Surprise! Lawrence refereeing produces a dour game

Spikhaza Roar Rookie

By Spikhaza, Spikhaza is a Roar Rookie

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    Thank goodness Australia won. And I’m not saying that because If not, this country would lose interest in the World Cup and have a ‘rugby reccession’. Although that would have happened.

    I’m saying that because I can now safely say that Bryce Lawrence’s refereeing at the breakdown was incompetent, without coming across as a bitter rugby tragic.

    As Lawrence reffed matches tend to go, there was just the one try. In fact, that has me amazed, how can a side with 75% territory and something like 90% of the ball not score a try?

    Which do you think is more useless, the Springbok attack or Lawrences breakdown refereeing? (Leave ‘bokkes’ or ‘Lawrence’ at the bottom of your comment.)

    It took 19 minutes for the first penalty, and there were very few penalties in the first half, slightly more in the second.

    Very few penalties you say? isn’t that meant to be a good thing in rugby?

    No. Because the breakdown was reduced to a farce. I could rant and rave about my point being proven and analyse why the Springboks lost.

    However, after reading all the match reports, I believe the reason the Boks lost was because of this, and I quote the telegraph in the UK:

    “The South Africans thought that the tackler would have to release the ball carrier. They thought that the offside line would be respected.

    They thought that men would have to stay on the feet. Instead it was a complete shambles.”

    There you have it folks. South Africa honestly thought that Bryce would actually penalize all those infringements! How silly of them. Much has been made of Australia’s failure to play to refs this year, they certainly did it today. If South Africa were smart, they should have known Bryce would never penalize those infringements for either side.

    The team that played to the ref won. And with 10% of the ball.

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    The Crowd Says (150)

    • October 10th 2011 @ 7:32am
      Rugby Realist said | October 10th 2011 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      The Boks attack is not great but Lawrence was appalling. He was too afraid to referee the breakdown. In many respects the match was reminiscent of the ABs v France quater final 4 years ago — one side taking their chances better (with the ball and with he ref), one side losing influential players (Brussow – Carter & Evans), a team absolutely domianting possession but not converting that, partly due to their own ineptitude, partly due to a referee who let it become a school yard free for all at the breakdown.

      Heroic defence by Australia, but they were lucky to win imo.


      • October 10th 2011 @ 7:54am
        Hopperdoggy said | October 10th 2011 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        Lawrence – players off their feet (on both sides) – made the contest a lottery!

      • October 10th 2011 @ 12:58pm
        Nat said | October 10th 2011 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        Actually it reminded me of the 1995 RWC final between SA and the (Suzy poisoned) All Blacks. SA put in a great defensive effort to win that one against an obviously superior team using similar kicking tactics to those used by Australia yesterday.

        SA claimed that win in 1995, so they can hardly complain about losing to the Wallabies this time around..

        • October 10th 2011 @ 7:38pm
          David said | October 10th 2011 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

          The difference between that game in 1995 and this game was some poor ref decisions and a numpty ref who had no control over the game. NO control over the breakdown by a ref with no balls.

        • October 10th 2011 @ 9:04pm
          Bert Snyman said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

          Did you actually watch the game?!!!

        • October 10th 2011 @ 9:38pm
          Richie said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

          Suzy poisoning is definitely arguable – what happened on saturday was as clear as day and in front of everyone – not so arguable. Clearly unfair and unjust. Poor reffing and the Springboks should feel robbed.

          How are the 2 games even similar. Suzy poisoning is an excuse for losing, you can’t even compare.

          • October 10th 2011 @ 10:25pm
            Jack Petro said | October 10th 2011 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

            Richie McCaw – you better start worrying about Pocock, cause he’s coming!

            Blame the ref for the Springbocks loss? Actually earlier in the game – and any little time the Wallabies got into the SA half, Smit and crew infringed all over the place.

            Sorry but i can’t wear this ‘Wallabies given a hand up’ attitude – you are all kidding aren’t you?

      • October 10th 2011 @ 1:16pm
        Mike said | October 10th 2011 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        In fairness, I don’t think SA are doing too much complaining.

