Thursday, March 04, 2010
Outspoken commentator Brian Moore recently decided to put his whistle where his mouth is, passing the RFUs Entry Level Referee Award, thus qualifying him as a ref, leading to his rather interesting debut recently.
Fifteen years after retirement, the now 48 year old former British & Irish Lions and England hooker got his boots back on in a bid to experience what its like to be the man in the middle.
"I'd got into an argument over the refereeing of the front row. I reckoned I'd been a hooker in over 75,000 scrums during my career so I knew what I was talking about," explained Moore.
"Then the questioner asked how many front rows I'd ever refereed, and he suggested I take the ELRA course to find out what it was like. So I thought 'yes, I'll do it'," he added.
So having completed the course, he recently got out there for his first match in charge, tights and all. His task was to ref a match between Rosslyn Park Nomads and a London Scottish XV, but things didnt go all to plan, as he explained in his regular column.
"As the teams lined up for the kick-off I checked both captains were ready and with a frisson of excitement blew the whistle.
"What followed was, by common assent, a flawless demonstration of officiating. I made no mistakes and the players, other officials and crowd had nothing to complain about as a referee you cannot realistically expect positive acclamation.
"The game flowed and Park scored a scintillating try with the sort of handling that unfortunately escapes England's backs all too often.
"Yes, for the 2 minutes I was on the field I was brilliant; until my right calf tore and it felt like I had been shot by some embittered and jealous member of the fraternity, envious at all the misplaced attention my foray to the dark side had attracted.
"I could only hobble off with the laughter ringing in my ears; my embarrassment complete and pride demolished.
"Lessons I perhaps didn't learn nobody likes a smart-arse, and get fit before you do this. "
Note: You can read his full column here.