Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Refs hit the headlines again as the Reds beat the Crusaders in classic

One of the games of the weekend was this classic Super Rugby meeting between the Reds and the Crusaders, a game that went right down to the wire and ended with more than a small touch of controversy.

It was a low scoring, yet intense game with a fantastic test match feel to it. Two of the top number tens of the world game came up against each other, with Quade Cooper pulling out some incredible stuff, although Dan Carter probably got the better of him in the end with an incredibly polished all round performance.

It was Cooper who celebrated at the final whistle however, as a capacity crowd of 48 000 watched on as he slotted a last minute penalty, a kick that took the Reds into a 17-16 lead.

While the Reds were fantastic and in many respects deserved the win, there's been plenty of talk about the manner in which they got there in the end, most notably through the inefficiencies of referee Stuart Dickinson and his touch judges.

They missed a few things on the night, and while that will always be the case as refs are human and tend to err from time to time, there have been big question marks over his performance. Some went as far as to call it bias towards the Australian side, while others simply felt it was below par, which at such a crucial stage in the comp, is unforgivable.

There was a suspect looking pass early in the game, then in the lead up to the final play a ball appeared to have gone forward. The biggest talking point though has been his decision to ping Richie McCaw for using his hands in a ruck, right in front of the posts in the dying moments.

McCaw clearly disagreed, but the worrying matter here is that there's such a vast difference of opinion as to whether it was the right or wrong call. Referee boss Lyndon Bray chose to defend Dickinson publicly, although he apparently said later that there are definitely grey areas. SANZAR's Greg Peters has said that Dickinson will be under review, as is the norm.

McCaw, who gave away the penalty, somehow escaped the wrath of the fans as everything seemed to be directed at Dickinson, but the greater issue is that there's so much confusion around the breakdown. When top referees, pundits, and former test players can't call it conclusively either way, surely that's a bit of a problem, especially as we're trying to grow the game? Of course it's a debate that lingers on though, and will always be a touchy subject.

Unfortunately what it did do is take away from a great game of rugby, of which you can view highlights below. For those of you who also enjoy a bit of post match discussion and analysis, the second clip in the playlist is a snippet from Reunion, where it's debated from a New Zealand perspective. Enjoy, and feel free to leave some thoughts as a comment below.



  • Last

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 1:30 pm  

  • ref told him two or three times not to play the ball. McCaw didnt listen gave away a penalty. End of discussion.

    Whatever richie thought the correct interpretation was, is irrelevant. Since we were all knee high we were told that refs decision is final. So man the fuck up, and stop whinging

    More in your line ask why DC kicked it so far from the ensuing kick-off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 1:38 pm  

  • ^ Have some balls and use a nick in future if you want to be so opinionated?

    Most of your comment does make sense though.

    By Anonymous Nick, at June 02, 2011 1:40 pm  

  • The refs decision is final but if he misses things throughout the match, we're entitled to question his competence. Not the first time with Mr Dickinson either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 1:49 pm  

  • ^ second comment made perfect sense. Nz'ers are always whining about if something doesn't go their way. Dickinson did tell McCaw not to play it and he still did. He has nobody but himself to blame for losing the game however, i was at the game and the reds were on a role where quade was lining up for the drop-goal anyway.

    i do however agree that dickinson did miss 2 crucial handling errors by the reds in those last phases but why did the touch judge say nothing he would have clearly saw them aswell.

    my final verdict, ritchie was wrong and needs to take blame and the rest of the nz population needs to get over it. and finally, it doesn't really matter because these 2 teams will be in the grand final anyway and the Reds are too far in front it wouldn't have made a difference as to decide home grounds.

    By Anonymous sam, at June 02, 2011 1:56 pm  

  • Whether or not it was the right decision, McCaw was warned twice to leave it alone, which he unfortunately chose to ignore.
    I agree with the guys after the game. The touch judges really didn't help the the referee. They are there to look out for the forward passes. Bit hard to tell how forward it was from the camera angle, but I imagine about 1m. Should really have been picked up.
    Its sad when poor referees get given big games in any sport.

    By Anonymous LG, at June 02, 2011 1:57 pm  

  • Clearly Richie thought he could play the ball. Otherwise he could just as easily have secured it, there was no need to pick it up.

