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Friday Funnies - The Beast penalised for dangerous play

BY Grant Constable  ·  Friday Jul 1, 2011

Friday Funnies - The Beast penalised for dangerous play

Referee Bryce Lawrence came in for a lot of criticism after his handling of the Crusaders vs Sharks Super Rugby game last weekend. Here’s a quick clip of one of his more puzzling moments.

The Crusaders blew the Sharks off the park in the second half, so it wasn’t a case of Lawrence necessarily influencing the outcome of the match. Having said that, there were a few decisions that had some of the players, fans at home, and even the New Zealand commentators scratching their heads.

This was one such decision, as the Sharks packed down for a scrum, and were blown up with a full arm penalty before even making contact, for dangerous play . The Sharks did well not to kick up a fuss at the time, but Lawrence has since taken a lot of flack for the amusing call.

Former Test referee Andre Watson said there was no doubt that the decision was absurd, but has tried to explain what Lawrence was more than likely thinking.

“We have been trying for the past two seasons to penalise teams in the scrums that deliberately shift the point of contact. It’s usually the defensive scrum that moves slightly to the side and tries to prevent the attacking scrum from getting a right shoulder. That is what Lawrence wanted to do,” he said.

“I don’t know why he used those words, but it was incorrect and did not make sense. I’m also not sure whether the Sharks would have shifted on their own throw-in.”

Referee boss Lyndon Bray has said that Lawrence had consistently produced the best refereeing performances over the past six months, so he has been appointed for the final. This weekend, Jonathan Kaplan will ref the first semi final, between the Reds and the Blues, while Craig Joubert will manage the game in Cape Town, between the Stormers and the Crusaders.

This clip, while not technically a funny, is rather bizarre and some of you had asked to see it again, so here it is. There’s also a bit of a discussion included, from Kiwi rugby show Reunion.

Time: 03:02

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