TMO ruins match for everyone
OPINION: Referees and match officials generally get a bad rap in the media and seldom are they singled out for praise.
That is going to continue today. What was worse though was it seems that having a vigilant on-field team of three match officials wasn’t enough on Friday night when the Hurricanes beat the Sunwolves 43-15.
Referee Jamie Nutbrown (no relation) spent much of the match listening to the constant stream of advice from television match official Ben Skeen. His influence on the game was at a similar level to that of Kim Jongun on North Korea. Nothing happens without him. Disallowed tries, suspect ‘‘shoulder rolls’, high tackles, penalties, knock-ons, you name it Ben found it. Poor Jamie, a relatively rookie ref, clearly felt obliged to humour him. Trouble was it ruined the game for players and viewers alike.
*Sports followers in Taranaki were understandably upset when Stuff discontinued the roles of regional-based sports reporters Glenn McLean and Chris Reive in the daily paper. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s worked out well for both. McLean is now the Communications Manager with the Hurricanes, based in Wellington and faces the unenviable task of having to travel to every match with the team, wherever in the world they may be playing. Sigh. Reive, a talented young man, who is at the start of his career, is now with the New Zealand Herald sports desk and one of his rounds is yachting. As in the America’s Cup and wherever that may take him.
*An important footnote. On Saturday night, Taranaki ‘s No 1 rugby ref, Paul Williams, had an excellent match when he controlled the Blues Jaguares game. He was authoritive throughout and clearly explained his reasons behind each decision and made it clear he wasn’t going to take any undue disrespect from the players. It wasn’t his fault the match never flowed.
This one got past the TMO. Hurricanes Jordie Barrett scores a try during the Hurricanes vs Sunwolves Super Rugby match.