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Wuddled Cup Final: Australia V Not Australia

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    #16
    this is a beautiful read...!

    Reason: Owens will referee the RWC final, or will he?
    MARK REASON

    OPINION: World Rugby confirmed the news that everyone had been expecting since All Blacks selector Grant Fox let the ref out of the bag. Richie McCaw will helm the World Cup final. His assistant at Twickenham on Sunday will be Nigel Owens, the experienced Welsh official.

    OK, so Owens, aged 44, a veteran of 67 test matches, has been officially named as the man in charge, but it is an appointment that should put joy into the heart of every All Blacks supporter and fear in the soul of the Wallabies. World Rugby has gravely blundered by giving the final to Owens, a man who has serious form with both New Zealand and Australia.

    The All Blacks love the man. Fox presaged the announcement by saying: "Nigel is clearly the best referee in the world - he's demonstrated that … Like all referees, he will make the odd error. But one of the key things he does, apart from communicating incredibly well with players, is that he lets the breakdown breathe. And that's really important. If you want to get a good contest and spectacle."

    Of course Fox thinks that Owens communicates incredibly well with the players. The Welshman has a respect for McCaw that at times in the past has bordered on sycophancy, like when he shook the All Blacks leader's hand twice in the immediate aftermath of one test match. Given his track record it is hard to imagine Owens keeping McCaw onside on Sunday.

    Owens refereed the previous match between these two teams when the All Blacks thrashed Australia 41-13 at Eden Park. The way he spoke to both captains that day was remarkable. When McCaw made a complaint, Owens said: "I'll have a look at the next one, OK."

    When Australia captain Stephen Moore asked for clarification on two separate occasions, Owens said: "Back you go" and "Off you go".

    In that match Conrad Smith twice played the jumper in the air and did not receive a yellow card. In a previous match against England refereed by Owens, Ma'a Nonu committed two professional fouls, pulling back James Haskell off the ball and preventing England from taking a quick drop-out. Owens did not produce a card.

    But of course Louis Picamoles got a yellow card for what amounted to little more than a facial rub of New Zealand's captain in the quarterfinal of this World Cup. New Zealand were in danger of running up 70 points that day. Their rugby was quite beautiful, but it is not Owens job to stand and admire. He let a couple of things go that he had no business ignoring.

    There are many sides who will say they dread Owens being put in charge of the All Blacks. Australia will say it. France will say it. England will say it, not forgetting the try Owens awarded to Aaron Cruden at Twickenham almost exactly a year ago when he failed to ground the ball over the line. Ireland will say it.

    The men in green long remember the end to that fateful match when Owens coached McCaw back onside and then penalised the Ireland player for not staying on his feet as he fell into the hole that McCaw had left. It was a quite extraordinary piece of reffing.

    Now some may argue that McCaw has earned such mana and I have much sympathy for that point of view. McCaw's humility in public and utter dignity on the rare occasions that New Zealand have lost mean that many officials are almost proud to have refereed the man.

    I have argued for a couple of years now that McCaw's greatest contribution to his team since the last World Cup is his captaincy. He is a colossal leader off the pitch. And once the game is under way McCaw's influence on referees is undeniable. Even staunch Republicans are unlikely to diss the Queen on the steps of Buckingham Palace and McCaw commands similar respect once he is on a rugby pitch.

    But it is a huge problem for Michael Cheika and one that I am quite sure he is aware of. One of the biggest problems he had when he took over was the lack of leadership and respect in the team. There has been the 'toxic' era of Robbie Deans and the Di Patston farce of Ewen Mackenzie's time as coach.

    The rugby team has had as much continuity as Australia's government who have had five prime ministers since 2011. Since the last World Cup the Wallabies have been captained by James Horwill, Will Genia, David Pocock, Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Nathan Sharpe, Stephen Moore and Dean Mumm, in no particular order. The contrast with the All Blacks continuity in their chain of command could scarcely be greater.

    Cheika has brought back respect by making Moore, who is old school, his leader. The appointment has come with a huge upside, but none of Australia's captains have been particularly skilled in the art of talking round referees. From Pocock's wide-eyed amazement to Moore's polite nag, they lack Richie's mana.

    And they really, really lack it with Owens. Australia lost to Argentina when Owens was in charge and they couldn't score a point against the All Blacks in 2012. When playing outside Australia under Owens, the Wallabies have not won in six attempts. The Green and Gold website calculates that Australia scores an average of 10 fewer points than under other refs and concedes almost four more penalties than the opposition. Cheika's biggest challenge this week is to make plans for Nigel.

    In contrast the All Blacks have won 12 matches in a row with Owens in charge. Or should I say Richie.
    He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

    Comment


      #17
      I-like-Cake

      So there is No ref on Saturday only two assistants and TMO???

      That will be new. McCaw gets away with murder persistently offside and in at the side but somehow most Refs are suffering from one eye disease with him. The new fella to replace him Kane has also the same abilities. Most Refs don't referee NZ because of the probable fallout

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by Ragusa View Post
        I-like-Cake

        So there is No ref on Saturday only two assistants and TMO???

        That will be new. McCaw gets away with murder persistently offside and in at the side but somehow most Refs are suffering from one eye disease with him. The new fella to replace him Kane has also the same abilities. Most Refs don't referee NZ because of the probable fallout

        Except that is incorrect.

        In his last 40 Tests since winning the World Cup Mc Caw has averaged 1.48 Penalties a Game.

        In his last 20 Tests this has increased to 1.7 and in his last 10 tests it is up as High as 2 Penalties per match.


        Those figures are a good bit higher than Hooper, Burger, Warburton, Dusautoir and Robshaw.

