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Poor decisions soured a great win

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 20 Mar 2012 at 10:06
Tagged with : , , , , ,

They say that moaning about the officiating when you lose is a sign of sour grapes – but surely if you win, you cannot be accused of the same thing? I’m going to have a bash anyway and see how much I can get away with…

There were two decisions, in particular, that went against the Sharks this weekend that could have – and I feel should have – had a drastic impact on the final result and could at best have resulted in an extra log point for the home side, as well as one fewer for the Reds. Both could go on to have an impact when the final log positions are decided, although we obviously can’t say right now what that impact may be.

The first was the assistant ref call that denied the Sharks a seemingly legitimate second try, late in the first half. A superb backline move had seen Lwazi Mvovo saunter over in the left-hand corner and had the try been awarded, the Sharks could have turned just a few points behind the hosts, or perhaps level with them, rather than the 17-10 scoreline which required an even grater second-half fightback. The try did not stand, though, as Willem Alberts was adjudged to have entered a ruck illegally during the build-up. TV replays showed that call to be harsh indeed, with Alberts doing nothing more heinous than hitting the ruck, binding onto an opposition player and driving him away. That’s the way you’re supposed to do it, isn’t it? I’m not sure whether Alberts was meant to apply for the player’s consent in advance, or what the issue was. Anyway, in the final analysis, had that try stood (and I believe it should have), there is reasonable enough cause to believe that the Sharks would have won with a bonus point on Saturday.

The second decision, again from the same Assistant Ref, was even worse. Digby Ioane’s spear tackle on Marcell Coetzee was possibly the most blatant red card offence I’ve seen in a while – and this view was confirmed by Judicial Officer Heron in suspending the thug for 5 weeks (whilst conceding that the offence warranted 8, but a guilty plea reduced the actual ban). How the AR managed to bottle that simplest of calls is something that only he can answer. Fact is, though, the Sharks should have had a one-man advantage for the entire second half and had that been the case, you can bet that the final scoreline would have been somewhat more flattering to the hosts than the 27-22 margin of victory.


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