Questionable decisions at the highest level

Tim Reynolds Roar Rookie

By Tim Reynolds, Tim Reynolds is a Roar Rookie


143 Have your say

    Sometimes decisions are made, or actions taken, and you know right away that someone has stuffed up.

    Two classic cases of this in the last week are the appointment of Jaco Peyper to ref the Lions/Hurricanes game in Johannesburg, and the corner that Cricket Australia has painted itself into re their negotiations with the players.

    I can accept, to a degree, that referees can control pool games that involve a team from their country on account of the cost if they had to get a ‘neutral’ ref. But surely not for a game in the finals. Teams have worked all season to get a shot at the title, and why should this be put at risk through the conscious or unconscious possibility of home town bias?

    Peyper is obviously one of the best referees in the world now, but he has been brought up in the South African way. And then to have South African officials to back him up is only adding fuel to the fire.

    Glen Jackson should never have reffed the game in Canberra for the same reason. And he probably shouldn’t have done the Crusaders/Chiefs game as he played for the Chiefs. If you go to Court you don’t expect the police to appoint the judge because they have to be seen to be absolutely free of any bias.

    And Cricket Australia has shown a similar arrogant blindness in their handling of the pay dispute with their players. For months they have known that they were putting at risk the tour to India and the Ashes series, but they have carried on as if they held all the cards and the players must crumble. In fact they hold very few cards.

    No Ashes series, no revenue to fund CA. Channel Nine will not be happy, nor will Channel Ten. And cricket fans won’t be either.

    I reckon it might help bring things to a resolution if the administrators in Cricket Australia had their salaries stopped, just like they’ve stopped paying the players. It doesn’t seem a fair go when only one side of the bargaining table is under the pressure of no money coming in.

    My suspicion is that there is majority support for the players in this disagreement. They’re not the ones who are trying to take back something from the other side. CA have not accepted the suggestion of mediation throughout as I suspect they feel that common sense is on the other side.

    They’d prefer arbitration, presuming I guess that the law always favours the haves over the have nots.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (143)

    • Roar Guru

      August 4th 2017 @ 4:00am
      Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 4:00am | ! Report

      but he has been brought up in the South African way

      I am sorry, say what?

      • August 4th 2017 @ 7:03am
        Jerry said | August 4th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

        Being charitable, perhaps he means he refs in a style more familiar to SA players. He’s presumably come up through the same school & club system the players have and his interpretations on some areas may be more likely to match up to how they tend to play.

      • August 4th 2017 @ 7:05am
        mania said | August 4th 2017 @ 7:05am | ! Report

        i’d much rather an SA ref than a NZ one.
        peyper is fairer and better and understands the spirit and intent of the game

      • August 4th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Jimbo81 said | August 4th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        what about SANZAAR allowing NZ to successfully appeal the length of SBW’s red card ban so he can now play Bledialoe 1? apparently a three-half training game counts as a game for the purposes of his suspension.

        Since the Wallabies train five days a week, the clear precedent is now set for any of their player suspensions to be absorbed by staging a game – any game as clearly the time limit of the game does not have to confirm to any set length – on each of the days of the week, meaning unless a suspension is longer than five matches, that player is eligible for selection the following week. If they argue – just appeal it like NZ did.

        • August 4th 2017 @ 9:46am
          Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          Yeah yet somehow SBW still serves 6 weeks of a 4 week suspension….It would be interesting to see how many people would turn up, having purchased tickets to an Aussie training session of the type you are talking about…Also I cant find anywhere where the training of Aus is being broadcast on TV

          • August 4th 2017 @ 10:15am
            Jimbo81 said | August 4th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            so time length doesn’t matter but if there is a camera present it’s an official match?

            • August 4th 2017 @ 11:47am
              Kane said | August 4th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

              I agree its ludicrous. It’s up there with the decisions to allow Hooper to use a “semi final” for a team he very rarely plays for because he was lacking game time.

              Lacking game time despite playing more minutes of rugby that year than any one else…

              He was never playing in that game if he wasn’t suspended.

              And why do they try and enforce the fact that because there aren’t two halves it isn’t an official game?

              They’ve set a precedent before allowing players to use preseason fixtures where they’ve often played 4 quarters.

