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South African referee Craig Joubert will referee Sunday’s World Cup final between the All Blacks and France. It will be his first World Cup final.

Joubert, who controlled yesterday’s semifinal between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park, becomes only the second South African to take charge of a final after Andre Watson who has controlled two.

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No matter the outcome of tonight’s semi-final match and who eventually win this tournament this 2011 RWC will be remembered as the mother of all referee muck-ups.

If Australia and France where to play in the final I won’t even watch it because neither of those two teams deserve to be there. Roll that into a zoll Paddy O’Brien and smoke it.

A New Zealand victory over Aussie would ensure a pretty one-sided final which should see the All Blacks running away with it.

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Tim Noakes has denied accusing anyone of match fixing or any claims that the Springboks’ quarterfinal match against Australia officiated by Bryce Lawrence was either ‘fixed’ or ‘bent’, as has been reported.

In a letter to Sport24, Noakes claimed that his statements had been misconstrued and taken out of context. Continue reading

In this week’s exclusive column, former Springbok prop Cobus Visagie discusses refereeing decisions and key match-ups.

I promise this is the last article I will publish about this subject. Cobus said it all, I cannot add any more. This is a good analysis by a Professional player with many years of experience.

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As a general rule I watch the rugby not the referee.

This of course doesn’t mean that I don’t shout at the referee (even in front of the TV knowing pretty well that he can’t hear me) when he makes mistakes. I can see when the referee has a bad game and of course I get upset but I am, as a spectator, more interested in how we play; what do we do with the ball; our structures and systems at the tackle ball; our game tactics; what is the script we are following; our defensive patterns; are we showing improvement on previous games in areas we didn’t do well; how is our scrum going; are we using starter moves; running angles of the backline; how well is No10 dictating the match and where does he take up position behind the scrums, at rucks and line-outs and so forth.

A consequence of all that is that I tend to reflect more on why didn’t we get things right or what went wrong and what can we improve on, independent of whether we lose or win after the match.  Continue reading

I have raised this point before , here is a article that supports my view. We have spend many hours debating the time frame of the crouch, pause , engage calls by refs. I have asked many times , what did we gain in safety after all of this? Referees claim that they took control of the scrum engagement but with most penalties or free kicks the teams still opt for ANOTHER scrum.

The point i raised before was, how difficult is it for a prop to get a good grip on these skin tight jerseys? Read this article to see how the top players feel about it. At the end some of the comments already made about this article

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The International Rugby Board announced the group of match officials who will take charge of the Rugby World Cup 2011 knock-out matches.

Bryce Lawrence will be in charge of the South Africa vs Australia quarter-final match in Wellington.

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In the world of the IRB and specifically Paddy O’Brien, protocols supersedes common sense.

The incident in question is the Jimmy Cowan try which was not awarded during Saturday’s Tri-Nations test match in Port Elisabeth based on the fact that the final pass on the try-line from Israel Dagg to Cowan was forward.

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After their loss to the All Blacks in Wellington, Springbok lock Victor Matfield said that “It seems as if they are untouchable. The refs allow them to get away with murder. … I cannot say much about the ref (Alain Rolland), because I will get into trouble. But there were a few times on attack when we struggled to play because our ball was deliberately slowed down.”

Just whingeing, or did Victor have a point? We decided to take a close look at the All Blacks’ “rules of engagement” at the breakdown.

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The Crusaders’ all-conquering scrum could result in some happy pills being lobbed into Steve Hansen’s rugby diet this year.

After last season’s Grand Slam tour a fuming Hansen threatened to implement “golden oldies” scrums into the All Blacks game plans during World Cup year after his men were repeatedly penalised by northern hemisphere referees. Eight months later, however, the All Blacks’ forward coach’s anger needle is out of the red zone and the Crusaders’ powerful set-piece during the Super competition may have been instrumental in his mellow mood.

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Refereeing is and will always be a thankless task. Rugby is the one sport that allows our primal instincts to run havoc with our emotions. The brutal tackles, runs and physicality dictates that rugby provides us with an alternative to modern warfare where at the end of a match there may be some serious injuries, but there is no intent to kill or maim.

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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says his team will “look to right the mistakes” they made in their league defeat to the Crusaders in Saturday’s Super Rugby semifinal at a sold-out Newlands (5.05pm kick-off).

Even though the Stormers went down 20-14 to an injury-ravaged Crusaders in May, the biggest problem on that Saturday night was taking their opportunities on attack, of which there were plenty.

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ALL BLACKS coach Graham Henry is continuing to apply pressure on the referees, arguing that during this year’s Super Rugby tournament they have failed in the most elementary areas.

”You watch the game at the moment; the number of tries being scored from forward passes is ridiculous,” Henry said.

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SANZAR have released the match officials for the fifteenth Round of the 2011 Super Rugby tournament and Steve Walsh has the big one on Sunday between the Reds and Crusaders.

This weekend has six matches, one on Friday and four on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The Blues, Chiefs and the Rebels have the bye this weekend.

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SANZAR have admitted that they have ‘a little bit of a way to go yet’ before there is enough consistency in their Super Rugby judicial process.

This is a old article and many more contentious rulings followed this weekend. Is there more leniency or a softer approach before the World Cup. In tonights Superugby program Kobus Wiese said that the citing officer asked for video evidence in the Stormers vs Sharks game , but nothing came from it.

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When we raised the referee issue again here on the blog during the Highlanders vs Blues game, I knew we were onto something. But like this article says there will always be opposing views. My question was, will we ever get consistency? At the end of this article read another article about the fears the Waratahs have for Jonathan Kaplan later today.

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For years and years rugby laws were adapted to the way players wanted to play. Recent law changes have followed that principle though it may just be that the written laws have lagged somewhat behind accepted practice.  I just had to place this article, the most passionate discussions we had here was about this subject. Lets go..

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On Rugby-Talk’s live Bulls vs Reds thread I cannot recall anybody complaining about it. Now reading some of the other match reports is see a big uproar about something we never picked up or said a word about. Obstruction or obstructive running.

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The International Rugby Board has announced the Panel of match officials who will preside over the 48 matches at Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand in September and October.

A streamlined Panel of 10 Referees will be supported by seven dedicated Assistant Referees and four Television Match Officials at Rugby’s showcase event.

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SANZAR have released the match officials for the eighth Round of the 2011 Super Rugby tournament and Nathan Pearce starts the action for this week on Friday.

This week the Blues, Chiefs and Rebels have a BYE so there is one match less than last week. Friday has one match and Saturday has five matches.

Jonathan Kaplan will finish the action on Saturday in Durban.

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