Wednesday, 8 April 2009
No Broken Nails
This week it was to be a Sunday game for a change and a Ladies team for yet more variety. I arrived early, too early as I had mis-read the kick off time, so an extra half hour of ‘warm-up’. The last women’s game I reffed had utilised U19 scrummaging regulation (no turn-overs, no pushing past 1.5m) but things have moved on and this was full-on, by the Law Book, as it was national league.
The home side (Red) started the strongly with good field position, but an 70m interception from the fast and talented full back saw the visitors (Black) take the lead. The home side were better drilled and ruck presentation was excellent, but Black often seemed to fall on the wrong side at the tackle and penalties came thick and fast. I was certainly stuck as to whether it was deliberate or poor technique, the lack of yellow card means in my mind it was the former which may not be giving the girls credit! Red struck back with a well worked try before and another inception gave the visitors a 14-5 lead at half time.
The second half saw the game start to open up which suited the home side as their superior running structure started to gain momentum and the more organised forward platform got the upper hand against the more belligerent visitor pack. In the meantime, black’s full back once more caught the ball, this time on her goal line, thwarting a certain try, and took off down the field, whilst it would have been a sensational score, I was grateful she was pulled down short of the home side’s 22m and a penalty for the defensive players going off their feet was scant reward.
The best move of the match was saved for Red 13 as she took the ball 30m out and side-stepped the width of the field to score in the opposite corner. This put the home marginally ahead, with clock showing 38, but we still had another 16 mins to play, such was the injury toll. Red made it safe with 10 minutes of real time to go as Black’s shape began to break up. Final score 22-14
It was an impressive match, with solid commitment from both sides, scrummaging was committed though no less closed to indiscretions than the men’s game. I tried to stamp down on crooked feeds as there was less need to watch bindings and boring. I did get caught out by Red’s ability to change the point of attack, which resulted in my positioning being wrong and blocking the Black defence on the 10-12 channel, something to work on for next week. Recent weeks has seen a common problem of back chat but I please to say that neither team caused me a problem during this game.
So in the end, I put on a referee shirt and 30 women do as I say, I wonder if it will work the same magic is Mrs LondonRef?