Third quarter of the game, we are in broken play. Black have the ball on the right side of the field when there is a turnover ball. A Red opposition player ends up with the ball about 15 feet in front of The Rugby Ref at his 2 o'clock position. Play is fragmented with no discernible lines.
The Red player starts running straight toward The Rugby Ref, who looks right and left quickly, there are no players within 10 feet of him on either side. As the player gets closer, he looks straight at The Rugby Ref. The Rugby Ref is in no doubt that the player knows exactly where The Rugby Ref is standing. The Rugby Ref takes a couple of paces to his left and sees the player adjust his run to keep heading straight at The Rugby Ref. The Rugby Ref takes another look around, no one either side of him, but there may be a player behind him? At this point the red player runs straight into The Rugby Ref, who twists side on and shrugs off the contact.
Peep! blows The Rugby Ref, "Penalty to Black".
"What for"? exclaims the red player.
"You deliberately ran into me" says The Rugby Ref.
"You were in my way" replies the red player.
"There was room all round me, but you chose to run straight at me", says The Rugby Ref, "penalty to black".
There ended the conversation.
The Rugby Ref has spoken to other referees about this incident and it seems to be an increasing trend for players to use the referee as a shield between themselves and any opposition players. This is a trend that The Rugby Ref is determined to stamp out. From these other referees' comments it would seem that other referee's are of the same opinion.
"I had a few players run into me, or toward me this weekend ... is it a trend to use the ref as a shield"?
"Good for you. Too many players are using this as a deliberate tactic and have been in recent years".
"He saw you / was looking at you and adjusted when you moved... on that basis it was deliberate contact".
"In my opinion, from your description, he was using you to "snooker" the opponent behind you, keeping you between him and the opponent".
"Maybe he had been watching the tri-nations and thought to himself, I'll have a piece of that knocking the ref over action".
They all said "card him"!
Maybe The Rugby Ref is getting too lenient?