Ref justice for McCaw

2011-05-30 14:00

Brisbane - Richie McCaw scratched his head - and bit his tongue - after the Crusaders captain conceded the last-minute penalty that enabled the table-topping Reds to snatch a 17-16 Super Rugby victory at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

According to the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), Australian referee Stuart Dickinson, who only controlled the Round 15 clash after former New Zealand match official Steve Walsh was ruled out with a calf strain, perplexed the Crusaders when ruling one last ruck infringement as they clung to a 16-14 advantage as the clock wound down.

The Crusaders were on the wrong end of the penalty count and the All Blacks captain was diplomatic when quizzed on his concession of the match-turning infringement.

"I'm always going to think I was right but the ref saw it a different way. It's pretty disappointing. Ben (Franks) counter rucked, I presumed that was considered OK. I presumed he went past the ball so it was out so I went and picked it up. He (Dickinson) said it was still in the ruck."

McCaw disagreed with the ruling but saw no point complaining.

"You don't say what you're thinking. I guess when you think you're in the right and you're not, what can you say? He's made his decision and he wasn't going to change it."

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder understandably backed McCaw's version of events.

"It was counter ruck, which is fine, (the ball was) picked up at the back of the ruck and it's turned out to be a penalty."

Reds counterpart Ewen McKenzie denied the Reds were fortuitous to win a 12th consecutive match on their home ground.

"You can argue the merits of penalties the whole way through," he said.

"I don't see it as luck. We had the ball and worked multiple phases in front of their goal posts. One of the laws of rugby is the defensive team gets penalised more than the attacking team.


  • gooinat - 2011-05-30 14:16

    Obviously Blackadder is going to support Richie!!!!!!!!!!!!

      scorpio - 2011-05-31 14:22

      That's the problem with rugby these days - its become too complicated. Even the players don't know what the laws are any more. It's easy to complain about the refs - but they are given an instant to blow on any one of 7 000 laws. The game has too many laws, and the IRB would do well to start reducing the laws - particularly during the scrum & rucks. That's why soccer is the number 1 game in the world - far easier to understand - and the ref has far less influence on its outcome as a result.

  • clivegoss - 2011-05-30 14:19

    Admirable behaviour Mr McCaw sir. Refs do NOT get chirped,,,. even when they are dead wrong.But hell it hurts ! !

      Francois - 2011-05-30 21:10

      And your point is?

      SNG62 - 2011-05-31 09:30

      Absolutely clivegoss! This type of behaviour is what makes a good player (or captain) great - an example of the mental game that drives & guides thephysical.

  • Bellakanoose - 2011-05-30 14:27

    McCaw is the LAW!

      Francois - 2011-05-30 21:12

      McCaw at least think so, I think if someone gets away with it and publicly admits he pushes it to the edge and gets away with it 99 out of 100 times, he might start to think he is the law and may believe him. Well done to Stuart as well, I thought he had to trade in his pair when they made him ref.

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-30 14:34

    I think with Richie being out for so long, the refs have 'forgotten' how they are supposed to blow Richie......ernstig. For years Richie has received the benefit of the doubt from refs as they have been 'blinded' by his success, and it became a pattern. E.g.: Kaplan would see how Lawrence 'blew' Richie, then blow in the same way - I don't think it was malicious, just a case of mob mentality amongst refs. Now that Richie is playing after a pretty long layoff for the 1st half of the season, the refs are no longer 'hypnotic'. He received a yellow against the Force I think it was, and has conceded many penalties. This must be worrying for Kiwis with the WC approaching. Part of their "gameplan" is relying on the refs to treat Richie with 'respect' at the breakdown. Oooops.

      iceman1982 - 2011-05-30 14:42

      The Boks should be worrying about the AB's in the WC. AB's will find away to bend the laws. Thats what makes them the best. Stop whinging. Let me guess, I suppose you support the Bulls? Richie is the best flanker the game has ever seen. If he was wearing a Green and Gold jersey, you would have been singing a different tune.

      gooinat - 2011-05-30 15:00

      @Vanilla Ice,Boks aren't worried about the AB.We know you guys are the best between WC but when it comes to crunch time then you guys are chokers,your record speaks for itself.Richie gets away with a helluva lot of off the ball things as well,next time the Saders play try and focus the entire game on him then we talk again,Heinrich Brussouw from the Cheetahs is a better fetcher than him and I am not a Cheetahs fan we support the Stormers.Richie would neva wear the green and gold theres better flanks in SA than him!!!!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-30 15:00

      I certainly don't support the Bulls.....dear heavens. I appreciate Richie as much as the next rugby lover mate. I am however not BLIND when it comes to the leniency he has been allowed. I have always said, as long as he gets away with it - good for him. The point I was making, is that he is now being blown the way ALL other others are blown at the breakdown - e.g. Stegmann, Louw. And I say again, I think it is because of his long layoff - perhaps his technique is not as 'subtle' as what it was - rusty? I respect the man massively - just think something has changed in the way he is being treated - thats all.

