An incident happened close to my heart in the Heineken Cup semi-final 2001: Stade Francais v Munster – John O’Neill scored a perfectly good try but was disallowed by the touch judge.


Another thing to note in both Rugby codes on Tv is that the Ref can be heard loud and clear by everyone, even those inside the ground & coaching staff will be seen wearing an earpiece which is normally available outside the ground for a cost of normally £/€ 5.The company is called Reflink ( who provides this service. The system works on a FM system at rugby games from what I can gather which is anywhere from 88-108MHz for us teccies or any normally radio would do!

In Gaelic Games in Ireland,both Gaelic Football and Hurling have 7 officals and still get things wrong! The officals again have Mics and earpieces ,but with no video ref available.the officals consist of a ref,two linesmen and 4 umpires (on both sides of posts which are a combination of rugby and football posts,Goal worth 3 points & anything above the  goal worth a point).the umpires stand beside each post,1 has a flag for a goal,1 has a flag for a point.The position is similar to the 2 extra officals used in Europa league matches.

The difference between both Rugby’s and GAA to football is the 2 assistant refs in football move up and down the touchlines,but only cover  1 side and half of the field!

The reason I wrote this article after chatted to Eddie Pearson was to highlight the Pro’s of technology.We keep hearing from Blatter et al about goal-line camera’s etc and if video technology was introduced the game would last hours…blah blah blah!!has anyone ever heard of a rugby match lasting 3-4 hours due to extensive checking of scoring chances? How long would a video ref take to see Maradona and the ”Hand Of God”?Seems to me incidents in football can be cleared up within 1 minute at most especially with the extensive amount of cameras at Televised game but even at non televised games could a stationary camera be used….or haven’t all grounds have lots of cctv security cameras?

In Celtic’s recent games, notably v Hearts and Rangers ,these cameras could have worked against us…but v Killie in the league cup final could have worked for us…Stokes penalty incident caught perfectly by a photographer!!!!

This is just a quick article to get feedback and debate started!


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