Spiro nails it. Refs run the game to ruin through outrageous, inconsistent and game deciding rulings. Rugby is less about players and more about refs. In fact, teams with possession are better off hanging around for penalty against equal or stronger sides. The game is in a terrible place.
I just found the decision of Jaco Peyper to yellow card two All Blacks just bout as bewildering as his scrum rulings. The two yellow card sendings off for ‘cynical’ play at the ruck have set a poor precedent. If players are going to be sent off for ‘cynical’ play, then most of the forwards will be in the sin bin. Certainly Michael Hooper and Richie McCaw would never finish a match.
The first penalty of the Test, for instance, when Scott Fardy deliberately fell across the All Blacks ruck and stopped a strong attack was as ‘cynical’ as that of the Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett. Why wasn’t he given a yellow card?
The yellow card was introduced for repeated professional or cynical fouls in the scoring zone. Several infringements were needed before the yellow card sanction was to be used. Under Peyper the yellow card seems to have morphed into a first resort punishment for play deemed illegal anywhere on the field.
There are too many yellow cards issues, anyway. By bringing yellow cards into general play, Peyper threatened to destroy the integrity of the Test. It was noticeable that the All Blacks coaches were so nervous about his propensity to hand out yellow cards that that took Crockett off the field.