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Thread: The Roar with Jones-Goddard Scoop

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    The Roar with Jones-Goddard Scoop

    Riled referee blows whistle on Eddie

    David Sygall
    Sunday, April 22, 2007


    Referee Matt Goddard has angrily fired back at Reds coach Eddie Jones, claiming he attacked his officiating to divert attention from Queensland's poor showing in a Super 14 match.

    On an internet web forum, Goddard also claimed the game in February, in which the Brumbies beat the Reds 6-3, was "the worst game of professional rugby that I have been involved in".

    Jones later described some of Goddard's decisions as outrageous, ludicrous and not up to Super 14 standard. He was fined $10,000 and told to write the referee an apology.

    Goddard, who is one of only two Australians on the IRB's referees list, said the criticism was Jones's way to keep his players out of the spotlight after their disappointing effort.

    "As a referee, it was mind-boggling that after the worst game of professional rugby that I have been involved in, in terms of skill and execution, the only press the week after focused on Eddie Jones and Matt Goddard - no mention of the standard of play in the game," the Sydney referee said in a chat forum on the sports blog website http://www.theroar.com.au.

    "Perhaps Eddie did his job well, with no mention of any of his players that week in the press."

    Referees have virtually no way to respond to criticism from coaches, players or the public, but Goddard chose to break his silence in an online web forum two months after Jones made his comments.

    Goddard, 32, is controlling a Super 14 match in Cape Town this weekend. ARU referees manager Peter Marshall confirmed to The Sun-Herald that Goddard had written the response on the website.

    At the centre of the Jones-Goddard row was the adjudication of scrum infringements by the Reds in the second half. Jones was livid that penalties were awarded against his side when they were in dominant field positions. They were pinged several times for collapsing the scrum.

    Goddard said that neither Jones nor anyone else had asked him why he had made the calls.

    "Further to the irony of the week was that not once was I asked by any coach, press or anyone what my interpretation was for - when it was all so simple," he said. "One thing that did come out of the week was that in both New Zealand and Australia the referees did some 'scrum schooling', as Eddie suggested.

    "You may be interested to know that the height of the tight-head prop was considered paramount - 'to pack with his head and shoulders above his hips' as the law states - and that the decisions made in the Reds v Brumbies games were fine."

    Jones, knowing he risked being fined, lashed out after the match on February 17.

    "That refereeing is just outrageous," he said. "I can't understand the [penalties] when our scrum was the dominant scrum. That poor refereeing is not up to the standard of Super 14.

    "We were definitely the stronger scrum in the first half, and we get penalised for collapsing the scrum. Work that one out. It is disgraceful.

    "Whatever fine I have to pay [for criticising the referee] I am prepared to pay twice . . . it's not good enough. It's not good enough for rugby. The stronger scrum is getting penalised . . . well, that doesn't make sense."

    The former Wallabies coach had been angry that Goddard did not talk to hooker Sean Hardman, but had been telling tight-head prop Rodney Blake he was packing too low.

    "Props are supposed to pack low," Jones said. "This is ludicrous."

    Goddard stood by his decisions but admitted the laws of rugby were too complex.

    "Rugby does have a problem with law complexities which hopefully can be rectified in the near future with massive law changes aimed at taking the referee out of the equation," he said. But he added that smart coaches such as Jones would probably find other ways to "play just outside the scope of the law".

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    Veteran Contributor The EnForcer's Avatar
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    He's a pretty pissed off guy but should he make these comments publicly? Hopefully it won't come back on him.

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    geese get over it hasnt he had a game like that before. why does he have a cry about it 2 months late when nobody cares.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    It is a shame it took two months for him to retaliate, as some of his remarks have merit, and could have been addressed more appropriately while still fresh in the mind, now it isn't really going to achieve anything...Time to move on and learn from the experience...

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    I'd have to agree, unfortunately it's far too late for these comments to be coming out. Wonder if Eddie will retaliate, it's his style afterall.

