TriNations : Game 1
Mr. Andre Watson
It's Tri Nations time again, and along with the hype, the excitement, and the sheer joy of living, comes Andre Watson.
Andre is like tomato stains on your white shirt when you eat pasta. You can see it coming, you try really hard, but just as you relax and start to enjoy, he gets you!
If only we could dab a little pre-wash remover on Mr. Watson. Hell... it's worth a try!
But thankfully Mr. Watson is one of those little annoyances that don't have too much of an overall effect.
In fact we are extremely lucky! It never fails to amaze me how truly disastrous Mr. Watson could be. Think... English Referee!
There is one thing that Mr. Watson did really badly, and that was rushing over the advantage line. This meant that he wasn't in position to see the behind the back forward passes that Gregan kept making.
At one stage in the second half, during an Australian advance, there was a forward pass, accidental offside and then a knock on, all in a matter of 15 seconds, and all of which Mr. Watson was blissfully unaware!
It seems that Mr. Watson is willing to give the attacking team the benefit of the doubt. I guess that this is understandable.
The modern game is very fast, however the Eye-to-Whistle coordination isn't as easy to improve. Referees have had to make quicker decisions to keep up.
We discussed the result of this last week: Mr. Erickson faster decisions, through backing his first impression. Mr. O'Brien faster advantage, giving himself time to decide what to do.
Mr. Watson hasn't the same intelligence as Erickson, nor is he as comfortable with advantage as O'Brien. To cope, Mr. Watson appears to reduce the choices.
Say that roughly 50% of "turn overs" are the result of defensive infringing. Then about 25% each, attacking mistakes, and defending brilliance.
If you assume that most attacking mistakes are blatantly obvious / seen by the Touch Judge, then the majority of the rest are infringements!
Combine this with Mr. Watson's personality (minute, but there is one!) and you get a real advantage to the attacking team.
This is how you can have Norm Maxwell "personal fouled" (to use a Basketball term) off the field.
Once Mr. Watson had Maxwell's number, that was entered into the equation as well, "Watch number 5!"
Getting told off for tackling Gregan without the ball was the worst example of this. Randell had already moved offside and Maxi was joining the fun.
By the time Randell had seen that the ball wasn't out, and was counting down the micro-seconds until the whistle went he was shielding view of the ball from Norm. Norm did what Norm does, tackle the helpless pseudo forward!
Does Randell get told off? Oh no, at the next break down when Maxi gets pinged for lazy running - again, Watson complains to Toddy that Maxi should get his cannon tightened!-)
Were you worried about lazy running? I thought that the first one looked fairly soft. You could see Norm g