first game of the day was against colombia who we had beaten comfortably in a 15min warm-up match on tuesday. we didn't properly fire up for a team that had run australia close in the first game of the RR and we paid the price for that.
we were behind on the scoreboard at the end of the first 1/2, but the ridiculous number of sinbinnings and infringements called against the colombian team eventually told against them and we managed to go 2-1 ahead. then, because so many of the referees are idiotically trigger happy this year, Pig got given a 5min sinbinning. i admit the pass he threw caught a colombian in the head, but if you are stupid enough to press your face against the wall when play is being heaved along that same wall, then there aren't really many places to move. and, according to Pig, the clown took enough evasive action to pull his head away from the wall as the puck bounced off the wall.
result: colombia equalised from resulting free puck/melee, in our corner. final result 2-2.
i am furious with the standard of refereeing, once again. our entire subs bench, John & myself witnessed Pizazz [world chief referee, i remind you] watch a fairly blatant hooking offence against our player in open play. Pizazz, signalled for advantage to run. no advantage was gained and 10 seconds after Pizazz called a foul against our guy. what's with that? this is the guy who almost cost us a place in the final in sheffield with a bullshit call against Piers.
Pizazz also sent Pig for 5 minutes near the end of the game [see above]. immediately after the game Pizazz apologised to our water-boy and manager for sending Pig out - 'tell him i am sorry if i got it wrong' stunned reaction from w-b & m. if you are not certain about such a devastating/potentially crucial to a match outcome call - DON'T BLOODY CALL IT.
a better apology might be refunding the costs of attending the competition to the guys who get knocked out early because of refereeing incompetence.
this is the same guy who refuses to believe, despite clear video evidence from sheffield, that sending out Piers was a good call.
referees and those who appoint them for games really have to consider the cost, to athletes, of refereeing mistakes. each of the guys in my team have paid around $6500nz to be here. they don't get state funding. there is no magic money pixie who pays for these campaigns. and whilst saving the cash, the guys have to take time away from paid employment to train twice a day.
meanwhile referees are starting to have their expenses covered: 'so that we can get the best refs to attend' well, shit. if the ghouls and simpletons on display here are the best, then our game will remain a crash-bash thug festival. playing in small, shallow pools like kings park only exacerbates the problem.
this may seem like a sour grapes moaning bitch, but i honestly feel that the standard of the game has developed beyond the capacity of almost all the officials who are controlling games.
1 of 2 things will happen to the game.
1. refereeing standards improve rapidly and the game becomes open and enjoyable to watch and play.
2. refereeing standards remain as they are and teams that attempt to play open games are repeatedly thwarted by brutish thuggery that goes largely unpunished, as it is now with the result that adventurous teams either:
a. give up in disgust and leave it to the boofheads, or:
b. start playing like boofheads as well, and hope for the best when the refs keep making random sinbin calls.
presently i do not hold much hope, the same timing system that was a disaster in sheffield is being used again here. a proven, bullet-proof, system exists but i can only assume either jingoism or indolence is keeping it sidelined. people are not learning from their mistakes.
we learned from ours in the morning and as a result poor old canada, who have never done anything to offend us, got punished for our mistakes in our late game. we thrashed them 14-0.
only 1 game tomorrow, top of the table clash v. australia @ 15h30 local = 01.30am 29/04/08 NZ time. selection calls for spots on the playing roster are getting very tough.