Jade Stadium @ Lancaster Park
7:35 pm (that's 9:30 am in South Africa - think it made any difference to the Bulls performance? - Nah... I didn't think so either.)
Mr. Wayne Ericsson (Australia)
As might be expected from a referee of Mr. Ericsson's ability, I didn't have a hell of a lot of notes about him.
The most amazing thing that I learnt during the match is that he was once a Prop. This must have been before he grew a neck!
It wasn't stated to what level Mr. Ericsson played as prop, but I think that I have heard this before. The other time the commentator was saying that this would give Mr. Ericsson an insight into the mysteries of the front row.
I'm not all that sure how much being a prop once would help - I was a prop when I first played rugby at age 8 - I enjoyed it so much that it was also the last position that I played!
Well presumably Mr. Ericsson played prop 'til he was at least 10, and learnt about propping the hard way.
He certainly wasn't taking any prisoners on Friday night. He gave those front rowers a good talking to on several occasions, and even had a talk to their captains about it.
He was using the crouch and hold technique, but I won't bore you with that criticism again!
The other thing he was doing was telling the front rows exactly what he was looking for. This is a damn good thing to do, if you can keep you instructions to one word syllables.
So what he was asking for was "heads (and shoulders) above hips". I think that such an instruction was a real shock to both packs, as they complied with it.
Shock treatment is after all the only real way to get through to a prop!
The other moment of minor excitement for scrums was a Crusaders' lock being told to shut up - it seemed that Mr. Ericsson could see what was going on, and didn't require instructions from the players on how to rule. I hope that any Super 12 half backs watching took note!
Well the game was fairly close for at least 15 minutes, and after that it all got a bit one sided (except for that record run of 3 Bull's tries in the second half).
In the second half Mr. Ericsson's job got so easy that he started looking like the Bulls' grandmother - the Bulls would get the ball, Kock (sic) it up, and Mr. Ericsson would rush in and apologise to the Crusaders.
Yep! it wasn't pretty, but if it had to be a 75 - 27 thrashing, then I (for one) am just willing to accept it!
Only the Waratahs and the Brumbies left. I am looking for two wins, for a well deserved home semi, and final.
But I will be happy with 2nd place, if it gives us a home semi against the Blues. We already know what happens in those games!!!
Go the Crusaders!!!!!