Referees and rules are destroying rugby. The IRB is a bureaucratic disaster and should be disbanded. One of the worst outcomes of its management is that games are now won or lost based on the capricious judgments of referees and their wildly changing approaches to the rules. Very few referees do a good job. A few do, but too many are hopeless, and the most hopeless of all IMHO is Bryce Lawrence.
Way back when Lawrence made his debut into upper level rugby, I laughed when I heard him complaining about Andrew Merhtens constantly sledging him during the game.
Lawrence claimed that after one decision that upset Canterbury, Merhtens said loudly- “Don’t worry guys, he’ll be back reffing second division next weekend”
Well, he should have been, but sadly he’s moved on upwards and is now a top official at the world cup. What a disaster. I reckon Lawrence is the worst referee there, and with Stuart Dickinson also present, that’s saying something.
Its only my humble opinion of course, but Lawrence, Dickinson and Steve Walsh are the three worst referees in the tournament, and I’d put Lawrence as the worst of them all. They make the game difficult to watch. If not impossible.
Lawrence is averaging 6.3 scrum resets per game. This is the highest number of resets per game for any ref in the RWC.
For scrum penalties, Lawrence is 3rd highest in the RWC with 4.3 per game.
Here though is the killer statistic- During Lawrence’s three Wallabies games the penalty count is 33 awarded to the opposition and 18 awarded to the Wallabies. This is a figure that has to say something about his judgment.
The Daily Telegraph reports today the Lawrence himself has admitted to many mistakes-
Many of the Kiwi referee’s decisions in the 15-6 win by Ireland at Eden Park – particularly at the scrum – appeared to baffle the Wallabies, and allowed Ireland to knock over decisive penalties or repel Australian pressure.
But in a crucial twist, The Daily Telegraph understands Lawrence later made admissions he had got several calls wrong at the scrum – including one that led to an Ireland penalty goal – and conceded other decisions were also inaccurate.
Lawrence needs to up his standards for the Aussie Springboks game tomorrow, but I don’t think he can. As Merhtens said way back, he’s only ever going to be a second rater. Shouldn’t ever have made it to the world cup.
Update 1: Another disastrous error filled display that made a farce of the game of rugby. Lawrence should be fired along with the IRB officials who appointed him to officiate at a level that is obviously far beyond his capabilities. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t let him ref a district high school final.