    IMHO he thought the Red lying on the ground at the Cusaders side, was not part of the ruck anymore. The ref thought he was. In the end the ref decides.

    Sorry for Richie but that cost them the match.

    On the other hand he has been a matchwinner for them on quite a few occasions.

    Frantic stuff by the way!

    By Anonymous Guy, at June 02, 2011 2:01 pm  

  • typical new zealanders always blaming someone else. the reds had the same ref

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:04 pm  

  • It was the right decision. The first person to clear out the ruck was fine, but McCaw came in from the side. Good call ref.

    By Anonymous JHN, at June 02, 2011 2:11 pm  

  • The level and bias of the excuses being made here bodes well, should NZ fail to win a world cup... again

    By Blogger Ruair√≠, at June 02, 2011 2:11 pm  

  • I think McCaw was fine in what he did, the Crusaders had turned the ball over and it was out of the ruck so he was fine to play it. Anyway that penalty wouldn't have mattered if Dickinson had gone to the TMO to check if it was a forward pass, which I think it was.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:12 pm  

  • As a nzer Im sorry to say but McCaw wouldnt make a world 15. Currently those spots would be taken up by Brussow, Alberts, Burger and when he gets back Juan Smith.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:13 pm  

  • That's the most pathetic trolling comment I've seen. 'As a nzer'?? Riiiight boetie ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:14 pm  

  • I think you'll find that McCaw didn't complain about the ref and took it on the chin.

    It's the media that have blown it up since it was a controversial decision that decided the game, thus everyone here is jumping to conclusions (that Richie was having a whinge) and getting their knickers in a twist.

    By Anonymous Tim, at June 02, 2011 2:15 pm  

  • ^ I actually agree mate. McCaw is a liability these days. knocks on too often and gets caught by the refs like a penalty machine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:15 pm  

  • Obviously (for those of us who watched the full match) the gripe comes because the Reds shouldnt have even been in that position to start with! Clear knock-on earlier in the piece. Poor from Dickinson and touchie to miss it

    By Anonymous Laz, at June 02, 2011 2:16 pm  

  • Amazing match though! :)

    By Anonymous Laz, at June 02, 2011 2:16 pm  

  • Once more you do not get bored watching a Super 15 game!!!!!

    Great stuff...

    As a neutral, and according to those highligthts, which probably is not enough based on some of your comments, I found the counter ruck perfect but I felt Mc Caw came from the side to collect the ball? Am I wrong in my judgement?

    Anyway, I understand there is quite some controversies, to my opinion, not some much of the forward pass leading to the try (I found it quite limit and difficult to spot) but clearly on the knock on in the build up leading to the final penalty.

    Ps: Cooper is more and more amazing!!!!

    By Anonymous Flipje, at June 02, 2011 2:17 pm  

  • Would love to have seen their reaction after the forward pass that saw the ABs out of the World Cup after seeing the second clip ha!

    By Blogger Alexander, at June 02, 2011 2:17 pm  

  • To the anon plonker (2nd) who said the ref said not to touch it 2 or 3 time, he said once, as McCaw was in the process of grabbing it.

    Line call went a against McCaw end of story.

    The ref has been copping it more because he was shit for the rest of the game.

    By Anonymous Tim, at June 02, 2011 2:27 pm  

  • He clearly came from the side. Although he didn't get pinned for that! it was an excellent cleanout and the ball was free, mistakes will happen. However the ref did say leave the ball anyway.
    I'm an Aussie and can admit McCaw is a great player, why does everyone have to start blaming entire nations for crap like this? Ease up on the generalisations fellas!

    By Anonymous AusVed, at June 02, 2011 2:27 pm  

  • Forward passes are missed all the time when scoring tries or in the lead up to them. Why are people so annoyed about this? It is a very common occurrence and it is hard to pick up when play moves up the field quickly.

    I'd be pissed if there was some outrageous, blatantly incorrect decision. This decision was nothing like that. Sure it can be argued that it was the wrong decision, but it can easily be argued that the decision was correct as well. Anyway, everyone knows they should do what the ref says. McCaw did not and he paid the consequences, regardless of whether or not the ref was correct or not in telling him to leave the ball. This is not like the game where Ireland were screwed by the refs and linesmen vs. Wales. This was just a 50 / 50 and the ref chose to act.

