David Pocock: The Diplomat The Wallabies NeedPosted: June 17, 2012
I love rugby, it is a beautiful game in its intricacies, but it is those same intricacies that make it great that also contribute to one of my greatest hates of the game – bad refereeing. It’s exceedingly difficult to referee a game of high quality, high stakes rugby. Every referee calls it differently – some are anal about scrums, some are anal about the breakdown, others don’t call anything and others are just simply blind.
As a suffering Wallabies fan I believe we have been on the wrong side of some very bad and very missed calls over the years, especially when a Kiwi is calling the game (Wales was onside maybe twice in 80 minutes last night, for example). Past Wallabies players have complained bitterly to ref (*cough* George Gregan *cough*), hoping to ‘assist’ the ref in making sure the next call goes the way of the Wallabies. It never worked.
Last night we saw a fresh approach to referee relations by recently anointed captain David Pocock. Pocock not only had a barnstorming game, coming a close second in man of the match-ness to, ahem, Berrick Barnes, but he also took it upon himself to compliment the referee. He had kind words to say to referee Chris Pollock when his own team was penalised for something or rather (there wereso many penalties last night) early in the game and he also had kind things to say when Wales was penalised.
Did this result in the penalty on the 80th minute of the game that led to Michael Harris’ game winning penalty conversion after the siren to win the game? Probably not, but anything that casts the Wallabies in a kinder light to the referees is fine by me. Anything to get an edge. I want that damn Bledisloe back.
When James Horwill comes back from injury Pocock has to retain the captaincy. He’s been excellent in the past 2 Tests, not just as a player, but as a leader as well.