Refereeing the All Blacks

wre01 Roar Guru

By wre01, wre01 is a Roar Guru

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    The All Blacks have deservedly won the last two Rugby World Cups. They are generally acknowledged as being the best team in modern sport.

    There is, however, one blot on their record: an ever-increasing number of very marginal – if not totally incorrect – refereeing decisions that go their way.

    Of course, poor refereeing is not New Zealand’s fault. I am sure that, at times, the All Blacks are left scratching their heads too.

    It is also fair to say bad mistakes by officials sometimes hurt the world champions too. For example, the final moments of the third Lions test when the Kiwis were wrongly denied a penalty cost New Zealand a series win.

    But increasingly there is a feeling worldwide that bad decisions are not balancing out, that referees are often overwhelmed by occasions involving the men in black and prone to making howlers at key junctures in contests.

    Major figures in the game, from England, France, Scotland and South Africa, have highlighted the issue. Are they motivated by simple jealousy or a genuine grievance?

    Clive Woodward went so far as to argue that France would have won if the Rugby World Cup final in 2011 at Eden Park had been “refereed properly”. He went on to say, “If I had been the coach of France in that game, I would still be apoplectic to this day”.

    In a slightly more balanced summation, France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili commented after his side’s loss that, “The referee was under a lot of pressure, he did not want us to win. That said, I think New Zealand deserved their win because they are the best team in the world.”

    Brodie Retallick New Zealand Rugby Union All Blacks 2017

    (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

    An Englishman defending a French national side is certainly something of an anomaly, but many of us watching that final in 2011 must have been feeling at least similar emotions. One Richie McCaw turnover in the final five minutes of the game was blatantly from an offside position and quite possibly cost the French the most famous of victories.

    Bismarck du Plessis’ sending off at Eden Park in 2013 was another atrocious decision. Firstly, Du Plessis was yellow-carded for a legitimate tackle on Dan Carter in the 13th minute just as the game was exploding into a classic.

    Then, he was sent from the field for a second yellow card in the 42nd minute, ensuring that South Africa played with 14 men for 48 minutes of a test match that had remained finely balanced until then.

    The Scots too have been enraged by supposed favouritism directed towards the All Blacks by referees.

    During the end-of-year tests in 2017, Jonny Gray and most of Murrayfield were left gobsmacked when Kieran Read desperately knocked a ball free from Gray’s hands as a try loomed in the 72nd minute of an epic test.

    The referee decided Gray had knocked the ball on and reverted to a penalty. Instead, advantage should have been paid and Read sent from the field. New Zealand would have been left to play the last seven minutes with 14 men, ahead by only five points.

    The latest refereeing howler to effect a game came just last Saturday in the first test between France and New Zealand. French lock Paul Gabrillagues was wrongly yellow-carded for a high tackle at a point when France were even with the All Blacks on the scoreboard.

    New Zealand went on to score 41 points in the remaining 28 minutes.

    To add insult to injury the French winger Remy Grosso was hospitalised by an illegal, albeit accidental, tackle. There was no on-field sanction.

    New Zealand have undoubtedly been the best side over the past ten years. They have earned the right to be respected. Referees do seem to give them the benefit of the doubt in instances where decisions are line-ball. That is a product of them being so good.

    More worrying is the trend of crowds dictating refereeing decisions and reacting to big screen replays. The incorrect sending-offs of Du Plessis and Gabrillagues were heavily influenced by reactions from the crowd.

    Is any of that New Zealand’s fault? No. But the World Rugby must take stock.

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    The Crowd Says (222)

    • June 15th 2018 @ 2:52am
      Misha said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:52am | ! Report

      Wow – is this not one of the most pathetic articles ever posted? Selective; jealous and lacking any authority.For every grievance here I can think of 2 that go the other way..Think Kepu’s two head high and unsanctioned attacks on Dan Carter in the 2015 WRC final – think about the many unsanctioned attacks on Richie McCaw – protected species??? including the eye gouging in 2011? What about the non-penalty that denied the ABs a series win against the Lions – that unexplained situation in which a clear offside was not ruled – where was your rage then?

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:51am
        Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:51am | ! Report

        Didn’t take long for Kiwis to get precious about this!

        I thought it was a pretty well balanced write up! Whoever wre01 is says the Kiwis aren’t at fault, are clearly the best side in the world and often are on the end of bad decisions themselves.

