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On Craig Joubert reffing the final

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    On Craig Joubert reffing the final

    From a friend's rugby blog:

    not quite unprecedented



    So today we heard the news that Craig Joubert will referee the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and France on Sunday.

    I’ve got a number of issues with this appointment – and none of them has anything to do with Craig Joubert who I think is one of the finest referees around. He’s calm, fair and well spoken. He also doesn’t take any kak and I like that in a referee.

    However that doesn’t mean I agree with his appointment and the conspiracy theorist in me went digging into Wikipedia to look up a few things to support a few theories of my own about Paddy O’Brien, the IRB refereeing selection panel that he hides behind and the unbelievable shambles that the custodians of the laws of Rugby Union have created.

    My first quest was whether anyone ever reffed a semi-final and a final. I couldn’t remember it happening recently with the best ref of the tournament normally put aside for the final. Allain Rolland ’07, Andre Watson ’03 & ’99, Ed Morrison ’95 and Derek Bevan ’91 all sat out the semi-finals waiting for their chance to referee a final. However there was an instance where it happened and funnily enough it was 1987 when Kerry Fitgerald reffed both the semi-final and final. Prizes for guessing who he refereed? Yeah – god’s gift to rugby: The All Blacks.

    You hear from players, coaches and experts the term ‘playing to the referee’. It means that you use your intuition and study to work out how a referee blows and game and make sure that you play within those guidelines to ensure you get the best treatment and give yourself the best chance of winning. The IRB won’t talk about it because they are striving for that great Abominable Snowman that is “consistency” and think that all refs are blowing from the same book. Nobody really buys that though and then you have to ask yourself the question, “Why have the All Blacks then been given an 80 minute warm-up and practice at playing the referee?”. No referee ever makes a mistake (the gospel according to Paddy O’Brien and Andre Watson) so why not give the game to one of the other refs?

    The second problem that I have is that if Joubert’s semi-final performance was the high water mark of refereeing and the standard which all referees should strive to obtain then…… WHAT THE F**K WAS THAT S**T BRYCE LAWRENCE DISHED UP IN THE QUARTER? It was poles apart. Here was Joubert policing the rucks. Blowing firmly and not allowing all kinds of funny business at the ruck. If that’s to be rewarded then what Bryce Lawrence dished up was total horse kak and someone should come out and say it.

    When the Springboks won the 2007 Rugby World Cup and then kicked the British Lions into submission we were told that it was boring. We were told that the attacking team needed more rights to play attractive rugby. Forget for a moment that rugby is a physical battle and who decides what is better or worse play (and I’ll tell you it’s the Old Farts on the RFU and turd fondler Paddy O’Brien, that’s who). The Springboks then have over 70% of the ball and don’t get a single call in their favour. Not once are the defending team penalised for slowing the ball down or having their hands in the ruck. It’s as inconsistent as it gets.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to shadow a few coaches and see the technology they are using. The stats and analysis guys sit in teams with up to eight monitors showing syncronised camera angles of the action. They can slow down, count and cut out clips using computer programs and file them away for later use. My question is why don’t the IRB review games in a similar fashion? With all the money they are getting from gumguard fines they could afford to hire a few kippies to sit and flag anything remotely dangerous so that the big KNOBS could review all the incidents afterwards. Dan Vickerman ran into Heinrich Brussow with a flying shoulder charge that ended his World Cup and followed it up with a repeat of the charge on Jannie du Plessis moments later. Yet nothing was said of it. Brussow is one of the best players in the world, but because he’s a South African with a scrum-cap and not Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O’Driscoll, Dan Carter or Richie McCaw there was nothing made of it. The IRB are too busy fining Samoans for what they say on Twitter and checking everyone’s gumguards instead of watching what is going on in the heat of the battle on the biggest stage. Pathetic.

    Spear tackles are dangerous. I have no problem with the Warburton decision at all. However, if I had the time and inclination I could get about 10 of those tackles a season that don’t get a red card. I don’t think there was any malice in Warburton’s tackle, but it was dumb and he had to pay the price. Vickerman’s challenge, however, held twice the malice and even got its desired result.

    So well done to New Zealand. The team that can only win a Rugby World Cup in New Zealand with the same referee that reffed their semi-final. Well done too to Paddy O’Brien for seeing his meticulous four-year plan to win a Rugby World Cup for New Zealand finally coming to fruition. Let’s all watch slow motion replays of the Haka in celebration.

    [Emphasis: mine]

    I still maintain that the ABs have easily been the best side in this competition (and in the years running up to it). To beat Aus so comprehensively without Dan Carter gives an indication of that superiority. Still, there's more than a grain of truth in here... especially the bit that I've bolded above.
    Last edited by stickman_sa; 18th-October-2011, 10:20.
    "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - The Dude abides.
    "Forwards win matches. Backs decide by how much." - DK

    #2
    Ah ffs. What a load of twaddle.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Dumptruck View Post
      Ah ffs. What a load of twaddle.
      Care to explain?
      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - The Dude abides.
      "Forwards win matches. Backs decide by how much." - DK

      Comment


        #4
        Like them or not, NZ are the best rugby playing nation on the planet.
        OK, so they choke sometimes in finals.
        Why does there always have to a conspiracy?
        "No referee ever makes a mistake (the gospel according to Paddy O’Brien and Andre Watson) "
        Sorry, but a number of officials have been officially called on mistakes they made (as part of the Disciplinary processes)
        FFS
        Who does the author suggest take the final?

        Comment


          #5
          Wayne Barnes Bet New Zealand would love that. I do think there is a bias in favour of NZ however.