    By Anonymous JAMIE, at June 02, 2011 2:37 pm  

  • Richie McCaw is a cheat and has been getting away with far too much for years. If you watch it back he came in from the side of the ruck so its a penalty regardless. NZ'ers need to stop moaning when decisions don't go their way. I hope France dominate you in the world cup once again!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:40 pm  

  • Not got much sympathy for McCaw and his buddies. To be fair to McCaw though, it's his fanboys in the NZ press who as usual have been making all the noise.

    The question surely is why he was taking a chance while defending a 2 point lead in the dying minutes. Sometimes what he did will go unpenalised, but often you do get pinged, he knows that and he paid the price this time.

    Why Dickinson is still reffing these top games is a question people have been asking for what, 10 years now?

    By Anonymous edbok, at June 02, 2011 2:43 pm  

  • I don't understand why referees and linesmen don't communicate throughout the game. They should be conferring on all decisions, where possible. It wouldn't interrupt the flow of the game at all. If the ref misses something, the linesmen mention it into the mic. If the ref is unsure, he asks the linesmen's opinions. What's the problem with that? It sounds very simple to me. Makes games fairer and takes the weight off the referees shoulders.

    A commentator for some match I watched last week mentioned that the game might be at the stage where a scrum specialist referee is needed. Why not just "specialise" them all and make the linesmen step in field when the scrum is happening. Or at least one linesman on the opposite side of the ref so the other linesman could watch open play.

    I just don't understand the way the they ref / are told to monitor the game. It's so inefficient.

    By Anonymous JAMIE, at June 02, 2011 2:44 pm  

  • The ruck was definitely still present. The question is whether McCaw was scraping it back to win posession, or trying to pick it up to pick and go or pass. In my opinion it was the former.

    Technically, any time a scrumhalf uses his hands to get the ball out of a ruck he commits an offense, but we let it slide. This is different because the ball was not clearly won.

    By Anonymous Ian M, at June 02, 2011 2:47 pm  

  • it's not cheating if he doesn't get pinged for it :).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:47 pm  

  • No. It's still cheating.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 2:55 pm  

  • I thought the headline made this article clear?
    It wasn't called, "Lets all jump on the Richie McCaw bashing wagon and try and drag all Kiwis down too"

    The guy got pinged as the ref thought he was doing something wrong. Simple.
    McCaw is a legendary payer, albeit one who divides opinion.

    I'm a staunch Bok fan and I hate him on the field as he is utter quality. He also happens to be a gent and a role model. I can't imagine a better advert for the game.
    Compare him to Wayne Rooney or Ashley Cole.... Exactly.

    What would rugby be without these kinds of events? Shite.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 3:16 pm  

  • Stuey was awful. Missed multiple knock ons, the first Reds try was off an easily recognizable forward pass, and I thought Franks counterruck was completely legitimate at the end.

    By Blogger Douglas, at June 02, 2011 3:38 pm  

  • There's a reason Stuey isn't on the World Cup refereeing panel, and that was on display in this one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 3:40 pm  

  • I am a die hard crusaders and NZ rugby fan,

    Issues I have with this game

    1. The 1st reds try, was the throw in from the lineout straight? And then there were atleast 2 forward passes that came after.

    2. The scrum before Genia's try came from a ruck where the ref judged that the ball couldn't come out. But if memory serves, the ball was out on the crusaders side, and even the commentators said, that the crusaders were hard done by that call. A crusaders player already had the ball in his hand.

    3. The other calls that were not made and already noted, knock ons and then what Richie did.

    Just as a matter of inquiry, did anyone else notice the 1st 2 points I made?

    By Anonymous Dixon, at June 02, 2011 3:42 pm  

  • These comments are funny. If that was a half back that came in and grabbed the ball Stu wouldnt have said anything coz it was perfectly legal. He just wanted to ping Mccaw

    By Anonymous Ben, at June 02, 2011 3:45 pm  

  • bad call from the ref,
    mcCaw play on the edge of the law , sometime it pay off sometime not.

