There’s a lot of bollocks in SupeRugby nowadays, and no I’m not just talking about Steve Walsh’s stupid tattoos. A while ago I wrote a piece about the ‘White Card’ being introduced into SupeRugby matches, naturally the piece was mostly in jest as I thought it was a kak idea, and the more it gets used the more right I think I was about making such a call. Take Saturday’s scuffle for instance between the Stormers and Cheetahs.
Really nothing in this, but note the severity and purposeful nature in the referee’s tone when suggesting this was a case for the dreaded ‘White Card’. It’s a big joke, and this incident aside it has actually become a big cop out for the refs as they don’t really need to make any big calls with regards to discipline anymore. All they need to do is pass the buck, brandish the White Card, and all is just peachy. But bugger all happens after that, is there such a thing as a ‘White Card Review meeting’? They get dished out each week but you hear fork all the next week!
The most comical use of the White Card to date was when James Haskell decided to deck Justin Downey in the Cheetahs vs Highlanders match a few weeks back. Have a look at this.
Clear punches, touch judge on the near side said as much, the touch judge on the far side ran over to echo his words, ‘Punches in face’ – it’s a bloody red. But oh no, let’s not get too hasty thought the ref, not when we have the all powerful White Card to use. Though the case put to him by both touch judges was a done deal, the ref decided that he didn’t want to be the bad guy so he hid behind the White Card after weakly producing a Yellow Card for what was clearly a Red Card offense.
Give the White Card the Red, it’s stupid, it doesn’t achieve anything positive and just allows refs to be giant pussies. You’ve already ruined the formant of this tournament SANZAR, stop ruining other shit too.
And while we are getting rid of the crap, could refs just go back to being refs too please. Between televised pre-match chats with captains (did the rules change the night before?), putting personal touches on their ‘Crouch – Touch – Pause – Engage’ deliveries and these over dramatic touch judge conversations, they seem to be doing what they can to become stars in a bloody pantomime! This is bloody rugby!