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Are refs having too much impact on games?

Last updated 12:55 08/09/2014
Nigel Owens
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COURTING CONTROVERSY: Referee Nigel Owens shows England's Marland Yarde a yellow card in the first test at Eden Park.

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Referees are back the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after a series of controversial calls have changed the course of matches and ruined the spectacle for supporters.

Two horrible decisions by Pascal Gauzere and George Clancy in Napier and Perth confirm the standard of international refereeing is in freefall, rugby writer Richard Knowler says.

Earlier in the season, Welsh referee Nigel Owens hardly endeared himself to England rugby fans with a series of bizarre calls that helped the All Blacks eke out a 20-15 win in the first test at Eden Park.

And bad calls aren't just limited to rugby. Kiwi whistleblower Peter O'Leary became a persona non grata in Bosnia and Herzegovina after his ''shameful'' offside call contributed to the World Cup debutants' early exit in Brazil and prompted fans to set up an online petition calling for his removal from the tournament.

Do you think match officials have too much influence on the result of games?

Should referees be punished for their poor performances, and if so, what would be a fitting punishment?

Or do you think they get a rough deal from the media and fans - they are only human after all.

Would the introduction of video technology aid referees or disrupt the flow of the game?  

Click the green button below to share your views.


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