      Grunk - 2011-05-30 15:55

      I think Richie is still getting away with murder - the Cheetahs game especially. This last one as well - he was lying across the wrong side of the ball at least 3 times I can remember.

      MaestroX - 2011-05-30 16:24

      Have to agree with you SAFFA, Richie like Fitzpatrick did, gets away with murder. For ages now he has been off sides and flirting with the laws, yes he is a brilliant player and sorry gooinat, but he would definitely make the SA team. However I do feel he seems to get the benefit of the doubt too often, as you say, the refs just seemed to have given him that little margin of error extra and it allowed him to separate himself from the rest. Given that, things have definitely changed and he seems to be more in the refs eyes now and that's very good for SA teams and especially for the SA team come WC. A few more decisions where he is offside like on the weekend where it costs his side the win, will also make him think twice and that little hesitation is what will level the playing fields in our teams favour.

      gooinat - 2011-05-30 16:39

      @Maestro,thats only my humble opinion there mate:)I do agree with you that he's trying to be in the same mould as Fitzpatrick,hell he got away with a lot of things.I sincerely hope that Richie will be watched by the refs and assistants as our Saffas are watched by SANZAR.

      MaestroX - 2011-05-30 16:53

      @gooinat, fair enough. Must say, I doubt there will ever be a player who manages to win over the ref the way Fitzpatrick did, it killed me as a SA supporter but man he was good at it!

  • malcolm.rosen - 2011-05-30 14:41

    had it been any other ref He would have my support but unfortunely Mr Dickinson appears to have his own new rule book each week

  • MaanDonkie - 2011-05-30 14:44

    Go and check Dickonson record...he is a renowned cheat. Law interpretation is very clear..where players from oposing sides are bound over the ball that constitutes a ruck... the last penalty was never on, no ruck was formed...match killing decision. The missed forward pass that resulted in the Reds' first try and and and!

      Kaapie - 2011-05-30 15:21

      Well Maan there were a number of times that Richie entered from the side and not rom the hindmost feet. this is not a new phenonenon to him and frankly he deserved those penalties against him. There were 3 players there and therefore that constitutes a ruck. The was ruled in and therefore no hands. At the breakdown it has become 3 people seeing the play differently

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2011-05-30 14:57

    Week in and week out we see these bad calls. Why is Dickinson not cited for this. It was the penalty and the forward pass when the try was scored. 10 Points just like that on a plate for the Reds. You are not allowed to even try and question a ref. It's a disgrace for Rugby that our players or their captains have to put up with this. Seems like the tail is wagging the dog.

      Crusaderinvader - 2011-05-31 01:38

      True words,but doesn't it scare you when you think of a world cup semi final, or even worse a final, being decided by a refereeing blunder?..shit, it scares the hell out of me..I can see it now,a last minute penalty deciding the fate of one of the top teams when it shouldn't have been awarded!!

      Met Uysh! - 2011-05-31 15:16

      @Crusader invader. Or imagine, a try scored from a forward pass not picked up by the Ref or his assistant in a quarter final, eliminating the favorites from the competition! Oh, wait....

  • rugby_guru - 2011-05-30 14:57

    End of the day the ref blew it as he saw it, I thought he was fair and it was a great game...

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-30 22:41

      @guru you are joking i hope about the ref.. he was shocking he missed the knock on bout minute b4 the last penalty.. So did the touch Judge.. If that was called the Saders would have had a scrum in Reds half and they would have closed out the game.. He must have missed at least 3 knock ons by Reds players in game.. Go and re look Guru.. Thought you were better than those comments...

  • Gazza69 - 2011-05-30 15:00

    What about all the times he got away with it............................??????

      Gilgamesh - 2011-05-30 16:05

      Exactly, we have had to put with him getting away with everything he does over the last number of years. When it catches up with him (whether right or wrong) there's a complaint. Richie doesn't have to cheat, none of the AB's do. They are exceptional rugby players. But the fact that they try to get away with as much as possible, and succeed, leaves a bad taste that doesn't go away easily. Their recent success will always be tainted with the mark of underhanded foul play. It is good for us I think - it will catch up with them come WC time. They are going to have to play fair as the world will be watching how refs handle the games. They will not get away with the usual indiscretions.

      Taureaux bleus - 2011-05-30 17:41

      Richie McCaw like one of his predecessors Sèan Fitzpatrick is a cheat. Mr Dickenson is one of the worst referees the IRB ever stick 2 I can think of. South Africa and its provincial teams have been on the receiving end of worse referee decisions than this determining the outcome of a match. It is good that the so-called unbeatable teams from the land of the white cloud drink out of the same bitter cup our teams have to drinks so often. Personally it is gratifying taking note that they are not humble enough to congratulate the Reds with their win but rather blame the referee for an error of judgment. They just can not hide their arrogance which cost them in previous world cups and may just be their downfall again in 2011.