    By Blogger nicolas, at June 02, 2011 3:46 pm  

  • I am completely neutral (French) and I would feel like McCaw and Crus fans here.
    Everybody's lying on the floor and the ball is between McCaw's feet. He takes it. I can't really see a penalty. He's right behind Franck's (I think it's Franck) counterruck and doesn't even touch Red 11 who was kinda part of the ruck. So, to me, he can't be penalized for coming by the side, he's just following his team mate.
    The ref said he had to leave the ball. I, too, wonder if he woulda said that to Crus nb 9. Nobody touches you and you have touched nobody, the ball is between your feet and you should watch an opponent take it? How come?
    Looked like an extraordinary game with fantastic moves, steps, intensions, intensity and all but a poor reffing at important times. And THAT is a shame. Fair play to all the players anyway. Even McCaw.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at June 02, 2011 3:48 pm  

  • I actually think the ref made the right decision, the lineout was straight and the pass to 12 was level not forward.
    The penalty at the end was a penalty, McCaw just needed to drive over and keep the ruck formed and leave the ball to someone else, when a ruck is formed you cannot put ur hands in!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 3:57 pm  

  • Cooper is better than Carter.


    By Anonymous Harry Hall, at June 02, 2011 4:02 pm  

  • the final penalty decision is cut and dry, dont see the controversy. If it wasnt mccaw it wouldnt be an issue

    By Blogger berko75, at June 02, 2011 4:07 pm  

  • I think the main point of the article is that the rules in rugby are so open to interpretation and limit it.

    Stu Dickinson does seem to have earned his tag as a bad ref tho, if it were another ref there wouldn't be so much brouhaha.

    Trolls can eat shit and die.

    By Anonymous olwakachangchang, at June 02, 2011 4:08 pm  

  • The main point is also that he missed so many other things, not just that. I think if it were a once off there wouldnt be such a fandango. The knock on was terrible, and there was another forward pass earlier, as well as that first try.

    It was the straw that broke the camels back. There were an accumulation of stuff ups.

    Bitter sweet feeling watching the ending as a neutral

    By Anonymous Laz, at June 02, 2011 4:14 pm  

  • I was brought up to play rugby and told it was better than football in part because the refs got respect and the players didn't whinge like babies. I'd like it to stay that way for my sons' generation too, so please stop turning every rugby analysis into ref analysis - regardless of which team suffers from an occasional weak decision.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 4:34 pm  

  • Go to greenandgoldrugby.com they analyse the whole thing very very enlightening. E.g. in slow mo the knock on by Digby actually comes of the back of the crusaders tackler.

    Personally I'd say most (not all) were down to the touchies, its just unfortunate Dickinson's name gets thrown around..

    By Anonymous gf, at June 02, 2011 4:36 pm  

  • Two things:

    1. Regardless of what the ref told McCaw that ruck was over and done with. Unless Digby Ioane having two hands and nothing else on McCaw counts as forming a ruck with the opposite player no one was bound in that ruck. Ball was not under anyone's feet but McCaw's. I agree with obeying the ref, but can the ref simply say whatever he wants and still not be called for poor reffing? If he for some reason said 'you can't call mark right now' would it be okay to penalize a player for making a perfectly legal mark call? I think not.

    2. Love rugby as I do, it has too many rules open to too much interpretation. It is confusing for EVERYONE including professional players, coaches and referees. What can we expect of the average fan then? It is hindering the games growth in my opinion, especially for spectators (I am an American BTW) with little background in rugby. We need to have laws that leave as little room for interpretation as possible and go with it, much as American football has done. Lots of rules, but they are as clear cut as they can get so there are way fewer refereeing controversies. Getting ridiculous at this point for rugby.

    By Blogger Jill Kilpatrick, at June 02, 2011 4:42 pm  

  • I was brought up to play rugby and told it was better than football in part because the refs got respect and the players didn't whinge like babies. I'd like it to stay that way for my sons' generation too, so please stop turning every rugby analysis into ref analysis - regardless of which team suffers from an occasional weak decision.
    Gramps, it's not purely about the decision about being weak, it's about the breakdown law being an absolute source of confusion. If players, top rugby people etc cant understand, how are new fans to the game supposed to?

