Northern referees should be banned from southern rugby
It was an amazing refereeing spectacle on Saturday night, as Allain Rolland enforced the letter of the law and allowed zero rugby to be played.
It was a game that resembled American Football more than rugby union, such was the stop-start nature of the affair.
I was one of the 80,000 people who came out to Homebush purely to see Rolland referee: the Wallabies and the All Blacks merely a sideshow. To have him destroy the spectacle of the game was worth it just to know his mother would be proud.
Bollocks. My $157 could have been better spent on a hangover.
The men in black succeeded in injecting some early flow to the game despite Australia’s fumblings, however Rolland’s tenacity outdid all as he blew the whistle like a demented hall monitor with an amphetamine habit.
Phase play was constantly being interrupted, players were pulled back, scrums were pulled up. 27 penalties might not sound like a lot, but when the crowd has no idea what they’re for, you need to ask questions.
Any ref who has ever played the game will know that for every penalty awarded there are about 100 indiscretions that go unnoticed. That’s rugby. That’s how it works.
It’s not that he was necessarily technically incorrect; from row 76 it was difficult to tell.
However this game was more stop-start than any of the 300 Super Rugby games this year, and frankly I don’t care if he was technically correct. I paid to see the Bledisloe Cup, and instead we got the Rolland Cup.
It’s no wonder the northern hemisphere is resistance to adapt to our ways. Change is contemptible for those made redundant by the evolution of a better, smarter, faster, harder brand.
The northern game has become banal and ineffective compared to what we’re doing down here. Even when Australia is playing badly, which is a consistent theme these days, they play more actual rugby than northern teams, with the exception of Wales and occasionally France.
We’re rightly proud of our footy down here, and while we’re obliged to endure their bringing down the standard of rugby in World Cups, we don’t have to endure it in our Bledisloe Cups.
Until the northern hemisphere can figure out how to play footy, their residents should keep their mitts off our game.
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