robdylan

A different set of rules for Mitchell?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Mar 2012 at 11:22
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I find it absolutely outrageous that Lions coach John Mitchell can get away with his criticisms of the match officials after Saturday’s loss to the Sharks in Durban. Any player who dared to utter anything even vaguely as direct would find themselves in hot water pretty darn quickly.

The former Waikato back-rower seems to be unhappy with a number of the calls that went against his team – one can only assume that the decision by TMO Johann Meuwesen to award a try to Sharks winger Lwazi Mvovo despite some doubt as to whether his feet stayed in play must be the main sticking point. Mitchell was quoted as saying “There were some dubious officials tonight, so we’re going to have to report the TMO on the evidence that we have,” which to me is about as blatant a statement as I’ve yet seen made relating to incompetence on behalf of match officials. Again, seems there’s a different set of laws when it comes to Kiwi’s picking on South African assistants; I notice that nobody in the Cheetahs camp has dared to say a word after Kiwi ref Keith Brown cheated them out of a win in Brisbane.

Brown’s scrum calls against the Cheetahs were reminiscent of the Bryce Lawrence “he moved his head” debacle during the Sharks’ loss to the Crusaders last year.

The issue here is not so much whether there were poor calls made in the Sharks-Lions match – hell, we’ve seen more than enough kak decision in each of this year’s matches to raise a legitimate concern about the state of refereeing across the game. I’d just like to know how it’s acceptable for Mitchell to make open accusations in the media of incompetence, when that same privilege does not appear to be extended to other coaches and players.



63 Comments

  • Agree completely Rob..

    The standard of referee has not evolved at the same rate as the standard of rugby, and that is a shame, but to call out the refs like Mitchell is doing, is uncalled for.

    As you say, if it was anybody else, how would they have reacted?

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.03.12 11:25:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • my my arent we grumpy this morning :P

    Sharks won and i think that is all that should mater . Lions did not play good enough . point .

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.03.12 11:28:05 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I posted this in the rating thread but this is probably a more apt thread for these questions:
    “There was some dubious officiating because there was a foot out before the ball was pressed [for Lwazi Mvovo's try] and we’re going to report the TMO [television match official] based on the evidence we have,” Mitchell said.

    Both Mvovo and Dreyer got the benifit of the doubt. I don’t see Mitchell complaining about Dreyer’s try though?

    “In the last try there were also at least two forward passes and it’s something we’re going to deal with at management level.”

    The offload that lead to MB’s try looked forward to me at first but other angles just show it as a very flat pass. Didn’t pick up on any possible forward passes on the last try though? Wasn’t it a lineout and rolling maul that lead to that one?

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.03.12 11:28:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Well perhaps if he used ‘social media’ there would have been more of an uproar. Unacceptable either way.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.03.12 11:28:20 by Crock Reply

    CrockUnder 21 player
     
  • I think that Plumtree handled it well, saying that he thought the ref was “fantastic” even though he wasn’t.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.03.12 11:30:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    Brendan Venter Style !!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.03.12 11:33:40 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Ruan Dreyer’s try was every bit as dodgy as Mvovo’s…. is Mitchell going to include that in his report too? After all, he’s not looking to change the result, just to point out all the mistakes that he felt were made.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.03.12 11:37:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • I don’t have a problem with this.

    If a ref made some wrong decisions then I believe the ref should be taken to task for it. If a player has a bad game then he is criticised in public. Sam with a coach, why not a referee? They’re not above the game.

    But in saying that, yes, I think Mvovoi was in touch, but I also think Dreyer lost control of the ball before grounding it.

    And for the forward pass, I have no idea what that is about, didn’t see it.

    In this instance I think tjhe Cheetahs should be able to have a go at Brown. He was shocking and cost them the game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.03.12 11:40:51 by WilladieLeeu Reply

    WilladieLeeuUnder 21 player
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 6) : Except that Plumtree didn’t make himself look “short bus special” in the process.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.03.12 11:42:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • My 2c. The problem here is, if you are not happy and you voice it, you get wrapped over the knuckles. Why didn’t Naka complain? What if those 4 points cost them a Super 15 spot next year? Officials should also be investigated after a game just like a player. Coaches and unions should complain about rubbish calls because it can cost them a truckload of money (home semi/home final revenue etc etc).

