Pilloried for the decisions they give and castigated for the ones they don’t, referees do not have an easy job.
Even with the technology today, there are lot of controversies.
Over the following slides, we look at 5 controversial refereeing decisions.
1. Speargate on the Lions Tour
The first game of the Lions tour of New Zealand was swept into controversy following a horrific spear tackle on Captain Brian O’Driscoll, which ended his tour within minutes. The tackle, with O’Driscoll picked up by two players in the ruck, was against the rules, but the ref waved play on.
The moment caused a major knock-on effect in World Rugby, tightening up restrictions on spear tackling.