            • August 4th 2017 @ 3:17pm
              Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              A camera present ( Probably 10-15 camera’s) A ticketing system a TV Broadcast Live…official reffing…..And registered as an official match but it wont change your mind will it….You complain about SBWs match counter but dont worry about the 4 weeks being 7 eh…

        • Roar Guru

          August 4th 2017 @ 9:57am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

          And that explains what the author meant with “but he has been brought up in the South African way?



        • August 4th 2017 @ 11:44pm
          Alex the jock said | August 4th 2017 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

          I am shocked

    • August 4th 2017 @ 4:19am
      Darwin Stubbie said | August 4th 2017 @ 4:19am | ! Report

      Why the fuss … there’s nothing new in SANZAARs decision – it’s been merit based appointments for years now – it’s about time we all grew up and start to realise this is not the 1970s

      • August 4th 2017 @ 9:08am
        Jerry said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        They didn’t have neutral refs in the 1970’s either, people are harking for 6 years ago…..

        • August 4th 2017 @ 9:16am
          Darwin Stubbie said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          What im saying is we’ve moved beyond the biased home town refs of the 70s …

          • August 4th 2017 @ 3:39pm
            Mapu said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            80 s was bad too.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 5th 2017 @ 12:20pm
            Kirky said | August 5th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            Darwin! How wrong you are mate and I personally think that Marinos of SANZAR, from South Africa. Peyper , and two of the Officials also from South Africa make a cute number of three Officials with one Kiwi to offset those SA appointments probably to semi appease the multiitudes , all tied in with an unfriendly crowd, and at an unfriendly ground re altitude etc against a team that rarely moved out of South Africa thereby not playing any New Zealand teams, ~ has, the undeniable balls all in their corner, ~ and with all that stacked against them, the Crusaders who in my opinion are a vastly superior side compared to the Lions in normal circumstances should win, but these are not normal circumstances and with the South African orientated win at all costs attitude, ~ I’d suggest it will be beyond the Crusaders, as they’re not only playing the Lions in a Final, they’re playing the Establishment and that’s difficult indeed.

            The Super Tournament has been a dreadful and woeful exercise all round and this debacle just finishes it off!

            A lot’s being said about Peyper and his excellent qualities as a Referee, I don’t know what that opinion can be formed from, he’s a dreadful Referee and always has been!

    • Roar Guru

      August 4th 2017 @ 4:49am
      Harry Jones said | August 4th 2017 @ 4:49am | ! Report

      I am getting so bored by the argument that Peyper is going to favour the Lions, intentionally (clearly not true) or unintentionally (no showing of this, through standard deviation stats for the last many seasons).

      • August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am
        David D said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        Just look at the history of having South African referees at home.
        You don’t need stats, they tell you nothing.
        Just watch the games. South Africans officials have history.
        Now we have a potentially great game being hi jacked.
        Four referees for this game and 3 are South African???
        Solve the problem and have neutral refs same as international games all over the world.

        • August 4th 2017 @ 12:22pm
          Riccardo said | August 4th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          Why not wait for the game before completely writing them off?

          Hi-hacked is probably a little emotional…

        • Roar Guru

          August 4th 2017 @ 2:52pm
          Charging Rhino said | August 4th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

          Just look at the history of having New Zealand referees at home.
          You don’t need stats, they tell you nothing.
          Just watch the games. New Zealand officials have history.
          Last years final we potentially had a great game being hi jacked.
          Four referees for last years game and 3 were New Zealand???
          Solve the problem and have neutral refs same as international games all over the world.

          See how that looks??

          • August 4th 2017 @ 3:19pm
            Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            Charging Rhino does it being wrong last year mean it should also be wrong this year? So from now on in SR finals its a home town ref? Its BS and it should not happen ever

            • Roar Guru

              August 4th 2017 @ 3:33pm
              Charging Rhino said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

              Jacki did read David D’s post?
              I merely copied it to show him how ridiculous he sounds…..

              I’ve said it many times before, neutral refs remove the perceived bias for the fans.

