RWC2011: Refs blamed
13 October 2011, 11:24
Auckland - Wallaby great David Campese has joined the growing chorus of dissent against how referees have handled the Rugby World Cup thus far.
After New Zealander Bryce Lawrence came under massive fire for his handling of the breakdown during the Springboks’ 11-9 loss to the Wallabies, Campese believes the referees are making a mockery of the game, ensuring teams don’t concentrate on their own strengths but rather on the referee.
This comes after IRB Referee boss Paddy O’Brien promised at the beginning of the tournament that “the breakdown is fixed.”
"I think at some of the games, some of the skills have been very disappointing overall," Campese told the New Zealand Herald. "It's a highly different game. The referees have a big influence on how you play."
As the World Cup lines up its semifinalists, Sunday’s key match up between David Pocock, who got away with murder during the quarterfinal with the Boks, and All Black master Richie McCaw could determine the outcome of the fixture.
"It depends on who's the referee and who gets away with what," Campese added.
"The whole World Cup, it's been interesting. There were so many forward passes that were let go and all the time no crackdowns – tackling with no shoulders, no arms, and it's all let go. You've just got to play the referee."
Campese added there was no consistency in the control of scrums and breakdowns.
"You saw some scrums right through the tournament that collapsed once and it's a penalty, and you saw other games where it's collapsed three or four times.
"You've got to realise it's 800kg of men packing in. The thing is the referees have never packed in a scrum in their life - like me... so sometimes it's a lottery.
"That shouldn't be the case. The referees are there to ref, not for the world to watch the ref.
"If two countries play, then someone in the middle has got to control it, but the best referee is the one you don't know who's reffing."