16 April 2012



Calling Japie referees
unseemly words denigrates
(perhaps) their origins – yet
cures the curse of rugby’s
oldest prejudice

Their unfamiliar antics
are explained with tact in
cultural terms – but whistle
in the hand excepts they’re
wrong and that’s a fact

The rules they recognize
we do not comprehend; it
shows as fey behaviour
more eclectic than the
set we get at home

So when we lose again
we say, predicably –
they’re colour-blind and
one-eyed bastards who
can’t see the other team

Yet ‘referee’ maintains
they arbitrate between
adversaries – meaning two
at least, unless ‘to referee’
now makes it three
© 26 March 2012, I. D. Carswell