Referee Matt Goddard officially retired today because of chronic injury. A few of you may in fact be jubilated by this, but you will actually realize it’s a bad thing when you see the new referees who are in line for Super 14 duties next year.
Goddard, an ambassador for the ELVs, dished out five yellow cards and a red earlier in the year, which came under much scrutiny, and he was destined for great things, aged, 34 with major games under his belt.
I am deeply saddened by this, but I look to the future, as his replacement will be Steve Walsh, one of the best referees in the game.
The retirement of Goddard and the future retirement of Dickinson really does question who we have coming up as future Australian referees:
1. Steve Walsh — you all know why he’s leading
2. James Leckie _ We might see him on the IRB International panel next year
3. Paul Marks — Will probably be on the panel, maybe not receiving many games, however
4. Ian Smith — Has plenty of experience under his belt
5. Nathan Pearce
6. Damien Mitchelmore — Have seen him referee plenty of times this year and he has only let me down once