Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Back from the Summer

The end of the last season saw LondonRef upgraded yet again and I’m now a level 10, hopefully I can add a +1 at Christmas and consolidate that by season end.
With the Rugby World Cup in full swing, it seems odd to be starting the new season last weekend. It was a last minute appointment, only 3hrs before kick off but close at hand. Still it meant a rummage through cupboards to find my kit. No, I hadn’t cleaned my boots since last season either. Changing at the ground, I realised that I had forgotten my ref watch, a pain but not insurmountable.
The two sides were familiar to me, though this was a mixed friendly, I recognised the visiting tight-head, he’s normally a chopsy old timer with a weak grasp of binding etiquette. I pointed this out to his captain in our pre-match chat and asked him to keep him in line. A point he told me he ‘appreciated’ over the post-match beer.
The game was great fun, closely fought and spirited for an early season friendly. The home side picked up a few free-kicks from scrum engagements going early but lost out by failing to stay on their feet and roll away at tackles. The visitors operated much more as a unit, getting quick ball and their big physical centre making hard yards. Final score was 17-13 to the visitors, with good running rugby from both sides.
It was a easy game to manage, despite a couple of flair-ups and the view from the bar was they appreciated me trying to keep the game flowing, again, focus on materiality and keep the penalty count down. A much bigger challenge coming next week with one of the top vets sides in the district. Must remember my watch for that one

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