Monday 21 October 2019

Excellent work by ref should be applauded

Referee Ian Davies Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Referee Ian Davies Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

By the law of averages, a rugby moment of the weekend comes courtesy of an Andrew Conway-type try or maybe a Johnny Sexton 45-metre drop goal. Well maybe not that spectacular, but you get my drift.

My moment of this particular weekend came courtesy of a try but not by dint of the score itself - although touched down by the game's outstanding player, Max Deegan.

It represented a brilliant piece of Conor Murray-like intuition and finishing but this particular score required the input of another, in this case that of referee Ian Davies.

The impressive Welsh part-time referee may not yet be in the Nigel Owens bracket but his contribution to Deegan's match-turning try was inspirational and I would urge every other referee to dig this footage out.

It came soon after the interval with Leinster leading 12-3 when the now almost stock ruck culminating in the scrum-half (Marcello Violi of Zebre) painfully working the ball back to the tail to box-kick was read beautifully by the ever-alert Deegan.

I could have kissed the referee because in that moment he called it exactly as it is at almost every ruck in the modern game, whereby the ball is actually out and therefore game for the opposition to contest.

Hopefully, this brilliant and fearless piece of reading by Davies will pave the way for other officials - experienced and novice - to follow suit.

It represented a superb piece of opportunism but was made even better in its creation by an official in touch with the feel and interpretation of the law.

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