Lawrence of Anomaly


It’s tough at the top, or so they say. The reality is that actually it is tougher in the middle. The expectations placed on referees is growing at all levels of the game, and none more so than those lucky (?!) few who make the international grade.

Tomorrow England face Argentina in their opening World Cup clash in Dunedin. The most significant name on the team sheet is that of one Bryce Lawrence, the New Zealand referee charged with the arbitration of the match.

Normally the choice of referee is simply a matter of curiosity as a rugby fan, but this selection has some serious significance. England have NEVER won a game with Lawrence in charge. Coincidence? Maybe.

But then consider that the recent shock (but deserved) win of Italy over France in this year’s Six Nations had signore Lawrence at the helm. In matches with southern hemisphere versus northern hemisphere teams the south have always prevailed. Bias? Maybe.

Worst of all, Lawrence had the most significant impact on the 2009 British Lions tour to South Africa.

He officiated the first test so badly that most international press had a field day in criticising his quality and pedigree – he is after all the only New Zealand international referee (Steve Walsh in now Australian) and his dad was also an international referee.

He came into his own special league less than 60 seconds into the second British Lions test when he made the recommendation to yellow card Schalk Burger for eye gouging! Any under 9 player could tell you that contact with the eyes is a simple and straight red – a concept seemingly way beyond Lawrence. Incompetence? Maybe.

So tomorrow promises to be a tough day at the office for England. Even if a competent display is forthcoming will Lawrence favour the south over the north, the underdog over the favourite, as appears to have been is form for the last 3 years at International level. Anomaly? Maybe…..

8 responses »

  1. Pingback: Brought-into Disrepute « law23

  2. the blame must be laid at the door of the organisers ie. the nzrfu. to have a kiwi refereeing the game to determine who would likely face the all blacks in the next round is just plain stupid. the officiating was baised from the first ruck onwards . forwardpass my arse ,bryce ee boy, you listened to the ausie captain and fullback to get the descision. a slur has been cast on the world cup and the people of new zealandby this incompetent fool. we await his next appointment to a game in the rsa with baited breath – hopefully it will be at loftus !

  3. If any rugby player involved in the match between the Ausies and the Springboks had commited as many blatant “mistakes” as Bryce Lawrence, he would have (at the very least!!) received a red card and possibly a few weeks suspension for the repeated transgression(s). Whilst a cheat and a blatant liar like Bryce Lawrence is allowed to make (at least) 29 bad refereeing mistakes without any reprimand, penalty or other form of punishment makes an absolute farce of prominent events such as this!! It is sad to see a dominating side like the Springboks bow out of a competition (such as this) because of a sad individual like Bryce Lawrence!!! I don’t have to say anything about the two linesmen, as it was quite clear that they were keeping an eye on Lawrence in stead of watching the game!!!

  4. Bryce Lawrence – do you not feel any guilt at the way in which you refereed the game between South Africa and Australia? Do you have some pshycological hate of South Africa/South Africans? NZRFU – can you REALLY feel that this World Cup is a TRUE reflection of the worthiness of the winners? It is all a farce! And you all know it! I am sure that NOT ONE of the palyers of the “winning team” will feel that they have truly won the 2011 World Cup. Thanks to the incompetence of NZRFU/ linesmen and of the man who was supposed to be impartial – the referee BRYCE LAWRENCE. Do you know how hurt the players must feel to know that the outcome is not a true reflection. I am only sorry that Australia didn’t “go on strike” – and say that they felt that they did not win in an honest and fair manner! Bryce Lawrence, you need help! Get help and keep out of refereeing!!

  5. Can’t you gyys get on with your life – I seen a lot worse (i.e. the French referee for the New Zealand Cavaliers vs South Africa in 1986).
    Jonathan Kaplan who treats players like they are infantile pieces of crap on the field

    • Silver fern . i assume that you are a kiwi. look at the following scenario. An incompetent referee is appointed to a crucial game which in all probability will have a influence on the actual winners of the world cup, and he allows the games rules to become innefectual in favour of one of the competing teams and thereby eliminating the stronger opposition.Does that not raise the following questions:Why did the host nation appoint one of thier own referees to refereethe game? Was his poor display realy just a result of him having a bad day? Who stood to gain the most from his mistakes? Why did the NZRFU ignore the all blacks coach , a certain Mr Henry , who ststed that bryce boy is nt suitable to ref world cu7p games. Makes one think doesnt it! Every ref makes one or two bad descisions but a game full, never. Kaplan is one of the better refs around , and sometimes his communication does sound infantile, but so to do some of the players.

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