TORONTO, CANADA – If you followed this weekend’s scores, you would’ve seen one great game between Scotland and Canada… a match that saw Canada almost beat the Scots, before eventually falling just short. However, there was one major call that had severe impact on the game – and arguably would have seen Canada win. Take a look at the video below in which New Zealand referee Mike Fraser gives Rugby Canada’s Jebb Sinclair a red card:
Now, let’s review the implications first. Canada are losing by two and pushing hard for those final points to beat the Scots. If they keep playing hard and maintain the ball, they have a very good chance of doing so. However, this stoppage leads to a break, which arguably will cost Canada the game.
When you question whether or not a referee has cost a country a game, you surely will find moments in the game that were just as impacting as a questionable call; when one could easily say if a team hadn’t knocked on 3 times so close to the line, or played better under duress, they would have won. However, in this case, it is almost guaranteed that if Canada would have gotten the penalty – or points – as it looked they would – that they would have scored perhaps held the lead. When calls this close to the end happen, the question of whether the referee cost the team the game will always ultimately come up.
In this instance, looking at the call, did Jebb Sinclair do what was accused? In this case it appears not. Sinclair appears to lead with his arm to make an offensive rugby play. In this case it seems absolute that the referee got it wrong.
“I’m gutted actually for the guys. They really put it all in,” said Canadian coach Kieran Crowley. “Positives are . . . we ran a Tier 1 country to two points, that’s a pretty good effort.”
The question now must become… Why? In this case it appears that the referee may have been affected once again by the TMO and the all powerful slow motion replay. When looking and reviewing something in slow motion it often provides for things to look much worse than they were. In this case it seems to be that position.
The question of how to fix it comes up and it seems to be one of obvious conclusion. The review process on foul play ought to have a limit on what speed they can review situations at. In this case it could lead to a much more fair outcome.
What do you think about the call and possible solutions?
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