        Fact is that 2011 final was a shocker. The French were outraged and so was Woodward obviously. Refereeing did cost them that game although if they’d won the RWC it would have been a travesty as NZ were a better side from 2007-2011 except for in that final where the French played out of their skin.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 8:07am
          Misha said | June 15th 2018 @ 8:07am | ! Report

          I’m unable to find the so-called McCaw coming in from offside in the last 5 minutes in the 2011 final. Kaino was warned to not advance in a ruck and did very hard to understand the 2011 being a “shocker”. Sure the French played much better in the final (but ended up being defeated twice by the ABs and once by Tonga in that tournament) but honestly deserved to win? The closeness of the match was only due to Weppu missing three easy shots at goal otherwise it would have been a larger margin. Woodward is always outraged and was a huge disaster for the 2005 Lions so his comments should always be taken with a liberal dose of salt.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 9:00am
          Jacko said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

          Just yesterday we had people saying that they were sick of the useless squabble between people on this site then the powers that be let this article pop up…This article is as bad as it gets and does not help…

          • June 15th 2018 @ 9:19am
            woodart said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

            yes, this article is a thinly disguised trawl. so badly investigated ,that the bob deans try against the welsh in 1905 wasnt mentioned…..

          • June 15th 2018 @ 11:37am
            Riccardo said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

            Worse than Reason’s click-bait…

            • Roar Guru

              June 15th 2018 @ 11:56am
              PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              agree Reason’s articles are better than this, but to be fair one is a paid writer.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 7:49pm
          Riemannian said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

          There was a review done on the 2011 final which showed that there were 3 decisions which went France’s way and 4 which went NZs way in that final which shouldn’t have. This is disregarding Rougerie’s actions. So I would say that the statement ‘Fact is that 2011 final was a shocker.’ is quite misleading.

          • June 16th 2018 @ 1:58pm
            Garth said | June 16th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

            Not to mention the French could have won in 2011 IF they kicked just one of their second half penalty attempts.

            • Roar Guru

              June 16th 2018 @ 2:10pm
              taylorman said | June 16th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

              Yes but that doesnt fit the narrative, clearly the Ref didnt give them enough penalties so that eventually they would kick one. 🙄

    • Roar Guru

      June 15th 2018 @ 4:06am
      Harry Jones said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:06am | ! Report

      Extremely “anecdotal” argument this; devoid of sampling, stats, any sort of methodology. Discipline and citing decisions in World Rugby are indeed inconsistent, and really puzzling much of the time. But snapshots of anomalies are distorted “momentary” pictures of the issue. Carlos and I did an exhaustive study of referee “deviation” through dozens of rounds of Super Rugby a while back, and detected no pro-NZ bias amongst refs.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:05am
        P2R2 said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:05am | ! Report

        hear hear Harry….it is as Hansen said; the ABs have been copping this for 100years….and the reason, if you can’t beat them, throw allegations at them….thank you Harry….an enlightened species you are indeed…

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:50am
        Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:50am | ! Report

        Its not even an argument Harry. At the end of the day its another British based opinion based on…….well nothing except anti ABs bias.

        He says theres a feeling “worldwide”. Please tell us wre01 where this “worldwide” consensus comes from. Stats? Surveys? Opinion polls? Census documents? Or just your other pom mates at the Rovers Return?
        Love it……”worldwide”…gives it some legitimacy then doesnt it…….

        • June 15th 2018 @ 10:18am
          moa said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          Unfortunately there does exist a burgeoning murmur that referees around the world are in collusion to assist the All Blacks.
          Quite why this is I cannot fathom.This article is just another brick in the growing wall.We live in the Age of the Internet and people of like-minded persuasion, once thought of as eccentric in their views can now find solace and agreement from other people scattered around the globe.

          There is also a growing feeling worldwide that the earth is actually flat and a global conspiracy exists to hide this ‘fact’ from the general population.
          I don’t know where Wre01’s opinion ranks in relation to the Flatearthers’ but I would guess roughly in the same ballpark?

          And finally; Woodward? Who gives a flying you-know-what what Woodward thinks?

          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 10:54am
            PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

            I wouldn’t say collusion but you have to seriously consider statements from a professional ref that a sub conscious bias towards ab’s exist.


            It is part of the review of referees set up.

            When upsets occur the assessors look more closely what part the referee has had.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 11:04am
              piru said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

              Peter – that’s all opinion though – and it’s been spun out a bit by the media too if I may say so – none of his comments are as inflammatory as they’ve been made out to be.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 3:27pm
              jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

              Peter arnt you a ref???? You are so anti ABs its not funny so clear proof that some refs just hate the ABs because they win

        • Roar Guru

          June 15th 2018 @ 12:18pm
          Ralph said | June 15th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report


          At least the hysteria hasn’t made it as far as Mars yet.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 3:42pm
          Cherborg66 said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

          I would avoid the opinion poll. It may support the article…..overwhelmingly.