    Also, McCaw didnt whine like a baby. The rugby public did because they saw how bad Dickinson was during the whole match

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 4:52 pm  

  • McCaw has not complained once about the incident, he took it on the chin and moved on. Thats what you call class.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 5:02 pm  

  • Yeah, It is the media that has turned this into a whinefest. McCaw looked in a bit of disbelief, but accepted the decision without a word of complaint. That's just how rugby is: some decisions go for you, some against you.

    Touch judges were totally inadequate. They're there to support the referee, not to make him look totally incompetent.

    Props to the person that recommended greenandgoldrugby. Good analysis, nice slow mos.

    By Blogger medicaluke, at June 02, 2011 5:55 pm  

  • Jill P,

    Rugby is a fluid game
    rugby is a players' game

    I must disagree with the idea of having so many rules (at least using American Football as a comparison).

    Gridiron's rules are too technical and esoteric. That lends itself to gridiron, as they have natural stoppages, and the pro leagues want any excuse to cut to a commerical, or an ad at the bottom of the screen for "Two and a Half Men".

    The gridiron rulebook is already too long. Multiple times in a game, the referees have to convene to discuss the technical rule for that given circumstance.

    Even worse, they continue to constipate the game by walking over to a coach on the sidelines to give them a full explanation.

    I even saw a game where the captain accepted the penalty rather than declining it (decling would have been more advantageous). The coach stormed onto the field, and requested a full explanation, and the referee allowed the coach to reverse the choice.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 02, 2011 6:40 pm  

  • As for the suggestion of specialist (i.e. scrum) referees, I think that's not the solution either.

    American football's field smaller than a rugby pitch, but packed with seven officials.

    The head official does the TMO work by walking over to a sideline and viewing pics.

    --- Where can rugby expand? The TMO.

    Firstly, TMO should be able to call any foul play, or at least address it at the next stoppage with the referee. It's clear the TJs are already visually impaired, and are legally blind when it comes to off-the-ball tugs and biffo.

    As for the scrum ref, I think if you could run an overhead camera, perhaps the TMO might have a role there, watching for wheeling and binds.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 02, 2011 6:47 pm  

  • Strange: no one seems not have noticed the monster forward pass that lead to Hurricanes 3rd try against the Reds, and that doubtful last penalty awarded to the Hurricanes.

    NZ ref, 1 missed forward pass, 1 doubtful penalty = NZ team won by 2...

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at June 02, 2011 6:51 pm  

  • "He clearly came from the side" ??
    The first person to clear out the ruck was fine, then the ruck didn't exist because the people that formed it were on the ground. There wasn't a person , then the clear out of number 17, that formed the ruck.
    Finally the ref didn't penalized the "come from the side" !!!!

    By Anonymous Ricky, at June 02, 2011 7:18 pm  

  • Perhaps someone can help Richie (and the rest of the rugby players, so we don't have something like this smearing the world cup quarter/semi or final) and suggest what he should have done??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 7:38 pm  

  • So a low scoring super rugby game is "dramatic, intense, thrilling".

    A low scoring NH game is boring?


    By Anonymous Fridge, at June 02, 2011 8:23 pm  

  • the ref said leave it, Mccaw didnt leave it, ref gave a penalty. If this was any other flanker in world rugby there would be no complaint but for some reason we all seem to have this view of Mccaw that he's too good to get penalised and therefore the ref must be wrong, but the fact is the referee makes the decision and if he tells you to leave it alone you leave it alone because if you don't you're going to get penalised.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 8:42 pm  

  • As a Rugby Ref I think Dickinson was right with the penalty but got the wrong player.

    The counter ruck was excellent but then the Crusader player (17) went straight to ground over the ball - this is what the penalty should have been for. McCaw was unlucky as the ball was at his feet and was legally allowed to play it - other than the first players offence that is!

    As for the other reffering errors the two AR's should have been better in assisting but clearly weren't. They were also most likely in the wrong position to see what was happening clearly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 8:46 pm  

  • @ Fridge, well.... yes.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 10:13 pm  

  • People lying on the floor should not be part of a ruck in any sense.

    The guy had been pushed backwards off the ball and McCaw was just playing scrum half.

    Everyone else is just detritus that haadn't rolled away because we've banned raking.

    Not a penalty.

