THE SAD THING IS HE SPOILT A SEMI FINAL
AT THE SAME TIME ROBBING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
OF A FINAL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A FITTING END TO THE TOURNAMENT
WALES 24 THE ALL BLACKS 11
THAT WAS MY PREDICTION, NOW WE WILL NEVER KNOW?
Here we go then, I said this blog would not be just about the beautiful sites that Croatia has to offer.
So lets make no mistake, I am biased, Welsh, 65 years old and have waited all my life for Wales to win The World Cup.
I played and watched through the previous Welsh ascendancy in the 70′s. Regaling my squash buddies (SOGSS)* of recent years with the memories of the Pontypool Front Row, the 1971 Lions team that had 15 Welshmen (perhaps only 13, I’m old now and the memory fades) and Phil Bennett’s 95 yard singlehanded tries against the All Blacks or The good doctor’s (JPR) bonecrunching tackles in 1974.
This World Cup has been a showcase for the management skills of Warren Gatland and the outstanding effort put in by his Welsh squad both on and off the pitch as ambassadors for their Country and the Game we love. The boys both youngsters and old stagers trained and played their hearts out, unlike England who never really showed up or France who only excelled in their usual disorganisation and petty bickering amongst themselves. There was little doubt in my mind that the final would be Wales versus the All Blacks and that undoubtedly would have been the Match of the Year if not decade or even millenium.
What went wrong?
Several things really,
1) A jobsworth who hid behind a rulebook
Why? Well Alain Rolland does not sound like a very Irish names does it.
That’s because his Father is French and his name is Alain Colm Pierre Rolland. Colm is an Irish name.
He undoubtedly took advantage of the vagueness of the Rule Book to advantage his home country.
2) An ill thought decision from a dubious referee who already had several doubtful calls in this tournament.
- The player is lifted and then forced or `speared’ into the ground (red card offence)
- The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence)
- For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient.”
Q) 2 other tip tackles were punished with a yellow card and a penalty in this tournament, why the red card only for Wales?
Q) Why did Monsieur Rolland not consult with his fellow officials?
Q) Or use any of the high tech video options open to him?
3) A serious mistake by the IRB
The whole competition runs on neutral referee and touch judges from Countries other than those playing the match.
Sensible really, obviously a referee has to be impartial. So why place temptation in the way, someone might just take it.
Anyway it is over now, the boys played their damnest but 14 against 16 at this level are impossible odds.
*SOGSS = Stately Old Gentlemens’ Squash Society (or Sad Old Gits, some would say).