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    I agree it does seem a little strange that firstly he is commenting at all and secondly it has taken so long.
    It's the journo's words that it was an "angry" retaliation mind you, perhaps in his mind he is just replying now that the heat has gone out of the debate.
    To my reading, in the main he is really only saying that everything blew up without Jones actually talking to him first.
    I do find it peculiar the notion that at scrum time the penalties should balance out because apparently both sides must have levels of guilt. This is coming from players and commentators alike.
    John Roe has previously been guilty of complaining the same on field and this weekend Kearnes gave him self up with his little tantrum during commentary on the Tahs match.
    "The Referee should be Refing both sides" or something was the call.
    The trouble is Kearnsey, when you have two bozo's like Dunning and Trestle up against arguably the best current #3 in the world, one of the most experienced #2's going around and a very good #1, the majority of the time the fault will be the performance of the bozo's so, therefore, the majority of the penalties will be awarded against them!
    Currently I would say that Australia has maybe three or four International quality Props (Holmes, Shepherdson, Henderson and maybe Hardy) with a handful more showing promise (Blake, Robinson, Scott, Takiari, Ma'afu & Ulugia). The rest really are little better than Club level and until we stop kidding ourselves that they are anything better then that is what we will have.
    Getting a little off topic now however, the same could be said regarding Locks. We can all sit around saying the Lock stocks are pretty good in Australia with some good recent performances however, without Vickerman playing we have lost our reference point and really currently Sharpey is the only other that could be considered a top level starting International Lock.
    The rest would get torn apart by a Jack, Matfield or Eales, Johnson in their day.
    Taking that back to the point though, as Australian's we need to open our eyes to why the Refs are blowing the whistle and, rather than crying bias, actually doing something about becoming the dominant scrummagers in World Rugby!
    In this day and age of analysis, International Coaches and sporting excellence there is no excuse for us not to catch NZ and SA in this area.
    Perhaps we need to convert more players from the Backrow with players like Lyons, Tawake and Palu encouraged into Propping and maybe the likes of Fava, Hardy, Whalley, Salvi, Broughton-Rouse, Robinson and Waugh encouraged to look at Hooking?

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    You had me at agree.

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    Call for aggrieved refs to be given voice

    David Sygall
    Sunday, April 29, 2007


    REFEREES would get the chance to publicly explain their decisions under a proposal to be put to SANZAR.

    Australian Rugby Union referees manager Peter Marshall said yesterday that if referees were allowed to explain themselves it might lessen the chance of coaches criticising them.

    Sydney referee Matt Goddard was censured by the ARU last week after The Sun-Herald published extracts from a web post he wrote in response to criticism from Reds coach Eddie Jones after a match early this season.

    Goddard explained why he repeatedly penalised the Reds scrum. But he was deemed to have brought the game into disrepute by saying Jones had criticised him in order to deflect attention from his poorly performing side and that it was the worst game he'd witnessed.

    However, as a result, Marshall said he supported the concept of referees being given a means to respond to questions, under the right conditions.

    "There was a push by coaches at the SANZAR meeting last year to have refs front the press," he said.

    "But it was decided that it wouldn't be in the best interest of the refs because, in controversial decisions, they wouldn't have had a chance to see the video replays yet.

    "Under the right conditions, though, there is some validity in doing it. It could be good for rugby. We'll look at it again this year at our regular conference."

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    Goddard should pay, too

    Rupert Guinness
    Friday, May 4, 2007


    QUEENSLAND Reds coach Eddie Jones has unleashed another fierce attack on referee Matt Goddard on the eve of his side's last Super 14 game of the season.

    Jones, who was fined $10,000 for criticising Goddard's officiating in Queensland's 6-3 loss to the Brumbies in round three, is incensed at what he sees as the lenient punishment Goddard received for his outspoken response to that attack.

    Goddard was only given a reprimand by the ARU for claiming, on a website, that Jones's initial outburst was aimed at deflecting attention on his side's poor showing. Jones had labelled the referee's handling of the scrums "ludicrous" and "disgraceful".

    And now Jones is fuming again - this time at the union's failure to hit Goddard in the pocket.

