Sunday, July 16, 2006

Free Rugby

I scored some free tickets to last night's Australia vs South Africa rugby test match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane courtesy of my friend Kathy (thanks!) While Aussie Rules is my passion, I quite like rugby, especially when Australia win 49-0.

One thing that struck me about the game was how good the refereeing was, which is more than I can say for any game of Aussie Rules I've ever seen. In any sport there are line ball decisions that can go either way, so that's not what I'm talking about. It's when they miss completely obvious stuff that it's infuriating and Aussie Rules umpires seem to have an unequaled capacity to do just that despite the fact that there are three field umpires, two boundary umpires, two goal umpires and an emergency umpire just in case.

At the same time as the rugby was on the Lions were playing in Melbourne and there was an absolute howler in the dying minutes. Jason Akermanis almost had his head taken off by his opponent right in front of the ump but no free kick was awarded (for those not familiar with Aussie Rules you can't touch your opponent above the shoulders, so decapitation is definitely out of the question). Fortunately the Lions won (by a point) so I can let that umpire live for another week!

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