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I must start by saying I am not Welsh. I am a honest and fair PE teacher who can not stand to see injustice / incompetence on the field of play in any game. What I saw today as Wales lost to France was more of the former than the latter (I hope).
As a PE teacher I have been the official in many competitions, from rugby and football games to rock climbing and badminton. And, as all PE professionals can admit you make decisions based on what you see and how you perceive it to have been performed. You only get one chance, and yes, I have made mistakes. A foot might have gone into touch, the shuttle might have landed out side of the line but on the whole, I get it right.
In national and international football I get so frustrated with the seemingly bizarre decisions made by the officials that I sometimes question the integrity of those men. How can people be paid to do a job and get crucial decisions wrong? I have sent Sebb Blatter many an email asking that same question but have yet to get a reply. Mr Blatter has also refused to comment on goal line technology from the many emails I sent him after the Frank Lampard disallowed goal debacle. The technology is in place and would take a matter of seconds for the match official to access it, yet in Europe last year we had the funny sight of 4 linesman instead. But that is football, surely my beloved Rugby isn’t going down this route?

And that leads me to my point, my whole point of this blog, 1: why didn’t the ref consult the TMO before issuing a red card in today’s RWC semi final? And 2: why didn’t the ref follow the letter of the law?
For the first point I have a very cynical view point. I sometimes get the impression that the governing bodies have an idea who they want to be in the final or next round and perhaps suggest to match officials that any 50/50 decisions should go one way or if an opportunity should present itself remove a player (!!!) it be taken. This could be done for a variety of reasons whether it be financial gain for committee members, or to share the spoils around the world. A France New Zealand final would probably be more appealing to the IRB than Wales Australia, especially with the competition being held in NZ and France being the hosts bogie team in recent world cup comps
As for the second point, Law 10.4(j) (j) states that if a player is tackled and is taken off of their feet and lands upper body first then a penalty should be awarded. A yellow card should be awarded if this is the tacklers first offence under this law. It clearly was so why hand out a red card? To give France the momentum? I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that if I was an Aussie I would be worried about tomorrows game and hope the ref’s decisions aren’t the main talking point and as the coach I would make certain that any opportunity to score points was taken and not wasted!!

I will watch with interest, with hope and with a cynical eye!

http://goo.gl/UrIS2 highlight(!) from the game.

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