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.03.12 11:44:17 by Silky Reply

     
  • @WilladieLeeu (Comment 8) : ja – I hear you Willa… I just think that if Mitchell can get away with it, others (like Drotske, who had far more to complain about) should be allowed to as well.

    The forward pass came in the lead up to Bosman’s try… I felt at the time that Whitehead’s offload to Bosman was forward. The replay showed that it wasn’t so bad… I’m going to have another look at it though.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.03.12 11:44:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • IMO it is still early days after these comments and we will soon see some response from SANZAR. Either that or Mitchell was very astute to add the “we’re going to have to report the TMO” bit. SANZAR might now be concerned about it putting them in a bad light (as if it could get much worse) if they take action and it is seen as retaliatory.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.03.12 11:48:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Perhaps all the coaches who have been fined for speaking out against referees will be asking for a refund now… or maybe SANZAR will cite Mitchell on his comments.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.03.12 11:49:05 by lostfish Reply
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  • BTW Naka IS complaining, check the Cheetahs website, he is also going to report Brown.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.03.12 11:49:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Mitchell is not endearing himself to SA officials, not a wise move but if it gets the officiating to improve then it wont have been in vain.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.03.12 11:56:38 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : I replayed that try about 10 times yesterday evening. I don’t think it’s forward – just very flat – but perhaps I’m wearing my Sharks’ tinted glasses again.

    Would be very interested to know what others (both Sharks and Lions) thought of it!

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.03.12 12:01:14 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : The fact that you had to view it 10 times shows that there is doubt. I think it was forward but I’m a Lion supporter. :o

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.03.12 12:08:03 by Silky Reply

     
  • Ah. Finally. A reason to disagree with Rob, at last.

    Sorry big guy, but I agree with Mitchell. The officiating was terrible. Why should players and coaches have to mince words. They are held to account by their fans and franchises. Why shouldn’t officials be held to the same accountability?

    *throws some rotten lettuce and tomato*

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.03.12 12:11:24 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : I don’t see Mitchell complaining about Dreyer’s try though?

    Of course not. That’s Plum’s prerogative. But we won, so Plum wouldn’t be bothered. Why raise a stink if all you’re going to win is a small moral victory but give fail to ingratiate yourself to the powers that be in the future?

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.03.12 12:14:12 by klempie Reply

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  • @Silky (Comment 17) : The fact that I had my doubts was never in dispute. I admitted to that in my post higher up.

    Why do you consider it a forward pass though? Was it a particular angle or direction of the hands?

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.03.12 12:14:47 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : See comment 19.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.03.12 12:14:56 by klempie Reply

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  • @klempie (Comment 19) : If he’d complained about the inconsistencies in all decisions instead of only the ones that went against the Lions it would have lent FAR more credibility to Mitchell’s cause in my opinion. What’s to stop SANZAR from simply claiming that Mitch is suffering from a severe case of sour grapes.

    Look, I fully agree that there should be a mechanism to allow for ref’s decisions to be reviewed, haven’t we been calling for that since a certain final in 2007? Mitchell could have thought this through a little more carefully though.

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.03.12 12:20:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : @lostfish (Comment 13) : were Plumtree or Smit ever fined or reprimanded for their comments re keith brown after the match vs the Tahs where Kurtley Beale was alleged by the Sharks coach to have deliberately knocked down a Terblanche pass to a free Kankowski?

    Plumtree after that match also blamed Paul Marks of allowing Phil Waugh to “get away with murder” at the breakdown.

    now i ask AGAIN, was plumtree fined then or was his criticism of the ref different to what mitchell has said?

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.03.12 12:31:27 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @klempie (Comment 18) : I just want consistency in who’s allowed to complain and who isn’t…

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.03.12 12:34:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 23) : yu and that photographic memory….

