Jersey Experience

Na Madrai

Referees in England
Feb 5, 2008
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Having just read the thread concerning pitch inspections in Jersey, I am reminded of an interesting experience in which I was involved whilst on tour there a year or thirty ago.

We were playing Jersey on a balmy Easter Sunday morning. At that time, the rugby club was the only place where a legitimate beer could be bought on a Sunday moring so the non-playing tourists watching the match were supplemented by a substantial number of holiday makers.

I was playing right wing and we kicked off to the left. As I ambled in the general direction of the maul fifty yards away, wondering how long it was going to be before I regurgitated our customary tour pre-match lunch of red wine and cheese, I received a mighty thump to the side of the face, cutting the skin to the bone. Thirty odd years later, I still carry the scar. My opposing winger had simply ran up and smacked me.

As I stood there having copious amount of vaseline applied to limit blood loss, my opponent stood there, smirking and clapping his hands. At our first win of the ball, our out-half put a mighty Garry Owen landing on this guy's head. I took man and ball. I can still feel his ribs popping, one by one as I hit him with my shoulder, my head smashed under his jaw and my knee went where no knee should ever go. As I later found out, as well as the rib damage, I had broken his jaw and split his scrotum. The scar from the four stitches I received in my cheek is still visible to this day.

I now had no intention of playing rugby football -they had started a fight on little old me and they were going to have one. The first replacement ran straight at me and I broke his leg. The second guy went off with knee damage - I mis-timed my tackle, and the third replacement was limping badly after our first contact - and I still had not actually touched the ball.

Now, bearing in mind firstly, that the referee had not seen the initial punch and secondly I not broken any LOG, what would - or could one do as the referee in this (sic) friendly match?