015. 19 Things About 2019 #15

#15 Referees will make mistakes


The skinny

Referees are human.  They will make mistakes at RWC2019, some big, most small.


Why this matters

Some people will try to create an impossible standard of perfection for referees, usually as a way of letting their team off the hook for a loss.

That’s not how this works.  Sport is about seeking, while always somehow falling short of, perfection. (Notable exception: Dan Carter in the second test against the British Lions in 2005 was perfect.)

Coaches make mistakes, in selections, plans and training.

Players make mistakes. Lots of them. On the field and off.

Commentators and journalists and administrators and fans make mistakes.

Striving to get better is what matters, not cheap scapegoating.



I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it many times again: the All Blacks need to never be in a position where a refereeing error can result in losing a match.

Never ever put yourself in that position.

Which is what happened in Cardiff in 2007.  Sure, Wayne Barnes missed the forward pass.  But that’s not why we lost that day.  We lost because we did not play what was in front of us. We played what was behind us.

Lesson learned in 2011 and 2015.

Needs to be re-learned for 2019.

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