        In fact he is close to double the figure of Robshaw, Warburton and Dusautoir.


        He received a Yellow Card this RWC for an absolutely stupid act but in general his Yellow Card count is not high.


        Those Stats are from espnscrum.com


        So Refs are not blind to him.

        Comment


          #19
          You and your facts.
          Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by CorcĂ­och View Post
            Except that is incorrect.

            In his last 40 Tests since winning the World Cup Mc Caw has averaged 1.48 Penalties a Game.

            In his last 20 Tests this has increased to 1.7 and in his last 10 tests it is up as High as 2 Penalties per match.


            Those figures are a good bit higher than Hooper, Burger, Warburton, Dusautoir and Robshaw.

            In fact he is close to double the figure of Robshaw, Warburton and Dusautoir.


            He received a Yellow Card this RWC for an absolutely stupid act but in general his Yellow Card count is not high.


            Those Stats are from espnscrum.com


            So Refs are not blind to him.
            So Refs are not blind to him as much anymore. However unless my eyes used to deceive me McCaw used to get away with blue murder at ruck & tackle while in the same game his opposite number used to get reffed off the park. I remember seeing this happen a good few times versus Ireland when David Wallace was openside.

            Also just cos McCaw now gets around the same number of penalties per game as other back rows only means he is being treated equally assuming he actually commits penalty offences no more frequently than those players. I'm not overly convinced of this however after watching NZ v SA last saturday. It seemed to me that when NZ are under pressure they commit fouls and give away penos quite deliberately as opposed to conceding scores in play. In that case even if Mccaw is getting as many penos blown against him these days as other flankers e.g. Berger say, it could mean he is still getting a pet ride from the refs, if in fact he is fouling at twice the rate, which is not at all unlikely imho.

            The best foul I ever saw him get away with was when the opposing team (I think it was Wales) were all over them and were setting up manic rucks gradually advancing on the NZ try line. Finally when Wales got to within 5m of the NZ line , and looked certain to score a try from this ruck or the next, the bould Richie went in on his honkers right into the welsh side of the ruck under the cover of a welsh forward. So all the ref really saw was a welsh player falling into a ruck off his feet, and the ball not coming back, meanwhile the black jackal had slipped in, under cover of a red jersey and fouled and tied up the ball , so that the ref gave a scrum instead of a nearly definite Welsh try.

            Brilliant, infuriating for anyone not from NZ watching, but brilliant nonetheless. He was a class jackal and an even better cheater!!
            Last edited by Daithi; 28th-October-2015, 00:02.
            ____________________________________________
            Munster were great when they were Munster.

            alas they are just north munster now.......
            ____________________________________________

            Comment


              #21
              Ah, FFS. Look, Wally was a great, but McCaw is the greatest player of all. Of course he could do things Wally couldn't. He reinvented the entire way everyone plays at the breakdown because of his jackalling ability.

              Just accept: everyone does it, he's just better at it and so damn good at it that half the time he's actually legal. We just can't believe anyone can be that good, so assume everything's illegal and there must be a fix. Well, he is, it's not, and there isn't.
              Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

              Comment


                #22
                A better question would be whether other players get away with as much as McCaw does. I think we all watch games and see open sides in particular skirt the laws - McCaw might be a bit better at it, but in general that type of player gets away with a lot. Warburton, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Pocock - some are better jackals than others, but all have plenty of moments they could be pinged but aren't.

                Comment


                  #23
                  I've no idea why people have this issue with McCaw, he is a wonderful player. Best of all time and deserves to retire with another RWC trophy imo
                  My computer thinks I'm gay
                  What's the difference anyway
                  When all the people do all day
                  Is stare into a phone

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Last edited by Boo-boo; 28th-October-2015, 09:09.
                    Tic-Toc. POC and DOC. Stop the clock.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Ban him, stone the b******d, stone him I say.

                      Blatant take out of the opposition flanker after he pilfered the NZ ball.... shocking ;),ban the b******d! :-)
                      ____________________________________________
                      Munster were great when they were Munster.

                      alas they are just north munster now.......
                      ____________________________________________

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Boobs, when did you morph into The Manatee?
                        The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by The Word Is Born View Post
                          Boobs, when did you morph into The Manatee?
                          I'm afraid you have lost me on that reference. explain please or I will just presume you are calling me a big fat (though graceful) sea cow.:D
                          Tic-Toc. POC and DOC. Stop the clock.

                          Comment


                            #28

                            The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Boo you're a bit behind the times. He was cleared to play in the final.
                              "Strike me flamin' handsome!!!" - Alf Stewart

                              His body is only a fuel tank for his micky - a work colleague talking about a fella he knows.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by sewa View Post
                                I've no idea why people have this issue with McCaw, he is a wonderful player. Best of all time and deserves to retire with another RWC trophy imo
                                He's a fantastic openside and leader but by jaysus he's as cynical a player as you'll ever see. He will do whatever it takes to slow down opposition ball and for years it really pissed people off that he seemed to get away with far more than anybody else, especially when defending his own line. His reputation and his position as AB captain seemed to protect him. Refs tended to always give him the benefit of the doubt and/or were almost afraid to penalise him, let alone bin him for persistent infringing.

                                All of that meant he was simultaneously admired and disliked by many opposition supporters but these days he's getting away with far far less than he used to. He has slowed down a little bit and the aura of infallibility is gone.

                                I'll always rate him as one of the best ever, and as a young (and not so young) seven myself I learned a huge amount from watching him. But I'll still roar abuse at the telly if Nigel lets him get up to his old tricks on Saturday. :D

                                Comment

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