OK, time for a show of hands. Who's up for ***ing Russell Smith?
Sunday night's Bradford v St.Helens game was *the* single most
inconsistent refereeing performance I have seen this season. Considering
that I have seen other games refereed by Smith this season that is
certainly saying something. The only thing remotely fair was that he was
shite to both sides.
Keeping in mind that I only saw the game in the flesh and haven't seen
it on TV yet so some of these might get all the better for telling but these
are the things that spring to mind for me:
1) Stuart Spruce's 'tackle' on Tommy Martyn. Why wasn't Spruce put in the
sin bin for that? There was less than ten minutes left sure but that's
not the point. How can you award a penalty try (a try that would have
been scored but for the unfair play of the opposition) without there
being a professional foul. There maybe some instances where it can happen
that don't spring to mind but in this case Spruce was clearly as guilty
2) There was a point in the first half when he signalled a knock-on
against Bradford and then awarded a penalty to St.Helens without any
further signal. Why did he award that penalty? No Bradford or St.Helens
player was anywhere near him so the chances of it being for talking back
are pretty minimal. Even if that was the case it is his job to signal the
decision he has made so that those of us who actually give a toss either
way have even the remotest idea what is going on.
3) Also in the first half a Saints player, I think Tommy Martyn, went
into the *** bin. Is there now some edict whereby play is suspended
until that players replacement takes the field? I don't recall such a
situation ever arising before. As I remember the ruling play is suspended
whilst the referee signalls that said player is going to the *** bin
and is immediately resumed. As it was Bradford were on a roll in the
opposition twenty and were stopped in their tracks while Pickavance (I
think) sauntered on rightly taking his time.
4) A couple of tackles on Newlove looked a little suspect from where I
was stood. They were down the other end of the pitch from me and like I
say, I haven't seen it on TV yet but they looked to be treading a thin
line between tough tackling and skewering him into the ground. Whilst I
have no desire for Newlove's head to remain attached to his shoulders I
do feel they should take the Karl Fairbank line on this and batter him in
the changing rooms instead.
5) Dwyer put the shoulder on someone in the second half and knocked them
arse over tit. He was penalised for a high tackle when his arms didn't
look to me to have left his side.
If anyone knows what his next game is let me know and I'll be there to
hold your coats.
Incidentally, Mugwump asked me for directions the other day. I got a
phone call back with him asking me if I thought he was thick for giving
him directions to Odsal. I shall thus take his lack of presence at the game
to mean he was shiting it and didn't in fact end up in Aberestwyth
Oh and Lloyd. There was all manner of electronic gadgetry at Odsal last
night to make even your gentleman go hard. :)
Chris Russell | Bradford Bulls - Wembley 1997
Electronic Imaging Unit |
University of Bradford | Tough on St.Helens
TEL: +44 1274 385463 | Tough on the causes of St.Helens.