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The Continuing Saga

The fact that a referee’s poor decisions are still the main talking point around the world of rugby, indicates that fans have now had enough. It appears that the IRB has finally taken notice, and is hopefully taking action.

The South African Rugby Union took action before the end of the match, according to an article in News24. Jurie Roux (pictured above) makes the following telling point: “But people have got to learn somewhere, and if the top four or five referees in the world are all South African, it’s unfortunately a reality that we will always get numbers six, seven and eight for our own Tests.”

Our readers also came up with some very bright suggestions which the officials may very well take note of. Click here if you missed it.

Brenden Nel really went to town on the partisan treatment referees appear to dole out to the All Blacks. Click here if you want to read his thoughts on this. While one may agree or disagree, there is one fact you cannot deny – their ability to influence the officials.

Think back to the days when Sean Fitzpatrick used to be the most hated and loved All Black in South Africa. His Irish descent was so discernible when he feigned amazement at being caught on the wrong side of the law. And did the crowd not just love seeing him protest his innocence?

This is not restricted to the team alone. In a Super 15 game, Ma’a Nonu (is this right, Tony C?) tackled Dan Carter in a hugely illegal tackle, similar to the one on Saturday, yet he got away with a penalty only. Click here for the video clip. He is a repeat offender, yet appears not to be branded in the same way Bakkies Botha or Bismarck du Plessis is.

I agree with Alex Bax that we should not start a witch hunt and burn referees at the stake if we even suspect that they have done wrong. What the officials should do is to find a way of enhancing technology to assist the officials in getting it right, or righting a wrong when there is evidence to suggest an initial ruling was incorrect.

Jean de Villiers made a valid comment when the official in the test against Argentina had problems with the technology after an alleged biting incident, and said that the matter would be addressed after the match. De Villiers said something to the effect that his team wants the benefit on the field, not afterwards. The outcome of this incident was that the All Blacks and Wallabies got the benefit when the player was suspended, and not the Boks.

Humour Competition

We never realised that there is so much talent out there. Two readers came up with limericks which are so clever, that I decided to award a bottle of R & R to each:

There once was a Ref named Poite;

Who ignored any advice that he got;

When the kiwi fans bayed for blood;

He sent Bizzie off to chew the cud;

Leaving everyone agreeing – what a twoite.

Bill Skirving


There once was a ref called Romain

Whose influence poisoned the game.

Despite the technology,

IRB’s toxicology

Found it human to err! What a shame!!!

Brian Stratton

Thanks to all who sent entries. Bill and Brian, please send me your addresses for delivery of your prizes.

And Finally…

Our problem with trying to get over Ms Poite’s gaffe reminds me of a story I heard in my Durban days.

Mrs Naidoo and Mr Singh discovered that their respective spouses were having an affair. They had a meeting to discuss the matter, and came to the conclusion that the best way to take revenge was to engage in the same manner.

After the event, Mr Singh was about to get dressed when Mrs Naidoo stopped him. “I still feel bitter about this.” So they took revenge again.

Mr Singh got ready to leave, but Mrs Naidoo would have none of it. So they took revenge one more time.

As Mr Singh slipped on his jacket, Mrs Naidoo said: “I am almost ready to forgive them, but not quite.”

To which Mr Singh responded: “Hey man, I got no more hard feelings.”

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