Sunday 17 June 2018

Egypt EGY 0

Uruguay URY 1

REPORT

Morocco MAR 0

Iran IRN 1

REPORT

Portugal POR 3

Spain ESP 3

REPORT

France FRA 2

Australia AUS 1

REPORT

Argentina ARG 1

Iceland ISL 1

REPORT

Peru PER 0

Denmark DNK 1

REPORT

Croatia CRO 2

Nigeria NGA 0

REPORT

Costa Rica CRI 0

Serbia SRB 1

REPORT

Germany GER 0

Mexico MEX 1

REPORT

Brazil BRA 1

Switzerland SUI 1

Full Time

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Belgium BEL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Senegal SEN

Russia RUS

Egypt EGY

Portugal POR

Morocco MAR

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Tony Ward: Rule changes stand to reason but referees must use common sense too

Referee Ben Whitehouse. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Referee Ben Whitehouse. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

Before Saturday's game in Galway, in dire conditions, referee Ben Whitehouse gave an informative explanation of the new laws governing the catcher taking the ball into touch and on the scrum-half putting the ball into the scrum to enable a front-row to strike.

I can see front-row forwards from previous generations shaking their heads in disbelief - and I'm not just talking about the hooker. The match official explained the need to cut down on time wasting at the scrum.

Nobody could argue with the rationale behind the experimental changes and for TG4 and the watching audience, Whitehouse was concise.

I am slow to criticise referees because I believe it is a thankless task and therefore by extension have enormous respect for those who take up the whistle, in particular former players. You cannot put a value on the Alain Rollands, John Laceys, Frank Murphys and Joy Nevilles of this world.

However, on Saturday, in poor handling conditions, I felt the referee failed to even attempt to put into practice what he had emphasised in relation to increasing ball-in-play time beforehand.

Technically, I'm sure he could justify almost every blast of the whistle in terms of the rule book, but it is on inclement days like Saturday that an element of leeway has to be given.

To pick just one example from the maestro (Nigel Owens), when the ball has been won and moved beyond the front-row even the scrum collapsing (providing the official deems it safe) should not require a reset.

I'm still on your side, Ben - but slow down on that whistle.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport