Editorials 26.3.2014 06:30 am

Referee Berry lucky to stay on

Considering the financial and personal stakes in Super Rugby, it is appropriate that referees should be held to a high standard.

Make no mistake, it’s a challenging job­­­­­­, made more demanding by the ever increasing use of television technology. Super-slow motion replays on big stadium screens and in millions of homes allow all and sundry to see whether the ref and his assistants are making the right calls.

This season complaints have flooded in, and passionate fans will welcome the news that three Super 15 whistle-blowers, South African Lourens van der Merwe, Argentina’s Francisco Pastrana and Australian James Leckie have been cut from the roster.

However, there is a glaring omission.

Sanzar referees boss Lyndon Bray says the changes reflect “who has performed to expectation and who has not”.

But thousands would disagree.

Some of the most contentious decisions in recent weeks have been made by South Africa’s Stuart Berry, yet he remains on board.

Last week Bray criticised Berry for wrongly awarding a try to the Lions against the Blues. Last Saturday Berry virtually won the game for the Lions against the Reds.

He’s lucky to keep his job.

 

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