Friday, August 10, 2012

'Are you $%&*ing blind? A defense of referees, part I

Wayne Barnes new look

With no major rugby on this weekend, for the first time since – about early August last year ( as I reflect on my sad life in rugby worship) , with no rugby to give out about, I thought I’d give out about referees. Not in the way you were expecting though. There seems to be ever increasing calls for more technology in rugby, more situations where the TV official can be brought in, and more complaints about refereeing standards. Straight out, I’d have to say, that’s not something I’d support. The one exception would be to have a system to work out if a successful penalty or conversion has been made.

To all the slo mo junkies – get a Sky+ box, get a video recorder if you’re of that age, then you can show yourself endless replays and write strongly worded comments on online sites. When I sit down in front of a TV I want to see rugby, not multiple angle slow motion replays – “his foot’s on the line there – no it isn’t – oo I wouldn’t like to be a TV match official”

Before you know it, the ref is going to run on kitted out like a cross between Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne and James Bond. He’ll have eyes in the back of his head (literally), 4 bionic eyes, the hearing and speed of the 6 Million Dollar Man. But most of all, most of all he’ll have the patience of a flipping saint to deal with petulant players (Holding on! Holding on!), the petulant crowds (Are you $%&*ing Blind!), petulant coaches (Graham Henry) and petulant commentators (Austin Healy).

I’m drawing a line in the sand now –more decisions taken by the ref on the spot, less replays , more rugby!

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