NORTH TAWTON 16 TOTNES 17
WHEN asked on “Desert Island Discs”, what makes a good rugby referee?, Nigel Owens replied: “The ability to know when NOT to blow the whistle.”
This is a trait you could not accuse the gentleman of who was acting as the referee in this game, in fact, quite the reverse, he blew and blew, marching players 10 metres in both directions for what seemed to most on the touch line from both camps for nonsence reason.
He spent the whole game trying to impose his authority which, in real terms, killed any chance of a game at all.
When I heard the final whistle, one of the opposition coaches said he had “never been so underwhelmed by a victory”, which tells a story.
Nobody condones any violence, verbal or otherwise, towards match officials but some of the reasoning behind the majority of decisions left most people at the game perplexed to say the least.
I would respectfully point out that all the players on the field today play at the level that they do, i.e. Devon League One, they are amateur players who turn out for the enjoyment of the game and should surely expect to be given a fair crack by any ref worth his salt.
I am not saying be lacks with the rules, I am saying just be fair, try and take a leaf out of the Owen’s book and let things flow.
Taw Meadow or any such ground in this league isn’t Sandy Park.
To finish this rant all I can say is it is a credit to both teams that there was no ill discipline towards each other at any time during the match.
It could have and should have been a good game - it wasn’t allowed to be.
As for the match itself, Tawts’ early lead of three points from a penalty was soon wiped out by a Totnes try and a penalty half-time score 8-3 in Totnes favour.
After the break Totnes added another try to take their lead to 11-3 before Tawts scored their first try of the match but with a missed conversion, 8-11.
Under consistent pressure, a breakaway from North Tawton, led to five more points albeit, a try from Luke Dennis taking them into the lead for the first time in the match 13-11, giving players and supporters renewed hope.
We now get into the penalty plus 10 metres shoot out.
Totnes score first 13-14, Tawts reply 16-14, Totnes turn to get a penalty 16-17 and to finish the game North Tawton get the last penalty attempt but a miss from Alex Dennis leaves the final score 16-17 to the away side.
This loss puts the North Tawton side in very real danger of dropping down the divisions.
A tough away game awaits against Wessex tomorrow, Saturday where Tawton will need all players fit and well and I am ringing Mr Owens to see if he is busy!
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