          • June 16th 2018 @ 12:30am
            mace22 said | June 16th 2018 @ 12:30am | ! Report

            Of course a poll would support the writer. Because there’s more losers than winners.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 9:56am
        Patrick said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        Further, the citing commissioner looked into the tackle on Saturday & decided Cane had no case to answer & Tuungafasi was given a silly warning designed to keep the baying media happy. So on Saturday the referee looked at the tackle, the TMO looked at it & the citing commissioner looked at it. All decided there was no case to answer. According to this article all 3 are in cahoots giving the ABs a soft ride.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 10:13pm
          Tom said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

          Bring back barnaby

    • June 15th 2018 @ 4:21am
      Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:21am | ! Report

      Can see people are going to go crazy about this article and Kiwis are going to be hyper-defensive.
      I don’t think you can take a handful of examples and make a case about referees favoring NZ. But you can’t just dismiss the comments of the French in the last week or Woodward etc. Quite often refs seem a bit overwhelmed in games involving the All Blacks but I think their mistakes go both ways.
      I’m a Kiwi and I genuinely think we got away with one against the French in 2011. I also think the Lions got away with one against us last year.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:38am
        Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:38am | ! Report

        Well Im the other Ben, and Im a kiwi too. This stuff continues to be trundled out month after month, year after year, mainly by poms and aussies. I guess we’re so used to it now its just laughable and water off a ducks back now.Even Steve Hansen mentioned it in one of his interviews this week. As someone above mentioned, for every one of the examples above, theres 2 or 3 anyone can give that went against the ABs in any one match.
        If it had been the ABs guilty of eye gouging in that 2011 WC final, we would still be hearing about it today, every day. But strangely thats never brought up…….ever by anybody with their anti AB bias. If it had been Owen Franks running around late tackling McCaw around the back of the head, then late charging Carter not once but twice then late tackling and head highing Milner-Skudder and then running his fingers down his face, all in the same match boy wouldnt we be hearing about that over and over. I still remember the Aus ABs match at Eden Pk when Tuqiri dumped McCaw vertically on his head and then Waugh came from behind and headhighed him in the head when he didnt even have the ball. No complaints from McCaw or AB management, just got on with it. But imagine the poms and Aussie scribes if that was the other way round. Or Pococks stamp on McCaws head 2015 WC final.
        Its farcical and borders on extreme paranoia and a victim mentality that every team only loses to the ABs because of the refs. Its a stuck record that just keeps playing……round and round and round it goes. The Lions series….well already mentioned above, but also in the series was the shoulder to Naholos head which put him off concussed. No penalty, no sanction, no mention.
        Nobody denies last weeks yellow card shouldnt have been. Nobody is denying the ref stuffed up in not issuing a card to Cane. So what. Mistakes by the ref happen every game.

        Just wondering wre01 if you saw any of the above mentioned?

        • June 15th 2018 @ 6:34am
          bigbaz said | June 15th 2018 @ 6:34am | ! Report

          Haha, water off a ducks back heh , you probably need to learn what that means.

          • June 15th 2018 @ 7:59am
            Gavin said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

            There is an old saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.

            wre01 article was just highlighting the inconsistencies in referring and in both instances of Bismarck Du Plessis and the French lock last Saturday were the wrong decisions.which did directly affect the outcome of the game.

            Yes there are other occasions when perhaps actions against the All Blacks have been overlooked but keyboard warriors need to read an article twice before jumping on their keyboards.

            Something your rants are embarrassing to this Kiwi, take a tablespoon of cement and harden up!

            • June 15th 2018 @ 9:07am
              ClarkeG said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

              what the writer didn’t say about the du Plussis incident however was that the second yellow card was correct.

              He conveniently left that part out.

              So the fact that SA played much of the second half with fourteen men had an awful lot to do with the actions of du Plussis himself.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 2:15pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                Yet, they should have played only ten minutes without Bismarck.

              • June 15th 2018 @ 3:01pm
                Jerry said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                Was he not aware he was on a yellow card then? Deserved card or not, you’d expect a test rugby player to have enough awareness to tone down some aspects of his game knowing a second yellow will be the end of the match.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 4:00pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                That is nonsense jerry, why put the onus back on the player?

                The referee made a hasty incorrect judgement, the player continued to play his hard rugby, the fact that the elbow hit the player in the neck area was not a deliberate act, he fended off defenders like that many times before. This time his timing was out.

