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We held a little poll to see how many people agreed with Craig Jouberts decision at the end of the Scotland v Australia match, which ended in such controversy last Sunday. Even after World Rugby came out with their official version of events (I’m not convinced that the ball is actually knocked on by either Hardie or Strauss) a staggering 42% of people agreed with his decision, while 53% said he was wrong. Perhaps a sympathy vote for the plight of the modern day referee, or perhaps a general agreement that it was a very tough call that had to be made in real time.

Many readers, experts and the rugby loving public felt that World Rugby had let him down with their statement post match. Whilst I do understand why they did it (for clarification purposes, as well as to allow the public to accept and move on), I hope this doesn’t set an ugly precedent every time there is something the public feel unhappy about. The truth of the matter is that there have been other poor decisions made in matches in this RWC, some of which came at crucial times in certain matches, but those have been swept under the carpet. 

World Rugby has to understand that their use of technology is deficient and not in keeping with the needs of the modern game. A solution has to be found to allow the players to feel that they have a greater say in their own destiny.

As for Joubert, he is alive and kicking. Obviously not a happy camper, and sharing in the all round disappointment that this event has brought on, my hope is that he will recover his confidence to play an important role going forward in key test matches in the future. If he gets the support of the powers that be, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to press on as one of the leading referees of his generation. After all Wayne Barnes recovered very well from his drama in the 2007 quarterfinal to become a better referee all round.

As for the upcoming fixtures this weekend, my predictions are as follows:

I would like to think that the Boks can give the All Blacks the fright of their lives, even though we all know who the favorites are! That will count for nothing on match day though. But for some naivety, and poor options in the most recent game played in SA, we could well have beaten the men in black! 

I’m really interested in the battle that looms at lock, of all positions. All 4 individuals are world class and I think a titanic battle will ensue! I’m hoping that the scrums will be refereed with sensitivity if conditions are wet as forecast, after all, the players should decide the outcome of these type of matches!

The other semi is not cut and dry either. Whilst the Wallabies will be hot favorites to go through, it is Argentina who have impressed with their all round ability to beat their opponents! They have the best scrum in the competition, one of the best place kickers in the tournament and some real mongrel in their pack. Australia’s work on defence should be key in this fixture, as I believe they have chosen a pack that can stifle even the best attacks! Their scrum is vastly improved, and they have strong leadership and general nous across the park. Their coach is a man who understands what it takes to win, and they will be hard to beat coming off their close shave against the Scots!

Back home it is the Currie Cup Final between the Lions and WP. No matter the fact that there is so much quality missing from the event this year, it will still be an occasion to savour. I’m certainly looking forward to a lekker weekend of rugby!

RastaAnd finally, good luck to Messrs Barnes, Garces and Rasivhenge! These are special moments in your lives and I hope the ball bounces well for all three of you.

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