          Comment


            #6
            Apart from PO'B, can someone suggest to me (either in the structure or personnel) where this perceived bias is coming from?
            I don't think NZ have an unfair percentage of the voting processes, do they?
            Is the root of all this bias related to PO'B?

            Comment


              #7
              Is PO'B the 'Frank FourVotes Murphy' of rugby?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by stickman_sa View Post
                Care to explain?
                No I don't care to explain.

                Comment


                  #9
                  My only question would be the same as it has been for a long time, too many of the big games between NH and SH sides end up with SH referees whose interpretations and applications favour the SH sides. It happened once the other way, i.e. Wayne Barnes, and look at the whining that came out of that.

                  I'd disagree with the idea NZ are comfortably the best side. Wales for me have been along that level as well. It's a shame that their captain ****ed up and potentially cost them the SF. It's a shame that the worst of the QF sides on that half of the draw has made the final. But ultimately them's the breaks. NZ should win this but one thing might come into play that will put a smile on many people's faces. They're playing the French, the team they choke the most against, the team who can go from utter turd to rugby gold from one match to the next. (Personally I'm not sure this current French squad can be arsed but if they show some pride this could happen).

                  The biggest reason I'd laugh if NZ lost, pretty much the only reason, is the stench of hypocrisy around them. The cheat of a captain who is held up as the best in the world while others are called cheats by NZ fans. Their whining about thugs, like Cooper's cheap shot yet their favourite sons dish out plenty themselves and not in defence either. Ultimately though there has built up this thing that they deserve the world cup. No they don't, you earn winning the world cup and to date they've only earned it once. They're lucky that the one other top form side in the tournament are out but hopefully the French will bother to turn up cos they could equally argue that after 2 previous finals they deserve to win one as well (not current squad but over the history of rugby).
                  \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    So a blog about Craig Joubert reffing the final turns into a whinge about the Saffers losing the quarter final?
                    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Look, I don't think anyone here is disputing the superiority of NZ's rugby (the odd RWC playoff notwithstanding). I've said from the get-go that the ABs will win this thing bar another huge upset... And now that they've put Aus to bed, I simply cannot see this French side putting together the required performance. Indeed, it would be a near travesty if they do... France have been that bad (as much as NZ "deserve" it if there was such a thing as cosmic rugby justice).

                      Such matters aside, however, simply ask yourself whether playing under the same ref two weeks in a row confers any particular advantage on a side. The answer is all but self-evident: Of course it does. You are used to the tempo at which he blows the game, the transgressions that he is likely to penalise, etc... While your opposition is not. Further, you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to see how strange it is that -- in the preceding five RWC's -- the referee chosen to officiate the final game sat out the semis, but not in 2011.

                      Unfortunately, when the dust settles on this World Cup, there will be two abiding memories to spoil the good ones: 1) An abnormal injury count that robbed us of the chance to witness many of the best players on the biggest stage, and 2) Poor officiating.

                      Most would argue that you can do nothing about the former (personally, I suspect that a ridiculous playing schedule can shoulder much of the blame)... but the latter is clearly unsatisfactory. As head of the IRB's Referee Board, Paddy O'Brien has to answer for that.
                      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - The Dude abides.
                      "Forwards win matches. Backs decide by how much." - DK

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Theres no doubt alot of politics involved in refereeing rugby matches these days.

                        Bryce Lawerence should not have been involved in the SA/Oz match because the winners were going to play NZ. SA would have been much tougher opponents for NZ. And he got to ref that game despite causing controversy among Australians after their match against Ireland. You'd think that somebody else would have gotten the job considering the controversy. Also, its a bit of a joke that Alain Rolland referees French games considering his heritage. Next we'll see Steve Walsh refereeing games involving NZ.

                        Meanwhile, agent Paddy O'Brien is doing a good job for his countrymen. Its all set up the way NZ like it and if it does end up to be a tight game, those little things might make the difference.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think the French might argue it's nice for a change to have a referee who can actually speak the same language as them rather than one who adopts the British abroad approach of shouting English slowly and looking round for someone who might understand to translate for them.
                          \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I am so bored of all the ref whinging that goes on. Blaming refs is the default position of countries like SA, England, Aus and Wales because they genuinely seem to believe they have a divine right to win regardless of how well they or their opponents play. SA were too fecking stupid to pick their best players leave alone make use of the 75% possesion they enjoyed. The English are actually getting a bit better in this respect because it has finally started to dawn on the English fans that their players are sh**e. Unusually the Aussies didn't whine too much about the ref after their semifinal hammering but their moaning after they were beaten fair and square by us in the group would have done a two bit whore proud. And as always when Wales win more than 3 matches in a row they turn into the biggest bunch of arrogant tw*ts to have walked the face of God's earth; it is impossible that the Welsh players lost the game by failing to kick their goals or bottling a clear cut DG chance it must be the refs fault because he inforced the laws of the game correctly but didn't have a feeling for the spectacle, my hairy ar*e. I didn't experience the welsh team of the 70s but by all accounts the wonder of their play was more than countered by the windbaggery of their fans.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I could be wrong but it sounds like a South African (based on the language used) complaining about the All Blacks.... shock of the century there.

                              Why does it always have to be a conspiracy when it comes to the Blacks? Does anyone care to mention any team that NZ didn't deserve to beat during this RWC to reach the final? And should France be beaten in the final by a better side on the day could they be considered 'robbed' because the ref was an All Black sympathiser, did they even deserve to be there in the first place?!?

                              Complete load of rubbish...

                              Comment

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