Cito da www.sareferees.co.za
South Africa lost their RWC quarterfinal with Australia 11-9 on Sunday despite dominating almost all of the match. This has led to loud condemnation of the performance of New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence. There are some things he did not do.
We could make a list of things he did not do.
Bryce Lawrence did not
* miss a kick at goal;
* knock on close to the Wallaby line;
* pass forward;
* pull a line-out jumper's leg while he was airborne
* try to run the ball up from his own line and lose it
* tackle a Springbok, as the Wallabies did 147 times.
Bryce Lawrence did none of those telling things that had a serious effect on the game. Other people did those things for better or worse. Some of them had a winning or losing effect on the game. If the referee erred, he was not alone in doing so.
Let's look at some other things that Bryce Lawrence did not do.
He did not
* penalise much - just 10 times in the match. That was the second lowest number of penalties of any match in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. South Africa were penalised six times, Australia four times. The lowest was nine when New Zealand played Canada.
It is fewer penalties than in other World Cup matches Lawrence refereed.
England vs Argentina: 27
Australia vs Ireland: 20
Fiji vs Samoa: 14
Australia vs Russia: 13
There is not necessarily a virtue in fewer penalties unless the low number of penalties is thanks to player compliance and/or referee management.
* penalise much at the tackle - each side just three times.
In this match this was certainly not a virtue as in many cases the tackle area became a free for all, to the detriment of the game. This was probably the weakest part of Lawrence's performance and the one that caused most anger.
* penalise a high tackle which was obvious to the spectator, not necessarily to the referee.
* allow Australia a rekick after they missed a conversion which South Africa had charged early.
In South Africa the criticism of Lawrence's refereeing has made headline news, much as the unpunished forward pass cause anger and made headline news in New Zealand in 2007.
South Africa had its own commentators at the World Cup and much of the criticism echoed the commentator's criticism of Lawrence's refereeing. That may mean the criticism was fuelled by the commentators but unfair or that the criticism was justified and that the criticisms were formed from observation.
On Facebook a petition to have Lawrence removed from refereeing had will over 40 000 signatories.
Conspiracy theories against surfaced, going back to the e-mails between Lawrence's father Keith and his Australian counterpart a few years ago in which they proposed collaboration to get the 'japies'. There was a suggestion that Lawrence was protecting New Zealand from a clash with South Africa. That sort of thing.
The anger and criticism at the refereeing will not change the result and is not the first outburst of South African anger at what a referee has done or not done. It is not healthy and not good for refereeing. It is the first real refereeing controversy of the World Cup, coming just after the manager of the International Rugby Board's referees, Paddy O'Brien, had praised the performances of his referees in 40 pool matches. That there was so little controversy is not surprising as the 10 referees had been chosen after careful scrutiny over four years or more. They were experts at their job. Then the matches, bar two, were played in a fine spirit with acceptance of refereeing decisions.
All of this applied to Lawrence as well - one of the chosen 10 with four praiseworthy performances in the World Cup before this one.
Just one little cautionary thought: did the referee go into the match with a preconceived plan to have few penalties and create a spectacle of free-flowing rugby? If that were the case then it would be folly surely not a part of a top referee's make-up and planning. It is not an honest way to approach a game.
However we look at it, the rights and wrongs of the criticism it is not a good day for the rugby, for refereeing, for the World Cup and for South African attitudes - sportsmanship and that sort of good manners.
Sono ovviamente d'accordo con l'articolo. Devo dire che anche dopo aver rivisto la partita mi e' sembrato che abbia sbagliato piu' a favore dell'Australia, anche se in buona fede, che a favore del SA, cosa che puo' essere ovvia visto che il SA ha avuto maggior possesso, come sottolinea giustamente Diddi. Soprattutto nella questione delle mani in mischia aperta. Va detto che un giocatore che mette le mani sulla palla prima che la mischia aperta sia formata puo' continuare a giocare la palla con le mani anche dopo che la ruck si forma, a meno che l'arbitro non dica "no hands", a me sembra che un paio di volte Pocock esageri, cosi' come Elsom (mi sembra) in una situazione sulla linea di meta australiana. Prendo spunto dall'articolo per dire che per quanto mi riguarda cerchero' d'ora in poi di limitare le critiche agli arbitri agli aspetti veramente tecnici, e assumero' un linguaggio piu' neutro e piu' sereno.