                You are suggesting players should become dainty little ballet dancers due to referee ignorance

              • June 15th 2018 @ 6:27pm
                Jerry said | June 15th 2018 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

                I’m not excusing the ref for making a poor call on the initial yellow, but equally the ref isn’t entirely to blame for the fact that Bismarck got a red. If the order of those cards were reversed and the Carter one was the second, sure – but as it was, Bismarck got a bad call and then exacerbated the situation and he bears just as much, if not more, responsibility for the Boks finishing with 14 men.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:09pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Of course the referee is entirely to blame in a situation like that, he sent the player off. Show me one player who can player at 50% of his capacity willingly, when you give 100% at all times, to even suggest you expect a player to play at halfmast is ridiculous.

                Rather then pull him off the field, at 50% he isn’t benefittng anyone, except the opposition

              • Roar Rookie

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:35pm
                lewismarsh said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

                A few years ago a wallabie was given 10 unjustly and then later chucked the ball away from the NZ player trying to take a fast line out. It was Mitchell I think. This was after the ref had warned the teams not to do it.
                That ment a red card also. Similer circumstances but I would have to say that Bismark was shafted by the system. Mitchell begged the system to take an interest.

              • June 15th 2018 @ 7:41pm
                Jerry said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

                Playing at 100% doesn’t usually require elbowing tacklers in the throat.

                He should have had the self awareness to curb the pointy edges of his play while still being effective. Look at how teams play in the last minutes of a tight game when defending a lead – they know not to push the boundaries as they may get penalised. He didn’t even have to go that far.

                Like I said, the ref shares some blame for him getting a red. But he knew he was on a yellow and still smashed someone in the throat with his elbow so it’s hard to feel sorry for him.

              • June 15th 2018 @ 7:47pm
                Jerry said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

                lewismarsh – to be fair, the general warning (issued to both teams) about chucking the ball away happened when Drew Mitchell was off the field for his first yellow. So he wouldn’t have gotten the initial notification from his captain. There is talk that no one told him before he came back on (the half time break was in the middle of his 10 minute period off the pitch) and he didn’t know at all, which does make sense as it was such a bone headed play.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 8:21pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                I remember that incident with Mitchell as well, it was as unjust as Bismarck’s incident.

                I personally think referees should be harshly punished in affecting matches unjustly. Where is the responsibility and accountability from the referee’s stand point?

                Suggesting also that Bismarck should have curbed his elbow, again, nonsense, he didn’t as a habit hit defendrs in the throat with an elbow.

              • June 15th 2018 @ 9:02pm
                Dennis Hopper Jr said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

                Corne, you’re consistently hard on SA players for not using their brains. Was Bismarck doing the smart thing when he smacked Messam?

              • June 15th 2018 @ 9:23pm
                Jerry said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

                Mitchell’s was worse as there was a specific thing the players were told what to do…and he did it.

                Now, he may not have been warned by his team during the half time break but that just makes the Wallabies look stupid and it’s still not the ref’s fault.

                Bismarck elbowed someone in the throat, it’s his own stupid fault he got red carded. End of.

              • Roar Guru

                June 16th 2018 @ 1:22am
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 16th 2018 @ 1:22am | ! Report

                Dennis, do you think Bismarck deliberately hit Messam in the throat?

                Jerry, has no All Black ever fended someone off by accidently mistiming his fend?

                And Poite waa not stupid? Deliberate? Ignorant? Hasty?

              • Roar Guru

                June 16th 2018 @ 2:33am
                Harry Jones said | June 16th 2018 @ 2:33am | ! Report

                I actually cannot recall any other card for that kind of fend ever


            • June 15th 2018 @ 9:10am
              Jacko said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

              Gavin your rants in 1 direction do nothing to prove anything…The article highlights 4-5 incidenses which are complete baby saliva…..Where is the FACTS….NZ gets its fair share of cards…NZ gets its fair share of penalties…If a decision goes against NZ its all good…dont even mention it…if YOU perseive it to be IN FAVOUR of the ABs then you…and a fair amount of Aussies and Poms…get all excited and blame every possible world problem on the ABs…It appears that being constantly beaten is making some very jelous

        • June 15th 2018 @ 8:13am
          Misha said | June 15th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          There was also the no-arms attempted tackle on Lemaupe in the last test by the French fullback when he scored – No-one has said anything – zero – zip – zilch about that. Should have been a yellow or red card…but do we hear from World Rugby or Stephen Jones (serial AB hater) about that one?

          • June 15th 2018 @ 9:28am
            woodart said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

            thank you misha. I noticed that no-arms tackle and was hopeing I wasnt the only one.this article is a trawl by a troll, who has cherry picked a few incidents but missed many others. proper students of rubbish referring involving the All Blacks would have mentioned the famous non-try of bob deans against the welsh in 1905 .

