Mr. Wayne Erickson
Mr. Erickson was nice to his fellow Referees - by having a less than excellent game!
At the least I am now able to see a real difference between him and Paddy O'Brien... more about that later.
Overall Mr. Erickson had a very good game. He gave his usual special attention to scrums, and spent quite a bit of time teaching everyone how to set a lineout.
He was his usual self in telling players not to winge to him. "I'm quite aware of that! I'm trying to set a lineout!"
And the trend of last week hadn't changed, the ABs were pinged continuously. A couple were pretty soft: like Thorn initially playing the ball on the ground - wouldn't you if it was right there in your face! He realised after a couple of seconds and left it alone - but it was obviously enough for Scott Young, the TJ!
It seems a bit silly when the ball still came out the Scotland side! But look at it this way: should a player not be penalised for throwing a punch, if it doesn't hurt the recipient?
I counted 6 penalties in the first half (I missed 2). I got sick of it in the second half and stopped noting them down. However I think the second half was cleaner.
But the things that Mr. Erickson did wrong, were extremely annoying. He said that Iremea was in front of a Mehrtens kick, where he was well behind it.
How could Mr. Erickson tell when he was so far in front of the play. It isn't enough that one guy arrives before everyone else - some people are actually faster than other people!
And as for the short lineout throw in to Marshall - Not Straight My Arse!! That effectively screwed that play, we might never see it again... damn it!
If I can just get side tracked for a moment - There was some interesting kicking in the game. That superb low left footed kick from Mehrtens that traveled a wind assisted 70 m. You could wait a long time to see another kick as good as that one.
Then there was the unofficial kicking competition. Not the one between the players, the one between the players and the wood-work!
I noted down the scores:
Post 1 Mehrts 0
Post 2 Mehrts 0
Post 3 All Kickers 0 (the Scotland kicker had the same problem)
Post 3 Kickers 1 (Mehrts gets one over!)
Post 4 Kickers 1
The competition reasserted itself in the second half, when Tony Brown replaced Mehrts. However the cross bar obviously hadn't put in as much training as the uprights:
Cross bar 0 Brown 1
Now, back to Referees: The difference between Wayne and Paddy. It is the way they make their decisions. Although both are excellent referees, Paddy is a little less sure about his decision making. This is actually a good thing! Huh?
The mistakes that we saw in Mr. Erickson game indicate a bit of over-confidence in what he is seeing. It's fine to make good decisions quickly, but it is more important to get those decisions right.
Those TJs on the side line aren't there just to report biffo and report a missed penalty 5 minutes after it happened!
No, really, they are supposed to be watching the game too. They are usually in a better position to see forward passes, and they are certainly right there to see if the throw to a line-out is straight.
My advice to Mr. Erickson is "Doubt is your friend - it helps to prevent you from making a dick of yourself!"
Of course we all know that it is going to take a lot more than self doubt for Mr. Watson!