    By Blogger Jam, at June 02, 2011 10:58 pm  

  • dickheadson is a below par ref and has always been.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 11:18 pm  

  • Tough call on McCaw - how exactly did the ref think that the ball was going to be played? You could argue that he came in from the side - and he did but that kind of coming in from the side never gets called.

    By Anonymous Irish guy, at June 02, 2011 11:55 pm  

  • kiwis brought back down to earth is nice to see

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 11:58 pm  

  • Getting away from the ref complaining stuff, I'd just like to say that Quade Cooper may not be the best outhalf in the world, but for my money he's the most exciting to watch by a long way. He'll do stupid things sometimes and make mistakes, but also does brilliant things and makes opportunities nobody else would try - it all adds up to great entertainment.

    By Anonymous Mike, at June 03, 2011 12:15 am  

  • Who cares? Montpellier nabbed a victory against Racing Metro through a last-minute penalty, and that match was a semifinal. Surely, that could've been a bigger deal than this game?

    McCaw was specifically reprimanded multiple times during the match for either going in at the side or slowing down the ball, so of course the ref is going to be watching even harder for him breaking the rules (even though he seemed technically within the law on that last penalty).

    In any case, the Crusaders lost themselves this match. I think most teams know that playing against the Reds or Australia, you come out quick hitting Cooper and he folds like a deck of cards and starts making mistakes. They let him alone and he ended up winning the match. Go figure.

    By Anonymous whatever, at June 03, 2011 12:20 am  

  • I'm a Kiwi and happy to admit that Richie shouldn't have touched the ball (as dickinson warned him not to) but the ball was clearly out, Franks counter rucked nicely and McCaw clearly came from the back.

    It was a fucking average game by the ref, but who really cares... its a super15 round robin game, nothing to loose sleep over!

    Well done reds :-)

    By Anonymous Nicko, at June 03, 2011 12:57 am  

  • I love all the pussies who hide behind anon and make stabs at Richie and the AllBlacks...
    Obviously bitter South Africans who can't handle being an inferior rugby nation wihout a player that can match it with McCaw (Brussow is shit apart from his work at the breakdown).

    By Anonymous Get some, at June 03, 2011 12:59 am  

  • Bleating New Zealanders.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 2:12 am  

  • Tried reading all your comments before I posted, but I couldn't.

    Here's my humble opinion.

    1) Richie McCaw gets so much abuse, not because he's a cunt, coz he's not, but because he's such a good player. At ruck time, disruption happens approx. 75% of the time, sometimes pinged by refs, sometimes not. Whoever says slowing down ball at the breakdown is not part of the game. Fuck off. Is that cheating? No! It's bending rules in your favour and McCaw is a genius at it. He may no longer be at the level he once was, but he's still the # 7 that sets the bench mark.

    2) Officials were shit, end of story.

    3) Cooper better than Carter....? I'm gonna say not a fucking hope, however it will remain to be seen at this word cup. Both class players, but Carter has it all, every facet of his game. Cooper has outstanding qualities, but some questionable ones.

    We will see...

    By Blogger Darren, at June 03, 2011 2:27 am  

  • I love Richie's look... He's like, "what, I've been doing this since 1999 and no one ever complained!" What an awesome player though...

    By Anonymous Gman, at June 03, 2011 3:10 am  

  • Cooper is outraegous with some of the stuff he does, but I feel much more comfortable (as a kiwi) with Carter at the helm.

    Cooper reminds me of Spencer, but I rate Spencer much higher... Quade does great stuff in super15 but Spencer did it at International level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 6:01 am  

  • Everybody knows (more or less) when a ruck is formed. But the point here, is when it's over.

    Richie thought the ruck was over as there were no players standing-struggling over the ball, so he came in from the side. The ref point of view was; a ruck was formed and you can ONLY came in from the rear side, regardless of what happened with the players that created the ruck.

    Anyway, we can discuss the matter to try to throw some light on this grey zones of the laws. But it's dangerous to start blaming the ref. It would be take the rugby a step closer to the soccer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 9:18 am  

  • Obviously the Crusaders feel gutted at the close loss, but their position is still pretty safe for the play-offs. They should just move on.

