'When that happens you know Pearce has lost it as he's a nice dude'
Things turned lively on this week’s latest episode of RugbyPass Offload, show host Marc Edwards asking regular panellists Ryan Wilson, the Glasgow skipper, and Max Lahiff, the Bristol prop, for their thoughts on how referee Luke Pearce handled last weekend’s backchat from Saracens during their loss at Exeter.
Both players were adamant that backchat must be kept out of the game, Warriors captain Wilson referencing another incident from last weekend that took place in a United Rugby Championship match in South Africa.
The segment on Pearce and Saracens finished with a humorous interjection from John Afoa, the Bristol player/coach, about how he has become his own team’s unofficial coin tosser before their matches. Here is how the conversation on the show unfolded:
MARC EDWARDS (ME): Max, did it [Exeter versus Saracens] live up to expectations?
MAX LAHIFF (ML): Yes, I thought the ill-discipline was funny. I thought the gamesmanship from Sarries was just a bit too much at times and obviously, Luke Pearce lost his head. He just had Billy in his ear the whole time and marched them back 20 metres. I hadn’t seen that since schoolboy that amount of times. Like when that happens you know that Luke Pearce has lost it because he is a pretty nice dude. He can take a bit of chat but they must have been in his ear the whole game.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 4, 2021
RYAN WILSON (RW): They must have been hammering his old man’s insurance or something. For you Mark and those who don’t know, his old man sells insurance. He must have been, ‘Mate, your old man is ripping me off’ and was, ‘Right, ten metres’. ‘Seriously, though?’ ‘Right, 20!’ ‘We’ll renew, we’ll renew’.
ME: We don’t see that very often, though?
RW: We have got to cut it out.
ML: Agreed, we can’t be having that.
RW: We don’t want to turn into football. In all seriousness, I think it is good. You saw it over in URC as well with Jaco Peyper I think it was, telling some big boys off and they actually looked like naughty school children after it.
ML: He was really disappointed, Jaco. It was a real father-son chat and I was, ‘Oh my God, this is getting emotional’.
RW: The disappointment bit, that is when it gets you.
ME: So everyone in agreement, no talking back to refs and it was the right call?
JOHN AFOA (JA): Yeah. The refs are good, they like good craic sometimes just to break up the game, craic some jokes and get your point across.
ML: it depends which one, though. Or you’re good with all of them?
JA: Yes, me and the refs always get along. I am the unofficial coin tosser of the team because Stevie is normally too busy, so I always go and do the coin toss and that is when I start getting my work done. I will be like talking about what is going on. I can’t remember who the ref was, t was one of the guys who had just toured Australia and he was there, ‘I’ve just got an Australian 50 cent. I was, ‘I don’t want to use that, get another one’. He thought I was being deadly serious but I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll use that. It’s fine’. So they give the coin to the Irish skipper and he flips it, I call heads and he catches it and puts it on his hand. It was tails so I lose and I was like, ‘I thought it was the rule that you have to drop it on the ground, that you can’t catch it?” He looked at the ref, I looked at the ref and he went, ‘Yeah, that is sort of true’. They did it again, I called heads again and lost again, so it didn’t really matter.
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