How a Referee Can Change Your Season
January 6 2018

It gives me no pleasure to write this. I usually support the referee against my brother's opinion of them. And the man who sits behind us in the West Stand. Perhaps I am wrong here and this was all understandably legal. I admit my lack of understanding the rules/laws of rugby is pretty comprehensive. But this happened moments before the Chris Robshaw controversy. A penalty here would have given us a chance at three points, a win and a completely different start to 2018. 

Well sometimes referees are too far away to see what's going on. Sometimes their view is obstructed. Is this the case as Matthew Carney deals with this incident? To me the referee is close enough to see what's happening and his view is not obstructed. 

OK - so what is the problem? The problem is the tackle by the Sale 23 on Tim Visser. Basically, if the tackle was any higher it would have missed Visser completely! Yet Carney's response when politely asked about this was "No, not for me"!

Is this a high tackle? 

(Sorry, a few formatting problems with the photos means the article starts down here) 

OK - well sometimes the offence is so quick the referee can't spot it or isn't sure what happened. What happened next? 

What happened next is the tackler starts to roll Visser. Is that a hand/arm  across his face? 

OK - he surely lets go after that? Well no, he doesn't. Now he's got an arm fully round the throat. 


And they roll over once more before it finishes. And yet, in the referee's opinion, there was nothing of concern there. I mean the guy still has an arm round the throat at the end of all that. How is that legal? I would have said there was an arm over the face/eyes, an arm round the neck, two rolls with the arm like that. And Matthew Carney's response "No, not for me! No, Not for me!"

Well, that may or may not have changed the match. It would have given us the chance of a penalty kick (alright, from the touch line) or a lineout and maul, which seemed to be working for once. The referee missing this meant we went down a different path and ended up with nothing.