Shock, horror, controversy. These are words rarely written these days. Good game ref.
Yes, this is a set play. Coaches, players, us media types and fans love to bag referees. So let's go out of our way to praise one. Chris Pollock and his team did a top job in a tight Super 15 game at Eden Park tonight.
We all know officials make howlers in the various football codes, mainly because they are human. They deserve scrutiny but the extent of the relentless criticism would have anyone thinking referees plot to ruin their sport and own careers.
This space could be used more safely to observe the Waratahs made enough mistakes against the Blues to lose two games, and that Jerome Kaino is a sitter to reclaim an All Blacks jersey. Kaino is what a No. 6 should be - a tight loose forward with power. It was wonderful to see Piri Weepu back in action - hopefully he is doing the right thing after a serious health issue.
It was also wonderful to see Pollock let the game happen. I especially liked the way he let the ball come out of collapsed scrums early, so the match got moving.
Pollock didn't make any big blues. Referees, linesmen and video refs work hard at their crafts, which in rugby's case involves wielding a rule book with more twists and turns than a politician's scheming. This is a chance to pat a ref on the back instead of giving him the customary brickbat.