10 September 2016

Rugby’d & Berry’d



I wouldn’t want to plagiarise what’s already been 
said about the vaguest refereeing out of an elite 

Alright, I’ll repeat it - Stuart Berry is of an elite set 
of South African referees whose refereeing failed 

the litmus test of relevance; this morning’s game 
was between the Lions and Crusaders; I’d guess 

the Crusaders would bless their luck in winning a 
close encounter - playing the ref & the opposition 

doesn’t make it an even contest, but Berry isn’t a 
arbiter with fairness of mindset; no, he’s too busy 

discouraging a game’s progress irrelevantly - and 
in adjudication he’s a frustrated bureaucrat at sea 

Rules are all he heeds, so sequencing &/or intent 
be damned - we’ll deal with what he saw last that 

biased his sense of justice - minor infractions can 
& will be tolerated - but only by the home team 

And there the opposition stands - playing against 
16, at least, unless linesmen see the irony … 
© 2 April 2016, I. D. Carswell


For the record: 
Super Rugby teams Crusaders & Golden Lions 
played in Johannesburg on 1 April 2016, with the 
Crusaders winning 43 - 37. Stuart Berry was the 
match referee. Perhaps April Fool’s date effected 
both referee performance & final score!