Fans see red when refs show yellow

Last updated 10:00 25/06/2014
Ma'a Nonu
HARDLY MELLOW YELLOW: All Blacks star Ma'a Nonu sees red after being sent to the bin during a test against the Springboks last year.

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Are refs having too much impact on games?

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Rugby has been a professional sport for almost two decades, graduating from its part-time roots after that excruciating loss in the '95 World Cup. Why then, does it seem, that the referees are managed by a bunch of amateurs?

When a referee goes to his pocket and sends someone to the bin, it's the fans who are truly robbed, not only of the spectacle of an even contest but the hard earned cash they paid to watch it. If a team infringes repeatedly then what's wrong with taking the three points each time? After all, a team that continually gives away penalties will lose more often that not.

There is a place for yellow cards, intentionally dangerous play warrants taking a spell on the sideline and a clear and obvious professional foul to prevent a likely try is another. However, there is a tendency for refs to hand out yellows simply to put their stamp on the game, to take control and dissuade others from infringing. This is not acceptable. When is referee boss Lyndon Bray and the IRB going to wake up and realise that this is ruining games and that they must find a solution that is not to the detriment of the fans.

On another note, what is going on with the video ref? There is no consistency in the process at all, leading to some on-field refs, Steve Walsh in particular, overruling their colleague looking at a high definition monitor while others like Jaco Peyper in the second test against England don't speak up when the video ref clearly doesn't know the rules as they're written. Who has the authority? What is the process? It's a shambles and encourages indecision.

Rugby has two teams of fifteen men or women. We love our game because of their athleticism and skill, their desire to win for their supporters and the fight from their opponents doing everything they can to stop them. It is they who we want to watch, not the refs and their bumbling assistants.

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