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 10:42am
              piru said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

              I noticed it, but you know what?

              Sometimes things happen and they aren’t called

              Moaning about it doesn’t help

        • June 15th 2018 @ 10:19am
          moa said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          “mainly by poms and aussies.”
          Don’t forget the Irish.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 10:51am
          Drongo said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Wow, two Bens and they are almost identical!
          Ben, meet anti-Ben.

        • Roar Guru

          June 15th 2018 @ 11:01am
          PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          hard to take your post seriously when you are so hyperbolic

          Its farcical and borders on extreme paranoia and a victim mentality that every team only loses to the ABs because of the refs.

          When has ANYONE EVER said that teams only lose to refs because of the refs (let alone every team).

          Show me one post by anyone.

          Statements like yours show your extreme emotional reaction to this topic.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 15th 2018 @ 11:06am
            piru said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Statements like yours show your extreme emotional reaction to this topic

            And yet an entire article claiming a team is granted some kind of protected status, backed by nothing but anecdotes and opinion is perfectly balanced?

            • Roar Guru

              June 15th 2018 @ 11:36am
              PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              not perfectly but a lot more balanced than that post.

              As was noted

              is says the Kiwis aren’t at fault, are clearly the best side in the world and often are on the end of bad decisions themselves.

              Ben doesn’t even allow one case of any team not being accepted as other than referee bias, not one.

              Surely that is far more unbalanced.

              • June 16th 2018 @ 9:28am
                timber said | June 16th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                ‘As was noted
                is says the Kiwis aren’t at fault, are clearly the best side in the world and often are on the end of bad decisions themselves.’

                So balance to you is making an outrageous accusation and then mellowing it down by stating the truth? That’s not balanced, it’s a faux magnanimous gesture that gives the illusion of balance.
                Quite a common ploy of the intellectually dishonest and no surprise that you embraced it.

              • Roar Guru

                June 16th 2018 @ 10:19am
                PeterK said | June 16th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

                timber – typical lack of critical thinking and reading on your part, because you rush in with your confirmation bias.

                The article is evenly balanced, I never wrote that.

                What I did say it was more balanced than a statement that was absolute i.e 100% biased one way with zero qualifications or balance.

          • June 15th 2018 @ 11:23am
            Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            PeterK your bias against everything NZ is obvious on this site. No point discussing anything with you in regards to this…….I can smell the h4tr3d on your breathe.

            • Roar Guru

              June 15th 2018 @ 11:33am
              PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report


              • June 15th 2018 @ 2:17pm
                jacko said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                Peter are you wre01? this article .sounds sad and bitter

            • June 15th 2018 @ 7:05pm
              Boomeranga said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

              I don’t think Peter has a bias against everything NZ. He just isn’t an All Black fan and therefore questions NZ rugby more than those that are. There is more than a pinch of religious zeal in the way many fans support and defend the All Blacks and NZ rugby.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:42pm
                Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

                Agree that there is a religious feel for Rugby support in NZ, but having lived in VIC for a the last decade nothing comes close to the religious zeal AFL inspires. That being said, I think the constant referring to whether a poster is a kiwi or not and commenting constantly on whether it is a negative or positive post creates a narrative or dialog that we all would rather not get into. An ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ mentality doesn’t really bring any enlightenment to most discussions. We all belong to the same Rugby loving tribe and would like a discussion free from the ‘versus’ vitriol that seems to over take a lot of threads.

                The hypocrisy of the up in arms posts regarding NZ refs controlling NZ vs ‘other’ games and the dearth of criticism when Angus Gardner or George Ayoub control an Aus vs ‘other’ game is very telling and is purely mentioned here as an example of the hypocrisy picking and choosing when to be morally righteous that is becoming very tiresome.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:45pm
                lewismarsh said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                And even when Peter makes snippy generalizations about NZ supporters, its worth noting that he seems to extrapolate from a couple of exact examples on these pages.

            • Roar Guru

              June 16th 2018 @ 8:31am
              taylorman said | June 16th 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

              In fairness hes not been too bad lately. Ive found some of the more technical discussions around the tackle and ruck area quite interesting.

              I dont bother going into that level of detail but do appreciate it when someone does. Overall the discussion heres been fairly reasonable given the topics potential for volatlity.

              • Roar Guru

                June 16th 2018 @ 10:39am
                Ralph said | June 16th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                +1 to that.

                I was recently becoming confused about the tackle laws and what changes had actually been made so I personally found Peter very helpful.

          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 1:33pm
            rebel said | June 15th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Jimbo says it all the time.

        • June 17th 2018 @ 10:04am
          Tony said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          “Or Pococks stamp on McCaws head 2015 WC final”

          Give it a break.

