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Le 10 septembre 2012


Biarritz v Montpellier a mouth watering encounter of modern day rugby which involves two teams of 15 players to present a spectacle for thousands of supporters plus a television audience of maybe hundreds of thousands of rugby supporters, all this spoilt by 3 persons in charge, mainly one referee and one touch judge but a game and the result completely falsified by the incompetence of the man in the middle and his assistants.
Once again, this weekend of TOP 14 games was strewn with yellow cards and penalties a go-go, if this continues the Stadiums will resemble the ones in Wales and Scotland EMPTY !!! The actual playing time in the modern game is becoming less and less, as the stop start programme of the referees whistle is slowing ruining the game we all love to play and watch.
The governing bodies have changed the rules and promised open play and entertainment, we are all still waiting and the jury are still out with their decisions, how such experts can get it so wrong is hard to understand and for the moment the referees are blaming the front rows and the coaches, the players are having a go at the governing bodies and the men in charge no one seems to want to be responsible for the incompetence that we are all having to endure, the only fact that comes to the surface is  the poor supporter pays his hard earned cash and is given absolutely no chance to demonstrate his displeasure, but just maybe that will be shown in his absence along with many others from the Stadiums in the not too far distant future if this continues, already poor attendances are beginning to avail themselves after only the 4th day of the season. This is a very sorry state of affairs and will probably not be readdressed until the end of the season by then it maybe to late!!!
The game itself was a fairly mundane affair Biarritz coming out easy winners by 27-8, this was probably due to the referee giving Montpellier 2 outrageous yellow cards in short succession during the second half after consulting with his touch judge who had obviously been hallucinating from what he saw, and what actually happened, normally things like that only happens in the cinema and fairy tales. The match had its fair share of knock-ons and we will not mention the number of collapsed scrums, a fine example this weekend was the match between Clermont and Racing Metro, over 20 scrums with only a handful being reset so it can be done if the players make the effort and the referee is sensible in his decisions the game can return to its former glory.
Montpellier did however deny Biarritz of their attacking bonus point with a late try by Thomas Combezou after a grubber kick from Francois Trinh-Duc in the dying seconds of the game.  The only other issue worth mentioning is that next Friday evening Montpellier are at home to Toulon ko 20.50 lets hope that things will change between now and Friday so at least the paying supporter is getting value for his money and the referees play a fair and unbiased part in what could be a great game of rugby between 2 great teams, he’s hoping !!!
Steve Whittell.