In his 1997 book “Mud,Blood and Money”,Ian Malin wrote that “surely the referee should make an instant decision,albeit perhaps a flawed one,rather than rely on an action replay? Here is another innovation (he was commenting on a rugby league game) that alienates the paying customer.
Well,there was a lot to talk about at the Recreation Ground last Saturday. Which is just as well because the match against Worcester lasted 18min 30sec above and beyond the usual 80,despite an absence of serious injuries. This is the latest episode of referees becoming slaves to technology. Referee Carley spent five minutes midway through the first half deciding whether Sam Betty (who eventually received a yellow card) had taken out Horacio Agulla with an inconspicuous challenge.
The sellout crowd were forced to wait for the important fourth try;forced to wait because of Worcester’s cussed defiance and forced to wait because of the officiating problem that is becoming endemic in the professional game. This was a decent content-unfortunately it was 18 minutes too long.