Even if I hadn't known it was Ed the Ref, the first penalty for off-side after only 15 seconds would have given it away.
But I worried too soon. I guess that it was just a Referees "first touch of the ball". You try to do something positive, or something familiar, to help build your confidence. No real surprise that for Mr. Morrison that act would be to whistle for a penalty!
But then once he was feeling more comfortable, he was able to ease into a wider repertoire of refereeing. Within 5 minutes we were starting to see expansive advantage. Not just your common garden variety advantage, no indeed, we were blessed with the type that actually turns from advantage for one team to advantage to the other, then back again!
It was almost as if the Rugby Gods were showing a funny turn of humour, and reversing the innate abilities of Northern and Southern hemisphere Referees. I guess that some would say that it was some kind of Karma, or Metaphysical Rugby Balance. Why else would we be
experiencing such a effort from Mr. Morrison, whilst the likes of Big Col and Paddy O'Brien are covered in derision? (You may scoff - and I would normally agree - except such ideas make articles much more interesting to read... and write for that matter!)
I begin to see a link between the peaking by the Southern Hemisphere teams and an associated form slump for Referees from the same region. Yes that 2nd year paper in Philosophy is really starting to pay-off, big time!
But actually I have to stop this ranting for a bit, and tell you that Ed Morrison is the best referee that exists in Britain. I know that it is hard to take, but if you doubt me try this little test:
The World Cup Final - All Blacks verses South Africa, or Australia - whichever you prefer. There is a choice of Referees and you make the choice.
The candidates are as follows:
- Derek Beven (Wales)
- Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
- Ed Morrison (England).
Which one do you choose to control the game?
No take your time...
Paul Honiss?? Shift the eye patch, you've got it on the wrong eye!
Face it, there isn't much of a choice, but Ed is it!
But on with the game.
I have lots of comments on the play and not too many about Mr. Morrison. The pass from Collin to Umaga for his try, did that look slightly forward to you? At least one of the Scottish backs thought so. Again the replays might as well have been for a different game, they didn't show a thing!
The first side on shot of Wilson's try looked like he was
being be bit greedy, but the head on replay indicated that it was actually easier than it
had looked, and he did well to back himself for the try. And hey, it was his birthday, so
he deserved a present!
Jonah didn't win any awards for going backwards, but did he even touch that first knock-on? Still it may have been a case of too many negative style points. Certainly the Scottish 1st Five didn't trouble Mr. Morrison, he made it dead obvious when he knocked on!
It was good to see Mr. Morrison penalising for people diving over the top of rucks. The commentary team implied that this was the Scottish game plan to spoil what they couldn't compete with. That's a harsh call, but they did give away a lot of penalties.
Mertz was kicking up a storm, passing well and running, pity that he was injured. Marshall was kicking superbly from the base of the scrum. He is such a marvellous player when he has an awesome day, he has definitely raised our expectations for half backs.
Good to see Jonah running around another winger to score his try. Great pass from Kronfield at centre, you can't tell me that guy hasn't set a land speed record for flankers!
Also glad to see Jonah bounce off that tackle, a guy can only take so much of this touchy feelly stuff!
For the second half, I had nothing specifically bad to say about the Referee.
Just one general thing, he couldn't sort out the scrums. We saw the single command scrum which I have rubbished in the last few articles.