    "My question is: why wasn't he fined? He brought the game into disrepute," an angry Jones told the Herald from South Africa last night. "Why is he allowed to question my coaching and I question his refereeing and I get fined? He questions my coaching and all he gets is a reprimand.

    "It should be that what's good for the goose is good for the gander, mate. I was the goose because I paid $10,000. And Goddard is the gander because he gets his knuckles rapped."

    Asked if he thought he should be given his money back, Jones said: "Exactly."

    Last night, ARU referees' manager Peter Marshall stood by the decision to reprimand Goddard and not impose a financial penalty.

    "The actions of Matt brought the game into disrepute. And we believe we acted accordingly," Marshall said. "We certainly had a talk to him about what he says to the press on these websites."

    Goddard, one of only two Australians on the International Rugby Board's referees list, will not want to risk his career prospects by re-offending. Jones is also unlikely to reappear on the referees' Most Wanted list again - despite this latest outburst.

    Marshall said he would not seek further action against Jones for responding the way he did to Goddard's censure, or even take the matter further.

    "There comes a time when the water has to go under the bridge. It has," he said.

    (Bummer, that would have been really funny )

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    Veteran Contributor The EnForcer's Avatar
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    Jesus, are these guys for real....Is Jones from NSW?

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    From memory he is.... It's a shame when you end up being right while trying to be a smartarse


    QUEENSLAND Reds coach Eddie Jones has unleashed another fierce attack on referee Matt Goddard on the eve of his side's last Super 14 game of the season.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sagerian
    Wonder if Eddie will retaliate, it's his style afterall.
    ... not that you had to be a genius to predict that...

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    He will never be known for his quite demeanour..Whinge, whinge whinge, that is all you ever hear out of his mouth, Eddie, for f***s sake, shut the F*** up...


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    For those who haven't seen the post in question...

    Matt Goddard said,
    April 16, 2007 (3 weeks ago) @ 10:36 am

    Hi

    IN response to the Roger Leavey article on the Eddie Jones outburst.

    I quote a chunk of text from Rogers article:

    “But neither set of scrums changed styles at half time, nor did they pack down any differently from one half to the other”. clearly Roger was not watching the game.

    The reds scrum which dominated the first twenty or thirsty minutes in regards to scrums, not only changed their style they changed bloody players! On replacing Sean Hardman with Stephen Moore the scrum was forced to pack lower. There are numerous technical reasons why this occured, which given Roger’s lack of understanding I will not go into here. But in a nut shell Moore prefers to pack lower then Hardman - perhaps he is not as strong or confident a scrummager as Hardman - I will leave you to make that judgment.

    When Moore takes the scrum lower he has a 130k THP (Tight Head Prop for Rogers benefit) - who cant possibly pack at the height Moore is setting the scrum at. Invariably Blake struggles to keep his side of the scrum up. After a warning, two free kicks and finally a Pen Kick - moore continues to pack at the same low height.

    With about 15 mins to go Moore is injured and Hardman returns to the field - I would ask Roger to review his copy of the game and see what happens to the first scrum - and subsequent scrums with Hardman back at hooker. Thats right rock solid and packing at a height Blake can cope with.

    As a referee it was mind boggling that after the worst game of professional rugby that I have been involved in - in terms of skill and execution - that the only press the week after focused on Eddie Jone and Matt Goddard - no mention of the standard of play in the game. Perhaps Eddie did his job well with no mention of any of his players that week in the press.

    Further to the irony of the week was that not once was I asked by anycoach, press or anyone, what my interpretation was for - when it was all so simple.

    One thing that did come out of the week was that in both NZ and Aust, the referees did some “scrum schooling” as Eddie suggested. You may be interested to know that the height of the THP (again Tight Head Prop - that is on the right hand side for Rogers benefit) was considered paramount - “to pack with his head and shoulders above his hips” as the law states - AND that the decisions made in the Reds v Brumbies games were fine.

    Rugby does have a problem with law complexities which hopefully can be rectified in the near future with massive law changes aimed at taking the referee out of the equation. However, I am a little dubious that smart coaches like Eddie will find other ways to play just outside the scope of the law.

    I hope that this helps Roger with his understanding of the game.

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