        And I think the only reason that the contest was a “lottery” (if it could be so called) is that you had two very fine teams that were not prepared to give up anything on the guts and commitment stakes, and applied maximum pressure to each other.

        The boks’ attack tended to be focussed on taking the ball up hard and battering through. Their plan allowed little room for their backs to be creative. In retrospect, maybe they should have used their backs more; but then again, if they had done that, they might well have played into Australia’s hands. As it was, the Australian backs received very little ball and when they did get it, the pressure showed (and no, it wasn’t just Cooper, Genia and others also had big problems).

        Four years ago, it would probably have worked. On another night it might well have worked. But the Australian forwards are proving to be as good at taking the hits and dishing them out as are the Boks. We lacked our best scrummager, but our scrum held on, and more importantly in the breakdown we were there and dishing it out as well as copping it. With an ageing (albeit skilled and tough) pack, missing bakkies and losing heinrich early on, the boks just didn’t have quite enough firepower to do it.

        Amazing to watch though.

        I am impressed with the number of non-rugby fans that I talk to this week who tuned in and thought it was tremendously entertaining.

        • October 10th 2011 @ 11:57pm
          From SA said | October 10th 2011 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

          I am from SA and trust me, we are complaining big time.

          I cannot for the life of me understand how Australia can feel proud after a “win” like that! Have some pride. You had the ref in your pocket because he felt bad about the Ireland game.

          We will support our Boks when they come home, as if they won, because for all good and purposes, they did. Even when the Aus supporters boo-ed our players afterward, they kept their heads up. Bryce Lawrence should have been man of the match for your team.

          • October 11th 2011 @ 12:54pm
            Adams said | October 11th 2011 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            Thats’ right, you tell them. The Bokkies won that game everywhere except the scoreboard.


          • October 13th 2011 @ 12:24am
            Stukkend said | October 13th 2011 @ 12:24am | ! Report

            Stop Bloody Whining ……………. SA lost the game, get over it!!!!!

            SA were very lucky to beat Wales in the opening game and even Luckier to beat Samoa.

            Lawrence is an absolute SHOCKER and should not even be allowed to ref school boy rugby in future. SA should have turned all that possession and territory into points which they did not.

            Looking forward to a Wales Vs New Zealand Final

        • October 11th 2011 @ 1:55am
          Ian Taylor said | October 11th 2011 @ 1:55am | ! Report

          Number of non-rugby fans being the operative word, they obviously know as much about the game as Mr Lawrence!

    • October 10th 2011 @ 7:57am
      Josh said | October 10th 2011 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Lawrence was terrible at the breakdown really gave the Aussies too much, especially when near the try line he let them come from anywhere and not once did they release the tackler….very bad reffing..

    • October 10th 2011 @ 8:50am
      Will Sinclair said | October 10th 2011 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Surely that’s the end of Bryce Lawrence at this RWC?

      He’s now won two Man of the Match awards – one for Ireland v Australia, and then he starred for the Wallabies in their big win over the Springboks.

      By the way – I don’t think the Aussie were the only ones benefiting. I reckon Schalk Berger thought all his Christmas’s had come at once!

      • October 10th 2011 @ 1:59pm
        ChrisT said | October 10th 2011 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

        Rubbish Will. The Irish beat you fair and square. If you want a culprit in that match look no further than Alexander – completely exposed – and Robbie Deans, who clearly allowed his coaching staff to do zero research on Ireland.

        • October 10th 2011 @ 2:13pm
          Mike said | October 10th 2011 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          I thought Ireland played very smart rugby in that pool match, to nullify Australia’s strengths and enhance their own. We didn’t see it coming (or if we did, didn’t see it clearly enough).

          • October 10th 2011 @ 2:38pm
            mattamkII said | October 10th 2011 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

            Any other team pushes the boundaries and its ”smart play”
            Aussies do it and they are ”lucky”

            For the record, I think its all smart play.

