The Aussies have finally figured out what we have known all along, Bryce Lawrence is a poor referee.
New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence has fallen foul with Australian fans after his controlling of the Wallabies’ shock Rugby World Cup loss to Ireland last night.
Wallabies fans took to Twitter to display their angst while one Australian writer questioned the New Zealander’s role in Ireland’s 15-6 victory at Eden Park.
It was Lawrence’s policing of the scrums in last night’s clash that seemed to rile Australian fans the most.
David Flatman took to Twitter saying that Lawrence was guessing in his rulings of the scrums.
“Ref guessing at scrum time for that penalty. Happy for Ireland but horrid, horrid refereeing,” he wrote.
Scott Whale wrote: “That ref was disgusting. Too much dazzle dazzle boys and not enough straight up play. Well done Ireland. Good wake up call for my #Wallabies”.
While Will Jones really didn’t like what he saw Tweeting: “I really hate Kiwi refs..
I swear he was watching a different game #AUSvIRE #rwc2011″.
Last night’s match was Lawrence’s 19th test in charge since making his debut with the whistle in 2005.
It was his second match of the tournament after refereeing England’s opening clash against Argentina in which he raised eyebrows by sending English prop Dan Cole to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
He is however rated as one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere after taking control of the Super 15 final between the Reds and Crusaders.
It wasn’t just Australian fans questioning Lawrence’s performance last night with The Australian’s Wayne Smith suggesting the Wallabies’ downfall was aided by Ireland’s ‘management’ of Lawrence.
“James O’Connor landed only two goals from four attempts in the first half, the first of them coming just 10 minutes into the match where the Irish scrum deliberately conceded a penalty from a scrum straight in front of their own posts rather than risk conceding a try,” he wrote.
“It was a strategy they were to employ throughout the night, and not just at scrum time, and the Australians were barely able to contain their frustration at times.
“But not for the first time in this tournament they were given a lesson in how to manage the referee.”
APNZ’s Michael Brown said in his match report that Lawrence was premature in calling penalties.
“It wasn’t necessarily a match of great quality and referee Bryce Lawrence’ constant and premature blasts on the whistle meant the game rarely found any fluidity. But it was absorbing and will be the most talked about game so far,” he wrote.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans however was gracious in defeat.
“We have to live with the ref’s calls. And tonight we didn’t,” he told media following his side’s loss.