As a qualified member of your number, albeit at a very amateur level, I would like to start by stating that I fully accept your right to make mistakes, misjudgements and errors during the course of a game. After all, you are only human, and to be human is fallible. Not even Saint Nigel is perfect.
However, I do believe that at the professional and semi-professional level, you are now acting in a way that places you above that level for judgement. Yet you still expect the level of respect that is deserved only when human errors are committed.
When last I read them, the laws of rugby football, as drawn up by ‘World Rugby’, stated that when the game was restarted by a scrummage:
The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line
and when the game restarts via a line out:
The ball must be thrown straight
Further, when a kick off takes place:
All the kicker’s team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If they are not, a scrum is formed at the centre. Their opponents throw in the ball.
If I had a pound for each game this season, in the Pro 12, the European tournaments, or the 6 Nations, where these laws were consistently applied throughout, then I would be a penniless beggar.
And that’s not to mention the special dispensation for certain teams’ forwards to leave their feet at rucks, or to fall at the feet of attackers during the lineout, or to stand well in front of the rear feet at rucks (especially when in the outside channels), or even for the prop forwards who bind on their opponent’s arm right under your noses at scrums.
Why is it that referees and touch-judges (and TMOs) can send a player from the field of play for infringing the laws of the game, yet persistently ignore them themselves?
Dear Referees (and others), please play the game, before you kill it!
The refereeing standard in the pro 12 is awful. I can't remember seeing a good one at home for ages. They miss so much but what really grates me is the lack of help from the linesman. How the linesman can't see binding on the arm on his side or the outside centres being in front of the back foot is beyond me.
An embodiment of that is the Mitrea incident in the Ospreys game against Munster. For me, missing the high tackle from Saili wasn't so bad when compared to the fact that Mitrea, the referee, and the TMO both discussed and agreed that because Ashley Beck grounded the ball at the bottom of the corner flag it was in goal, and as a result dead.
This hasn't been the case for years! I remember a Six Nations game, against France I think it was, where Eddie Butler specifically made reference to that fact. How can that be the case? That's embarrassing, that a professional referee at this level (whatever you may think of this level) would make that mistake.
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