    • October 10th 2011 @ 9:13am
      Guy said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      Although I have to say that the Boks have had a lot of difficulty this tournament converting pressure into points, there were any number of incidents that where infringements directly in front of Bryce Lawrence were blatantly ignored, calling the Maul consistently in favour of the Aussies regardless of how they played it … collapsing the mauls intentionally and getting away with it, but the Boks couldn’t even bind onto a maul without getting blown. the number times the Aussies affected the turn over from clearly illegal play from the ground when the Boks were being blown when they even looked at the rucks … it was appalling to watch, and I, for one, am highly embarrassed, just goes to show that no matter how good you are you can’t beat the ref! bokkes

      • October 10th 2011 @ 10:52am
        Behind Enemy Lines said | October 10th 2011 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        For what it’s worth I agree BL was terrible but he was consistently terrible and I don’t believe was pinging either side for something without pinging the other for the same thing.

        the Boks couldn’t even bind onto a maul without getting blown.

        The penalty count was in favour of the Boks with 4 against them and 6 against the Wallabies. The Boks must not have tried to bind on to too many mauls.

        • October 10th 2011 @ 10:03pm
          sean said | October 10th 2011 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

          The difference which is what is causing controvesy here is that the Wallabies should of been penalised at least double the 6 they got. 55 minutes played in the Wallabies 22, 147 tackles to 50 and yet the ball consistantly shot out of the ruck illegally into a wallaby hand on the try line with 5 springboks guarding the rucks.. not only is it illegal but its a yellow card offense. Pocock is the best fetcher in the game but he is not superhuman that he shoot a ball 2 meters out of rucks guarded by 5 forwards without cheating!

          What makes this whole thing worse is bryce publically admitted to being harsh on Australia in the pool matches where he penalised the Wallabies 33 times, allot of his calls were wrong in the Ireland V Aus match. How can Paddy O’Brian choose him to offciate this match where clearly there is history with Bryce and Aus. What a way to make amends for his previous c0ck ups! I accept that South Africa should of taken more points through tries however it shouldnt of been required when if bryce played to the laws of the game Aus would of lost by 15 points on clear penalities in the red zone alone!

          Disgracful performance by a ref not fit to offciate at this level and yes his poor officaiting was directed towards one team not both. Even that last penalty was harsh. It also screams of corruption when a Kiwi official(POB) puts in a Kiwi ref to manage the match of which the winner will play his country in the semi final!

          • October 11th 2011 @ 8:11am
            Mike said | October 11th 2011 @ 8:11am | ! Report


            The Boks did very well out of Lawrence’s loose policing of the breakdown – that’s the reason they were camped in Australia’s territory for so long. When is the last time that the Boks were able to pressure Australia like that? Certainly not in the last two years.

            There is no point in taking advantage of a referees looseness to get into opposition territory, and then complaining about that looseness when it doesn’t work for you.

            You might also acknowledge that some infringements missed by Lawrence probably cost Australia points, in particular the cutting down of Ioane when chasing his kick and the failure to give O’Connor a second shot at conversion.

    • October 10th 2011 @ 9:22am
      Bradley said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:22am | ! Report

      Watchin as an outsider from Canada. Don’t see much rugby up here but as far as i know the interpretations of the rules of the game were almost completely ignored, in particular with respect to the breakdown. It was a free for all! Killed any opportunity for quick ball. Thought the irb is tryin to make rugby more entertaining by enforcing rules that favor attacking play??

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        October 10th 2011 @ 9:48am
        Spikhaza said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        They are Bradley, just this ref is 1/10 that doesn’t know how to implement that. Watch Aus V NZ next week.

    • October 10th 2011 @ 9:44am
      Touko said | October 10th 2011 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Lawrence was a disgrace, but you can’t (entirely) blame him for the fact that the Boks couldn’t score a try.

      Who was the idiot who appointed him to the World Cup?! Surely there are half a dozen better referee in NZ? And if not, then nobody from NZ should have been appointed as a ref.

      => Bokke (with Bryce assisting)

      • October 10th 2011 @ 12:44pm
        sittingbison said | October 10th 2011 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        They selected Mark Lawrence, buy a typo slipped through %)

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