              • August 4th 2017 @ 5:04pm
                Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                Sorry My bad CR

              • August 5th 2017 @ 11:54am
                taylorman said | August 5th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                Yes as then it just turns into just bad refereeing…Barnes, Joubert, Poite, Lawrence…

              • Roar Rookie

                August 5th 2017 @ 12:29pm
                Kirky said | August 5th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                Rhino! Exactly mate and to go a bit further, there are no decent Referees in our South End of the Globe, the best by a country mile would have to be Angus Gardner, and to say the Officials were selected on merit is just crap, who the hell deems any Official as “the best based on merit”? ~ teaching us how to suck eggs methinks!

          • Roar Guru

            August 4th 2017 @ 3:32pm
            WEST said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

            Nothing we can do about it, the players have to adapt to each ref. The end result’s whatever the teams make it. I have nothing against Peyper, I actually think he’s pretty good. The Lions certainly deserve to be there and the Crusaders. The best team will win on the day, regardless of the ref.

        • Roar Guru

          August 4th 2017 @ 9:59pm
          Harry Jones said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

          Actually, this is precisely the kind of issue that comes down exactly to stats.

          • Roar Guru

            August 4th 2017 @ 10:20pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

            Excellent work harry and Carlos, great effort

          • Roar Guru

            August 5th 2017 @ 3:11am
            Carlos the Argie said | August 5th 2017 @ 3:11am | ! Report

            Thank you, HJ!

            • August 5th 2017 @ 10:02am
              Buk said | August 5th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

              Far out Carlos and Harry – what a massive job. Well done to the both of you.

              I have been called in to teach stats at the tertiary level a few times, so was very interested and pleased that in the midst of all the speculative comments, there was some actual research done.

              Just curious, Carlos, did you use Excel, or did you use some stats-specific software?

              And have you taught stats yourself?

              For those rugby players encouraged to get some form of qualification to cover their post-rugby lives, that would be an excellent classroom illustration of statistical analysis – would definitely hold their attention, given the subject matter.

      • Roar Guru

        August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am
        Machooka said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        Yes Harry… bored and very much over it.

        In saying that though I was surprised with Peyper’s appointment only on the grounds to prevent this type or so-called discussion. But now that the decision is made I’ve got no issue with one of the best Refs, presently in the world, being given the game.

        biltongbek… your leading comment gave me a chuckle, especially as when reading this piece, as I read that line, I immediately thought of you guys and your reaction. I’m glad you didn’t disappoint me 😉

        • Roar Guru

          August 4th 2017 @ 10:05am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Yeah chook, I think I am getting over my sense of brotherhood with those in the Southern hemisphere not brought up in the South African way.

          I keep thinking I have heard it all, but it just keeps getting better, it seems the characterisation of a person was indeed solely dependant on the manner of nationality he was brought up with.

          Go figure…

          • August 4th 2017 @ 3:21pm
            Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

            Far out Bil…..Throw the toys out of the cot why dont you.. There is clearly no insult intended but go ahead and find one if that helps out your victumisation theory

            • Roar Guru

              August 4th 2017 @ 3:41pm
              Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

              Victimisation. 😉

              • August 4th 2017 @ 3:46pm
                Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                You said it

          • Roar Rookie

            August 4th 2017 @ 4:01pm
            Die hard said | August 4th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

            Hi BB. I always wish for neutral refs to avoid controversy. But generally I have always been happy with the SA refs. I used to favor Watson then Joubert and Peyper is very good also. No problems at all.

            On the other hand some of your tmo’s are real ball busters. ?

            • Roar Guru

              August 4th 2017 @ 4:09pm
              Corne Van Vuuren said | August 4th 2017 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

              Hi die hard, yes I prefer neutral referees as well. Always will, I agree with the general,consensus that SANZAAR shouldn’t open up the possibility of a referee being bias as it puts pressure on him to prove he is not and then it could force him to referee his country’s team more harshly which isn’t fair on them.

              But I suppose there is so much complaining about refereeing decisions regardless of whether he is neutral or not that SANZAAR have decided it doesn’t matter either way.

              • August 4th 2017 @ 11:12pm
                superba said | August 4th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

                being biased

    • August 4th 2017 @ 5:44am
      Loftus said | August 4th 2017 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      Sorry, but who refereed last year’s final between Hurricanes and Lions? Was it not a Kiwi?

