Saturday, May 6, 2017


In fact the entire rugby and in particular  sanzar judicial system is becoming a lottery and doing nothing to make the game safer, worse it is becoming a game changer.

Last week Crusaders Lock and skipper was ruled after many replays to have contacted a Cheetahs playes head with an elbow.
The very relative fact in the lead up to that almost innocuous act had that Cheetah leaping onto an airborn Whitelock seeking to catch the ball from a kick, to bring him down, normally ruled dangerous play and ten minutes in the bin.
But wait there is more  not content with that blatant illegal play the Cheetah then continued to hold Whitelock who had  to give the prick the gentle reminder to stop cheeting.
Now under the rules and ruling prevailing it was no contest and Sam spent the rest of the game in the Naughty Chair.

Enter the Sanzar Judicial system who as with all these provocative acts ignored the cheetah's actions and gave Sam two weeks rest which might give Steve Hansen some relieved moments as his All Blacks are dropping like sprayed flies. Then of course not making any impact on the game replacement first five for the red and blacks was also given his marching orders ith a yellow.

Last night back in Bloemfontein it was all on again only more farcical this time The Highlanders.b
Faddes was ruled to have no arms and or late tackled a cheetah who seemed to have gained possession when Faddes entered the tackle sequence. His first ever yellow card and his body language suggested it was bull manure, confirmed by post match game reports.
Then in a probably justified but as things turned out total game changer, Cheetah replacement loosie Uzair Cassiem was ruled dangerous with six minutes to play he was shown yellow, the result settled with the home team ahead by sixteen points, oops shades of  Dewey vs Truman .  So convinced was head Highlanders Coach Tony Brown he had left his box nd was working on his team for Loftus next weekend. Oh ye of little faith, first Tevita lee crossed, Banks converts then Faddes made it all right on the night, Banks again accurate and with seconds remaining Naholo got his second to complete an impossible win.

Now I am not advocating for dangerous play to go un-challenged but imeho the league code has it much better. Unless it is blatant fouling still to be a Red, such instances that are demonstrating some serious unfairness in the yellow category need to be penalised and if the ref decides needs further investigation and sanction by referring it to the judiciary when matters can be properly assessed as to the crime and allowing mitigation by reviewing all evidence.

For the Crusaders it made no difference on the night but there was some lack of due process in ignoring what could have been a career ending act of blatant foul play and giving Whitelock two weeks. however for the home team a week later removing possibly their best defender at seventy four minutes clearly did make a difference and hats off to The Highlanders for making it happen.
Players and fans here in the shaky isles can live with the warped unfair conference system devised by TV moguls and the Saffas, they also accept that officials will sometimes get it wrong, but there are matters around cards and judicial actions that need further study.

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