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.03.12 12:35:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : That’s rich coming from an SW admin… :|

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.03.12 13:30:28 by klempie Reply

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  • i see i killed this sanctimonious thread :D :lol:

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.03.12 14:32:21 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 27) : Pot, Kettle…

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.12 14:39:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 28) : yep…

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.12 14:44:39 by Megatron Reply

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  • As an ardent Sharks supporter in the heart of Lions country, I have spoken to a number of Lions supporters who have said their team just didn’t show up on the day.Not one of them complained about the refereeing to me. There were a few forward passes on both side that went unnoticed – one right in front of the assistant referee by James Kamana! Even with the moaning about refereeing, the outcome of the game cannot be changed – the cannot disallow tries after the game! ;-)

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.12 14:52:26 by markm Reply

    markmVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Megatron (Comment 29) : We’re agreed then. I can’t think of a more fitting adjective to sum you up.

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.12 14:52:36 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I can understand any player and coach venting their frustrations, and also appreciate that things are fairly inconsistent in terms of punishment and or handling.

    Regulation needs to be inserted in both the handling of queries and complaints, as well as the shit refereeing standards we as knowing funs are subject to, some of the on field management would be disgraceful at an Easter rugby high school festival… let alone a world standard premier sporting event.

    Its been a shocker, that along with the rules of the contest is actually making for bitter pills to swallow.

    Simplify the game, watch it unfold into something beautiful and standardise the complaints and queries… There should be a nominated “whistle blower” in each team responsible for objective complaints and queries and this should be the accepted protocol. The team mates would then vent their frustration to said fellow, and he would address it more sensibly.

    Thus tosses on Twitter won’t be fined for calling XYZ an ABC… because that would clearly be out of protocol and subject to punishment.

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.12 14:54:01 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • The issue I have with this whole thing is that I felt the calls were pretty 50/50. If the TMO gave a ruling for a try when the players whole body was in touch, then sure, complain. If anything, complain to Supersport for having their camera’s in the wrong position to get a clearer view of the touchline. The TMO is only human, and is going to make a few judgement calls, and probably get a few wrong.

    While on subject, has anything happened about the try the Bulls scored last week that wasn’t a try?

    To really stir the pot, I felt that Taute’s try should not have been given either, because the player that bound on him to help drive him over impacted with Mvovo, the second defender, before the ball carrier, and reduced the defender’s chance at a clean tackle and therefore was offside!

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.12 14:54:54 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • Gaff I agree.the support player played mvovo not support his player. One can also see it as obstruction as he made contact with mvovo before mvovo made contact in the tackle

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.12 15:10:36 by juba_fan Reply

    CrazySharkFanCurrie Cup player
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 31) : you’re summing me up? :shock: forget it, you don’t possess the mental capacity to… :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.12 15:18:01 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : No one can complain about forward passes any more, it’s just not something referees seem to blow any more. There was two forward passes for the Basson try too, but with this hole drifting debacle the refs would just shrug their shoulders.

    Has anyone ever gone and done some mathematical calculations on how fast a player would have to run to cause a drift when they’re not even passing 2 meters. I have. It’s ridiculous.

    The pass from JJ to Basson was a meter or meter and a half at most. JJ passes the ball before the advertising boards and Basson catches the ball halfway into the advertising board. Mathematically, it is just not possible that, that balls general direction was backward at any point!

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.12 15:40:01 by Letgo Reply
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  • I don’t care if they complain about the refs, if there was an official place to put complaints in against refs, then they wouldn’t have to do it in the media.

    Mitchell should continue, hopefully other coaches then has the guts to follow.

    I thought Mvovo’s try could have gone either way. And to me there is no clear evidence that Timmy’s pass to Bosman was forward.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.12 15:42:03 by Letgo Reply
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  • And I still feel very strongly that the white-card should have been reserved for captain on-field questioning of critical calls.

    Now that they have taken white, we’le just have to take green, orange, purple, pink, blue, black (ooh, I like black) for this particular system.

    They’re using it in most other sports now. It not only helps with to eliminate or at least limit errors, but it will also calm teams down, because now they don’t have to yell at the ref helplessly, but can actually just pull out the black card.

    Two per team in a game, should be enough. It’s not for every single thing and I’m sure some captains will waste their black cards at first, because they think every call is wrong, but soon they’ll realise unless they are absolutely certain of the call, they will lose both their cards before a very crucial and blatant call at the end of the match.