      • August 4th 2017 @ 9:50am
        Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

        Does that make it right? It should never have happened last year and it should never happen this year or ever again…..Its a lose lose situation with no gain at all and many possibilities of accusations of bias

        • August 4th 2017 @ 11:05am
          Neil Back said | August 4th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          Did you complain long and hard then too?

      • August 4th 2017 @ 9:56am
        Jake said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        Yes it was. And kiwi AR’s as well i believe. But that’s beside the point as everyone knows how fair and unbiased the kiwis are when it comes to rugby. Nothing like those dastardly biased Aussies and South Africans.

        • August 4th 2017 @ 12:29pm
          Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          Yes Neil and Jake I did complain about it last year. It is wrong and should not happen…..You may find it backfires on the Lions because Peyper decides he has to be FAIR to the Crusaders and over compensates in his fairness…It is a bad look and will remain a stupid decision by SANZAAR. Does a stupid decision a year ago justify a new stupid decision?

          • August 4th 2017 @ 2:04pm
            Neil Back said | August 4th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

            That’s great to hear Jacko. Otherwise you might have been labelled one of those sanctimonious conspiracy theorist types.

            • August 4th 2017 @ 5:10pm
              Jacko said | August 4th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

              Come on Neil…Its 2017…We dont encourage people being Labelled these days…it stifles their creativity…

    • August 4th 2017 @ 5:59am
      Clyde said | August 4th 2017 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      So SARU has one of the best rugby referee programs in the world recognized by World Rugby with dozens of referees chosen for the elite international referees panel.. then we have the ARU program with semi-professional refreees not rated by World Rugby because they are running around officiating in poor quality club matches where they award “own goal” tries!

      Now who can blame SANZAAR for picking the best referees for the best matches.

    • August 4th 2017 @ 7:28am
      Riccardo said | August 4th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      Strange article.

      Darrell Hair isn’t an umpire anymore.

      Bryce Lawrence, Steve Walsh, Paul Honiss, Craig Joubert, Nigel Owens, Stuart Dickinson, Wayne Barnes, Jonathan Kaplan have all copped criticism and not just from us one-eyed supporters. Some vilified by entire nations.

      But some on that list have been the best in the world too, according to those same scribes.

      The truth is that professionalism and technology have exposed the human frailty of the role, much like cricket (although I’ll always maintain Hair ‘s guilt).

      Rugby, in particular, is saddled with convoluted Laws that require interpretation, but even soccer draws similar criticism and hostility.

      The problem is us, the fans. Our expectation, passion and capacity for blame is endless and timeless. And technology has given us a platform to vent from.

      Vagaries. Bad calls. Brain fades. Now you can add production teams at home grounds running endless replays.

      But such is sport.


      • August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am
        zhenry said | August 4th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        Generalize it to the degree that nothing helpful can be commented upon, one instance of the Bernaise PR method that the world media is seriously suffering from.
        Avoid the question or issue by implementing the following:
        *Generalise it so detail seem irrelevant.
        *Change the subject.
        *Redefine it.
        The study by PlanetRigby on home and neutral refs should be recognised by the IRB and lmplemented. Period.
        Unconscious issues are very important and gung-ho 21st rugby need to get updated on what Freud and before realised we’re crucial to human decision making.

        • August 4th 2017 @ 12:33pm
          Riccardo said | August 4th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          Perhaps. Doesn’t make it any less true Z.

          I find the narrower the focus the more aggressive and emotional the argument.

          Which blurs any useful analysis.

          Most games decided or influenced by decisions we don’t like usually also provide moments where teams, especially the dominant one, can change tack or execute better to take the officiating out of the game.

          Usually well after the heated moment though, I’ll grant you that.

          • August 4th 2017 @ 10:02pm
            zhenry said | August 4th 2017 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

            It’s too general to assertain ‘truth’ and yes the emotion (and the issues) are defocused. Usually the party generalising has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
            Some teams at times can execute officialdom out of it but good execution should not be used to not confront official decisions, playing the perfect game is rare.
            It’s OK to complain about the ref, it’s part of rugby but also simplifying laws and using 2 refs to improve things should also be pursued.