Having calmed down somewhat from the disappointment and anger of the defeat to Argentina yesterday, I'm ready to pass a slightly more considered opinion. I was right the first time. In essence, the referee gave Argentina three points while denying Scotland three. First off he penalised Geoff Cross twice for slipping, for Christ's sake. Slipping! On one of the wettest days of the year no less. Now, I can understand penalising someone who's attempting to pull the scrum down, like, oh I don't know, the Argentinian tighthead, who was face down on the ground with Chunk Jacobsen on top of him before Cross even started to slide. There is a crisis in rugby when it comes to refereeing scrums. The IRB has boxed itself into a corner and won't admit it has got it wrong. They're convinced they can legislate to prevent scrum collapses. They started by approaching the problem by enforcing several pauses when the scrum comes together, even rather cleverly calling one of them a pause. More scrums collapsed, so they increased the length of the pause, thus ensuring more collapses. It's OK though, because there is an answer. You guessed it, make the pause longer. You see my point, I'm sure. Twenty years ago refs made a mark and stood back to allow those who knew what they were doing to get on with it. The ball went in, cheating went on and the ball emerged seconds later to be moved away. It wasn't broke, so they tried to fix it.
Now on to the final ignominy. Anyone who saw the game is fully aware of just how far offside Felipe Contepomi was. Dan Parks appealed to deaf ears. Barnes didn't even ask the touch judge, not that he should have to. Officials are now full time professionals, and as such ought to be held to professional standards. That isn't happening because the old fart way is to simply accept that 'refs make mistakes'. It's not good enough. Those who purport to have the best interests of the game at heart need to put their money where their mouths are, and not just stuff them with caviar.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, but we can fix it. I'll be in front of my TV on Saturday morning, bacon sandwich in hand, watching England getting the gubbing of their lives. I might even get up early the next morning to see Georgia pull of the shock of the tournament.