Friday 12th May & Saturday 20th May
Andrae Watson & Mr. Wayne Erickson
Andrae "is" worthy to shine Mr. Erickson's boots, and I hope SANZR will see the light and give him that job! I don't think it likely though. You don't get to be a Super 12 Referee if you are completely useless, but I'm not sure that continued competence is a requirement!
Lets go back to the Brumbies game. What a performance! I bet that Mr Watson is quite chuffed about that one. It's a real pity that everyone else is really annoyed with him!
What a haul of penalties we had. Mr Watson didn't miss much. In fact he even saw a few things that didn't even happen!
Not that this is too unusual, a Ref would need to have x-ray vision to see what's happening in most rucks and mauls. Mr. Watson just seems to decide sooner than most, that the ball isn't coming out.
Sometimes the ball is genuinely trapped, but most often for him, it is coming in just a few more seconds!!!!!
Still he never lets himself get riled, which is an incredibly good thing. Justin Marshall certainly thought he was gone for all money after letting Mr. Watson know that he might have erred a little with that "Maul is stationary - use the ball" decision.
Perhaps the maul did stutter a bit, but it sure sorted its life out. At no time was there evidence that the Brumbies had gained ascension and that the maul was in danger of ending up on our 22!
It was a very poor decision by Referee Watson.
Thankfully he doesn't do things in 3's. So we only had a penalty and a marching back 10 for questioning it. No-one else doubted that Marshall was going to be sin-binned... except Mr. Watson.
The out burst by Marshall ranks just behind that of a recent one of Toddy's for incredulity of Referee's decision. Many wondered why Mr. O'Brien let Todd get away with it, everyone was dumbstruck that Mr. Watson was so lenient!
Still Marshall was called to task by the Crusaders Franchise, and he did make a public apology, so I guess that everybody has ended up doing the right thing.
Now if only Andrae Watson could do the thing right!
Wayne Erickson was a joy to have as Referee. Sure the embankment crowd didn't always agree with his decisions, but we don't expect miracles.
He handed out final warnings that would have satisfied Employment Lawyers! In fact he even gave a new final warning to the new Highlanders Prop, who hadn't been there to get the previous one.
How can a guy be even more technically correct than Andrae and not piss everybody off? I really don't know, but I hope that Andrae Watson was taking notes!
Mr. Erickson referees with more finesse in general, and more restraint at ruck and maul time.
I never wish to see a Referee respond to Justin Marshall's urging, with "By golly Justin... you are correct! I will award a penalty immediately!" And with the likes of Wayne Erickson, you know that he won't.
But with Mr. Watson... well there is enough doubt to cause a wee bit of "concern" to form in the back of your mind. The sort of "worry" that makes your beer taste off, and Mark Ellis look like a safe choice for the ABs midfield!
Having Mr. Erickson in charge of a game lets you get on with the important concerns, where is the next beer coming from, and is there enough time left for the Crusaders to get another try?
Talking about worry... let us see... Paddy O'Brien was officiating the Brumbies / Cats semi, and Wayne Erickson the other!
That leaves me with a sinking feeling that there will a South African in charge of the Final!
LORD GOD NOOOOOOOO!! (Amen)