its SA vs NZ get an Aussie to blow it etc. That way we can all be sure of impartial refrees so that the teams can continue to play the game and not the refs.

      Saffa - 2012-03-01 23:14

      I think they shouldn't allow that game to count and get them to replay with a proper ref! What a disgrace for SA rugby. Nearly the disgrace the Stormers are to Super rugby

  • neelsuys - 2012-03-01 23:41

    South African referees are by a long shot the worst in the super 15, we need to get some sort of academy where referees need to have a feel and understanding of rugby before they can blow games, they are definitely bringing the quality of the games down..

      Saffa - 2012-03-01 23:52

      Totally agree. Is there a way one can get the Stormers-Hurricanes result nullified?

      Jack - 2012-03-02 01:31

      Oh yes neels - and I bet you'd make Bryce Lawrence principal of the academy! The strict referees come as a result of Bryce's pathetic handling of the SA game at the RWC. The penalty rate will drop once players learn that they cannot infringe...

      Jed - 2012-03-02 07:37

      Totally agree. Is there a way we can get the Super 14 trophy taken away from the Bulls and given to the Crusaders?

  • Jack - 2012-03-02 01:28

    The Stormers did score four tries, but the last was controversially denied!

      Saffa - 2012-03-02 02:20

      And were the Hurricanes penalized 18 to 6 and did the Hurricanes get 3 yellows to nothing and and and... Pathetic! May the Stormers not win a single game from here

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-02 02:22

      3 Of those 6 penaties came in the last 5 minutes.

      Saffa - 2012-03-02 02:58

      @Bull Rediculous, trying to balance the count a little. Ma die wiel sal draai, watch maar Stormers. But then again, die armsalige sotte is nou al meer as 10 jaar in die put, foeitog

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-02 03:16

      Dit lyk ook nie of hulle ooit daar gaan uitkom nie.

      Saffa - 2012-03-02 03:19

      Wel met die spannetjie wat huule nou het gaan hulle sukkel in die Vodacom volgende jaar. Klomp mowwe man.

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-02 04:00

      Dis jammer die 'Sport Pienaar' trofee van destyds bestaan nie meer nie. Onthou jy hom? Al die spannetjies wat te hopeloos was om in die Currie cup te speel. Die huidige Stormers spannetjie sou naby gekom het.

      philip.bromley - 2012-03-02 05:24

      Saffa and Bulldozer seem to be their own fan club. Wow, not sure which game they watched, wasn't the one I saw.... The biggest concern I had was the deliberate two head tackling, one of which has put Schalk out, another one sent Gerhard van den Heever limping around. If one takes low and the second comes from the front, its deliberate and extremely dangerous. saw at least 3 occasions on saturday. I personally was dissapointed at the Hurricanes attitude. They were deliberately working off the ball and making stupid decisions. I feel for any team that has no solution to a rolling mall. Stormers won mentally and physically in this area, the hurricanes discipline then let them down. Marius Jonker was quite legit in awarding the 3 yellows.

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-02 05:41

      Philip, I catch serial killers for a living. Next time there's one loose in your area, I'm gonna let him get away.

      Jed - 2012-03-02 07:42

      Bulldozer you catch peodophiles. They figured with your background, you would be the perfect man for the job. You know the fact that you are one helps.....

      Jed - 2012-03-02 08:13

      You cant fool me Bulldozer you are the little boy type. Like father like son.

      Ruan - 2012-03-02 12:05

      Stormers moes verder gewen het!!!!

  • Fred - 2012-03-02 03:52

    I don't watch rugby anymore

      Boer - 2012-03-02 04:13

      In krieket crook die spelers. In rugby crook die refs.

      Fred - 2012-03-02 05:18

      I think it's more of a matter of the game cannot possibly be effectively ref'ed by one person, but the referees love the Ego of being in sole charge and in the limelight. The result is that the results of many if not most games are faulty, influenced or even determined by refereeing errors. The IRB doesn't have the sense or the balls to rectify the problem.

  • Jenny - 2012-03-02 06:07

    Andre Watson must have been watching different local games to me. General cenus of opinion from those watching the Lions v Cheetahs was that Santa Claus brought Mark Lawrence a new whistle for Christmas and he wanted everyone to know it.

  • Miko - 2012-03-02 07:06

    The pro.blem is that none of this so called professional referees ever plaed the game themself. This would have given them a good feeling how irrate one gets if the game is a stop start affair and Penalty after penalty. Problem started when they got on SARFU S payroll and second problem is that they feel inferior to the players because they earn less. Let the players and non referee administrators make the rules and the leave the referees just to implement it.

  • Francois - 2012-03-02 07:14

    Vat julle sonbrille saam Bloem toe; daai oranje en pienk truie tesame met die stampkar skop en storm rugby en n skeidsregter wat deur sy fluitjie asemhaal kan seer wees op die oog!

  • Francois - 2012-03-02 07:15

    Hulle moet vroue skeidsregters kry; want die spul refs is meer op die kassie tydens n wedstryd as die wedstryd self!

  • Andrew - 2012-03-02 07:44

    The problem is that players do not respect the laws and continously break it to gain advantage for their respective teams. If the refs do not enforce the letter of the law this will cotinue. Gove it anothere week or 2 and the players will need to adapt to actually play within the laws and we will see more tries. Good luck to all teh South african teams in week 2!

  • Riaz - 2012-03-02 08:57

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  • Ronnie - 2012-03-02 09:16

    Rules are there to be obeyed and the Ref`s should apply them to the T. If this is done you will not have players like MaCau and Pockoc pushing there luck. I agree the first couple of matches will be blown to bits, but it urks me when a Ref has to continuously warn players and they never get penalized. If the player infringes he should be penalized immediately and without explanation. Watch some of the currie cup games being screened on ESPN classics and you will see what I mean. We will see much better and flowing rugby matches if the rules are applied. . The players must take responsibility for their actions and the REf`s should be there to oversee.

  • Andre - 2012-03-02 11:11

    the refs are not killing the game-the rules are killing the game and rugby has become 'a softie sport via these rules-please bring back rugby as it was in the 60's and 70's.

  • cobus.brits - 2012-03-02 11:58

    Mr.Watson is a refery and will see it that way!!!, ask the supporters. I used to watch each and every super rugby game , not anymore , because of referies decisions. Nowadays I only watch when the team I support is playing. I'm sure there are a lot of supporters who feel this way. You never hear about a ref been diciplined for poor handling of a game !! Do something about the refs !! , they are killing the game !

  • rodney.holden1 - 2012-03-03 03:00

    marnusmnorval the reasson there was no aussie reff doing the game is because sanzar and the irb reffs bosses lynden bray and paddy o;brien have both said aussie reffs are not up to super 15 standard and reffs like jaco pepper and bryce lawrance are yes we know there jokes but coming from sanzar and the irb we have to put up with there rasisam

  • rodney.holden1 - 2012-03-03 03:06

    hay steve walsh is not and never will be a aussie he reffed in aussie last year as punisment for his eratic carry ons like drunkenes he now lives back in newzelland he still is a no hoper kiwi .so sanzer how the hell is this idiot up to 15 standard .sanzer you like the irb are starting to be a joke

  • les.pratt2 - 2012-03-03 18:34

    Will Bryce Lawrence ref any SA teams games during the Super15?

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