Home Opinion Time for World Rugby to sort out it’s house

Time for World Rugby to sort out it’s house


It is time now that World Rugby put on their big-boy pants and do actually what they are suppose to do and manage the game of rugby.

Rugby as a whole is struggling at the moment with supporters getting tired of the circus that is going on in the game.

Today alone we saw in three test matches 5 yellow cards and 1 red card in three test matches.

The problem in most cases is that these cards are spoiling the game which fans pay allot of money to watch at the stadiums and at home.

The problem is not the referees giving the cards but the law that force them to dish out these cards.

The red card in the All Blacks v France test was the right decision by the referee. Barrett was played in the air and he fell on his shoulder/head.

The problem is like with all red cards in the game, took the contest out of what suppose to be a brilliant match.

Now my problem is why World Rugby cannot make some simple changes to the game?

For instance, if a player receive a red card then send him off but a simple solution will be to replace him after ten minutes with a replacement player.

This will keep the game a contest which is something fans, players and coaches wanted.

In the Australia v Ireland game the Aussies we saw another problem within the rules of the game.

The Aussies got a penalty try for the Irish collapsing, it was a fair call from the referee. The problem here is that the referee must then give a yellow card for the player as well.

Why punish the defending team twice. Is the penalty try not a punishment enough?

Beside these two examples most of the cards are been given out by referees but it is nowhere consistent from match to match or sometimes even in the same match.

The standard of refereeing this whole season has been poor and not just in our Super Rugby but also up north.

Stadiums are running empty and if World Rugby think that fans will keep on supporting mediocre performances by referees, they are in for a huge surprise.

This needs to be addressed now and changes need to be made before next years world cup.

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  1. Jacques,
    I have no problem with sending off a player. Before the card system it was already there. The problem is not the sending off, it is the justifications of it these days. Referees are reluctant because “it might spoil the contest”. I will call the bullshit in that.

    Previously a player was only sent off for throwing a punch. Long ago that was pretty much if you threw a punch, whether it hit the target or not. Then referees starting looking at whether it made contact. That is where the problem came in. The question wasn’t whether you are a shitty boxer, it is the intent. We saw that bullshit in the Springbok game. When the TMO was asked to review, the referee specifically asked whether any force was used. WTF? Vunipolo showed his intent. That is all that matter.

    A further example is the tip tackle in the Wallabies vs Ireland game. The Irish player was clearly driven into the ground. The fact that he tried to protect himself is irrelevant. If he didn’t extend his elbow, his head, neck & shoulder would have hit the ground first. The referee again acted on IRB instructions instead of looking at the intent of the tackle. The law is simple, do not lift beyond the horizontal (yellow) and do not drive into ground/bring down safely (red card).

    Get that type of player off the playing field. If the intent is not to play within the laws, then you should not be on the field, whether it spoils the contest or not.

    As for your suggestion to have the player replaced, that is not an option as it will open up a huge can of worms. You will get players being picked in the starting line up, with the intent and instructions to take out key players of the opposition.

    The focus on contact with the neck is another one that the IRB royally screwed up. In the case of tackles, it should be very simple. It does not matter where it started, if it slips up above the shoulders it is high. Now the referees have to focus on every tackle in detail and as a result other things are missed. When a referee has to ask a TMO whether there was contact with the neck or head, it should already tell you that the contact was too high to start with. What is the use of teaching youngsters to tackle low, when they see the professional teams doing it otherwise.

    I didn’t have time to watch any of the U20 WC and would be very interested on the effects of the law trial in tackling went there.

  2. Referees are reluctant because “it might spoil the contest”.

    You’re totally missing the point.

    The point is NOT the system of red carding.

    The point is that the individual transgression of one player in a singular desperate moment fucks the game up for all the players and for spectators and for television rights.

    What Jacques is CORRECTLY saying is hat it stuffs the whole game up for everyone. Oh yes you may see some plucky desperation grind out a desperate win or plucky defensive effort like the Lions pulled beating the Hurricanes in 2008 or the Brumbies against the Bulls this year but truth be told nobody keeps watching a game where there is 14-15.

    What Jacques is saying is that like with dope tests you punish the player not the team. There already exists penalties for individual players and mechanisms to use them.

    The team should not be punished. It is akin to having a player prove positive for dope and then docking the whole team points because of that player’s taking drugs. It’s stupid.

    Even yellow cards have been shown to be crucial in games. The Lions have had some desperate escapes this season solely because opponents got given yellows at crucial moments. This is not the game. Punish the player and not the team.

    Even THIS application is sometimes ridiculous like in cases of a collapsed maul or scrum and ridiculous “team warning” system.


    I agree with Jacques.

    Scotland Yard needs to investigate refreees for corruption and WR needs to relook its rules.

    ps my friend… a LONG time ago in the 1960s the refs did nothing. The players beat each other up on the field and there was no sending off. Guys like Colin Meads played games against the Springboks with a broken rib Jaap Bekker gave him in a lineout. And Boy Louw played on with a concussion after a very hard punch to the head. Theye were much much harder boys and truth be told the game seemed better those days.

  3. World Rugby cannot even deal with the simple upholding of one of their constitutions ie there should be no racial discrimination in the game… how are they to come up with a less subjective refereeing handbook.

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