          McCaw was lying on the ground, miles past the ruck, blatantly holding on to Pocock’s leg.

          Pocock, who was looking forward the whole time, tried to free his leg and in the process McCaw copped a glancing blow from his boot.

          It was accidental and McCaw had only himself to blame.

          • June 17th 2018 @ 1:03pm
            beardie said | June 17th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

            Well, no, a big close up of the footwork there made it clear that Pocock knew what he was doing. Most people haven’t seen that perhaps. I was surprised as it didn’t fit my impression of Pocock but there you go.

            If McCaw had done that the closeup clip would have been all over the place and a bunch of Australian fans and “neutrals” would have gone ballistic.

            • June 17th 2018 @ 5:47pm
              Tony said | June 17th 2018 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

              How does a closeup of a foot tell you what is going on in a player’s head???

              I can tell you what I’d say if a Wallaby held on to an AB’s leg while on the ground offside, and copped an accidental glancing blow to the forehead as the AB pulled his foot free and put it back down on the ground.

              I’d say the same thing I said about McCaw – no one to blame but himself.

              • June 17th 2018 @ 7:16pm
                beardie said | June 17th 2018 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

                I’m not surprised at that response.

                Despite the fact you haven’t seen the footage i mentioned you have your version that depends on your loyalties and bias.

                That rather supports some other comments here.

                But carry on, Tony. I’m not very interested in going back there in depth and I’ll leave it at that.

    • Roar Guru

      June 15th 2018 @ 4:44am
      Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:44am | ! Report

      Aything left open to interpretation is inconsistent. Unfortunately the laws of rugby are subject to interpretation, hence you can only aim for some consistency, however improbable.

      World Rugby can attempt to make rugby laws as simple as possible, that is the only way to reduce the inconsistencies.

      Rob Debney “Yes, Grosso was falling in the collision but the onus is on the referee to make his ruling based on the outcome of an incident. Intent is not material in the decision. Did Tu’ungafasi’s shoulder connect with Grosso’s head? Yes. Red card,” wrote Debney.

      If we are going to rely on referees to ignore intent and officiate on the outcome of incidents nobody would want to play rugby anymore.

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2018 @ 4:51am
        taylorman said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:51am | ! Report

        Geez, didnt see that. An accidental knock can be red carded?

        Interesting. So if someone dives head on into a knee its the knees fault?😁

        • Roar Guru

          June 15th 2018 @ 4:56am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:56am | ! Report


          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 5:30am
            taylorman said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:30am | ! Report

            On another note BB really hope this weekend goes well for the Boks. The english side picked looks as good as that that has gone on its previous winning run so a series win this weekend will be the best thing to happen for the Boks for sometime, especially given the make up of the new squad.

            Its going to be backlash time from all three NH sides, particularly Ireland and England and last week was the sweetener, this week hopefully the real deal. Go Bokke!😁

            • Roar Guru

              June 15th 2018 @ 5:52am
              Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:52am | ! Report

              Thanks Tman, lets hope the Boks can build some momentum

              • June 15th 2018 @ 10:15am
                LMOB7 said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                Hi BB,
                Thought it might be you based on the avatar.
                Really enjoyed the Boks last weekend
                All the best for the season except for when they play my AB’s

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 2:17pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                Thanks LM

        • June 15th 2018 @ 3:52pm
          Cherborg66 said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          Apparently you can get a yellow card for a tackle around the chest!

      • June 15th 2018 @ 7:47am
        lassitude said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report


        The thing about the Tu’ungafasi situation is that he was set and low and Grosso connected with him. Cane and Grosso were in a dynamic situation but Tu’ungafasi was pretty much static – he’s allowed that position.

        Just as a counter factual. What would we be talking about if Grosso’s head had dipped slightly less and a bit more to the right and he’d full-front-on head butted Tu’ungafasi ? Would the outcome on Tu’ungafasi result in sanction on Grosso ? I bet it wouldn’t.

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2018 @ 9:41am
        Wal said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        I can’t see why the focus has been on Tu’ungafasi, as you rightly point out Grosso fell into a position Tu’ungafasi’ couldn’t exit from.

        Cane, however, should have been given a yellow card, his arm connected with Grosso’s head.

        What we see regarding so much hand-wringing of NZ decisions, is the natural emphasis of any game-changing moments in a loss. Particularly any referee influence.

        The AB’s supporters did exactly the same thing in the Lions Series or 2007. But when a team is winning at over 90% of the time the feeling of Ref bias becomes repeated to the point of becoming some peoples reality.

