Mr. Scott Young (Australia)
Is it just me, or is it strange to watch an afternoon game after the all the evening games of the Super 12?
The main thing to say about Mr. Young is if it was a choice between he and Andrae Watson, well... it would be hard to choose!
I don't say this lightly, but obviously being Australian is not enough to make you an excellent referee. The excellence of Mr. Wayne Ericsson had led me astray!
Not that Mr. Young was doing too many things wrong until the incredible rolling maul decision late in the first half. The darn thing never stopped!
I think that Mr. Young must have just got bored. I don't think that there is a ruling that says that you can't drive a rolling maul all the way to the try line. (There are probably IRB people who would like to make it so, but that's not the point!)
And I certainly hope that there isn't a rule that says. "Do whatever you want, for whatever reason, for you are the Referee!"
So it remains a mystery!
There were a couple of interesting things that Mr. Young did in the rest of the game.
He said that he wasn't prepared to stop the game for a winger. This was in response to the Scots not wanting to continue with a scrum while a Scottish winger had an injury treated. Well I certainly can't see much wrong with that. The Scots wouldn't have been happy, but it makes a reasonable amount of sense.
"Just get it in." spoken unto a Half-back who was stuffing around beside a scrum. Again, this is the sort of thing one hears often at Cone Stadium. Nice to hear it from the Ref for a change.
One real problem with Mr. Young's game was that he wasn't too good with forward passes. He did finally see one in the second half! It didn't make much difference to the game, as the passes were being made by both sides.
And what the hell was happening with the penalties. ABs 12, Scotland 2. I didn't even see the second one for the Scots!
Such an unusual thing to see a side pinged so much and be winning.
There were 6 for being offside, most of those were around the ruck and maul.
Two each for "hands in the ruck", and "playing the ball on the ground" - although one of those was Toddy picking up the ball after tackling somebody, before a maul started. There wasn't a hell of a lot wrong with that one!
There was also a "jersey pulling" and some other professional foul (at the end) that I didn't see. Professional fouls are the most cynical thing you can do on the Rugby field, and I am disappointed that the ABs committed two.
In fact all of the penalties were somewhere close to a break down. Coincidence? Probably not.
Scotland had the ball a lot, and they lost it a heck of a lot as well. So I guess if you are busy taking the ball off your opposition you are mighty close to infringing.
Overall Mr. Young was slightly less interesting to watch than the Scotland backline.
This means two things:
1. He faded into the background enough to be forgettable - not a bad thing for a Referee.
2. We are bound to see him again in the Tri Nations.
Great, just what we needed, an Australian version of Andrae Watson!