‘Whistleblower’ is David Matthews, a long serving honorary
life member of the club .
He was President of Lancashire County RFU for 2014/2015
He enjoyed twenty years on the RFU Referee List, including two seasons on the International Panel between 1992-
ON OR OFF -
A simple method of avoiding controversy
Either the winters are milder, communication has improved or common sense is being applied, but there do not seem to be as many unnecessary late postponements of games these days. I am sure there have been tales of teams travelling long distances to be told the match is off but the pressure of league rugby, knowing that there will automatically be a rearrangement, could well have introduced some logical thinking at last.
The European Cup manages to remain in its own little bubble, believing that the games are immune from adverse weather and will be played come hell or high water. The latest bit of nonsense came in December for the Saracens v Clermont Auvergne clash, scheduled for the Sunday afternoon. A heavy snowfall in the London area meant that the tie had to be called off; no argument there, Saracens’ artificial surface ironically having no value, safety issues on the surrounding roads were the problem. Hastily fixed up for the Monday afternoon, a 5.30pm kick-
Over the years, hardly any referees have not, mercifully, when two teams have disagreed over the fitness of the pitch, taken the bold step of going ahead and starting the game. To add even more controversy, sixty minutes is the cut off point for the result to stand, so ending play just short or just over that period is guaranteed to incense everyone. Quite simply, if there is doubt or disagreement then the decision has to be “off.” Most of the on or off sagas are because of frost, when there is often someone at the home club who is convinced the game can go ahead. Usually accompanied by the time honoured “The front lawn at home was perfectly playable” or “We play on worse than this in April” this ensures the away team and supporters make an often awkward journey...........for nothing.
Top of my list of ridiculous late postponements is a semi-
Senior rugby, professional, spectator sport that it is, should be capable of dealing with frozen weekends, but in the lower leagues a rather amateur “We used to play in worse than this” attitude still exists which really has no place in 2018 thinking.
DWM 8/1/2018 (9)