        The AB’s don’t get any more favourable calls than any other team they are just analysed more because you simply don’t look at close calls when you win.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 15th 2018 @ 10:08am
          Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          This exactly Wal. Tied in with a fair amount of confirmation bias, and the myth gets perpetuated and repeated. Then you have a higher profile person, like Woodward, repeat it and it gains credibility.

          Lack of citing or Cane is used as an example, but as you say, it should have been yellow, you only get cited if it was a red card worthy. Everyone agrees the ref got it wrong on the field. The earlier french YC, the crowd hadn’t even had a chance to arc up about it before the card was out. to say this impacted the result is disingenuous, it probably impacted the score line, but not the actual result. Anyone who cant see that from the game needs to watch more rugby.

          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 10:25am
            Wal said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            The Refs inexperience definitely played out in the Crotty Tackle, at full speed it looked ugly but only because Crotty’s feet flew forward from underneath him as if his head had been taken off.

            A count to 3 and review the tape would have saved him a lot of embarrassment.
            Otherwise, I thought he actually had a great game, there will always be contentious points but the pace and contest were great to watch.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 11:09am
              Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

              Yea, it did seem very reactionary. I think he had a good game too considering the speed, which he was probably adjusting to. At one point he did have to Smith to slow down when asking for a penalty mark. I think the only things he got particularly wrong was sending of the French and not sending off Cane (yellow only – I thought his arm did make contact to the head). He will get better and will learn from that call, I doubt he will card anyone without a review any more.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 11:36am
                Wal said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                The Smith Penalty tap was pretty funny, Smith must have some lungs on him to still be bouncing around looking for quick taps after the pace of the match.

                I also thought the AB’s head assessment left a bit to be desired.
                A clear clash of heads like that should have had them both off for an assessment.

          • June 15th 2018 @ 7:28pm
            Danny McGowan said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

            I felt a little bit for the ref,I thought because he probably realised he had fired the YC on the Frenchman earlier he may have been a bit shy of doing it again and against Tu’ungafasi (the citing commisioner said Cane’s was a penalty only) and reason Tu’ungafasi was issued with warning. Show how hard it must be as even we not all in agreement who should of been carded. If only he had gone upstairs in the Crotty tackle it probably would of not been a YC. But to be fair to Pearce even TMO seemed to think he got it right in Cane tackle. I will add that I was reading the Englisg think their team is the hardest done by with refs, and seems some of the Irish think the Wallabies got treated pretty leniently by the ref last week, so maybe,,,,,,,,,

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2018 @ 11:05am
        PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        of course you don’t have to have intent, a player can go into a tackle being reckless.

        A reckless tackle occurs when a player “knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway”

        • Roar Rookie

          June 15th 2018 @ 11:14am
          Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          That is dangerous wording though, as isn’t there a risk in every tackle of making contact with the head. Look at how low Tu’ungafasi was, that is the effective height to make a strong tackle without making contact to the head. This is a more comment on the wording and interpretation of the rule than anything else, as it opens the door for these types of discussions and differing points of view.

          I think intent has to be a part of rulings though. This works both ways. We saw the other week Savea throwing a punch in a ruck in a SR game, no cameras showed if he connected or not, so ref didn’t sanction him. In my view, his intent was to punch someone, his punishment should not be based on his boxing ability, but the intent he showed to actually punch someone.

          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 11:39am
            PeterK said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            no intent should not be.

            A player then at a hearing just has to claim I didn’t mean to it was an accident.

            A player starting a hard tackle just below the head and slides upwards hard into the head is reckless, intent does not have to come into it.

            A tip tackle on their head even if he only meant to slam him on his back or side i.e didn’t mean to drive his head into the ground, and so on.

            Intent is far far too hard to prove on dangerous tackles.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 12:17pm
              Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

              I’m not advocating for intent to be a get of jail free card, just for it to be taken into account, and more so, as per my example, to impose harsher sanctions than currently applied, not to get people out of things. I think intent needs to be evident in the physical evidence, not in verbally stated intentions.

              If we still use the Tu’ungafasi’ example, at the point of contact, he is bent at the waist lower than 45degs and has his knees bent also, if upright, the contact is likely in the sternum which is a great point of contact for a dominant tackle. I don’t think either Cane or Tu’ungafasi’ had intent to contact the head, but Canes contact was reckless, which i think warranted a YC the way things are ruled, and Tu’ungafasi’ was accidental and just an unfortunate collision.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 2:27pm
                Wal said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                and Tu’ungafasi’ was accidental and just an unfortunate collision

                Probably should have gotten a red card for headbutting Cane,

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:12pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

                meh, headbutts these days carry lighter punishments than 6 years ago

    • Roar Guru

      June 15th 2018 @ 4:49am
      taylorman said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:49am | ! Report

      Yeah this is going to drag out the usual mudslingers who will want to ‘feel better’. Sign of a great side when they create an impression that there must be another reason they win all the time. ‘Yeah, lets jump on that bus.’

