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Coaches and game officials have to co-exist together so new referee chief will have hands full

Brendan Fanning



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Referee Chris Busby during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Connacht at Thomond Park. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Referee Chris Busby during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Connacht at Thomond Park. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Referee Chris Busby during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Connacht at Thomond Park. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

In the third quarter of the Wasps versus Exeter Premiership game last weekend there was one of those rapidly escalating moments where the refereeing team had to get all over it like a rash to restore order.

The incendiary piece in this cocktail was the involvement of extras: replacements, waterboys, physios/medics. Rugby has a raft of them circling the action throughout the game and often occupying the same space as the players. It’s a wonder this doesn’t kick off more often, especially when a try scored coincides with the presence of replacements warming up in the same in-goal area. Of course they rush in to ‘celebrate’ — one of the great imperatives of the modern game, to act like you’ve won the lotto every time something goes your way.


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