Monday, 14 October 2013

No messin'

It was just another weekend and another minis rugby festival.

Five years on since the eldest started playing and you would think I'd be used to all this stuff.

Anyway. First things first: it was NOT raining. Hooray. One - nil to me (and the troops).
Also: I did NOT get lost getting to the venue. Excellent. Two - nil.
And: no mustering of the troops since stepping down as Team Manager and letting others lead the way. Relief. Three - nil.

Except.

Except I was asked if I would referee some of the matches.

Now, let's be clear here. I have not attended the formal ELRA course yet. Not because I don't want to, but more because the RFU likes shifting the dates around and none of them suit my busy (social) calendar.
However, I have refereed sufficient minis games up to U8s to a) know the form, b) know the rules and c) know which end of the whistle to blow in to.

So of course I stepped up to the mark, very happy to help out, as ever.

All well, a terrific game between the host club's U8s B team and a very valiant opposing side. Score of 10-3 to the hosts.

Complimented on my refereeing by none other than Serge Betsen who was on the sidelines.

And then asked to referee another match. This one between the hosts' U8s A team versus a North of London side.

I think my recounting via email of the event to the U9s head coach covers everything:

"Hysterical exchange with the North of London team coaches (hard men of the 'tats-you-like' school of knocks, complete with wraparound dark glasses) who were busy mouthing off at me from the sidelines until I stopped the match, walked over and asked if there was a problem.

Him - "Kids can't hear you calling the tags! I'm calling them!"
Me - "And that's why they cannot hear, because you are shouting over me."
Him - "And the opposition are crowding our players, they can't pass!"
Me - "It has been noted and they have already been told."
Him - "You need to do something about it!"
Me - "Would you like to referee?"
Him (pointing somewhere vaguely over my shoulder) - "I did one over there…"
Me (holding out the whistle) - "Do you want to referee this match?"
Him - "Uhmm, no…"
Me - "Right, so then SHUT UP. I am the referee. I make the decisions. Show some respect and set an example to your kids."

*Cue cheering from the other team's side of the pitch*

Of course, as I walked away he then noted I had 'Boss' emblazoned on the back of my hoodie.

Result: hosts 8 - mouthy men 3.

As the winning team's coaches commented whilst shaking my hand post match, "We reckoned not to mess with you!"
And this was after Serge Betsen had complimented me on my refereeing in the earlier match."

To which I received the following reply:

"And great to get validation from Mr Betsen. Although take that with a pinch of salt: as one of the best back row players of his age one could argue he had a healthy disdain/ignorance of the laws!"

Never mind. I, for one, am walking at least a foot taller. 

Four - nil, I reckon.

Yes, it is him.
Really.

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