Referee’s Need To Be Human Too
In the last 24 hours we have seen Luke Fitzgerald come out to criticise Nigel Owens refereeing style and he has questioned the way Owens deals with certain match situations. He cited a situation in a game last October where Owens made a comment toward Cian Healy where he said to him “That rule changed three years ago “
Referees are entitled to do what they see fit during a game as long as it is within the laws and spirit of sport. Nigel Owens has made a good career out of refereeing and he has been in charge of multiple major Finals including Heineken Cup/ Champions Cup Finals alongside the 2015 World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia.
Fitzgerald ‘s main point is he feels that Owens is going into dangerous territory with some of his remarks over the last few months. Most players seem to enjoy his on-field commentary and also he is extremely clear in his messages to all the players on the pitch.
Rugby may be a professional business since 1995 but it has not lost some of the old amateur ethos and that includes the respect in which a referee is held although that has come under some scrutiny over the last season or so since the Television Match Official or TMO to you and me has been given more powers.
Nearly every decision close to the try line is now up for debate.
I still feel that the referee should take more responsibility for some of the on-field calls and also the assistant referees need to be clearer and more direct in helping the referee to make some of the tight calls.
Nigel Owens has done a terrific job since his first international appointment in Osaka Japan , where Ireland took on Japan in 2005. What he has done is mix his personality with his professional job and this mix is still a great fit and he is still by far the best referee in both the North and South of the equator. Angus Gardener of Australia is really starting to rise up the ranks.
For me , Nigel Owens can continue to make remarks pertaining to each game as along as it doesn’t come in the way of his job as a referee. He has done a great job and long may that continue into the future….
Cian Mc Gibney