I'm in Thailand for an Elephant Polo Charity Event. Among other topics being discussed is the growth of rugby XV's in emerging rugby countries. The consensus here, questions the complexities of the laws. New audiences battle to enjoy something that is difficult to understand.
Rugby 7's is less confusing and easier to explain. Therefore, this form of the game will continue to rapidly grow in popularity in Asia and the Americas. The XV's format however, has a battle to win a support base. I for one believe we need less laws, not more. There needs to be a strategy which simplifies the laws; not complicates them.
Wayne Barnes strikes again. Last week it was at the expense of Ireland, when he disallowed a try; quoting a marginal offside line in the maul, at the turning point of the match. This week he was at his pedantic best and made a mockery of the Welsh/French match. His motive was the same; making a controversial, match-defining decision for him to be centre stage.
He loves TV exposure and the only winner was "Fly Emirates" the jersey sponsor. Barnes was centre stage and milked it for all it was worth. Steve Hilditch is head selector of referees and must be accountable for the good of the game.
So often in rugby, one decision can influence the destiny of the match. So why does this referee continue to rate in the eyes of those who evaluate and determine who gets the next big match? The answer is because he is quite a good referee. He ticks most of the boxes including the one not on the evaluation sheet ie. "Did the referee determine the outcome of the match by making one dubious decision?" Wayne Barnes heads the bunch by miles.
For the good of the game he needs to be reprimanded or fined for this.
My allegiance is to Rugby. Wayne Barnes allegiance is to Wayne Barnes. Get rid of him.
- Murray Mexted, IRANZ Managing Director