With England crashing out of the World Cup (and Tuilagi splashing out!), Ireland crushed by an inspirational Welsh side, Australia proving you dont need possession, territory or ability to win a Test match and New Zealand stuttering to a win over the battling Pumas, the main quarter final talking point was yet again the substandard performance of Bryce Lawrence, who looked inept and like a rabbit in the headlights as he took charge of Australia v South Africa.
It appears an odd decision to have a kiwi refereeing a match that would decide the likely team to play the All Blacks the week later. This was compounded by the numerous mistakes and indecision he showed, particularly in the closing stages where South Africa demolished a ramshackle Wallaby team in every facet of the match.
However, despite their dominance and the Aussies committing numerous indiscretions, Bryce seemed only interested in awarding scrums, until an innocuous issue at the lineout that he determined was deliberate and gave Australia a lifeline and passage into the Semi-finals.
Hopefully, the silver lining means that it is unlikely that Bryce will darken the World Cup again.
It appears that referees here are too getting more of a hard time from clubs. Broughton Park RFC in Manchester are being investigated after their online tirade against a referee in a recent match. The club have become known on occasions for some blinkered views of the game and dont appear to be a fan of referees at times.
The recent written outburst came after a losing performance against league leaders Sandbach, which they lost narrowly by 3 points. However, they missed two last minute penalties to pull off an upset. This fact is overlooked and undersold in their commentary. The only positive is the number of referees and clubs who have shown support for the ref concerned (who isnt me – but is an outstanding referee).
Yes its hypocritical to lambast Bryce Lawrence and then decry the actions of a club for seemingly doing the same – but Bryce is a professional and should not make the mistakes he does, Broughton Park hit out at a referee who actually had a great performance and was more sour grapes, Mancunian style*.
*It should be noted that the club have now altered their match report, which is a very welcome and positive move!