Bloody late at night
Referee: Andre Watson
Really Andre, its been too long! Serves me right for complaining about Paddy!
Haven't seen too much from the great South African 2nd string ref recently - thank the Deity for that!
Mr. Watson isn't really too bad... but then he isn't too go either.
I would say that with his surname, it's odds on that he has English ancestors. Anyway it shows in his referee performance. Very English referee like.
It was a standard sort of game for a Referee. Mr. Watson played lots of advantage, wasn't getting much help from the scrums, and had quite a few obvious things to give penalties for.
A couple of different things:
The Reds forwards were penalised for barging into Crusaders players at the edge of the ruck. I've been wanting to see this for the last couple of weeks. Blowing over the top of the ruck is fine, it is an indiscriminant defence of the ruck, and a sensible precaution to protect the ball. But when you are deliberately taking someone out - that's tackling without the ball and it isn't on.
Laying all over the tackler. Mr. Watson to Red forward. "You were trying to slow it down - and you were successful!" - penalty!
Foul play off the ball. Mr. Watson always takes the time to stamp down on any silliness. It is one of the English like aspects of his game - but very sensible. The way that he stops a perfectly free flowing part of a game to speak to two (or more) players who are taking a bit of time out in "Thug Heaven" is a bit pedantic.
We don't need fighting in the game, and I would rather stop a potentially good move than have to come back a minute or so later for a talk to the line judge. I don't think that anyone likes enjoys those little talks.
6 minutes of injury time - I don't remember anyone dying! I'm sure that it was the amount of actually stoppage time, it can soon add up.
This must be the reason that many Referees hurry injured players off the field now. The replacement laws allow for the game to continue while the injury is taken care of.
This is something that Mr. Watson should have a look at, and see if he can find a way of sensibly reducing the stoppage time.
I have confidence in you Mr. Watson. I'm sure that you can apply your mild, pedantic mind to the stoppage problem and sort it out!
Comments about the game:
You can imagine the half-time enjoyment at Cone Stadium. The first half had been such fun, and we had a Queensland supporter in attendance!
The only good thing about an ordinary game, is when both sides are playing ordinary, and it sort of evens out (ie, your side isn't getting dicked). Thank goodness the second half was better for the Crusaders.
My real worry about the game was that we couldn't get the fourth try. Still you can't sniff at a second away win - just ask the Sharks!