Saturday, September 21, 2013

The UAR wrote to the IRB to complain about Nigel Owens

Deges with Martin Johnson 
While internet forums, rugby websites and general South African news agencies all made an outcry about the performance of a certain French referee red carding a certain Springbok forward at a Rugby Championship match in Auckland last Saturday there was no comparable noise made about the Welshman who was in charge of Australia v Argentina in Perth. 

The performance of Nigel Owens was highly questionable with the referee arguably making two incredibly poor decisions which both favored Australia. One of the two saw Owens out of position and not yellow carding let alone penalizing Scott Fardy for cynically playing the ball on the ground to complete an entirely illegal turn over from Pumas ball just five metres out from the try line.

While in the second half an advancing Pumas scrum saw the Wallabies collapse it after having been wheeled but only a penalty was given. 

It is not likely to have a similar media announcement from the IRB as what happened in regards to Bismarck du Plessis but in writing to both SANZAR and the IRB the UAR is showing itself to have audacity, a key component to host a Rugby World Cup.. 


  1. IRB gave in like pea hearted weaklings to the South African vile bullying tactics of Poite.

    Lesson seems to be. Throw the toys out the pram and make as big of a drama as possible to get what you want, especially if you are a founding IRB nation.

    The IRB have now sent out a message that the refs should think twice before penalising South Africa or New Zealand and risk being publicly humiliated with an IRB letter. Whereas they can get away with messing with the smaller sides with nothing.

    Preferences for the bigger sides has always been apparent with refs. Special treatment for childish whiners like England, South Africa and New Zealand will just reinforces that in refs mind.

    I don't remember such a fuss when George Clancy awarded Wales 3 tries that were not legal in 2009. If that was South Africa or New Zealand then Clancy would have suffered the same fate as Bryce Lawrence. Fortunately for Clancy (who is in my opinion the worst ref on the international panel) he only screws the little teams.

    Whilst we're on the topic of ref blunders. Where's USA's apology for Japan's big knock at the back of the scrum before they got a penalty try? Or Canada's apology for Dan Tuohy elbowing Ciaran Hearn in the head going unpenalised? That's right, you only get special attention if you're a side like South Africa and go on a binge whinge.

  2. Mate, I'm a Kiwi but I have to say the South African team and management have acted very professionally (unlike Steve Hansen whose "I'll not give an inch" type of attitude is starting to really become quite tedious and tiresome). Please be careful to make a distinction between the team and the fans. It's the SA fans that have been the problem.

    NZ players were cited (rightly) in last year's November internationals and didn't appear to get preferential treatment. Wayne Barnes was also welcome to ref in NZ during the RWC and was not the recipient of personal threats though he got some ribbing from the sidelines (which was to be expected). My memory might be wrong but I don't think the IRB issued a big apology to NZ. Paddy O'Brien did criticise the TJs (who I agree with Paddy were both very poor). The one time I do remember preferential treatment was when the ABs management complained noisily of the way Stuart Dickinson controlled the scrum in Milan v Italy rather than just admitting they got bettered. I was pretty embarassed as a NZer with their poor behaviour. And of course Italy didn't get a penalty try which they deserved. Even as a Kiwi I wouldn't have begrudged them that (especially as it wasn't going to change the result but I guess it would've been embarassing for the ABs to concede a penalty try from a 5m scrum).

    Anyway BEH, if the SA fans continue with their poor behaviour it might just come back to bite them in the bum when RWC hosting is decided. I doubt many IRB members are going to be impressed with people who indulge in personal threats against people under their auspices and if SARU are on the job they should know that this kind of crap could harm the image that IRB administartors have towards SA and endanger prospects like RWC hosting, particularly if SARU is not seen to be doing anything to change the attitudes of its fans. I remember after the 2003 co-host debacle the NZRFU was in the dogbox with many IRB members and the late Jock Hobbs and co who came into the NZRFU afterwards had to work very hard at rebuilding bridges and showing contrition for the arrows that had been shot at the IRB and it's members, particularly its chairman. The amount of work done in that area is one of the key reasons NZ got 2011.

    As for the UAR, good on them. They needed to complain, but in the right fashion. In contrast with the action SA fans have taken, the calm way the UAR have reacted should enhance their standing even if the IRB doesn't give them a public apology. BEH, I suspect as with all large organisations, it's not always about what is said in public. Hopefully the Pumas might benefit from having more kudos in many IRB members eyes in private.

    1. So the IRB has caved in to give special treatment to the SA media and fans over Poite then? That's probably even worse.

      And if I recall correctly, it was media pressure and luncheons with the deluded passionate All Black hater Stephen "Le Tache" Jones that got the Adam Thomson ban increased.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Poite's career will now suffer and will be headed down the drain as for as internationals go (much like the last ref to get an angry SA mob - Bryce Lawrence). Whilst Clancy and Owens get off free meanwhile as they just pick the favoured team.

      Perhaps Argentina should consider making a public tantrum over referee mistakes. South Africa get their referee to be probably forced into more lower profile games, an IRB apology, and now any referee will think twice before ever sanctioning them again in fear of the consequences.

      The IRB shouldn't have caved into them. This current IRB regime seems weaker and easier to push about by the big nations than the previous one from 2007 as well. I bet that the SANZAR nations will be getting the extra slices of the RWC pie they were after during the 2015 RWC as well.

  3. The IRB and their refs have always been a soft bunch towards the bigger nations and the nations with more financial influence and not just recently BEH.

    Remember the try that never was in the 2007 group game with TON vs RSA. Even the commentry were screaming what was wrong with that.

    Or what about the extra 5 minutes Japan got to tie with Canada in the group stages during the same world cup.

    Japans got plenty of finacial incentives for the IRB to mull over while Tonga have absolutely nothing!

    Argentinas approach has to be to play blinders and win these games in the RC. I'm afraid their complaint will fall on deaf ears unless they find more money or start winning big time.

    The lets system which is the 8 founding fathers of the IRB won't give any "new" boy an easy ride.

    By the way Paul I think you should do a write up about the 2020 games in Tokyo, and how or if they will have a knock on or off effect regarding the 2019 RWC!