Another world cup rugby player is apparently facing a $10,000 fine for wearing an unapproved mouth guard. In other such autocratic actions, helicopters have been warned about flying too close to the stadium as the logos of their owners are “unauthorised” advertising.
While the IRB seems so perfect in such matters, they’d managed more than a few wrong calls on management, most notably by allowing a NZ referee (Bryce Lawrence) to referee the Australia Ireland game, and also (IMHO) in allowing Lawrence a role in reffing any game at RWC.
Lawrence has never been up to the standard required to ref at such a level, and this fact has become painfully obvious during the tournament, as Lawrence has gone from bad to worse.
Thankfully, Lawrence’s role at the tournament appears to be over, but questions remain over why the IRB management, viciously effective in matters of mouth guards, took no action to remedy the appalling deficiencies in Lawrence’s refereeing.
Bad rules and bad refereeing have had too much of an effect on the outcomes of too many games.
So who is accountable at the IRB? I know Paddy O’Brien is responsible for referee selection, so he has to go.
I don’t know what other management structures exist at the IRB, but if it was up to me, I’d fire the lot of them for their rank incompetence in setting regulations that have allowed doubtful refereeing decisions to decide too many matches.
Rugby games should not be decided by the capricious calls of incompetent and erratic referees, who by their inconsistencies set up a playing environment that confuses and discourages the players. In many cases poor refereeing has undermined the momentum or completely destroyed the playing confidence of a team.
I’ve complained for years about referees “managing” rugby games. The appalling situation at the RWC proves I was dead right.