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Guest Hawkeye

IRB: Wessels made grave error

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Guest Hawkeye

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Brisbane - International Rugby Board referees boss Paddy O’Brien has revealed that South African assistant referee Cobus Wessels made a “grave mistake†that led to him being removed as touch judge for this weekend’s Tri-Nations Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Wessels was further removed from the referees panel for the Tri-Nations by the IRB boss in a decision which was accepted by SANZAR.

In a rare break of protocol, O’Brien explained to NZPA that Wessels had made a massive mistake in recommending a yellow card for Australian winger Drew Mitchell in last weekend’s Test match between the Wallabies and All Blacks in Melbourne.

Wessels flagged an off the ball incident where he said Mitchell had not used arms to tackle All Black captain Richie McCaw and later received a second yellow for unsportsmanlike behaviour, reducing the Wallabies to 14 men for the last 38 minutes of the game.

Scrutiny of match footage not shown on the night revealed that ruling to be well wide of the mark, according to IRB referees boss Paddy O'Brien.

New Zealander O'Brien told NZPA the alleged tackle by Mitchell on All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was at the minor end of the scale and Wessels had paid the price for his over-reaction.

"If anything, it's lucky to be a penalty," O'Brien said."McCaw offloads as he's about to collide with Drew Mitchell, who puts his hands out and pushes him away. So there's no way it's a yellow card offence.

"As a result of that, with the second yellow, Australia went without a player for almost 40 minutes and that just shouldn't have happened."

O'Brien said Wessels also called an All Blacks lineout throw not straight late in the Test when it was clearly down the middle.

"Assistant referees, we encourage them to intervene in the game but they've got to get it right. There were two decisions made which we felt weren't up to the standard required.

"Cobus has been very understanding, he admits that he got it wrong and we're not going to hang him out to dry. He's got to go away and think about that, referee the Currie Cup and hopefully learn a lesson from it."

Wessels, who will be the television match official on Saturday, will be replaced on the touch line by New Zealander Keith Brown.

However South African fans will continue to question why O’Brien was not more harsh on the Irish refereeing trio of Alain Rolland, George Clancy and Allan Lewis for their mistakes in the Tri-Nations Tests involving the Springboks but so vociferous to censure Wessels. Rolland and Lewis were sternly defended by O’Brien when the Springboks complained and Rolland was even awarded the Tri-Nations Test in Pretoria between the Springboks and Wallabies.

Meanwhile, O'Brien also defended the refereeing trend this season that has seen a proliferation of yellow and red cards, causing consternation from some teams and supporters.

O'Brien said attention should fall on the actions of the players, not the officials.

"We make no apologies for it. We're very tough on dangerous tackles, especially tip tackles," he said.

"This is the shop window of rugby so we can't have third grade players running around in club rugby tipping someone in the air and putting them down with legs above the horizontal.

"And there's no excuses for the headbutting and the other things that have happened."

However, O'Brien may have conceded that lock Danie Rossouw was unlucky in his yellow card and suggested officials overstepped on occasion.

"There are concerns that there have been a couple of yellows where the referees have been over-zealous. The game is still a contact sport so we just want the referees to be accurate when it comes to what is foul play and what is hard rugby."

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Guest True Blue

Coming from a referee who has given the Springboks the most red and yellow cards of all referees. (Accoring to Boots and All a couple of weeks ago). This illustrates that we have no chance against the referees with Paddy in charge. What a joke.

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This is a joke, like i said on Rugby365, is he honestly going to publically admit that he was dropped because o a bad line out call..a rugby game has so many un-punished sutuations, and that is OK, let a SA Ref make a bad call and that's it..

We have got to do something about this, why is SA the target of any punishment..

I would love to knock the shit out of that Irish - New Zealander (Paddy O'Brien)

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If only we had some medium to get a message out to all rugby fans that they need to attend the NZ Game with big banner..protesting the IRB and protesting the bad refereeing, that way the media can start pushing this story more..

It is honestly getting out of hand..

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http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=2200&art_id=vn20100804072412182C372137

and this is Andre Watson's reply. What a disgrace !!!!

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Guest Hawkeye

Maybe it has something to do with the surname... laugh.gif The paradoxicalness in the issues is alarming. Once again we fail to see any consistency regarding the performance or lack thereof between referees. What would have happened, if Craig saw the incident and decided to act in a similar manner. Seeing that he otherwise had a brilliant game, this "mistake" would then have been "overlooked" - What a bunch of clowns, PdeV should actually fit right in!

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Guest True Blue

Watson has become a politician, he says what his possible future position requires..

I wouldn't be surprised if Watson eyes Paddy's position at the IRB Referees. It will fit his ego perfectly.

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The thing is, yes the call was bad, but until they allow the use of TV, the linesman has had a brief look at the incident and made a call, if there is such a problem that one bad call, ooops wait 2, i forgot, the one lineout throw was actually straight..then decide on using the TV ref for cardable offences...it is simple...

This should only be used for foul play, cardable incidents, not knock ons etc..

1. Report the incident at the next phase of play

2. Let the TV ref take a look

3. Make a decision

4. Get on with it

Probably take 1 minute or less and the game has not been destroyed, really really simple...

Rugby League has a similar system working and it works well, when ever a try is scored, if the ref felt that there may have been off-side or a forward pass, he can go to the TV ref who confirms his thoughts or not in a lot of cases. And one thing about Rugby League i see no nonsense of bad reffing, the IRB maybe should be governed by someone from Rugby League, they seem to be a lot sharper.

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