    Why can’t they just implement this already. It’s so frustrating!

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.12 15:50:41 by Letgo Reply
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  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 32) : Yip I agree, and I like the term “Whistle Blower” it totally works.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.12 15:54:15 by Letgo Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : At the game some people said it looked forward, but Bosman take it behind the put, which can always give the illusion of a forward pass. It’s a beautiful try and I watched it in very, very slowmo like 15 times and really don’t think it was forward from the angles I saw it.

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.12 15:57:22 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 23) : I can’t remember if they were fined, but the referee was benched :mrgreen:

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.12 16:01:17 by Letgo Reply
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  • Letgo, you liking this thread? :)

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.12 16:05:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 35) : Thank you for so succinctly proving my point!

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.12 16:21:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 41) : yes, so why is robdylan moaning then, because i recall Paul Marks even being referred to as Paul SKIDmarks on this site…Plumtree was NEVER fined or reprimanded and robdylan wants mitchell to shut up, why?

    smit said: ‘The referee obviously thought there was some cynical intent, which is why the yellow card got given to Beale,’ the Sharks captain said of the potential match-winning moment. ‘Now we’ve got to have a look at the tape and see if there was any way they could have tackled him if he’d got the pass.’

    plum:‘That was a cynical decision,’ Plumtree said after the match. ‘That should have been a penalty try. That was the game.’

    ‘Phil Waugh got away with murder at the breakdown and this wasn’t picked up enough by the ref,’ said Plumtree. ‘It made it hard for us to get our game going.

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.12 16:21:58 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 43) : whatever, keep believing the drivel spewed by your mind, i could care less :D

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.03.12 16:23:43 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Letgo (Comment 36) : Someone posted a youtube video a while back illustrating how difficult it is to throw a forward pass. It visually demonstrates your point really well. Was it you that posted it?

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.03.12 16:29:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 45) : Uh huh… then why take the time to reply? :lol:

    This is so typical of your MO. Troll for trolling’s sake, get called on it and then the whole “stick and stones can break my bones…” routine. Be more original. You and every other teen on the internet have this down pat. :grin:

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.03.12 16:35:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 44) : when did Plum call any of the officials in that game “dubious”?

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.03.12 16:41:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 47) : you reckon you’re calling me hahaha, this is a blog, i can reply to any post including yours.

    you seem to think you’re here for far more noble intentions than i so guess u’re deluded too. :lol:

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.03.12 16:44:43 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Megatron (Comment 49) : And here I thought you could care less? :grin:

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.03.12 16:47:06 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : you’re being pedantic now…did plum not criticise the ref’s decisions then? did he not SQUARELY put his team’s defeat at the ref allowing waugh to “get away with murder”.

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.03.12 16:48:25 by Megatron Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 50) :imagine if i ignored you, how forlorn you would be :mrgreen:

    besides, you’re mildly amusing

  • Comment 52, posted at 12.03.12 16:49:51 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 48) :coaches are talking out more about what the refs are missing.

    Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie bemoaned Melbourne’s stalling tactics and the inaction of the referee, following his side’s disjointed performance in an 11-6 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

    McKenzie, who loathes playing unattractive rugby in front of the Queensland home crowd, said referee Angus Gardener’s reluctance to bring out a yellow card for repeated tryline infringements had denied his side real advantage from their domination of the contest.

    “We deliberately didn’t take shots at goal there for a while and ran the ball and forced penalties and kept running and got more penalties, and no yellow cards just penalties,” he said.

    “We were a bit frustrated, you’ve got to get a reward somehow. You can see my point; we could have just taken shots at goal and gone back to halfway and started again.”

    “We were trying to force an advantage through carrying the ball in the second half; we got some rhythm out of that, but we didn’t get any great advantage on the scoreboard.”

    “I’m not a big advocate of yellow cards, but what I’m saying is that if you play with the right intention, you have to be able to get over the tryline, that’s the purpose of the game.”

    “Every team comes here to slow us down and slow the rucks down and put pressure on the halfback and basically mess the game up, so it’s pretty clear what sort of game we’re going to have to deal with.”

