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Brad Thorn asks for common sense following 'bizarre' game

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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Brad Thorn has pleaded for common sense to offset Super Rugby Pacific’s pedantic officiating which again plagued the Queensland Reds.

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The Reds beat the Fijian Drua 33-28 on Saturday night, surviving a mighty scare after the Drua crossed three times in five minutes to draw level with 10 minutes to play.

That frenetic finish added to a “bizarre” contest that had earlier ground to a halt in a first half that stretched for nearly an hour.

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Twenty-five penalties were blown by referee Jordan Way, while three yellow cards were given for three separate incidents inside 30 seconds during one lengthy stoppage before halftime.

Front-rowers Josh Nasser and Harry Hoopert were given 10 minutes for a reckless tackle and late shot respectively, before the Drua’s Samuela Tawake then joined the Reds duo on the sideline after lifting Uru in the ruck.

 

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Thorn was reluctant to pass judgement on the cards and admitted Way was doing his best to apply the laws of the game.

But the former All Blacks World Cup winner and NRL rugby league champion said something needed to be done to address the frustrating stagnations of play.

“In the game of rugby, every breakdown, every part of it, is contested,” he said. “If you wanted to, you could find a flaw in every single thing.

“There might be a guy offside … but does that affect the play or is it dirty play? Get on with it. The scrum, if the ball’s out the back and usable – not many scrums play out these days – just move it. If a guy goes up in the lineout and nobody’s competing and it’s not perfectly straight, get on with it.

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“We’re playing rugby, but it’s entertainment as well, isn’t it? People want to support it and watch some good rugby.”

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Former Wallaby Drew Mitchell agreed, saying in commentary that “World Rugby just need to make some sort of adjustment because it’s having too much of an impact on the game”.

The Reds were cruising when a cramping Josh Nasser comically hobbled over for his second and the side’s fourth unanswered try.

In the end, they leant on Fijian favourite Seru Uru to score the match-winner and then steal a line-out on their own try line to deny the Drua an incredible victory.

“It was bizarre … hectic, end-to-end and a game like that can be a challenge,” Thorn said.

“There’s space, opportunities, but you’ve almost got to rein it in a little bit. That’s the challenge of a game like that; keep your patience, don’t overplay.”

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