      JFKs got nothing on this😂

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:55am
        Ben said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:55am | ! Report

        Yup Taylorman……waiting for the usual anti AB supporters. Still a bit early for the Aussie ones but lets see, its 0753hrs here atm, so 0553hrs in most of Aus…….lets give it another 3 hours.

        • Roar Guru

          June 15th 2018 @ 6:48am
          taylorman said | June 15th 2018 @ 6:48am | ! Report

          ‘There is, however, one blot on their record: an ever-increasing number of very marginal – if not totally incorrect – refereeing decisions that go their way.’

          Such a well defined statement.

          Can you define…’blot’?

          ‘Ever increasing’ any numbers to suggest that trend?

          ‘Very’ marginal. What does ‘very’ mean in terms of how ‘marginal’ a decision is? Whats not very marginal?

          ‘If not totally correct’….say what? Is it correct or not? Is totally correct more correct than normally correct? Or are there layers of correctness?

          Im picturing a kid in front of a headmaster trying to utter a reluctant sentence.

          ‘Spit it out boy, what are you trying to say’😂

        • June 15th 2018 @ 11:48am
          Phil said | June 15th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          Ben,I am an Aussie but even I think this article is something which is just not needed.The AB’s are where they are because they are a great team,not because of any help from refs.I love it how it nearly always goes back to McCaw and how he got away with murder in the breakdown,but now our very own Pocock is doing it and we love it!
          I don’t think the writer is knocking the Kiwis that much,but I just think the article would have been better off not written, as it only inflames our neighbours across the Tasman unnecessarily.

          • Roar Guru

            June 15th 2018 @ 12:22pm
            Ralph said | June 15th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            but now our very own Pocock is doing it and we love it!

            It’s fun to watch Isn’t it Phil.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 4:42pm
              Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

              Its actually very nice to see someone else accused of cheating when clearly they are doing exactly what they are meant to do and doing it darn well. People just need to see it as a sign of respect and not to get antsy about it.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 6:05pm
              Kirky said | June 15th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

              Pocock is no different to any loose forward when they’re going for the turnover ball most of the time it’s illegal. Richie’ did it for years, but more succinctly, Pocock is bare arsed about it and not in the same ball game as McCaw, but now that it’s become an item about him ”cheating” expect him to get pinged a lot more than he has up till now! ~ Goes with the territory and Cheika can scream and yell as much as he likes, he knows that most of the time Pocock is doing it as he shouldn’t, therefore he must be seen backing his boy, and at the same time condoning the bad stuff, ~ who can blame him?

              • Roar Rookie

                June 15th 2018 @ 7:45pm
                Paulo said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                Exactly, it is the nature of the role he has on the field. Same with Hooper, he is the most Carded player in history in all of Rugbydom, but no one ever seems to suggest he is a dirty or cynical player, it is just that his position, more than any other, toes the line and tends to get (mis)interpreted by different Refs. The Art the Macaw brought to it, was quickly judging what a ref would allow or not.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 15th 2018 @ 12:00pm
          piru said | June 15th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

          its 0753hrs here atm, so 0553hrs in most of Aus

          Small correction – in MOST of Aus it would have been 3.53.

          It would have been 5.53 in the small part of Australia with the most people though

          • June 15th 2018 @ 2:31pm
            Boomeranga said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            Useless facts: “the small part” is 2.967 million square kilometers, but only 38% of the whole (7.69 mill). The island of Ireland is 84,421 square kilometers, or almost 100 times smaller in area. According to google and my 1987 Casio brand calculator.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 15th 2018 @ 2:54pm
              piru said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              the 87 ‘sio?


    • June 15th 2018 @ 5:22am
      Iamcam said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:22am | ! Report

      I doubt the Auckland crowd even knew there was a high tackle on Crotty as Pearce sent him off so quickly.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:07pm
        Chris Jagusch said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

        I think the observations of Referees favouring the All Blacjs are very one sided. There are many instances of decisions not favouring the ALL BLACKS. Mist recently the red carding of SBW in second test against Lions and the awful display at the end of the third test. Not only did the referee dramaticaaly change his penalty decision for an obvious offside play by the Lions but….he failed to play advantage when Lienert Brown scooped up the dropped ball and may well have scored a try.
        Rugby Union should take a lesf out of League referring.. Yellow cards a dished out with gay abandon and ruin the game.Bring in the report system!

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