Refs may whistle while they work but that doesn’t mean we’re ...


Refs may whistle while they work but that doesn’t mean we’re happy

FREE TO READ | Maddening inconsistency, coupled with little recourse for teams and no punishment for referees


Officiating at the Rugby World Cup has stopped short of being a circus act led by clowns, especially in crucial matches. The problem is not limited to elite levels – most, if not all, tiers of rugby have had issues with how the game has been officiated.

Officiating is difficult, especially with the myriad rules and World Rugby's constant tinkering with the law book. It is said a referee has up to three decisions they can take at every ruck, maul or scrum.

It’s not the lack of decision-making that’s the issue. Rather, it is the choices that are made or not made, regardless of the stature of the game. This is where players, who generally operate on the fringes of the law, take liberties. Referees are caught not knowing when to apply or interpret rules. ..

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