    By Anonymous Jeremy, at June 03, 2011 9:44 am  

  • For that last penalty - a borderline decision but I don't think the Crusaders can have any complaint, they needed another player over the ball to push back the Reds 11.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 9:53 am  

  • what was the penalty count against mccaw?

    their will always be grey areas, even the scrum that got the crusaders in front it was both the crusaders prop and hooker that came up the reds front row,

    kiwis always pick the shit out of any referees performance that doesnt go thier way

    By Anonymous zacaria, at June 03, 2011 10:04 am  

  • Plenty of dodgy rulings and non-rulings, but not all one way traffic.

    The penalty that brought the score from 14-10 to 14-13 was a joke. "Last feet" does not mean "last body on the ground".

    The same misconception that bodies on the ground are part of a ruck was also behind the penalty that brought the score from 14-16 to 17-16.

    By Anonymous Alphonse, at June 03, 2011 11:03 am  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 12:33 pm  

  • The pace was just incredible! Quade Cooper has definitely staked his claim for the world cup, let's see if the rest of Oz can match!

    By Blogger SmellyNerfherder, at June 03, 2011 12:44 pm  

  • This seemed like a great game.

    But as a neutral (NH) i'm laughing at the overeaction from the NZ commentators in the clip.

    The whole tackle area is a grey area where wither side can be pinged at every ruck. The IRB need to consider bringing back rucking with the boot back into the game.

    There were a number of poor decisions, but it went to both sides, before the Carter pen that sent Canterbury into the lead the Canterbury flanker could easily be pinged for his binding in the scrum.

    However, im sure in a few months time the Kiwis won't be whinging at the WC as has happened in every WC the host country tends to get the rub of the green.

    By Blogger William, at June 03, 2011 2:15 pm  

  • Not liking Cooper right now

    By Blogger ryan, at June 03, 2011 3:24 pm  

  • What you people dont understand is that mistakes like these were happening all game, and 9 times out of 10 they were in favour of the reds. Thats why there has been such a big reaction to it. The fact that in the final minutes of this game the ref and touchie on that side of the field missed a forward pass, a clear knock on and then made this bad call right out in front just compounds things. Getting one thing wrong is understandable but missing all three is either biased or imbecilic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 3:54 pm  

  • At first it seemed ok.. but looking back it, he doesn't cross the gate, comes in from the side, because it was still a ruck, penalty reds...

    Pity tho... Would've liked to see Crusaders win this.

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at June 03, 2011 3:56 pm  

  • i think the end penalty count was something like 19 to 4 in the reds favour.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2011 3:56 pm  

  • Surely ruck was still formed, franks was it came in from the side, and mccaw followed behind him and lifted the ball from an offside position? Big fuss over nothing, just because mccaw got a penalty against him it's a big deal.

    By Anonymous Astronaut, at June 03, 2011 7:25 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jon Butcher, at June 03, 2011 9:27 pm  

  • Blaming a ref for the outcome of a match is pretty much nonsense. If there's any 'blame' to be assigned it should be directed at players for the countless missed tackles, poor passing and kicking decisions, defensive miscommunication etc etc. Why are these true mistakes not seen as the real cause of a win or loss instead of a ref who makes a 'grey area' call? And why is it somehow the last call that matters? At any moment a ref could probably make, or not make, any number of calls - the onus is on the players to keep the ball in possession, alive, and moving - thereby giving their team the best chance of scoring and winning. It's not the ref's job to do that!

    By Blogger Jon Butcher, at June 03, 2011 9:32 pm  

  • At the end of the day the ref decision is final and most rugby players accept that, but you hope that the level of errors by the ref is low. That wasn't the case with this game and because it was so close it's only amplified.

    End of the day the result remains.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 04, 2011 5:19 am  

  • all you New zealanders, Harden the F**K up, you lost 1 game get over it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 07, 2011 1:06 pm  

  • It's irrelevant whether or not Stu Dickenson was telling McCaw to leave the ball alone or not. It happened to fast for McCaw to hear him and Dickenson was wrong anyway, like he was many times in that game. If it was the halfback picking the ball up there probably wouldn't have been a penalty. Most off the people you hear telling people to stop whinning are McCaw haters. PS no one does more whinning than the aussies, except maybe the english.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 08, 2011 8:22 am  

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