Saturday, May 25, 2019


Is that all right then?

No it bloody well is not all right. At best a misguided attempt to even things up and if that shafts the Champions then just suck it up.
Sanzar have admitted Joubert got it horribly wrong when he denied Sevu Reece that masterful try when, as TMO, he overruled Nick Bryant's awarding of the try that would have sealed the match in Cape Town last Weekend. In fact he acted well outside his brief when he insisted the onfield referee change his decision.
Braydon Ennor passed to Reece around the halfway mark with the ball clearly coming out of his hands behind him, with all players travelling close to full pace. When Reece received the ball it had travelled forward at the speed of the players and Ennor was still a good meter and a half in front of Reece catching the Pass. Reece then chip kicked regathered and scored in the corner to extend the Crusaders lead to eight points. in the closing ten minutes.
Bryant correctly whistled the try but Craig Joubert, one of the Refs appointed to Japan for the Webb Ellis showdown later this year, saw a different pass, ignored the relevant rule and interfered when the Crusaders were about to take the conversion. Joubert did not suggest Bryant review his awarding of the try but in a "Listen to me" moment insisted it was no-try, forward pass at halfway, and scrum with Stormers ball.

Another penalty, equally dodgy or at least 50/50, a few minutes later gave the Stormers the opportunity to bring about the draw: 19 all is how it played out.

No word Of Louis Luyt and a gold watch yet but watch this space. There are interesting stats available that show a clear advantage to Saffa teams getting penalty counts lopsided to the point of changing results when playing under their home grown referees!! Telling the Cruising Champions they were swindled might not matter this year as at present the Red and Blacks are nine points clear of the second-placed Hurricanes, who incidentally are only fourth due to the "conference rule" that elevates the other two leading conference teams to second and third when they are both well behind the Hurricanes on points.

The astonishing decision by Mr Joubert sees him standing down for this weekend but such a glaring effort in the quiet, reflective space allotted to the TMO, free from the players reactions and crowd influence, indicates a more serious lapse than one under pressure on the paddock in the heat of battle by the on-field referee.

The way the Christchurch based team have overcome adversity and surreal obstacles since 2010, when in the aftermath of those seismic upheavals they travelled twice around the globe to survive the finals, only to fail in Brisbane in the 2011 final is the stuff of "Boys Own".

This year with the March massacre leading to a draw for a cancelled match against the Highlanders, - declared by the local equivalent of the Gin Swilling Old Farts of Twickers - followed a week later by a defeat at the hands of the Sydney-based franchise coached by an ex-midfield Crusader star from the pre-quake days, is almost at a performance level that could trigger a doping test.

Since then a concerted push with Grant Robertson and PM Ardern's sticky fingers all over it, the totally inane change the Crusaders Brand name and imagery that even the Christchurch Muslim Community oppose.

One might be excused for using such cumulative pressure the team has endured, to deliver some truly awesome displays of open, running rugby that may not be the winning of the World Cup but will go a long way to put bums on seats: one of the enduring problems facing the Sanzar Farts, for the rather out of character events that followed the Capetown swindle.

Can the emerging Auckland Blues make hay tonight when they try to continue their progress.
Progress under yet another Crusaders prodigy Leon McDonald who replaced Tana for this years comp.

In the Capetown howler Technology defeated good on field refereeing.

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