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Ref Report - New Zealand vs. Italy
Ref Report - New Zealand vs. Italy
(The Fleming in Jim's throat causes a few problems)

Jim Fleming, Scotland
Friday 15th October, 1am (NZDT)

1st Half

What a game! What a Referee!!

OK is that good or bad?

Actually Mr. Fleming isn't too bad... well I should say that he is not too good to start with, but he grows on you.

It took me 2 minutes to understand anything that he was saying. And that was him saying "OK?"

But a long journey starts with a single steps... as they say. Yes within in no time he was commanding a scrum with the evocative: "Wait...wait...wait... Wait!!!!" Maybe it meant more in Italian, or maybe not. In the end I think that the scrums worked it out for themselves.

The other thing I was realising by this time was that my Adidas All Black Home Jersey™ with long sleeves, looked nothing like the AB strip. To think of all the money my sister spent on it!

You will recall my discussion of last time, about when do you play advantage, and when do you penalise? Well I thought that Mr. Fleming was going to simplify matters by just penalising! But then he played 3 good advantages in a row!

I think that the last one ended with Kelleher being bundled out in the corner. Good to see him congratulate his opposite number for the tackle, I guess that backs have time for polite rivalry.

Then the game started to take off. Before half time we had the following milestones:

  • Dylan Mika scoring his first AB try.
  • Jeff Wilson took the AB try scoring record.
  • Lomu setting a World Cup Try scoring record.
  • We would have had a NPC / Tri Nations bonus point!
  • I had noticed several hundred people in the crowd, wearing Adidas jerseys just like mine.

Absolutely amazing moment: Mr. Fleming warned the Italian Captain to lay off the offside play, and they actually complied!!

2nd Half

After 10 minutes of quiet contemplation, or maybe the Italians playing well, the AB scoring feast started again.

The points kept on coming and Mr. Fleming was having much less direct input into the game. And he was still playing advantage!

In fact all my notes are about the players:

  • Brown's amazing kicking.
  • Taine's try, Gibson's first AB try.
  • Wilson toying with the tacklers before sending the ball off for another try.
  • Razor ripping the ball in a maul, Ian Jones playing like a loose forward!
  • Osbourne qualifying for hardest working and least selfish player in the Universe!
  • 101 points!!!

In fact there were two last inputs from Mr. Fleming. The first was Osbourne's 2nd try. He was out, but I guess that it was up to the touch judge to work that out, not so much the Ref. Secondly there was Brown being in front of Robin Brooke's kick. He was, although it was a close call.

Even at the end of the game, when the result shouldn't matter, it is important for the Ref to keep everyone honest! This is the only thing that prevents a hiding like this one, turning into a farce.

PS: Keith Quinn told us that it is Carlos Spencer's birthday today (Friday). Hope the knee is feeling OK, Carlos. Lay off those free toffee pops, mate, you will only have to work it off again!

Still we now don't have to worry about missing you Carlos!

Any doubters?


Let us know what you think!

Looks like Jim Fleming can sleep easy tonight...  But if I was Paddy O'Brien I would be quaking in my size 8 boots because SG is sure going to have a piece of him!!  (cf: Fiji vs France!)

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