On the rarest occasion, a ref gets the gold gilted invitation to an RFU Disciplinary Panel…
A referee is the sole, independent, arbitrator of fact. Unless the referee is wholly incompetent, his word almost beyond contestation.
And so to the oak panelled walls of the regional RFU hearing, with intense and large figures sitting on the judging panel. The sort of characters you could easily vision sat beside an open fire, slippers on, pipe in hand, setting the world to rights…
The case in question is the punch/stamp/kick/headbutt witnessed and the player dismissed. A clear cut case. Player A punches player B, knocking him to the floor. It’s off the ball and in front of the ref. Yet player A is now calling foul! “I was innocent gov’nor, honest…we have witnesses”.
Indeed their defence is based on clutching at very thin straws. The same straw one assumes that the first little piggy built his house from…
Witness A. What did you observe? “well the ref wasnt looking. He was facing the other way when player A punched player B. There is no way he saw it. I cant believe he sent him off. Disgraceful”. Panel: “So witness you’re saying the ref did not see any foul play?”
“No way. Only I was in position to see the punch, that wasn’t thrown, that knocked the other player to the floor…”.
Panel “So, what action did your club take as a result of the Red Card for foul play?” Club: “Oh we banned them we did. Bang out of order punching and red cards. Big on discipline are we as a club.”
“Right. So you’ve pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ but you banned the player for the punch?!”
“Damn right. But obviously they are innocent….”
I think what surprised everyone was discovering the victim of the punch accidently volunteered some damning evidence earlier in the evening during an unrelated matter, and the fact that several independent witnesses appeared who had seen the punch and the referees positive actions! Oops!
Coaches and player have to become responsible for their actions.
Stop trying to find fault with the ref. This is rugby god damn it, not football.
You wanna give me attitude…?