  • RJ - 2011-05-30 15:00

    Bummer, Now we have to bank on the reds loosing to finsh above them :(

  • Paul - 2011-05-30 15:15

    Ou Richie se luck hardloop uit. Hoogtyd as iemand my sou vra( wat niemand natuurlik doen ). Maar ja, ek dink hy moet voel hoe dit voel om aan die verkeerde kant van die ref se fluitjie te wees hm. Ons SA spelers trotseer dit al jare lank, en almal draai hulle koppe weg. Nog steeds n awsome speler, maar beslis nie meer die beste nie.

  • Hannes - 2011-05-30 15:20

    ja jou skelm!

  • wolverine - 2011-05-30 15:20


  • Wizard101 - 2011-05-30 15:32


  • Rumbler - 2011-05-30 16:31

    What about thr Red's knock on just prior to the penalty under discussion? It was not "spotted" by the ref or the assistant ref. That miss could cost the Saders big time in the days ahead! Imo it cost the Saders the game!

  • Idur - 2011-05-30 16:32

    What about the 10 other laws McCaw broke in the same game that went un noticed ??

  • Crusader Man - 2011-05-30 23:01

    Strange how most Sa players attack McCaw and say he is a cheat. What defines a cheat in a game of rugby ? Everyplayer who was in his situation against the Reds would have done the same thing. Franks did great to blow over the ball and it was there to get.. How does that make him a cheat. Even the OZ commentators thought it was ok. No reason to attack McCaw and say he's a cheat.. Really is that just jealousy.. Is Carter a cheat too. Would he also not make a SA team.. SBW he's a cheat too, And Reid etc... It's just a game and i am dissapointed we lost.Reds 1st try Big forward pass (cheating). The last penalty should never have been given as the REDS cheated cos they knocked the ball on leading upto the try and Ref cheated cos he didn't award the scrum... It was a pathetic Ref display and thats what ruined the game. Looks silly when we use the cheat word...

      RaySon75 - 2011-05-31 00:19

      Yes Crusader Man...Bit harsh on the cheat side I agree. McCaw never gets consistently pinged like Oz and SA sides do…Last week’s game against the Chiefs, you didn't complain about all the questionable calls going the Sader’s way, forward pass and knock on missed there too?? Crusaders game against Stormer’s try disallowed (yes Chris Pollock was told about the mistake he made)? You kiwis are whingers - and one eyed - just as us saffas are when it comes to bad refereeing so please take it on the chin old chap and get some good cheese with the whine you having... World Cup soon, you lose there, what then for you??? It’s only a game at the end of the day ?

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-31 09:01

      @Ray You are right.. quite happy to take it on the chin.. A loss is a loss .. have accepted that.. In the papers it quite clearly says we lost .. So True.. What riles me is all the stupid talk bout McCaw being a cheat.. If he was Sa you guys would not be saying the same stupid comments bout him Cheating.. All players will do something if they think they can get away with it.. Like your Bakkies Botha. In NZ he is known as a thug and a dirty player.. Its all in the game.. Would like to see some Refs repemanded for sub standard performances.. Like Dickinson he constantly gives any team the Shits.. Don't think for a second that he is Biased, just believe he is useless.. Would rather win fair than have some Ref miss so much in one game.. I agree that the odd Ref will miss the odd knock on forward pass.. But 3 or 4 in one game to the same team is unnaceptable.. Specially as the touch judges missed them as well.. Not like they weren't obvious.. It would be no difference if this was the Bulls/Stormers playing.. We all deserve good Refs who get most of the calls right... Then no problems... McCaw never gets pinned cos he is a fantastic player that plays to the rules of the game :-)

      Gilgamesh - 2011-05-31 14:17

      If McCaw was a Saffa, he would have been banned by Sanzar by now.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 14:50

      @Gilgamesh - right you are. If McCaw played for the Boks they would have named a town after him...

  • MikeNZ - 2011-05-31 08:56

    Dickinson is either incompetent, a cheat, or a combination thereof. A bit of justice that he has been stood down this weekend - see

      BOKLDN - 2011-05-31 09:59

      Ja bru, Dickinson better learn not to ping Richie or else Paddy will chop is nuts off. Even if Richie is sitting on his bum and playing the ball. To any Kiwi complaining about Stuey costing them the game - watch the history of the Tri-Nations. More kiwi wins over boks courtesy of that man than anyone else. And NO! McCaw would NEVER be a bok. Or he would, then he would be binned twice a game, EVERY game! (Has he got a win over Brussouw yet?)

  • slabs_SA - 2011-05-31 10:30

    boo hoo mccaw. why not dry your eyes and have a press conference about the other 1000 times you played on the edge and got away with it.

      Whoosa - 2011-05-31 15:07

      Exatcly! Well said!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 14:16

    Kry vir jou, McCaw...!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 14:17

    SBW se beurt kom nog...

  • Whoosa - 2011-05-31 15:06

    The fact that McCaw is constantly pushing the boundaries of the laws is whats make him a special player. He is playing on the edge all the of time,its 50/50 calls everytime he puts his dirty little paws into a ruck. Sometimes he gets away with it, this time he did not. So to all you saders supporters out there, ZIPPIT!

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