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.03.12 16:51:15 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 51) : surely one as educated as you are can see the difference between saying a DECISION is dubious, and saying that the PERSON MAKING IT is dubious? That’s not being pendantic at all

  • Comment 54, posted at 12.03.12 16:57:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 52) : Thank you for caring! ;-) When you put aside the bitterness, you’re a good read too!

  • Comment 55, posted at 12.03.12 16:59:06 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : oh come on rob…the point is both coaches are effectively blaming the referees, whether one says “the ref was incompetent/dubious” or actually spelling out how the ref was incompetent “he allowed the brumbies to engage early even though he pinged us 5 times for the same offence, it’s those inconsistencies that are annoying”

    this is what is you wrote “I find it absolutely outrageous that Lions coach John Mitchell can get away with his criticisms of the match officials”

    are you in effect then saying plum didn’t criticise marks?

  • Comment 56, posted at 12.03.12 17:11:16 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • No Robd this certainly not your best work ..sorry but this seems like some pointless rant to me.

    You had an opportunity to point out that its high time we have coaches pullng up refs for poor performances ..nevermind it went both ways on Sat ..but teams are now (see Cheetahs) being blown unfairly and lose the match.

    This has been a long time coming and I blame the Irb ..the constant law changes and frankly poor selections of top international refs is below par imo.

    Just this week gone by yyou wrote a piece on the shocking decision to allow that try in the Cheetahs game.

    I’m in total disagrrement ..its time ALL coaches speak out and present paddy and his cigar club pals with evidence of kak calls.

    You as a Sharks supporter should know this more than any other SA fan the heartbreak from terrible offciating.
    This sense of them being too good for critizism is the very reason we are here.

  • Comment 57, posted at 12.03.12 17:15:34 by csb Reply

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  • @csb (Comment 57) : I think all of you have completely misread this piece ;)

  • Comment 58, posted at 12.03.12 17:20:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • , but clearly [the officials] need to be accountable at this level.”

    Thats all we ask and this is why Mitchell is taking them on…

  • Comment 59, posted at 12.03.12 17:21:43 by csb Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) :

    There’s an angry Robd undertone to it … :lol: why I ask myself considering you walked away with the 5 points

  • Comment 60, posted at 12.03.12 17:24:06 by csb Reply

    csbSuper Rugby player
     
  • @csb (Comment 60) : you know me too well.

    I feel like Mitchell is being a bad loser and trying to take some gloss off the win.

    THERE. You forced it out of me! :mrgreen:

    Hope you’re in Jozi in December so you can buy me a drink to say sorry

  • Comment 61, posted at 12.03.12 17:30:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : I don’t think JM is a bad loser. It’s high time that someone starts to stand up against the officials.

    There was doubt, as you stated in your article and to the article from Andre Watson, as to whether Mvovo’s try was legit or not. IMO that is good enough not to allow the try.

    Also the forward pass to Meyer’s try. JM is trying to get a point over that the TMO should be more involved in the game. Should I remind you all to the Boks v AB game where Ellis try was disallowed?

    If the ref wasn’t informed as per rules then the try would’ve stand and the Boks would certainly have lost the game. Time for the IRB to get a wake up smack. The game is evolving and it’s unfair to the players that train everyday for such bs to appear.

    The technology is there and can and should be used.

    Anyway’s Saturdays game is water underneath the bridge.

    AFAIK some officials are not happy with JM at the mo, but who gives a rat ass to the old boys club. Waky waky your time is up. You either need to adapt or die a slow and painfull death.

    PS. Bray is in the country…[email protected]@s

  • Comment 62, posted at 13.03.12 07:09:39 by LionsinPTA Reply

    Under 19 player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 61) :

    Welcome to the life off a Lions supporter . We won the Currie Cup and people are still taking the gloss of that .

    Sure . We might not have faced the strongest teams but we still won . You guys are happy about getting 5 points against the lowly Lions . were happy about winning a watered down currie cup .

    The Loosers will always try to take the gloss away from the winners . facts of life that is .

    At the end of the day the Sharks did what needed to be done and thats all that should matter . The rest should not matter .

  • Comment 63, posted at 13.03.12 07:21:29 by Zibbie Reply
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